The Ballad of Roger Mac
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
FINAL PRODUCTION DRAFT
25th March 2020
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EPISODE 507 "The Ballad of Roger Mac"
Production Draft – 18th June 2019
Blue Draft – 10th July 2019
Pink Draft – 24th July 2019
Yellow Draft – 25th July 2019
Green Pages – 26th August 2019 – pp. 6, 7, 8.
Goldenrod Pages – 21st October 2019 – pp. 26, 28, 28A, 29, 39, 39A, 39B, 41-42,
41-42A, 43, 43A, 44, 46, 46A.
2nd White Pages – 13th November 2019 – pp. 41-42, 41-42A, 43, 43A, 44, 46,
EPISODE 507 "The Ballad of Roger Mac"
CAST LIST — FINAL PRODUCTION DRAFT — 25th March 2020
BRIANNA RANDALL FRASER
ROGER WAKEFIELD MACKENZIE
JOHN QUINCY MYERS
MURTAGH FITZGIBBONS FRASER
EPISODE 507 "The Ballad of Roger Mac"
SET LIST — FINAL PRODUCTION DRAFT — 25th March 2020
- Sherston House
- Militia Camp
- Jamie & Claire’s Tent
- Militia Camp
- Alamance Creek
- Militia Camp
- Medical Tent
- Governor Tryon’s Tent
- Militia Camp
- Militia Camp
- Sherston House
- Road Near Salisbury
- North Carolina
- Militia Road
- Brianna Road
- Road Near Alamance
- Alamance Creek
- Militia Camp
- Medical Tent
- Edge Of The Water
- Regulator Camp
- Next To Creek
- Hanging Tree
- Militia Camp
“The Ballad of Roger Mac”
A2EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - SHERSTON HOUSE – DAY (D2)A2
Establishing. An upscale home in Hillsborough.
2 INT. SHERSTON HOUSE — PARLOUR — DAWN (D1) (1771) 2
CHYRON: HILLSBOROUGH, NORTH CAROLINA, MAY, 1771
ROGER MACKENZIE STRUMS his GUITAR and SINGS to JEMMY. Oh, My
Darlin’ Clementine is upbeat and whimsical, in stark contrast
to the sad ballad of the opening.
“Fed she ducklings, by the water,
every morning just at nine, hit her
foot against a splinter, fell into
the foaming brine...”
Jemmy listens to his dad. He loves this song. REVEAL
BRIANNA watching the two of them, emotional. LIZZIE is
“Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh
my darlin’ Clementine... You are
lost and gone forever, Dreadful
Wanted to start with Roger singing. Since we were going to end with him being hanged, it felt right to open on him with his son and using his gift of singing. There are lots of versions of “Clementine,” but we looked up one that would have been an early folksy version from Roger’s time.
Roger finishes the song and puts the guitar down.
That’s all for today, laddie, your
Da has to go. But I promise I’ll
be back to sing it again for you.
Roger KISSES the boy on the head, and gives him a lingering
look, before crossing the room to join Brianna.
He never gets tired of that one.
Roger’s emotional too, but keeps a tight rein on it, not
wanting to think about the fact that this could be the last
time he sees his wife and son.
I still wish you’d stayed at the
I wanted to stay as close to you as
long as possible. Lizzie, Jemmy
and I will be safe here in
Hillsborough with the Sherstons.
I’d better get on the road. The
Colonel is expecting me.
Lizzie knows they need a moment for a private goodbye.
Come now, we’ll get breakfast.
Lizzie nods to Roger and leads Jemmy out. Brianna tries to
hold it together, as she walks Roger to the door. The
gravity of where he’s heading hits both of them.
If we lived in Oxford, in our own
time, we’d be making our lunchboxes
and seeing each other off to work.
Here I am... seeing you off to war.
There’s a war going on in our time
True. Vietnam was on the news
every night when I left.
I barely remember my father before
he was killed in World War II.
Jemmy’s even younger than I was...
If I don’t make it back...
It was important to remind the audience that Roger lost his own father in the war to underline his fear about being killed and leaving his own son without a father.
That’s not going to happen.
But... if you don’t...
I remember everything, and I would
tell him how brave his father was.
Right. Maybe we’ll be lucky.
Maybe Billy Tryon will come to his
senses and work things out
peacefully with these Regulators.
Roger kisses her. It’s heartfelt and intense. Then:
But just in case, you know all the
words to Clementine?
Yes. But I’m no singer. So...
you’d better keep your promise to
Goodbye Roger Mac.
Goodbye Mrs. Mac.
The title of the episode is The Ballad of Roger Mac, “Roger Mac” being a nickname Jamie calls him in the book, but then we realized that we didn’t have many (if any!) scenes in the show where Jamie calls him that. So, I had to go back and squeeze in as many “Roger Macs” as I could, and this was one good spot to do it. I also encouraged the other writers to look for places to insert “Roger Mac” into their episodes! 🙂
And with that, he’s out the door. Only when it closes and
he’s done do we see Brianna flag with worry. Is this the
last time she’ll see her husband?
3EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP – DAWN (D1) 3
Establishing. TRYON’S TROOPS, along with various companies
of MILITIA, artillery, horses, tents, etc. A few soldiers
mill about as they start their day. (Note: Although the
troops number 1100, the companies are spread out in nearby
camps, so we don’t see the entire army in any given scene.)
4 INT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP – JAMIE & CLAIRE’S TENT – DAWN (D1) 4
CLAIRE wakes up to find JAMIE already awake. He’s lying
still, right hand raised as he examines it closely, turning
it to and fro. She slides closer and whispers softly:
Happy Birthday, Colonel.
He turns to her and smiles as he curls and uncurls his
fingers. She watches him, curiously.
Aye, something of the sort. Though
I suppose I’ve a few hours left. I
was born at half-six. I willna
have lived a half-century until
You heard that right. Jamie Fraser’s turning fifty!
Do you expect to disintegrate much
further before then? Shall I fetch
you a cane and a hearing trumpet?
I dinna suppose anything is likely
to fall off before then. As to the
workings... aye, well...
Claire slips a hand under the blanket, lets it settle on him.
It all seems to be in perfect
working order. Not loose at all.
Good. How did ye ken what I was
doing? Taking stock, as ye say.
I do that too, when I have a
birthday. I like to reflect on the
past year. I think perhaps
everyone does. Just to see if
you’re the same person as the day
Ye dinna see any marked changes, do
Claire surveys his body, touching and prodding at the dear
things she loves about him -- the mole on his cheek, the rise
of his brow, the cleft in his chin... Then proclaims:
No. It’s still you.
He gives a small grunt of amusement.
It’s struck me that I’ve now lived
longer than my father did. This is
a morning he never saw. He died
when he was forty-nine.
Claire sees his pain and steers him to optimism.
But he’d be happy to know you’re
alive. With children and
grandchildren who love you.
Aye, mo chridhe -- the world and
each day in it is a gift. No
matter what tomorrow may bring, I’m
grateful to see it.
And as for taking stock, I’ve all
my teeth, none of my parts are
missing, and my cock still stands
up by itself in the morning. It
could be worse.
It was important to show a quiet, intimate scene with Jamie and Claire as a contrast to the tension of their setting—a military camp—and to show tenderness before the coming violence. Caitriona actually ad-libbed the sultry “Happy Birthday” song while we were shooting it inside a tent in the middle of a field on location. We loved the Marilyn Monroe quality of it, so we kept it.
And with that, Jamie pulls her to him and makes love like a
man with many good years left.
5EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP - LATER – DAY (D1)5
GOVERNOR WILLIAM TRYON, flanked by AN AIDE-DE-CAMP (Captain
Hawkins), along with COLONEL CHADWICK proudly shows off TWO
LARGE BRASS CANNONS to Jamie and other militia leaders.
General Gage was good enough to
send two field pieces and six
swivel guns from New York.
(“General Gage was good enough to send two field pieces and six swivel guns from New York.”)
We did a lot of research on the Battle of Alamance and scripted/filmed it as close as possible to the way it really happened. Ultimately, certain editing choices had to be made to condense the episode for time but we are always conscious of trying to stay true to historical events. General Gage really did send canon and guns to Tryon.
These insurgents wanted a fight,
and they shall have one.
Jamie is disquieted as he surveys the weaponry, thinking
about how the Regulators are not nearly as well-equipped.
How many men do we have, sir?
Counting your company, Colonel
Fraser, one thousand and sixty-
eight. Colonel Moore will command
the artillery, Colonel Leech the
infantry. Captain Bullock’s here
with the Cavalry. They’re camped
around the river bend.
That’s not accounting for General
Waddell’s brigade. He’s at
Salisbury awaiting the arrival of
two wagon loads of gunpowder from
The Regulators willna have any
artillery or munitions of this
caliber, sir. They are mostly
farmers with no military training.
Something they would have been
mindful to consider before
provoking the Crown.
The character of Colonel Chadwick was created to provide a counterpoint to Jamie in terms of their role as advisors to Governor Tryon. For every beat where Jamie is trying to have Tryon proceed with caution, or even stop the fight, Chadwick is aggressive and spurring him on.
Tryon mounts his horse, then rides down a row of Redcoats at
attention nearby, inspecting their neat lines. He turns to
Jamie, glancing pointedly around and inquiring about his
I trust your men are in order,
Aye. They are ready, sir.
Jamie gestures to his militia -- including JOHN QUINCY MYERS,
RONNIE SINCLAIR, KENNY and EVAN LINDSAY, GEORDIE CHISHOLM and
HUGH and IAIN FINDLAY, along with RICHARD AND LIONEL BROWN,
and others from Brownsville who joined Jamie’s militia,
including HIRAM BROWN and ABNER and PHINEAS BROWN [Ep. 504].
Tryon briefly inspects them and though this motley group
stands in stark contrast to the redcoats in their tidy
uniforms and perfect formations, Tryon is satisfied and nods
to Jamie --
Well done, Colonel.
In an early draft of the script, there was a moment where Jamie calls for his men, who arrive with a roar of the infamous Highland Yell, causing Tryon to fall off his horse and be humiliated, but ultimately with a heavy shooting schedule, this stunt would have been too time consuming, so it was cut. But the important thing was seeing the contrast of the perfectly organized Redcoat soldiers vs. the rough edges of Jamie’s militia.
Tryon moves away, and as he does --
-- another soldier arrives -- Roger MacKenzie. He pulls up
his horse and takes in the camp: the soldiers, the artillery.
It’s overwhelming for this history professor. Jamie spots
Roger and rides over to greet him --
Reporting for duty, sir.
6EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP - SHORT WHILE LATER – DAY (D1)6
Claire is nearby and watches as Jamie passes out YELLOW
COCKADES, fashioned out of silk ribbon to his men.
Everyone take one, pass them
around. It’s to be fastened onto
your coat or hat. The other
companies will have cockades as
well. ‘Tis one of the only ways to
tell militia from Regulator, so
it’s important that ye wear it.
The yellow cockades were another piece of research that we were excited to use. Our wonderful costumer, Trisha Biggar, and her department made them exactly as they were made back then, even using the same material.
Roger studies the yellow rosette in his hand, the only thing
differentiating him from the enemy.
And exactly how d’ye know who to
shoot? If you wait until you’re
close enough to see the cockade
before you fire, won’t the other
bugger shoot you first?
I wouldna wait to see, myself. If
anyone runs toward ye with a musket
pointed at ye -- fire -- and hope
for the best.
SNICKERS from the men. Roger tries not to look alarmed.
(the old college try)
Sounds easy enough.
Another VOICE rings out from the back of the crowd.
I’ll have one of those.
The men turn to see ISAIAH MORTON standing there, having just
arrived. Morton was last seen escaping from Brownsville with
his lover, Alicia, Lionel Brown’s daughter [Episode 504] with
Jamie’s help. Jamie’s surprised to see him back. Needless
to say, the Brown brothers are not happy.
What’s he doing here?
I’ve come to aid the militia.
Lionel takes a menacing step toward Morton.
Where’s my Alicia, is she with you?
No, she’s at home.
Her home is in Brownsville. Not
living in sin with you, you bastard.
The other Brown men move closer and stare daggers at Morton.
Except for Hiram Brown, who bonded with Claire and Jamie in
Ep. 504. Jamie intercedes, seeking to allay trouble.
Easy now, everyone.
Claire steps forward as well, defending Isaiah.
Alicia made her choice... It’s her
Lionel sneers at Claire, resenting her intervention.
Stay out of it.
This beat was added to continue the animosity between Lionel Brown and Claire, which started back in the Brownsville episode.
Aye, ‘tis a good life. And we’re
What’s good for her -- was to stay
I should have killed you there and
then, and nailed your hide to the
Lionel grabs Morton -- Jamie steps between them now.
Jamie pulls Isaiah a distance away from the Browns.
Isaiah... you shouldna be here.
Ye helped me once. When I heard
the troops were mustering... I
wished to repay you.
I see love hasna softened yer hard
Jamie turns to the Browns --
This man is willing to lay down his
life and I’ll not turn him away.
If ye canna find it in yerselves to
fight alongside him, ye may go.
This scene was meant to be shot outside but had to be under a tarp as it was pouring rain that day and we were in a mud pit.
Richard Brown gives his volatile brother a glance that says
Stand down. He makes a gesture of good will.
There is a battle to fight. This
unpleasantness between us should be
Jamie studies Richard, gauging whether he’s sincere. Then
hands Morton a cockade.
Fasten this to yer coat.
Morton takes the cockade. A truce has been struck.
7EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP - DUSK (D1)7
A SERIES OF SHOTS: The camp hunkers down for the night,
preparing to wait the next few days for General Waddell’s
8EXT. ROAD NEAR SALISBURY - DUSK (D2) 8
CLOSE ON BARRELS OF GUNPOWDER being lifted and stacked. Then
a FUSE being unwound along the ground. REVEAL that the man
unwinding the fuse is MURTAGH. The barrels are being stacked
by BRYAN CRANNA and LEE WITHERS. Three REDCOATS are being
guarded by two other Regulators.
WIDEN to see two Carts being driven quickly away from the
barrels. Lee and Bryan run back toward Murtagh as he LIGHTS
the fuse with a TORCH.
The fuse chases across the ground toward the barrels -- the
barrels EXPLODE into a fireball. KA-BOOM!
BACK on Murtagh, watching from a safe distance away. He
smiles with satisfaction. He turns to Bryan and Lee and
nods, they nod back. Well done.
This scene was added in later script revisions as a way to see Murtagh earlier in the episode. However, with one of the heaviest shooting schedules we’ve had on Outlander, there was ultimately no time and it was never filmed.
9EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP - DAY (D3)9
A FEW DAYS LATER. Governor Tryon watches as a company of
soldiers practice shooting. Jamie and a few other militia
leaders are with him when Colonel Chadwick arrives with news.
We’ve received a verbal message
from General Waddell, Your
Excellency. Two wagon loads of
munitions were ambushed and
destroyed. The General’s troops
were forced to retreat by a large
force of rebels led by Murtagh
This is based on another real historical event where some Regulators ambushed and blew up a munitions convoy on its way to Tryon. We thought it would be cool to say that Murtagh led this attack.
Jamie’s gut tightens at the mention of Murtagh. Tryon is
enraged by the news. Makes a swift decision.
We shall march to Salisbury and
engage the enemy there.
I’ll have my troops ready
We’ll depart at midday and cross
the Haw below the Falls at Wood’s
A10EXT. HILLSBOROUGH - MILITIA CAMP - LATER - DAY (D3)A10
Tryon’s troops are packing up for travel to Salisbury.
Jamie’s with Hugh and Iain Findlay, the boys Roger recruited
[Episode 503]. These brothers are mere teenagers, but
excited about battle.
I’ve gone shooting every day since
we heard there might be a war.
Shooting wood blocks off a rail. I
killed a six-point buck.
Dinna listen to my brother. He’s a
miserable shot. More likely he hit
the buck on the head with his
That isna true! I shot eight
possums last week.
Jamie smiles at the brothers’ good-natured teasing.
War’s not like hunting. The deer
and the possums aren’t trying to
But Ma says the point of hunting is
to kill something, and the point of
going to war is to come back alive.
War is killing, that’s all. Think
of anything less -- think of your
own skin -- and by God ye’ll be
dead by nightfall of the first day.
Ye canna waver!
I loved using the boys from Episode 503 in this scene. I felt it was powerful to have Jamie advising them on how to fight in battle, hoping to save their lives—and the heartbreaking irony that Hugh is the one to ultimately shoot Murtagh.
As the boys soak in Jamie’s advice like sponges -- WIDE of
the camp as the troops start MOVING OUT.
INT. SHERSTON HOUSE – PARLOUR – NIGHT (N3)10 10
Brianna is drinking tea with PHOEBE SHERSTON. Lizzie is
playing with Jemmy nearby.
We’re just so grateful for your
Anything Mr. Sherston and I can do
for the kin of Jocasta Cameron.
HUBERT SHERSTON enters with some urgency.
There’s talk at the tavern -- the
militia has left for Salisbury.
Word is that the rebels surrounded
the Governor’s general there.
Hubert fetches a scroll from a drawer, then rolls it out.
HUBERT SHERSTON (cont'd)
They’ll be going southwest of
here... in Rowan County...
Jemmy is getting fussy and starts to CRY. Lizzie comforts
him, but he wants Brianna.
There, there... lad. Mama’s busy
Brianna picks up Jemmy and brings him over to see the map.
Take a look, Jemmy... here’s where
your Da’s going...
Jemmy seems placated as he gazes at the map of North
Carolina. He’s too young to truly understand, but he’s
entertained as his mother traces the route with her finger,
winding south from Hillsborough --
From Hillsborough, past Armstrong
Mill, then across the Haw River,
then this way... over the Great
Alamance Creek --
As Brianna lists the route, PUSH IN ON BRIANNA’S FACE. One
of the names causes a slight flicker in her expression... She
traces backward to it with her finger.
The Great Alamance Creek...
Salisbury’s here... across the
Right. But this place... Alamance...
The word TRIGGERS something in Brianna’s brain. Her brow
darkens as she struggles to remember... but nothing comes.
Is there a town there?
No, it’s only a creek...
Hmmm. Something happens there... I
seem to remember...
I wanted Brianna to play a role in this part of the story—I needed a way for her to remember “Alamance!” from history. It’s not something on the tip of her tongue. Though she was a history major, this is not a well-known battle outside of North Carolina. So, I needed something to jog her memory and the map was a good device to spark that.
Have you ever been there?
No, but the name is familiar...
They say the Indians named it, and
that it means “All man’s land.”
“All man’s land.”
Brianna turns it over and over in her mind. All man’s.
Something definitely happens
Then it clicks. ALAMANCE! Brianna is filled with
adrenaline, spurred to a decision.
11 OMITTED 11
12 OMITTED 12
13EXT. NORTH CAROLINA - MILITIA ROAD - DAY (D4)13
TIME PASSAGE... a SERIES of riding shots of Tryon’s troops
plus militia indicating another day on the road.
Our location was near a small creek… smaller in most spots than the real Alamance Creek. However, we had a record amount of rain during the shooting of this episode… and by the last day, the creek had become a raging river overnight! The last thing we filmed was grabbing some shots of troops moving along this huge creek that hadn’t been there earlier.
A14EXT. NORTH CAROLINA - BRIANNA ROAD - DAY (D4)A14
A SHOT of BRIANNA riding like the wind, as she tries to catch
up with the militia, as she’s half a day behind.
14EXT. ROAD NEAR ALAMANCE – DAY (D4)14
The troops draw near to Alamance Creek. Kenny Lindsay,
acting as a scout, returns with information for Tryon who’s
with Jamie, Claire, Roger, Colonel Chadwick and others.
Regulators! Five miles ahead...
Across the Alamance Creek!
I’d say at least two thousand, sir --
camped on the eastern bank. And
scattered throughout the woods.
Two thousand? That’s twice our
numbers, Your Excellency.
Tryon’s jaw sets. He spurs his horse forward:
We’ll make camp on the western
OFF Jamie, concerned.
15EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - MILITIA CAMP – LATER - DAY (D4)15
Despite its name, the Great Alamance Creek is not a
particularly impressive waterway, no more than 15 or 20 feet
across. Tryon’s troops are now ensconced on the west bank.
Jamie returns from a recon mission and approaches Claire near
a fire where she’s cooking. Claire hands him a chuck of
bread and bowl of stew. Jamie eats as they talk.
Could you spot anything across the
creek? Did you see Murtagh?
No. But I saw Bryan Cranna and Lee
Withers. They were with Murtagh in
Hillsborough during the riots.
Ronnie Sinclair approaches.
Colonel -- a minister from the
other side has come with a petition
for the Governor.
The Reverend Caldwell...
Jamie glances at Claire for a beat before he hurries off --
16EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - MILITIA CAMP – ANOTHER AREA - MOMENTS LATER - DAY (D4)16
Tryon, Colonel Chadwick and Jamie and other militia leaders
are with REVEREND CALDWELL.
Reverend Caldwell... I regret that we
meet again under such circumstances.
It was nice to see Revered Caldwell again, who we’d seen marry Bree and Roger in Episode 501. Love it when familiar faces return.
Your Excellency, Colonel Fraser...
Aye, a wedding is a more enjoyable
occasion by far. But I come in
hopes that we can settle the matter
Caldwell hands over a scroll which Tryon reads over quickly.
(re: the petition and
quoting from it)
Pardon me, Reverend, if I disagree
with the assertion that I have not
“lent a kind ear to the just
complaints of the People.” And I
certainly do not consider His
Majesty’s subjects to be “toys” nor
their lives “matters to be trifled
Again, these are some of the real words taken from actual petitions during this conflict. There’s rarely enough on-screen time to read entire missives, so it’s fun to pick out the parts you want the actors to say and get the point across. I loved the line about “toys to be trifled with” and Tim Downie’s delivery is just perfect.
(hands back the petition)
Nevertheless, I shall do as they
ask and consider their grievances
and convey my “speedy and candid
answer” by -- noon tomorrow.
Thank you, sir. I’ll convey your
answer and we’ll await your final
Jamie looks encouraged by Tryon’s offer to consider
negotiation. But after Caldwell has taken his leave, Tryon
turns and surprises everyone with his true agenda --
Order the men to remain under arms
through the night; the cavalry
shall keep their mounts bridled and
saddled; and have ten sentries
posted half a mile in front of the
I’ll compose a proclamation
demanding their surrender.
Jamie’s confused by Tryon’s turnaround.
Why not pursue a parley as they
Their “petition for peace” was
nothing but demands, Colonel.
(a flash of anger)
It is I who will not be “trifled
Perhaps at the least, we wait for
No. A bold stroke is needed. To
hesitate could mean defeat.
Tryon is tightly wound. There’s a tautness in his figure, a
brightness in his eyes.
GOVERNOR TRYON (cont'd)
I am Governor of this province. I
cannot tolerate such blatant
disregard for the law and allow it
to go unpunished! I will not.
Their course is set, and so is
There’s no talking Tryon out of this conflict.
17EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - EDGE OF THE WATER – LATER – DAY (D4)17
Jamie is KNEELING in his breeches in an isolated spot at the
edge of the creek. His shirt is off and his hair already wet
as he splashes water over his face.
He takes a small bucket, scoops up cold water and POURS it
over his head and chest, closing his eyes and gritting his
teeth. He does it over and over, obsessively cleansing
himself, like a surgeon scrubs before operating, preparing
the mind and spirit as much as washing away the germs.
I always feel guilty sticking Sam in the water—verra cold!—but he is always a trooper and was game for pouring water over his head and whole body here for many takes. It was hard to see the red blood when he crossed himself, as it would wash off so quickly, but finally we got a good one and he got to dry off and warm up!
REVEAL CLAIRE arriving through the trees. She sees Jamie and
at first thinks he’s merely bathing.
But she stops dead, watching and not wanting to disturb what
looks like something more important – a ritual.
Jamie BOWS his head over folded hands and PRAYS in GAELIC
(See APPENDIX). Then he takes his dirk, draws the edge
across the fingers of his right hand. The BLOOD wells up and
he flicks his wrist. Droplets fly into the water. He lays
the dirk down and CROSSES himself with blood-streaked
fingers. Finally Jamie rises and pulls his shirt on. Claire
makes herself known.
So did God have an answer?
I wasna calling on God. I was
calling on Dougal MacKenzie.
Dougal? Considering how things
ended with the three of us at
He was a war chief. He taught me
everything I know.
I made my peace with my uncle long
ago. Dougal will ken that I did
then what I had to do -- for my
men, for you -- and I will do it
Loved doing a call back to Episode 213… and that Jamie still prays to the uncle he killed.
I know you will.
Tryon’s determined to fight. I’ve
seen that look in men’s eyes
before, when they’re beyond reason
And will Dougal... help?
If he can. We fought together many
times, Dougal and I. Hand to hand --
and back to back. After all, blood
But there’s someone else you share
Aye. Murtagh and I have fought
back to back as well, but this time
-- we will fight face to face. No
amount of prayer will help.
Claire knows how conflicted he is and puts a hand on his
shoulder. OFF Jamie as he faces going to war against the
godfather he loves.
18EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP – SHORT WHILE LATER - DAY (D4)18
As Jamie and Claire return they are shocked when they see -- a
Military Sentry riding up to deliver an anxious Brianna.
Roger is crossing the camp and sees her too. He rushes over,
astonished and concerned.
Brianna swings down from her horse, exhausted. She was only
a half-day behind and rode full tilt to catch up.
I’ve come to warn you --
SMASH CUT TO:
19EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT – MOMENTS LATER - DAY (D4)19
The four of them are now in a more private area, but they’re
still careful to keep their conversation low. Brianna rolls
out the map -- jabs a finger on Alamance Creek.
There’s going to be a battle --
When I saw the word “Alamance,” it
triggered a memory from my history
studies at Harvard.
Jamie trades a look with Claire, they know Brianna’s right.
Tryon’s already given the order.
I’d heard it before, but I didn’t
connect it with North Carolina.
It’s like... when you are humming a
tune in your head but you can’t
think of the words, then suddenly
the lyrics come rushing back... and
you remember the song.
What else do ye remember then? How
many lives are lost?
I don’t know numbers or details.
Just that there’s a fight at the
creek – and the militia will win.
I remember my professor said that
some people consider this to be the
spark of the American Revolution.
But the Regulators aren’t tryin’ to
overthrow the Crown... they’re no’
fighting for independence.
No, but they are rebelling against
corruption and unfair taxes.
Are ye certain Tryon wins?
A long beat. Jamie makes a new decision –-
I must get a message to Murtagh.
If he can be warned the Regulators
are doomed to fail, mebbe he can
convince his men to retreat and
lives will be spared -- on both
Brianna is torn as she takes this in, and brings up an
intriguing question --
But... if we do stop this fight
now, what if...
(a terrible thought)
Does that mean... the Revolutionary
War won’t happen... and America
won’t ever become... America?
Brianna’s question and their dilemma here is one of the most interesting parts of this episode. This is an important part of what makes Outlander, Outlander. The knowledge these four people have of the future and their decisions on how to act on that knowledge is a unique and fascinating part of the show and it’s always great to highlight it.
This lands on Claire, as Jamie continues with Brianna:
Some people consider it the spark --
But couldna that spark alight from
What matters are the men in my
charge, the Regulators fighting for
what they believe, and my godfather.
Scenes like this spark a lot of discussion in the writer’s room regarding how certain characters act (or don’t act) on the information they have. The bottom line here is a great dilemma for Jamie—choose between America and his Godfather. Of course, he opts to try and save Murtagh.
Then, a surprising ally comes to Jamie’s side --
I agree. If America is meant to
be... history will find another way
to make it happen.
I’ll deliver the message to Murtagh.
Jamie nods, surprised about Roger’s sacrifice.
It’s dangerous --
Roger’s determined. Jamie reaches toward Roger and tears off
the yellow cockade on his coat, and hands it to him.
Ye’ll go at nightfall. Keep this
in your pocket, so they willna see
ye come from the other side. And
if ye’re threatened --
Jamie gives Roger a WHITE KERCHIEF --
-- wave this and cry ‘Truce.’ Then
tell them to fetch me, and dinna
say more until I come.
Setting up the white handkerchief was key—it would later be the way they identify Roger hanging in the tree.
Roger puts the kerchief in his pocket, then looks across at
Brianna who watches him, proud, but terrified.
20EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – WOODS – DUSK (D4)20
Roger sees THREE REDCOAT SENTRIES, carrying guns, near the
back of the camp. He changes direction and heads for the
He slips furtively through the woods toward the Regulator
camp. His heart hammering in his ears, Roger comes upon the
creek. Roger wades into the water... as he does, he gets a
chill down his spine, the odd feeling that someone is
standing near him. He’s scared, but feels that he is not
alone. As he’s mid-stream --
Is that you, Dad?
He glances around, but no one is there.
I know that wading in a shallow
creek in search of rabble-rousers
can’t compare to flying a Spitfire
across the Channel, escorting
bombers to Germany... but a mission
is a mission.
I loved this sweet and haunting little scene of Roger remembering his father who was a pilot and feeling like his dad was there at his side during this terrifying mission. Ultimately, it was cut for time. You know when you put these small bits in, that sometimes they might not make it, because they are not crucial to the plot, but often they do make it, and it’s the small moments that give Outlander a different feel from a lot of television.
He makes it across and carries on through the woods.
21EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – REGULATOR CAMP – NIGHT (N4)21
On the edge of the camp now, a couple of YOUNG MEN run past
him, hooting, yelling and wrestling with each other, not
giving Roger a second glance. There are no sentries and he
isn’t challenged. These troops, mostly farmers, are loosely
organized and far different than Tryon’s orderly militia.
They are not prepared for bloodshed and expecting that this
may well be settled without incident.
Roger continues, drawn further into the camp by the sound of
A MALE VOICE (Murtagh’s) in the distance:
They say we are rebels but we are
patriots! Sent by God to put this
right! And put this right we will!
Followed by CHEERS. As Roger moves deeper in, Roger
encounters men clustered in close groups, loading guns and
sharpening knives. He’s in the heart of enemy territory now,
where there’s an increased sense of urgency. The VOICE is
Tryon has left us no choice! He’s
lied to us before! We canna submit
Roger finally spots MURTAGH standing on a large rock, like a
great grey wolf at bay, surrounded by a knot of twenty men,
including Bryan Cranna and Lee Withers.
We are not resistin’ law and order,
-- we’re fighting injustice!
Now is the time! We must go
forward or all is lost!
Aye! We’re with you! We must not
Tryon will regret the day he chose
to ignore our demands! His blood
will soak this ground!
Murtagh has the men fired up. A general roar of anger and
frustration from the crowd: Aye, with cannons pointed at us?
/ No, no! / What home? The Governor’s taken our homes from
us, taken choice from us!
Again, it was pouring rain when we shot this at night. When we rehearsed, all of the Regulators were wearing ponchos and holding umbrellas. A comical sight! Not very fierce! 🙂
Murtagh gives a great speech, and you can see why he’s a revered leader of this band of rebels. He’s come a long way from the quiet and grumbly sidekick of early seasons. He was always beloved but has come into his own in the Colonies. That’s part of why it’s so sad to lose him…
Roger shoves his way between the men and seizes Murtagh by
the sleeve of his shirt and shouts in his ear --
Murtagh gives a glazed look, then blinks -- shocked to find
Roger MacKenzie next to him.
What the devil are ye doing here?
I need to talk with you!
Are you off yer head? Ye must
I’m not leaving --
Then hide until first light, ye’ll
not want to be mistaken stealing
back into yer own camp --
We have to talk!
Murtagh grabs Roger, pulls him away to a more private spot --
22EXT. REGULATOR CAMP - SHELTER - CONTINUOUS (N4)22
Murtagh and Roger talk under a TARP between two trees.
Murtagh -- you’re going to lose
this battle -- Brianna saw the name
Alamance on a map and she
remembered -- the Regulators lose.
Murtagh rocks back like he’s been punched.
Another favorite scene… Roger shares information with Murtagh about the future, and Murtagh knows that Roger is telling the truth, but what should he do with that information? A great character dilemma.
This is what ye’ve come to tell me?
Aye. Jamie wanted you to know that
the best thing you can do is to
leave now, convince your men to
Christ, MacKenzie, ye saw the men. Ye
think they’ll yield in this fight?
I believe they might -- if you tell
them to. If you don’t, they’ll be
But Murtagh seems unwilling to accept this.
How many men does Tryon have?
More than a thousand.
We have twice his number.
But Tryon has a trained militia.
You have farmers with knives and
And they are brave as lions -- they
will fight when the time comes!
Tryon has cannons, for Chrissakes!
Most of your men have never even
seen a cannon! You have no
officers, no cavalry, no artillery!
Listen to me, man! You cannot win.
You do not win. The history’s been
Another favorite line: “The history’s been written.” Can’t argue with that. Puts Murtagh in a real bind.
Then I do fight. How can I tell
them to cast aside all they’ve
fought for, to give up?
They won’t be giving up, they’ll be
living to fight another day. And
if they wait, in a few years, we’ll
all be fighting on the same side.
But do ye ken how long a few years
is to men who’ve lost everything?
OFF Murtagh, between a rock and a hard place.
23 INT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP – MEDICAL TENT - NIGHT (N4) 23
The medical station is now fitted out. Claire is with
Brianna. Claire goes through her medical kit, touching the
gleaming bottles one by one, their names a soothing litany.
Atropine, Belladonna, Laudanum, Oil
of Juniper, Pennyroyal, Alcohol...
I have everything I need for now.
Including my secret weapon.
Claire pulls her SYRINGE out of her medical kit and shows it
to Brianna along with a bottle of antibiotic.
Imagine if I’d had it at
Prestonpans. The lives I could
Brianna looks at her mother, can’t help but be proud of her.
Call back to the powerful Prestonpans episode, which was the last time we saw Claire in doctor mode prepping for battle. Or should we say nurse mode? Claire wasn’t a surgeon back then. Since that season, she’s returned to her time and gone to medical school. She can do more here to help.
Maybe you’ll save some today. I’ll
stay and help. It’ll keep me from
worrying. Roger’s not back yet.
Jamie’s assured us that no one will
trouble Roger, under a flag of
Will a flag of truce help him if
he’s still over there when the
If the shooting starts. Let’s hope
he can convince Murtagh.
Claire touches her daughter’s face and smooths back a lock of
hair. Brianna’s apprehension fades just a bit. As they
ponder this -- there’s nothing to do but wait.
INT. ALAMANCE CREEK – TRYON’S TENT – NIGHT (N4)24 24
ON GOVERNOR TRYON, pacing, as he dictates a proclamation
which his Aide-de-Camp, Captain Hawkins, copies down:
“To Those Who Style Themselves
‘Regulators’: In reply to your
Petition, I have been ever
attentive to the Interests of your
County, and to every Individual
I lament the fatal Necessity to
which you have now reduced me, by
withdrawing yourselves from the
Mercy of the Crown and the Laws of
The words play OVER --
A25EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP – DAWN (D5)A25
Jamie stands alone, staring towards the Regulator camp,
wondering if Roger succeeded, and if not, thinking about
what’s to come.
25EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – REGULATOR CAMP – DAWN (D5)25
ON MURTAGH as he READS aloud to his men, the second half of
the proclamation, which has now been delivered.
“I require you who are now
assembled, to lay down your Arms,
Surrender up your leaders and
Submit yourselves to the leniency
of the Government. By accepting
these terms within one Hour, you
will prevent an effusion of Blood,
as you are at this time in a state
of War and Rebellion against your
King, your Country and your Laws.
Signed, William Tryon.”
Here is a case where I wanted badly to use the entire proclamation—it was so powerful and foreboding. I figured out a way to squeeze it in by having Tryon read half and Murtagh read the other half—a nice cheat! However, when we shot this, we had both actors learn the entire proclamation (quite a mouthful) so we’d have the choice of where to split it. In editing, we made the decision to cut back and forth and that played even better than doing the two halves.
Murtagh looks up. His men watch him. Roger, too, stands on
the outskirts, listening. What’s Murtagh going to do?
A26EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – REGULATOR CAMP – DAY (D5)A26
DAWN. Murtagh is back with Roger now. Roger is waiting for
I spoke wi’ the men. I tried to
convince them... about living to
fight another day. But they are
ready and they willna turn back
now. This battle will happen.
Roger stares at Murtagh, knows he’s right.
Ye’ve done yer best here, but it’s
time for ye to return to yer camp.
Leave now, before it begins.
Roger takes a beat, feels the awful weight of defeat. If he
can’t save them all, he makes one last ditch attempt to save
Then I urge you to leave as well.
If your men won’t back down, I ask
you -- I beg you -- time is running
out. Leave and save yourself, for
the love your godson bears you.
As Murtagh wrestles with the biggest decision of his life...
Roger heads back to the militia camp.
I wanted to end this scene with a bit of mystery—will Murtagh do as Roger says and save himself? Murtagh could have taken off, but he’s not that man. He’d never abandon his men. And more, he’d never leave Jamie alone on that battlefield. Later we learn his decision—he stayed for his godson, and it’s a good thing he did, because he ends up saving Jamie’s life.
26EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – REGULATOR CAMP – DAY (D5)26
Roger hurries away from the Regulator camp as he heads back
to join the militia. He hears voices -- a group of WOMEN
washing laundry in tubs. His eye goes to one woman there --
his heart thumps with a small shock of joy.
(softly to himself)
He comes out of the brush toward them. Several women glance
at him, watchful and curious. MORAG MACKENZIE is hanging
clothes on tree branches. She’s the woman Roger met on board
the Gloriana on his journey from Scotland to the Colonies
[Episode 407] and who he now knows is his many-times great-
grandmother [Episode 502].
It was absolutely delightful to have Morag back and reunited with her many-times great-grandson Roger. A sweet scene—until it’s not… 😉
Morag’s shocked to see him --
It’s good to see you again. Are
you in good health? And your child
We’re well... both of us.
She smiles with recognition at her savior, but keeps a
distance, as this man is still a stranger.
I’m pleased to hear it. I’ve my
own son now. His name is Jemmy --
Jeremiah -- as well. It was my
I love that Roger gets to tell her about his own “Jemmy.”
‘Tis a fine, strong name.
Roger gropes for something else to say, feeling awkward.
I’ve thought of you now and then...
Oh, aye. I do thank ye, Mr.
MacKenzie. I’ll not forget how ye
saved us from that heartless sea
Captain. Ye’re in my prayers each
Roger’s touched. Morag turns suddenly businesslike and
attends to the clothes. But concern bubbles up in Roger,
realizing this woman is his own family -- the only person of
his own blood he has known since the death of his parents.
Mistress MacKenzie... wait. I’ve
something I need to tell you...
He steps closer to her, for privacy, but she backs away.
I’d rather ye didn’t.
Nervous, she drops some laundry. He realizes she’s afraid.
I’m sorry. Your laundry... here.
They both duck down to pick it up, colliding awkwardly.
Mary and Bride!
Did I hurt you? I’m sorry!
Nay. I’ve a thick skull, my Ma
I’ve a thick skull, too. It runs
in my family. Your husband -- is
he one of the Regulators?
Love Richard Rankin’s delivery of the line that he has a thick skull too, as if he’s so proud of it! Richard really nails the minutiae of scenes, and makes what could be throwaway lines, sparkle.
Aye, of course.
I’ve come with the militia. The
thing I wanted to tell you -- to
warn you... the Governor is
serious. He’s brought troops, and
cannon. He means to put down this
rebellion, do you understand? You
must tell your husband, leave
before -- anything happens.
Morag’s hand goes reflexively to her belly and Roger notices
the swelling. Morag is pregnant. His heart goes out to her.
Leave and go where? We have no
home to go back to.
I have to go now, but... Mistress
MacKenzie, hear me. If anything
should happen -- come to me, I’ll
take care of you. Your family is
welcome on Fraser’s Ridge.
She searches his face, not quite understanding but wanting to
trust his kindness. Roger, hating to leave her, leans in and
embraces her, closing his eyes. When he opens them and lifts
his head, he finds himself looking over her shoulder into the
disbelieving face of WILLIAM BUCCLEIGH “BUCK” MACKENZIE --
Roger’s own many-times great grandfather –- the bastard son
of Geillis Duncan and Dougal MacKenzie.
Ah! The infamous Buck MacKenzie! We thought it would be fun to have Graham McTavish back to play his own many-times great grandfather. We wondered how we could pull it off. First, we had to get Graham—luckily, he was thrilled to return to us. Then, we had to hide it. We listed him on the call sheet as “Buck Rogers.” We went to great lengths to keep the secret, and miraculously it never got out.
Get away from my wife.
OFF Buck’s fury as he comes toward them, enraged to see Morag
in the arms of another man, unaware at how innocent this
exchange is to a 20th century traveler.
27EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - MILITIA CAMP – DAY (D5) 27
ON JAMIE as he moves through the camp asking anxiously --
Have any of ye seen Roger Mac?
No, I havena, Colonel.
JOHN QUINCY MYERS
Not hide nor hair of him, I’m
Been hours since I laid eyes on the
Christ, where is he?
Jamie knows the clock is ticking. He HEARS Tryon summoning:
Colonel Fraser --
Jamie goes over to find Tryon’s holding a RED COAT.
GOVERNOR TRYON (cont'd)
I thought you’d cut a striking
figure in this.
You’re one of my best officers, I’m
not going to have you mistaken for
Jamie balks at the idea, vamping for a way out of this.
I appreciate the gesture, your
Excellency, but I dinna think it
proper for me to wear such a
garment... perhaps it is an affront
to those more deserving of the
You are much too humble, Colonel.
I know that you, more than most who
will take this battlefield, are
deserving of the privilege.
Please, do me the honor.
It goes against every fiber of his being, but it’s a test of
loyalty. Jamie puts the damn thing on.
GOVERNOR TRYON (cont'd)
A striking figure indeed.
This is something the audience probably never expected to see Jamie Fraser wearing… but it’s a powerful image and relays a message more powerful than any words about how Jamie is trapped in this role he’s signed on for in his deal with the devil. Sam did an incredible job with his expressions as the coat is put on him and seeing him wearing the coat of the enemy is as painful for the audience as it was for Jamie.
The coat is ill-fitting, metaphorically more than physically.
Jamie hates it, but has no choice. The BUGLE sounds and
Jamie heads off.
28 OMITTED (MOVED TO SCENES A30 & B30) 28
A29EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP – DAY (D5)A29
SERIES OF SHOTS: The camp springs into a FLURRY of ACTIVITY.
Weapons primed and loaded, checked and rechecked, buckles
unfastened and refastened, hats beaten free of dust, canteens
filled and shaken for reassurance, etc...
29EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – REGULATOR CAMP – NEXT TO CREEK – DAY (D5)29
BACK WITH Roger and Morag. Buck’s hand rests on the hilt of
the knife in his belt, as Roger is mid-apology --
-- Again, sir! My apologies. I
swear I meant no disrespect.
No? And just what the hell d’ye
mean by it, then?
Buck puts a possessive hand on his wife’s shoulder and
glowers at Roger. Morag flinches as his fingers dig into her
flesh. Roger tries to explain:
I met Mistress MacKenzie aboard the
Gloriana, a year or two ago.
When I recognized her here, I
thought to inquire as to the
family’s welfare. That’s all.
He meant nae harm, William. It was
him who found me and Jemmy in the
hold when we hid there -- he
brought us food and water. He
cared for us that night when the
sailors threw the sick ones into
Two Regulators emerge from the bushes, wary-eyed. One
REGULATOR carries a musket and the other, a rough club.
Who’s this, Buck?
That’s what I mean to find out.
Go ye back to the women, Morag.
I’ll attend to this fellow.
But he hasna done anything --
Ye think it’s nothing, do you, that
a man should coorie intae ye in
public, like a common radge?
I -- no, I mean --
I said go back! Go! Now!
Buck makes a move in her direction, fist clenched. Without
conscious decision, Roger swings, hitting Buck in the jaw.
Caught off balance, Buck falls to one knee. Morag GASPS and
goes to Buck, but he shoves her away, scrambles to his feet
and charges at Roger.
Knowing he’s outnumbered, Roger spins on his heel and tries
to run. But the men give CHASE and catch him, THROWING him
to the ground --
This day was one of the most fun to shoot. Everyone on the crew was jazzed to have Graham there, and he certainly had fun with this role. Poor Roger probably didn’t have quite as much fun, as Buck and his boys really roughed him up here. We all knew how special the scene would be and how much it would mean to the fans.
Look -- she’s a MacKenzie, I’m a
MacKenzie, we’re blood... that’s
why I was trying to help her --
Buck picks up something that fell from Roger’s pocket. The
What’s this? Ye’re with the militia?
I came to warn you about Tryon...
So ye’re a wife-stealer and a
traitor then, all in the same wee
bundle, is it?
Slit his throat, I say, and good
Roger’s angry now and responds more heatedly.
A man who’s sure of his wife
needn’t worry that someone else
might try to steal her. I’m sure
of my own wife, and have no need of
Marrit, are ye? Your wife must be
ill-favored, surely, for ye to be
sniffing after mine. Or is it that
she’s put ye out of her bed,
because ye couldn’t serve her
Roger’s filled with fury, but thinks of a smarter way out.
Let me go, sir. And I’ll not speak
against you, for your wife’s sake.
No. I dinna think ye will. Speak
against me, that is.
Buck nods to his comrades and Roger’s BASHED in the head with
the rifle butt and knocked unconscious. ON Buck as he stands
staring down at the yellow cockade in his palm...
A30EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT - DAY (D5)A30
Claire is cleaning some medical instruments when she looks up
and is stunned to see the man in the red coat hurrying toward
her is -- her husband!
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.
(re: the coat)
It pains Claire to see Jamie wearing the uniform of the Crown
as much as it pains him. But she understands.
I imagine you weren’t in a position
It’s the coat of the enemy. The ones
who slaughtered us at Culloden.
My father died watching me be
flogged by a man in a red coat. If
he had seen this, Sassenach, it
would kill him all over again.
From what I know about Brian
Fraser, if he were in your shoes --
he’d do the same thing.
Jamie knows she’s right, but it bothers him nonetheless. His
adrenaline is flowing now as the militia readies to engage.
There’s no sign yet of Roger. We
dinna ken if he succeeded or... but
we havena heard, and the fight is
She puts a hand on his arm. It’s like touching a high
voltage wire, power humming inside.
Will ye wish me luck, then?
I can’t let you go without
saying... something. I suppose
‘Good luck’ will do.
The words jam in her throat with the sudden urge to say much
more than there is time for. So she just says:
I love you, soldier.
There are some beautiful close-ups in this scene. Love the way they look at each other in the profile shots. These are some of my favorite shots in this episode from director Stephen Woolfenden.
‘Good luck’ will do. ‘I love ye’
does so much better.
Jamie looks into her eyes, reassuring her.
The obituary Brianna brought to us.
I dinna ken if it’s true. But what
I do ken is this: there may come a
day when you and I shall part
again... but it willna be today.
Lines of soldiers are filing past now, on their way to the
battlefield. Jamie leaves to join them.
B30 OMITTED (MOVED TO SCENE A29) B30
30EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - BATTLEFIELD – DAY (D5)30
Jamie and his MILITIA stand in formation, ready to fight --
with Tryon’s artillery in front of them, manned by REDCOATS.
Tryon sits astride his horse.
Jamie is in warrior mode. But first, he turns to the
Lindsays, Chisholm, Sinclair and Myers at his flank.
We go in hard -- we protect
ourselves. But we’re not here to
kill our brothers, we’re here to
end this. Put the fear of God in
them, they’ll retreat. This doesna
need to be a massacre. Take
prisoners, save souls.
And ye’ll watch for MacKenzie.
This bit was added late in the game because we really wanted to hit harder the point that Jamie doesn’t want to fight this fight—it’s something that he has to do, but he still does everything in his power to save lives and let his men know that the goal is not to massacre, the goal is to force retreat.
All acknowledge with a nod.
REGULATORS emerge from the trees -- Militia and Redcoats
react -- the tension is thick.
Tryon gives the ORDER -- and one of the CANNONS FIRES! It
signals the start of the battle. The Governor himself FIRES
the first shot. And although the redcoats FIRE -- the
militiamen exchange looks of doubt and hesitation. As Jamie
predicted, many of them are reluctant to fire on their fellow
countrymen. A frustrated Tryon STANDS in his stirrups, LIFTS
his sword high and urges them on with his famous words --
FIRE, GODDAMN YOU! FIRE ON THEM OR
FIRE ON ME!
These were Tryon’s actual words at the start of the battle. He was angry, because the militia hesitated. They didn’t want to kill their brothers.
The militia, obeying their commander, begin FIRING. The
Battle of Alamance BEGINS.
The Redcoats and militiamen MOVE FORWARD across the open
ground. Redcoats FIRE in organized lines and militia moves
forward with Jamie. Regulators RETURN FIRE, and RETREAT into
the woods, drawing the Redcoats and militia toward them. The
boom of CANNON comes behind them like thunder.
GUNFIRE can be heard at a distance -- other militia troops
starting the fight elsewhere, unseen.
Jamie charges, rifle raised overhead.
(the Fraser battle cry)
Jamie searches for Murtagh and/or Roger. He has no idea
whether Roger ever reached his godfather or whether Murtagh
took his advice and left.
The Militia and Redcoats ENTER THE WOODS. This battle is
visually different from others we’ve seen on Outlander. It
is a mad scramble of troops, spreading out through the trees,
guerilla-style. Looking in any direction, you might only see
a handful of men from either side. There’s almost no way to
tell the difference between militia and Regulators, save for
the yellow cockades on their coats or hats.
We were very conscious of history here and took great care to show this battle as much different than battles we’ve shown before. Every department went above and beyond to ensure that this was historically accurate and also interesting in how it played out so uniquely, given the nature of the terrain, the tactics of the two sides, etc.
At first, the Regulators have the upper hand. Less than half
of the Regulators have guns, but the ones that do fight
Indian-style, hiding behind trees, rocks, hedges and fences
on the perimeter. They’re more adept in the woods and come
BACK WITH JAMIE’S MEN - they are pinned down behind a FALLEN
TREE. They return FIRE, loading and reloading. Jamie’s
Spread out! Find cover! Fight as
Morton and the Browns go one way; Jamie, Myers and the others
go a different direction.
On the other side of the field, Jamie doesn’t see it, but we
do -- Bryan Cranna gets a BAYONET to the heart.
31 INT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT – DAY (D5) 31
Claire works on the wounded as they’re brought in. This is a
much smaller battle than Culloden or Prestonpans, with much
fewer wounded. There are only three or four at the moment.
Brianna helps, checking for shock and fever, and giving
honeyed water to the ones with superficial wounds. This is
Brianna’s first view of war up close and she’s having a hard
time. But she rises to the occasion, for the soldiers’
sakes, keeping busy to ignore the sinking feeling that
Roger’s not back. Claire sees this and tries to reassure:
It’s possible he was on his way and
joined the battle.
I don’t know which is worse... that
he’s missing or getting shot at.
A WOUNDED Isaiah Morton is brought in to Claire by another
Soldier who’s carried him off the field. Morton’s face is
dead-white and sheened with sweat. Claire examines him,
seeing the bullet hole --
Shot through the lung. From
As Claire works to save him, Morton goes in and out of
Isaiah -- can you hear me?
Tell Ally... I love her.
You aren’t going to die on me, are
Baby comes next month...
And you’ll be there.
OFF Claire, hoping she can make that so.
A32EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – BATTLEFIELD – DAY (D5) A32
The battle continues.
B32 INT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT – DAY (D5) B32
The medical tent resembles an emergency room, littered with
bodies, equipment and blood-stained bandages. The brothers
from Brownsville are there now --
Claire’s examining Lionel. The wound’s not serious, but is
filthy and needs attention. Claire hands him a whisky bottle
and Brianna helps her clean it.
He’ll need sutures... and something
to prevent a fever.
Brianna hands Claire the syringe.
What’s that you’re doing?
This medicine will help it heal.
Lionel looks dubious as Claire prepares the syringe. Just
then, Richard Brown notices Isaiah Morton.
(smirks to Lionel)
Claire sees the two brothers trading a look. They do nothing
to hide their disappointment that Morton survived.
I hope you didn’t waste good
medicine on that coward. He was
running away like a scared rabbit
when he was felled.
I wasna running away.
(to Hiram Brown)
You saw what happened.
Hiram glances nervously from Lionel to Richard and won’t
answer. Claire clocks this, puts two and two together...
There were powder burns on his
back. So whoever did this, shot
him at close range. And the musket
ball went straight through. Had he
been shot from a distance, it would
have been lodged inside him.
Maybe the man stepped in front of
one of us when we were firing.
He’s either a coward, or an
imbecile. Take your pick.
Claire steps right in his face.
If you shot this man in the back,
you’re the coward.
No woman speaks to me this way.
Uncle, don’t --
Lionel bolts up abruptly, knocking into Claire and causing
her to drop the syringe -- and when he moves forward, he
carelessly CRUSHES it with his boot, snapping the needle and
shattering the glass barrel. Claire’s furious.
Look what you’ve done!
But the Browns have exited the tent.
C32EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - BATTLEFIELD – DAY (D5) C32
As the battle progresses, the tide turns. The Regulators,
running out of ammunition, start to wane. They don’t have
the stamina or organization of the Governor’s troops.
Soon the Regulators scatter like fleeing quail, retreating
into the woods. A dozen or so are surrounded and captured by
Tryon’s forces and made prisoners of war. There’s the
popping of distant gunshots, but the boom of artillery has
ceased. The battle is not only over -- it is truly lost.
The militia has crushed the Regulators.
32EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - BATTLEFIELD – ANOTHER AREA - DAY (D5) 32
Fighting on his own, Jamie PRESSES through the brush.
Suddenly, A MUSKET BALL WHIZZES past his head. He raises his
own rifle. But the young man in his sights is familiar.
It’s LEE WITHERS [Episode 502].
Withers! Lee Withers!
Lee drops his musket and puts his hands up. Jamie keeps his
gun trained on Lee, but tries to talk him down.
For Christ’s sake, lad, do ye not
remember me? I mean ye nae harm.
Ye mean me nae harm, but wear the
coat of my enemy. And yer fellows
kill wi’out mercy...
Gunfire -- and shouts and screams -- can be heard at a
distance all around them.
Withers, listen -- I dinna want to
shoot ye --
Bryan Cranna is dead.
With Jamie stunned at that sudden news, Lee reaches behind
his back lightning fast and whips a pistol from his belt,
aims at Jamie -- one split second more Jamie will be killed.
From out of nowhere -- a RIFLE BUTT SMACKS into the side of
Lee’s neck, knocking him down the embankment -- and saving
Jamie looks to see that his savior is -- Murtagh. A nod and
look of relieved understanding passes between them. This is
the moment of truth that both have been fearing -- facing
each other on the battlefield, but it’s turned out for good!
They’ll both get off this field alive.
Ever since our decision to keep Murtagh alive, we knew that he couldn’t just live out his life in a happy place. He was a tragic character in the book, and he died at Culloden. We knew he need an equally tragic death but we also knew we wanted him to die doing the thing he’d sworn his life to: protecting Jamie. Every season there was an opportunity to have him die a hero in this way, but we kept putting it off because we loved the character so much.
However, the Battle of Alamance seemed the right time. Murtagh had found his cause and had become a leader of men, but his number one cause was always Jamie Fraser, who he’d sworn to protect for life. It was fitting that he die while saving Jamie—it was his last act on Earth, and that’s how it was supposed to be. Murtagh fulfilled his oath to Jamie’s mother, and thus he died at peace.
The saddest part was he’d just found love with Jocasta, so it’s all the more tragic, but she loved him for who he was, and understood why he had to live his life this way, even though it broke her heart.
This was one of the saddest days on the set. Everyone felt the loss of Duncan, who’s a brilliant actor and lovely man. The whole crew seemed heavy hearted.
Then -- a WHISTLING CRASH as something flies through the
trees a few feet away -- another GUNSHOT. Jamie whirls on
his heel, and sees the young Hugh Findlay behind him, gun
still smoking from his shot. When he looks back around --
Murtagh’s eyes are wide with surprise as a RED STAIN flowers
slowly on his chest. He’s been hit. Murtagh falls forward,
his rifle dropping and Jamie catches him in his arms, then
sets him down easy against a tree trunk.
I will always remember the location scout in those woods and looking for the perfect place to film this. The director, Stephen, and I both saw this giant tree and looked at each other at the same time and said, “This is Murtagh’s tree.” It was tall, strong, magnificent—like a sentinel in the forest, and that’s what Murtagh was.
Having no idea what he’s done, Hugh then lights up with
excitement. He thinks he’s saved Jamie from a Regulator.
I did what ye said, Colonel! I
The kid gets me every time. He’s so excited and has no idea what he’s just done.
Jamie falls to his knees beside his godfather. He leans
close to Murtagh’s face --
All will be well...
Murtagh knows better. The light is dimming in his eyes.
I released ye from yer oath... ye
had no cause to save me. You
should ha’ done as I asked...
I would never betray yer mother, no
matter who asked.
Murtagh smiles and touches Jamie’s cheek, using the
endearment for a small beloved boy.
Dinna be afraid, a bhalaich... it
doesna hurt a bit to die.
This is an iconic line from the book. We wanted to get this right, down to Murtagh’s smile and the touching of Jamie’s cheek…
Murtagh fades away. But Jamie won’t give up. Myers and
Kenny Lindsay appear --
We decided it would be more powerful if Jamie couldn’t accept the death and went into denial—heartbreaking to see him try to save Murtagh…
Myers and Lindsay look at Murtagh and hesitate. They
exchange a look -- realizing he’s gone.
JOHN QUINCY MYERS
Colonel... I think...
Help me get him up -- now!
Myers and Lindsay trade another look, pained at what Jamie is
going through. But they have no choice but to indulge Jamie,
who is in denial.
Between them, they get Murtagh’s lifeless body on his feet
and half-drag, half-carry him, running and stumbling as they
33 OMITTED - MOVED TO SCENE B32 33
A34EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – WOODS – DAY (D5)A34
Jamie, Myers and Lindsay carry Murtagh through the woods and
back toward the medical tent. Jamie rambles desperately to
Murtagh along the way --
All will be well... we’ll take ye
to Claire... she’ll ken what to
do... she can heal ye... we’re
B34 INT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT – DAY (D5) B34
Jamie and the two men rush in carrying Murtagh. Claire races
over, stricken, as they lay him on the table. Tears shine in
Without another word, Claire quickly goes to work on Murtagh --
Jamie’s frantic -- he bolts around the tent, grabbing medical
instruments and bottles of medicine --
What do you need?
What do you need? Here -- use
these -- do whatever you must --
Heal him --
Claire quickly realizes it’s too late -- Murtagh’s dead. She
looks to Brianna and they lock eyes, Brianna understanding in
an instant what her mother’s expression means -- and what
she’s about to say.
Brianna goes toward the entrance, gesturing to Myers and
Lindsay that they should leave. She exits behind them,
pulling the tent flaps closed behind her as she goes, to give
Jamie and Claire privacy.
Claire delivers the devastating news:
Jamie... I’m so sorry... he’s gone.
He canna be... he canna be! Do
somethin’ -- save him! You save
But Claire stands there, there’s nothing she can do. Jamie
leans over Murtagh --
I take it back, I take it back -- I
dinna release ye from yer oath. Ye
canna leave me...
Devastating to hear Jamie say that he takes back releasing Murtagh from his oath, as he did in Episode 501.
Claire stares at Jamie, seeing his denial and heartsick that
she can’t do anything for the man they both love so dearly.
Jamie finally stops and stares at Claire. The gut-wrenching
knowledge finally sinks in.
His worst nightmare has come true... His godfather is dead.
The pain is unbearable. He turns and walks out..
34EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT – MOMENTS LATER - DAY (D5)34
Jamie exits the tent, gutted and dazed. His men are still
nearby, but giving Jamie a respectful berth.
Tryon walks up in an exuberant mood, with Captain Hawkins and
a few others.
Colonel Fraser! Victory tastes
sweet, does it not? Twenty
Twenty-one -- counting the man in the tent just behind them.
But Tryon can’t see Murtagh, and Jamie says nothing.
GOVERNOR TRYON (cont'd)
We’ve taken fifteen prisoners --
the rest have fled, but they’re
finished. We shall celebrate this
Is the slaughter of innocent men a
cause to celebrate?
Tryon is taken aback.
I’m not sure I take your meaning,
I meant exactly what I said.
Tryon feels a chill from his colonel, but chalks it up to how
hard it must have been for Jamie to fight other Scots. He’s
made no connection to Jamie’s alliance with Murtagh.
I know how difficult it must have
been to engage with your own
countrymen. But what we’ve
accomplished today will be written
about in history.
Jamie holds back anger, but speaks from a cold core of rage.
Will it be written in history, sir --
that ye killed and maimed and paid
no heed to the destruction ye left?
That ye brought cannon to bear on
your own citizens, armed with no
more than knives and clubs? Nae, it
will say that ye put down rebellion
and preserved order, that ye
punished wickedness and did justice
in the King’s name.
But we both ken what happened here.
There is the law and there is what
is done. What you’ve done is
kindle a war -- for the sake of
your own glory.
Tryon’s jaw clenches and his men move toward Jamie --
protective of the Governor. No one speaks this way to Tryon.
But Tryon waves them down.
Colonel Fraser. I had no personal
stake in this, no need to glorify
my exploits, as you put it.
None but the governorship of New
I told you I would not leave North
Carolina in a state of disorder and
rebellion. I have done what I have
done as a matter of duty. And
because you have done your duty, as
promised, I’m going to overlook
Aye. My debt is paid and
I’m finished with my obligation --
to you -- and to the Crown. You
may have yer coat back, sir.
Hopefully, it’s truly satisfying for the audience to see Jamie unleash his rage on Tryon while in this grief-stricken state. The first half of this season and part of the last was leading up to the moment Jamie could speak his true mind to Tryon. Another favorite moment—Jamie throwing the coat in the dirt.
Jamie wrests off the red coat Tryon made him wear, now
stained with Murtagh’s blood, and lets it drop into the mud.
Tryon smirks. It doesn’t matter now. The Governor got what
he wanted from Jamie Fraser. Tryon gets on his horse and
rides away, knowing that he’ll soon set sail for New York and
never look back.
A35EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP – CAMPFIRE - DAY (D5) A35
Jamie breaks down as Murtagh’s death continues to sink in.
A35A INT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP - MEDICAL TENT – DAY (D5) A35A
Claire, alone in the tent, stands over Murtagh, wiping the
blood from him and cleaning his body as best as she can.
Her own heart heavy with grief, she cries as she touches his
Goodbye, my friend.
How to say goodbye to Murtagh? Impossible. Matt came up with the idea to have Claire take his Luckenbooth brooch and keep it. A lovely touch.
She pulls the sheet over his face --
B35EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – MILITIA CAMP – NEAR CREEK - LATER - DAY (D5)B35
Brianna stands at the creek, gazing across. Jamie, walking
in a fugue state of grief, sees her and sees the anguish on
her face. He goes to her side.
Brianna just shakes her head. She can’t even give words to
her terrible fear of what’s happened to her husband.
Looking into his daughter’s face, Jamie musters his strength
and sets aside his sorrow -- there may be a life yet to save.
35EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK – BATTLEFIELD – DAY (D5)35
SERIES OF SHOTS: Jamie, Claire, Brianna, accompanied by
Myers, Sinclair, Chisholm, and Evan/Kenny Lindsay and THREE
WOMEN from the medical tent as they search for Roger,
inquiring after him with men they meet along the way.
Jamie’s still dazed but makes a gallant effort. But no luck.
They pass by some wounded -- Claire stopping where she can to
help. They pass by the dead -- militiamen and Regulators
alike. Jamie’s gutted to see Bryan Cranna among them. Then,
as they emerge from the woods --
A36EXT. ALAMANCE CREEK - HANGING TREE - DAY (D5)A36
They see -- a huge oak tree, THREE HOODED FIGURES dangling
from its branches, and three barrels on the ground below,
kicked out from under when they were hanged. All three are
dead. Jamie catches Colonel Chadwick who’s standing with a
group of Regulator Prisoners who are being led away.
We went on many scouts searching for the perfect “hanging tree.” They are harder to find than you would think! It had to hold three men and have a lot of space around it. Plus, it had to be close enough to some of the woods where we were shooting battle scenes so we could schedule them together. This was a very good tree, dramatic against the Scottish sky.
(re: the hanging)
Colonel! What happened here? Why
did you hang these men?
Regulator prisoners. Tryon ordered
An act of cold-blooded cruelty. Then:
Have ye seen Captain Roger
MacKenzie of Fraser’s Ridge?
Chadwick rides away. As our trio glances back at the dead
with pity and sorrow, Jamie spots something and FREEZES.
Brianna and Claire follow his gaze to see -- sticking out of
the pocket of one of the hanged men: A WHITE KERCHIEF. The
flag of truce.
The challenge here was to shoot it so that our gang wouldn’t immediately see that it was Roger hanging in the tree, because they aren’t focused on that. They certainly don’t expect to find him amongst the Regulators, so it was carefully planned for Jamie to see the white handkerchief in the pocket of one of the hanged men and slowly register the tragedy…
Brianna’s eyes are blank with shock. Jamie rushes over to
the tree but the hooded men are utterly still, no sign of
life. Jamie crosses himself --
(quietly in Gaelic)
God rest his soul.
Three hearts shatter.
END OF EPISODE