Starz’s hit time-travel saga Outlander has added two key roles for Season 3. John Bell (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies) will join Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) world in the 18th century, playing Young Ian. And Wil Johnson (Waking the Dead) will enter Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) world set in Boston in the 20th Century, playing her friend and medical colleague, Joe Abernathy.
From developer/executive producer Ronald D. Moore and Sony Pictures TV, Season 3 will be based on the third of the eight books in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, entitled Voyager. The third season picks up right after Claire travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank. Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire.
Bell’s Murray is a tall, gangly Scottish lad with a heart of gold, a stubborn streak and a penchant for getting into trouble. Bursting with charm, he’s more like his adventurous, fierce uncle Jamie Fraser than his farmer father Ian — but when we meet him, he is still a very gawky boy. However, he keeps trying to prove that he is a man and we will see him grow into quite a formidable one as the series evolves.
Johnson’s Abernathy is a fellow doctor-in-training whom Claire befriends in medical school. Intelligent, charismatic, with a wry and irreverent sense of humor, Joe is a loyal confidant with great affection for Claire. He puts on a good face, but he is all too aware of his place in the Civil Rights era. Joe and Claire both feel out of place in the mostly all-white, all-male medical field, which bonds them together in a life-long friendship.
Bell played Helius in Jonathan Liebesman’s Wrath of the Titans and then went on to play Bain in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies both directed by Peter Jackson. On TV, Bell recurred on BBC Scotland’s Life of Riley and CBBC’s Tracy Breaker Returns, and also appeared in Midsomer Murders and the History mini-series Hatfields & McCoys.
Johnson’s TV credits include recurring roles on British dramas such as Waterloo Road, Holby City, Cracker, Babyfather and Waking the Dead. He will soon be seen in Kit Monkham’s feature film of Macbeth and was also in Noel Clarke’s Adulthood.
Moore, Maril Davis, Matthew B. Roberts, Toni Graphia, Anne Kenney and Andy Harries serve as executive producers of Outlander, which is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.