‘Outlander’: Graham McTavish & Andrew Gower Talk ‘Prestonpans’

History
was on the side of the Highlanders in Saturday night’s “Outlander.” 

(Spoiler
alert: This story contains major plot details from “Outlander” Season
2, Episode 10 – “Prestonpans.”)
 

Jamie
Fraser and his men were victorious in battle against the British at
Prestonpans, but they paid a steep price. They lost many men, including their
beloved Angus and a fellow soldier named Kincaid, and by the end of the episode, longtime Jacobite supporter Dougal MacKenzie was forced out of the main army after an unfortunately timed outburst in the
presence of his beloved Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

Outlander-Graham-McTavish-Andrew-Gower-Talk-Prestonpans
‘Outlander’: Graham McTavish & Andrew Gower Talk ‘Prestonpans’ (Starz)

PHOTOS: ‘Outlander’: Scenes From Season 2, Episode 10 — ‘Prestonpans’

But, before he was sent off as the new Captain of the Highland Dragoons (Jamie’s
suggestion to the Prince to save his uncle after the outburst put Dougal in a
dangerous spot), Dougal and the Prince had quite an emotional first
introduction. 

Earlier in the episode, Dougal rode across the marsh to test out the ground and determine whether it was fit for a Highland charge. He was fired upon as he approached the Redcoats and while he sustained a cut to the head (and a hole in his hat), he made it back with the news that the marsh wasn’t solid enough for the proposed attack. Upon his return, he was given a heroes’ welcome and an embrace from his Prince.

WATCH: ‘Outlander’: Sam Heughan On Dougal’s Return

Graham
McTavish, who plays Dougal MacKenzie, told Access Hollywood about filming the
scene with Andrew Gower, who plays the Bonnie Prince. 

“One
of the things that I loved about what Andrew did with the part was how he
physically created the Prince,” Graham said, when we asked him about
working with the Season 2 “Outlander” actor. “The scene where I
ride down into the teeth of the guns of the enemy to test the ground and he
comes back and he embraces me — I mean, we didn’t rehearse that particularly.
He just grabbed me in the moment and so you get a very strong, genuine reaction
from me as Dougal at that point. It’d gratified [him] in one sense that his
Prince is hugging him, telling him how fabulous he is, but [he’s] also slightly
uncomfortable that this man is embracing him.” 

While the
hug caught Dougal off guard,
Andrew said it was the perfect move for the sensitive Prince
Charles. 

“As
Charles, a conscious thing I did from the beginning was to make him incredibly
tactile. So that came from the heart,” Andrew told Access Hollywood over
the phone while on a break from rehearsals for “1984” in London’s
West End.

WATCH: Caitriona Balfe On Reactions To ‘Outlander’s’ ‘Faith’ Episode

Watching
Dougal on the battlefield testing the range of the Redcoats’ weapons was a
thrill for Andrew’s character, who later made an effort to get into the
conflict. 

“He
does love battle and he does want to be on the front line and he does see
himself as a fighter, though [he’s] slightly deluded in that sense, I think,”
Andrew said. 

While the
relationship between the two men started out on good footing, when Dougal returned
from the just-won battle and berated Jamie and those in the cottage for
treating the British soldiers (unaware the Prince was in the room), it immediately soured.
Bonnie Prince Charlie marched up to the fresh-off-the-battlefield Highland
warrior, grabbed his face and berated him, a gesture that wasn’t rehearsed
(like the hug in the marsh scene), but added to the intensity of the moment. 

“He
just grabbed hold of it and pinched my face so that he was holding it, and for
someone like Dougal, that would’ve been all he could do not to physically react
to that. But it informed for me very much the scene that he had to control
himself,” Graham explained. “And it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to Dougal – being able
to control his emotions in a situation like that, especially given how he is
feeling at that point – the elation, the bloodlust, the fact that he’s just
come off the battlefield having slaughtered every British soldier he could find. And then, to
have that happen to him, it was, yeah, [Andrew] made some really great [acting]
choices with that.” 

It was an intense scene, but it actually came together fairly fast, Andrew said.

“The
scene itself, it didn’t take too
much blocking. It was pretty [quick] the way we kind of approached it, both
myself, Graham, and the other soldiers and [Sam] all kind of fell into
place quite quickly, so it was a fun one to shoot,” Andrew added.

Although
it was a great scene for the actors to perform, the teardown by the Prince was
crushing for the character of Dougal.

“The hardest moment for Dougal, I think, one of the hardest in the whole season, if not both seasons, is when he incurs the wrath of the Prince,” Graham said. “I mean, that’s the world falling from beneath his feet at that point and to be rescued by Jamie, in that way, that would have really hurt. And it’s only the distraction of Angus’ death that I think pulls him out of that to be honest, because he has something more important to think about. But… that’s a low, low, low moment for Dougal.” 

WATCH: Terry Dresbach On Creating Costumes For ‘Outlander’ Season 2: ‘I Still Dream About It!’

The
battle scene in Saturday night’s “Prestonpans” episode was filmed in a
tent “the size of a football field” Graham said, and it saw the
return of Season 1 character Lt. Jeremy Foster, played by Tom Brittney.

Dougal
encountered Lt. Foster after the battle was over and although the Redcoat
asked for assistance to the medical tent, when he told the MacKenzie war chief
that the Highlanders would not win the conflict, Dougal killed him. 

“I
don’t think Dougal intends to kill him initially,” Graham said. “I
think he’s absolutely going to spare him. He’s not going to help him, but he’s
not going to kill him. But then [Lt. Foster] makes the mistake of pissing
Dougal off basically and saying, ‘You’re all going to be defeated in the end.
You can’t win.’ And really, Dougal’s reaction to that is only going to be one
thing and that’s what he does.” 

Graham
said Lt. Foster’s wincing in pain after Dougal stabs him in the gut also
affected what the war chief did. 

Lt.
Foster “understandably was making a bit of noise while I was disemboweling
him, and I suddenly felt that’s really something that would annoy Dougal, that
this man would be making so much noise about dying, so that’s why I was putting
my hand over his mouth and telling him to shush because it was almost, ‘You’re
embarrassing yourself, you’re embarrassing yourself now. You’re dying, but
don’t embarrass yourself by making such a big song and dance about it.’ I think
Dougal respects people who die well and I think he would have felt that [Lt.
Foster] didn’t die well,” Graham said. “That was a fun scene.” 

“Outlander”
continues Saturday nights at 9 PM ET/PT on Starz.

Jolie Lash

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