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‘Outlander’ Casts Two Primary Roles

Graham McTavish, Gary Lewis added to Starz historical sci-fi series

Casting continues for the upcoming Starz series “Outlander,” as Scottish actors Graham McTavish and Gary Lewis join the project.

Based on the bestselling novel series by Diana Gabaldon, “Outlander” blends romance, science-fiction, history and adventure into one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened.

When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

McTavish and Lewis will play Dougal and Colum McKenzie, respectively, joining Sam Heughan, who will play Jamie Fraser, nephew to Dougal and Colum. Dougal MacKenzie is the war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie.

A skilled, experienced warrior and a strong leader, he commands respect in any setting and is feared by many. Dougal secretly supports the rebel cause against the British.

Dougal’s brother, Colum, is Jamie’s maternal uncle. He is a man who reigns over a powerful clan, but must rely on Dougal to be the true muscle. Colum suffers from a condition now known as Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome, a degenerative disease that renders his legs immobile at times, and fills his days with great physical pain. Colum, using wine to dull the pain, is able to rise to the occasion when needed, solidifying his position as clan leader.

McTavish has appeared in many film and television productions, including “Rambo” alongside Sylvester Stallone, and the eighth season of “24.” He also played Dwalin in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and will return for the other two films in Peter Jackon’s trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “The Hobbit: There And Back Again.”

Lewis’ credits include “Billy Elliot,” “Gangs of New York” and “Prime Suspect.”

“Outlander” is being executive produced by Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) and Jim Kohlberg. The first two episodes of the series were written by Moore (who is also developing “Helix” for Syfy, premiering in January), and will be directed by John Dahl (“Breaking Bad,” “Dexter”).

“Outlander” begins shooting this fall in Scotland, where the show is set, and will air on Starz in 2014.

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