Outlander: Why was Dougal MacKenzie killed off from Outlander?

Men in Kilts trailer stars Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish

Starz series Outlander started off in Scotland against the backdrop of the Jacobite Rebellion against the English. The show followed Highlander Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) as he evaded the Redcoats and hoped for a Scottish monarch. Outlander introduced many of Jamie’s fellow clansman and family members including Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) and his brother Dougal (Graham McTavish).

Why was Dougal MacKenzie killed off from Outlander?

Dougal and Jamie had a complex relationship which was something akin to father and son.

However, it all went wrong when Dougal overheard Jamie and Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) plans on the eve of the Battle of Culloden.

The couple was considering killing off Bonny Prince Charlie (Andrew Gower) to stop the uprising in the hopes of changing history and stopping the devastation the Battle of Culloden would bring in its wake.

Dougal flew into a murderous rage and attacked them with the war chieftain ending up dead in the ensuing tussle.

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The character’s death played out similarly in Diana Gabaldon’s novel Dragonfly in Amber with Dougal choking on his own blood after Jamie stabbed him.

Dougal’s death led Jamie to make the decision to send Claire back to the future, knowing what would come going forward including famine and death for many.

So, the programme-makers were simply following the novels and staying true to the source material rather than making the decision to kill off Douglas.

Speaking to TV Line back in 201 after Dougal’s end, McTavish said: “I don’t think for a moment he thinks they’re going to lose.

“That’s what makes the final episode — that confrontation with Jamie, the knowledge and the understanding that Jamie and Claire are planning murder — so awful. That is his world crashing down.”

The actor elaborated: “I think there’s an actual line when he refers to that, that this is the end of his life, as far as he’s concerned, when he finds these things out….

“He’s going to kill Jamie, albeit reluctantly, and he’s going to kill Claire, because she has confirmed all of the things that he ever suspected about her.

“In the back of his mind are his desire for her, how intrigued he is by her, how dazzled he is by her, all of those things.

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“But at the end of the day, he’s always thought something is not quite right about this person.”

Although McTavish’s character might now be six feet under, he is still very much part of the Outlander family.

McTavish made a cheeky cameo in Outlander season five playing Buck MacKenzie, the illegitimate son of Dougal and Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek).

He is also going to be teaming up with his Outlander co-star Heughan as they embark on their Scottish road trip extravaganza in the TV series Men In Kilts.

The show will premiere on Starz on February 14 with the two men learning more about the history and culture of their motherland.

Driving around together in a camper van, the two men will visit different parts of the Highlands and speak to experts on various topics.

Although McTavish now lives in New Zealand with his family, Men Win Kilts will see him going back to his Scottish roots and exploring more about the nation.

Men in Kilts will see the duo going straight to the heart of the Highlands in Glencoe. The star said in the book accompaniment to the series Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other how he had “always been fascinated” by the area and felt a “deep connection” to the region.

Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now

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