If you missed it, earlier this week there was some tremendous news handed down for Laura Donnelly: The Outlander star has a new gig! She will be a lead in HBO’s upcoming The Nevers from executive producer Joss Whedon, and as we’ve already noted it’s a tremendous opportunity! It boosts her profile for sure, and maybe viewers who watch that will also go back and see some of her other work, as well.
Want to get some more news when it comes to Outlander? Then check out our thoughts on the recent Netflix US deal in our most recent video at the bottom of this article! Remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube so you don’t miss out on our weekly Outlander videos and also check out our show playlist.
Yet, as we noted in our original piece on Donnelly’s casting, putting her on this show doesn’t necessarily mean that her time on Outlander is done — even if scheduling conflicts kept her from making a return appearance during season 4. There are still opportunities for her to return coming up, and we really think at this point there’s one model that the show can follow: Tobias Menzies. Despite some of his extensive commitments over the past couple of years, including both The Crown and The Terror, the show found ways to use him both in season 3 and season 4. As Outlander goes on moving into season 5 and season 6, they may be able to do the same thing here.
The best thing that Outlander can do in order to get Donnelly back as Jenny is to plan things out far in advance. Then work with her team to find a way to make an appearance work. One of the best things about a show like this is that it doesn’t necessarily have to film everything in order, even if it’s often easier to construct production as a series of blocks. If they want to have Jenny for a handful of scenes, they could shoot them all at once when it works for her schedule. That way, they can work around The Nevers and whatever else she may have going on.
As for why they can’t lock Laura down in the first place, the simplest answer to that is that they know they aren’t going to be able to use this character with a lot of regularity (at least right now, though Jenny does have a role to play coming up in the books), and it’s hard to make any performer a series regular when you can’t really offer them consistent work. Donnelly’s an award-winning stage actor on the rise, and she deserves the opportunity to do something more in order to continue to boost her profile and her resume. If she can do Outlander and The Nevers, that’s the best of both worlds and with the right planning and the right story to bring her back, we do think that it’s possible. There are other options, such as augmenting the story of Outlander the show or recasting the Jenny character, but we don’t think we need to jump to this. We’re sure production would like to have her back and the feeling is mutual. Focusing on finding a way to make things work is the top priority, whenever of course there is a role for her.
In the end, everyone has the time to figure this out. This may actually be more of an issue for season 6 than season 5, depending of course on whatever Outlander wants to do with its story.
For some more news when it comes to Outlander…
Then be sure to visit the link here! That’s where you can see one of our most-recent filming updates.