Wolves are really hard to handle on set and depict onscreen — just ask the diminishing direwolves of Game of Thrones. So perhaps we can forgive Outlander for omitting a scene in season one where Claire would have been attacked by — and fought off — a pack of wolves. During a panel at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend, Caitriona Balfe revealed the reason why we never saw that scene, even though, according to her co-star Sam Heughan, it was originally in the script. The problem, she said, was that during an earlier scene that same season, “we nearly killed an actor with some dogs.”
The exorcist-happy Father Bain, she explained, was supposed to have a scene where he is beset upon by a pack of dogs, one of which bites his leg. Claire offers to treat the wound, warning Father Bain of infection, but the priest refuses, limping away. He later uses this against Claire during the witch trial, claiming the attack was orchestrated by her, and interpreting her warning as a witch’s curse. But when it came time to simulate actor Tim McInnerny being attacked by dogs, “He actually got attacked by dogs,” Balfe said. “It was quite horrific.” No wonder, then, that the producers thought an even more dramatic attack scene might be too risky. “They were like, ‘We’re nixing the wolves,’” Balfe said. So what did you miss seeing onscreen? After Claire is tossed out of Wentworth Prison by Black Jack Randall, she is stalked by a lone wolf and manages to kill it with her bare hands, before the rest of the pack shows up. It’s one of Claire’s most bad-ass moments, and fans of the book series were shocked it didn’t make the show. “It’s such an amazing thing to read it, but you can’t do it in reality,” Balfe said. “I would have loved to.”
“You should have done the wolf,” Heughan teased her. “I think that would have been kind of fun. I’d like to see you fight a wolf.”
“You know, I think I could take down a wolf,” Balfe grinned. Perhaps we’ll have to settle for a shark instead, for season three!