Outlander star Sam Heughan on why sex is so central to Amazon Prime's futuristic show

The fantasy drama series has got people talking about its levels of nudity and sex

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The Independent Culture

It’s being billed as the next Game of Thrones and has already amassed thousands of fans across the world. If you’ve not heard of it yet, Outlander is the new fantasy drama series about romance and time set in the Scottish Highlands.

Outlander is based on a series of books written by American author Diana Gabaldon. The first novel in the series was published in 1991 after Gabaldon decided to “practice writing” after being inspired by Doctor Who.

There have been nine novels to date and they have garnered such a huge following that even the characters on Orange is the Black are talking about them. 

Outlander follows the story Claire Beauchamp Randall who is transported back in time from the Second World War straight into the civil war in Scotland,1743. There she meets and falls in love with the rugged highlander called Jamie Fraser – despite still being married to her husband Frank in 1945.

The fantasy drama series, which stars Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies, first aired in the US last year and won accolades at both the Critics' Choice Television Awards and People's Choice Awards in 2014.

But it isn’t just the sweeping shots of Scotland and the strong female lead that’s got people talking. The racy scenes and nudity in Outlander have filled just as many – if not more - column inches than anything else about the show.

However, Heughan, who plays the dashing Scotsman Jamie, says that the sex is “very important” to the series. Speaking to The Independent, he said, “It’s sort of about these individuals discovering each other and learning to work together and yeah, they do fall in love.”

“So the sex becomes not gratuitous or just some sort of titillation for viewers, it’s about moving the relationship forward and every time we had a scene like that, we were very aware of what we wanted the audience to see or not see, what it meant to the relationship and then how that moved forward.”

The 34-year-old actor went on to say, “There’s a sort of famous wedding episode and that’s very much about them falling in love and discovering each other but, dare I say it, you probably won’t see that again because their relationship is then tested and moves forward constantly.”

Outlander has now landed on British shores and the makers of the show hope that it will replicate the success it has had outside the UK. The programme has been created by Ronald D. Moore, who worked on both Star Trek and the re-booted series of Battlestar Galactica.

The first half of season one is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video now. The second half will be available from 5 April.