The “Outlander” clan continues to grow as the Starz series has cast Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) young nephew, Ian Fraser Murray, and Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) colleague and trusted friend, Joe Abernathy.
According to Variety, John Bell (“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”) will play the role of young Ian. Described as a tall, gangly Scottish lad with a heart of gold, a stubborn streak and a tendency to get into trouble, he is said to be more like his adventurous uncle than his farmer father, Ian.
Meanwhile, Wil Johnson (“Waking the Dead”) will be playing Joe Abernathy, a doctor in training whom Claire befriends in medical school. The character is said to be intelligent, charismatic, with a wry and irreverent sense of humor. He is said to put on a good faade but is very aware of his place in the Civil Rights movement. Joe and Claire form a bond of friendship as they feel out of place in the mostly all-white, all-male medical field.
The two characters won’t be sharing any screen time as Ian will be in the 18th century with Jamie and the Frasers, while Joe meets Claire in the 20th century. The third season of “Outlander” is based on Diana Gabaldon’s third novel titled “Voyager,” and a few chapters of it sees Jamie and Claire apart after she goes back to her own time, while Jamie heads to Ardsmuir Prison as punishment for his part in the Battle of Culloden.
In the novel, Claire and Jamie reunite after she finds out that he survived the battle and is still alive. She travels through time once more and looks for him in Edinburgh, where Jamie now owns a print shop and has taken on a new alias Alexander Malcolm. The two have an emotional reunion, and later on, Ian gets kidnapped and the couple goes on a sea voyage in order to find him.
Also in the book, Joe eventually learns about Claire being in love with the real father of her child two years after Frank died in a car accident. She chose to tell him all about Brianna’s father and that they have not seen each other in 20 years. Before leaving Boston to go back to the stones of Craigh na Dun, Claire tells Joe that she needs a favor concerning her daughter. After a few hours, Claire leaves some documents in Joe’s care, including her letter of resignation.
It is unclear whether Claire’s revelation to Joe will be seen in season 3, but as the series has proven to be faithful to its source material, there is a big possibility that this conversation will play out in the new season. In the show, Brianna is played by Sophie Skelton, while Tobias Menzies plays Frank.
“Outlander” season 3 premieres in 2017 on Starz.