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Original Jamie Fraser star explains why 90s Outlander was scrapped | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

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Outlander has turn out to be a world TV phenomenon after first airing back in 2014. Before this, it was a best-selling novel series for creator Diana Gabaldon, whose tale of star-crossed lovers across time and space captured hearts in all places. Author Gabaldon published her first book initially named Cross Stitch back in 1991 with the creator occurring to publish eight novels by the point Starz premiered its Outlander adaptation.

Nonetheless, fans could also be wondering why it took so long for the epic saga to finally make it onto screens.

There have been previous plans to adapt Outlander with Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl initially in line to play Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) in a feature film which was shelved.

Moreover, the concept to show Outlander right into a TV show was mooted within the 90s to Yorkshire TV by Doctor Who actor Frazer Hines, whose companion character 18th century Highlander Jamie McCrimmon inspired Gabaldon to write down Outlander and indeed served as the idea for Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

Hines, 78, said of his introduction to Outlander: “Diana Gabaldon and I – I met her and he or she told me she was watching me in Doctor Who as Jamie within the kilt and the subsequent day she went to church and told me, ‘All I could take into consideration was your legs and Jamie’s stoic-ness and I had to write down a book.’ She sent me a book Cross Stitch, which was the primary one.”

READ MORE: Jamie Fraser might have the option to time travel in Outlander in spite of everything

Interestingly, Hines also asked if Jamie Fraser had been named after him given his first name but this was simply a “spooky” coincidence, “in those days the [credits] within the show didn’t show you who played what really”.

Adding: “She could have called him Jamie McDonald but she called him Jamie Fraser.”

Although Hines could have missed out on the prospect to play Jamie, he did appear as prison warden Sir Fletcher Gordon of Wentworth Prison in season one.

Hines said the episode was the most-watched instalment of season one, probably right down to the “million Doctor Who fans” who tuned in to see his meta appearance.

The star said he’d like to return to Outlander sooner or later and given how the story covers different periods through time travel and goes from Scotland to America, his character could at all times pop within the show again.

Together with starring in Doctor Who, Hines has also featured in ITV’s long-running soap Emmerdale, Two Days within the Smoke and BBC medical series Doctors.

Based on IMDb, he’ll next be appearing in Orchid Mood, G.O.D. Tech and The Mild Bunch.

He can also be going to be heading off to the States for a fan convention with avid Whovians wanting to meet him.

Moreover, Hines is working on a book about his time on Doctor Who which he’s hoping to publish this yr to coincide with the science fiction series’ sixtieth anniversary.

Outlander season 7 will premiere in summer 2023 and seasons 1 to six are streaming on Lionsgate+ now

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