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Starz's Outlander casts ‘Hobbit' ‘Gangs of New York' actors

Date September 04, 2013

By Jethro Nededog

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Starz and producers Sony Television have added a pair of Scottish actors to its upcoming film-to-TV adaptation, "Outlander."

Graham McTavish ("The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "24") will play Dougal MacKenzie and Gary Lewis ("Billy Elliot," "Gangs of New York") will play Colum MacKenzie.

Based on Diana Gabaldon's best-selling books, "Outlander" 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 (Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, Claire becomes torn between her two lives.

Dougal MacKenzie (McTavish) is the War Chieftain of Clan MacKenzie. His older brother Colum (Lewis) is the ruling Laird but would be nothing without Dougal, his loyal right hand. Dougal is a skilled and experienced warrior. A strong leader, he commands respect in any setting and is feared by many. Unlike his brother, Dougal secretly supports the rebel cause against the British.

Colum is also 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, parading around at clan dinners and gatherings, solidifying his position as clan leader.

The series also stars Tobias Menzies in the dual role of Frank Randall and his ancestor Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall.

John Dahl, whose credits include "Breaking Bad," "Dexter" and "Justified," will direct the first two episodes of the upcoming drama series from "Battlestar Galactica" executive producer Ronald D. Moore.

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