With the exception of Laoghaire, Brianna Randall Fraser may be the female character Outlander fans most love to hate. Here’s why Bree deserves another chance.
I have a confession.
Right now…at this point in time…Bree is my favorite character.
I know I know — she’s not Claire or Jamie! But having just finished reading Drums of Autumn and with Outlander Season 4 on the horizon, I am all aboard the Bree train — even it means a lonely ride.
Besides Frank, Bree appears to be one of the most “unliked” characters by both TV and book readers. “She’s immature…she doesn’t deserve Roger…the actress isn’t good…she doesn’t look enough like Claire and Jamie...” I’ve heard and read nothing but skepticism and dislike since Sophie Skeleton’s face appeared on the screen.
Now everyone is entitled to their opinion and there are certainly parts of Outlander I don’t care for. (I think Willie looks nothing like Jamie…) But I want to vouch for this character and explain why, as a 23-year-old woman, Bree is not only the one I relate to the most, but also my current favorite character in the series.
She reminds me a lot of myself.
While I love Jamie and Claire, it’s hard for me to connect to them sometimes. I’ve never been married, never had children, haven’t found the love of my life, never traveled to Scotland (in 1743 or current day). As a younger viewer, it’s nice to have a character like Bree with whom I connect so much more. I can remember yelling and giving attitude to my mom when I was angry or becoming smitten over a cute guy. I even related to her struggle with changing her major in college! Bree’s healed relationship with Claire after the reveal of her true father also reminds me a lot of the relationship with my mom, and how much closer we’ve gotten in the recent years. Yes, Bree is stubborn, feisty, and a bit implosive — but so am I, and so are many girls my age.
She’s a great way to gain younger fans.
With Outlander’s main fan base being 35-plus, I sometimes feel like an outsider (or Sassenach!) as a younger fan. The historical fiction and romance of Jamie and Claire are what lured me, but having characters like Bree are what keep me a fan for life. As we enter this new season, things settle down for our main characters; the journey Bree goes through though is what keeps things exciting. Not to give too much away, but she experiences some events a lot of people in my generation are currently dealing with. It’s a great way to show them that Outlander isn’t all about bagpipes and kilts — it also deals with some serious stuff. Trying to impress a boy with a lobster roll and Boston cream pie? Pretty nerve wracking!
I adore her relationship with Roger.
Jamie may be the king of men, and Sam Heughan for all we know could be the next James Bond, but how can you NOT love Richard Rankin?! I first got to experience him at Comic Con 2017 when he participated in the Brave New Warriors panel. I sat through it while I was waiting for the Outlander panel later that day, but it ended up being one of the most hilarious hours of my life! He’s so silly but charming, and something about those eyes…and his jawline…and that accent…let’s just say he’s definitely my type! Along with Bree, he will be going on quite the journey this season, both with her and alone. I connect much more with their relationship and am giddy to see it develop.
Bree is the reason why Claire went back through the stones.
Remember, even after Roger found the evidence that Jamie was still alive 20 years after Claire left, it wasn’t enough for her to pack her bags and head back into the stones. It isn’t until Bree “sets her free” that Claire is able to commit to the journey. She may be stubborn, but one thing Bree is not is selfish — and because of that, we see our two beloved characters come back together.
She’s a combination of the two best parts of Outlander.
When you think about it, given the level of love we have for Jamie and Claire, it’s surprising the amount of distaste for Bree. She is their daughter! Their only offspring! If she didn’t exist, the legacy of their love would not continue. Now true, she is also the reason why Claire had to leave for 20 years. But had Claire stayed, we have no idea what would have happened. Would she, let alone Bree, have survived Culloden? Probably not.
When watching Bree, you definitely see traits from both her parents. Jamie’s hotheadedness shines when she fights with Claire, and her flirtation with Roger reminds me of some moves her mother once made in Season 1. It’s a perfect mix.
As for Sophie…
As a book reader I sometimes can’t believe how spot-on the casting has been for every character of the show. I reread certain passages or rewatch certain episodes, and think “Gosh, I could not imagine anyone else playing this part.” And when I think that, I think of Sophie as well.
Bree isn’t a character that’s going to be around for a season or two. She’s here for the long haul, and unlike many of the characters we’ve been introduced to, she’s still fairly young and has a lot of growing up to do. Think of Laoghaire, for example, the only other character close in age to Bree. Part of why we dislike her so much is how immature and naive she is as a young woman. That fuels her to make reckless decisions like cast Claire off as a witch to go after a man clearly not into her. We hate Laoghaire! And that wouldn’t have been possible if Nell Hudson hadn’t done an outstanding job.
I hear a lot of fans say that Sophie is annoying. But Bree is supposed to be kind of annoying; she’s young and naive as well! Unlike Laoghaire, we get to experience her growth, a growth that wouldn’t occur if Bree didn’t have a place from which to grow. I think that when the team cast Sophie they were looking into the future and what kind of character Bree will become; and having read Drums of Autumn, I think this season will really showcase why Sophie was the perfect choice to play Bree.
So did I convince you to love Bree? Do you see her in a different light? Or is there still something about her that leaves you flat?
Awesome perspective, Rachel!
Thanks Lisa! 🙂
I’ve never had a problem with Sophie. Actually, I find her less annoying than book Bree! And, honestly, I don’t have a problem with her height, weight or eye color. I have a daughter who is slightly older than Bree. I totally connect with Claire’s relationship with Bree.
I don’t either! I think when I was reading the description of Bree in DIA I had started to create a Sam/Cait hybrid in my mind, with no clear image of what exactly she looked like. Once Sophie appeared on the screen, that has been my Bree now when I read the books.
I’m on the same page as you, Rosemary! I also have daughters around Bree’s age, and I can totally identify with that Mother/Daughter dynamic (although luckily my daughter’s & I have a much less turbulent relationship than that one).
When I first read the books, I did find Bree to be…well…bratty for quite a while, even past where we are now (no spoilers, just an opinion). Now as I read the books again I see her a little differently. Has Sophie’s performance colored my outlook? Perhaps, but I’m glad for it!
Thanks for this! I kinda wish Sophie was taller as such a thing was made of her height in the books, especially DOA, but it’s nothing Sophie can help and honestly, not that big a deal. I think the problem with the character in general maybe her origin: she was a plot device, something to give a reason for Claire to leave Jamie and go back to the 20th century. I think I’ve read where Diana said she had a hard time writing this character initially. I think Sophie’s done a great job with what she’s been given. Those last couple of scenes in Ep 305 she really showed what she could do. I look forward to seeing her in this new season.
Great points! I myself am not a height person either – its something people can’t control and neither Sam or Cait appear as “tall” people in the show, so to have Bree tower above everyone may visually not work. I didn’t know Diana struggled with Bree, but that makes a lot of sense. You have two characters that are so beloved and perfect that when they have a child, you almost feel like they need to be at the same level if not better than them!
I don’t understand why people dislike her. She’s very young & has been through quite a lot of trauma. Parent issues anyone? Losing both her parents & knowing the truth about their past isn’t exactly normal! I thought her reactions to finding out about Clare & Jamie were appropriate under the circumstances!
Perhaps because I have a daughter who is strong & independent I can definitely relate to Bree! I have read all the books & respect Bree immensely. It will be fun to watch her character develop on the screen.
I heard Sophie say recently in an interview that Bree goes from having two parents, to one, to three, to none! So definitely some parent issues haha. I agree her journey this season is so exciting. It’s what I’m looking forward to the most!
I fell in love with book Brianna in DOA .. a very particular scene between Brianna and LJG .. it was at that moment those 2 characters just clicked for me. Once that click happened for me .. I totally got and enjoyed book Brianna in books 2 and 3 on my many rereads. As far as the TV Brianna that click has not happened for me … yet! It has nothing to do with her looks – I am not exactly sure why it has not .. I have found Sophie’s acting pretty flat but is that by design? I don’t know. It could also be how her character was written. Again I don’t know. Unlike the books, Brianna’s character has not appeared in the TV series as often and maybe that is why. SO I have BIG HOPES for season 4 that I will get the same Brianna feeling I have for her character in the books. BTW TV LJG LOOOVVVE.
Ah I know which one you mean! I think that one will shock a lot of TV viewers! I definitely think that click will happen for you this season 🙂 And now I want to reread the books again!
I am an old reader/watcher and I just don’t understand why Bree is disliked by so many. Ever since I first read adrums (a long time ago) she has been one of my favourite characters . I love her feisty character and particularly love her “inventiveness” .. She and Roger are a wonderful couple and they get better and better with every subsequent book…..
I agree! To me, she is the one who shines in DOA and I can’t wait to see it come to life on the screen. I haven’t read past DOA though, so I’m excited to see their journey up ahead!
Personally, it was Bree and Roger in the final episode of Season 2 that got me hooked on Outlander. And now that I am on Book 6, I read for Roger and Bree more than anyone else. I love their story and agree, this Season is going to be epic for them (Drums is my favorite book). I also love Sophie, I love her and Richard together. I am here for all of this!
That’s how I am too! I’m currently reading Fiery Cross and I’m almost tempted to skip to the Roger and Bree parts. Sophie and Richard have fantastic chemistry, and I bet it’s going to get even better this season!
I agree with you. Bree was a sassy, spoiled young lady who grows into a sassy, powerful woman. She needed to be strong in order to survive the things she is faced with. I too, love the Bree character and feel that Sophie is doing her best to bring her to life. The only thing I feel is that somehow she should have been taller.
Hahaha all the sass! I’m sure height was something they definitely looked into when casting, not only for her but in relation to the rest of the cast.
I read the casting call for the character of Brianna. There was a stated height minimum of 5’8″, which Sophie just scrapes in at.
Obviously they would have wanted a taller actress, but more importantly they cast for fitness for the role, for the ability to express the character’s personality. And you can’t just make an actor to a physical order. If they could, Sam would have been left-handed, Cait would have been much shorter, golden-eyed and with light brown hair. But though there are a small number of people who baulk at physical limitations of the actors, I have read even fewer who would prefer other actors in the roles on account of _how they act_.
The casting has been exceptionally good.
Thank you for your blog! I absolutely agree with you, and especially being a male fan of the franchise. i feel like most of the Bree bashing comes from people too obsessed with Jamie and Claire to give room to other characters, and they feel threatened because Bree and Roger become the second leads. And some of these people have daughters who are like Bree.
And most of the Sophie bashing is quite hypocrital, given that she based her performance on Sam’s but he’s always praised even though Jamie spends 70% of the show being stoic. And they haven’t actually seen her in other roles! She was a lead in two films in this year. Before Outlander she was in the Ren webseries and several TV roles. People act like she was a nobody picked out of nowhere just because. And the producers, Sam, Caitriona, Rik and the other people from the show always praised her. I really hope she can change some people’s minds this season.
Oh, I forgot to mention! What you said about Sophie being cast with the producers thinking about season 4 is true. Her audition was made with a scene from Drums. So they already knew that the character wasn’t going to shine until s4 came.
Wow! I didn’t know that about Sophie – sounds like she has some acting chops to highlight this season! You brought up a good point about the rest of the cast. They are all very supportive of her, especially Cait. I notice during interviews and when they are together that they almost act like friends or mother/daughter. If they’re confident, the production team is confident, we might as well be confident in giving it a chance.
Yeah 🙂 Also, Sophie and Richard’s chemistry test was based on Drums as well. The producers said they didn’t wanted for Roger and Bree to feel like a couple on season 2 but decided to develop the characters a bit more on season 3.
I agree with you completely, except for one minor point. That is that we have Marsali as another young female character to “speak” for your generation. Besides that, I love your defense of Bree and Sophie. She’s done a wonderful job and her character has such a big part in Season 4 and beyond. I’m looking forward to it. And you’re right as well about Roger/Rick. What a great guy he is, on and off screen! Thanks for your post. ?
Ah! I honestly completely forgot about Marsali. The scene with Claire in the ship discussing birth control definitely comes to mind. And yes, Rick is so silly. Have you seen his Instagram? He posts some weird things!
Please ignore that question mark at the end of my reply. It was supposed to be a smiley face.
Thank you so much for your blog post.
I have to say, as of yet, I am a non-book reader. So as a show watcher,
I don’t really understand the Bree/ Sophie dislike.
When I first watched Dragonfly in Amber, I admit, the character of Bree was a little jarring, and a little heavy handed.
I think though, it was very much the non-linear way the story was being told.
To me, the character of Bree seemed very authentic: She was an 18 year old girl, who just lost the father she adored, was travelling with a mother who she couldn’t relate to, and had issues with, attending another funeral.
And this was BEFORE she learned about Jamie.
To me, it was only natural she would be angry and upset with a lot of issues. (I lost my mom recently and grief will do that to you)
Mothers and daughters are complicated issues.
But I see Bree as a character as a mix of both Claire and Jamie, and Frank as well. (I don’t hate him as a character either)
Bree’s headstrong, but can grow into her own.
I have heard some people say that they would have rather of seen Molly Quinn from Castle play Bree, I like Quinn’s work, but I really think Skelton’s acting choices are interesting.
And this is where I see Frank in the character of Bree: She is often understated in the choices she makes, she often seems reserved, and Frank often seemed this way as well.
It makes sense that if she was raised by someone who often behaved like this, she would emulate the same behavior.
Bree is just another strong woman in the Outlander universe. In fact, she reminds me very much of Marsili in personality. I liked seeing Claire and Marsili in Season 3, because I think she was missing Bree very much and looked on her like a surrogate daughter.
As for Bree, I am looking forward to seeing more of her and Roger–they are awfully cute together.
Dawn you made an EXCELLENT point! Even though Bree is Jamie and Claire’s daughter, we (me included) forget that it’s Frank that raised her. Looking back at some of her mannerisms, you can definitely see Frank intertwined in there. R + B 🙂
I am also 23 and I am Team Bree and Roger!! I agree With you on everything, especially the connection part. Since we are close in age and go through similar struggles, i totally feel closer and more connected to her. And I absolutely Adore Richard and love him as roger!! I comepletely agree with how you feel about claire and Jamie as well. They started the show and got be hooked because I was Close to their age at the start of the series (if we’re going with their book ages anyways), but after Fire & whisky, it was rather hard to connect with them because I loved Bree and Roger so much.
So glad to hear I’m not the only “young” Outlander fan! We should start our own club LOL
I’m a lot older than you are, but I like Bree, too. Always have. Born in 1948, she is a wee bit older than I am, but I remember the era in which she is supposed to have come of age and identify with her quite a bit. I enjoy Sophie’s portrayal as well. She’s not what I see in my head when I read, but so what? She is fresh, has great chemistry with Richard Rankin, and looks just enough like Sam and Caitriona to be believable as their daughter. I look forward to seeing her more this season and won’t even notice that her eyes aren’t blue.
Agreed on all points- I didn’t even notice her eyes!
I as one who thought Bree annoying during season 2. I brought this up during a Q&A at outlander NJ in August. I heard an audible gasp from the audience. But went on to say I lived in a Boston in the late 1960s and met many girls like Bree. They annoyed me because they carried themselves with an attitude of being better than others. How did she act this so well? By the time Claire decides to go back through the stones, Bree has worked through loss, secrets, and love for her mother. She has matured. She continues growing with the continuing chapters in her life. I look forward the season 4 to see her strength and growth. I love Sophie as Bree.
Oh my goodness! I wish I had been there to hear the gasp haha. Yes you’re right – she’s supposed to be annoying! But this season is going to be a totally different Bree. I can’t wait!
I’m going to be honest here. Sometimes Sophie delivers her lines a bit flat, IMO. But I think she’s beautiful, LOOKS like she could be their kid (even if the book description was different), and has the moxie to be the badass offspring of all that is our beloved Jamie and Claire.
With that said, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was with some of (not all by any means) her lines sounding stilted. So I did some research. After watching her Ren shows on YouTube I was thrilled to see that this young lady can act, and well! So my theory is that Sophie might struggle with the American accent *and* showing Bree’s teenageness at the same time. Or maybe it’s just the accent thing. Who knows? I do believe Sophie has in it her (after watching Ren) to pull off of Bree’s badass-ery that we see in DOA through MOBY.
The proof will, of course, be in the pudding, and S4 is when the shite gets real for Bree. But I am hopeful that Sophie will continue to hone her craft (we must remember that she’s still young) and rise to all that is awesome in our Bree! #2Days #Obsessanach
I feel the exact same way about Sophie – she is stunning, but I thought her line reading was terrible in S3. Like when she says to the professor, “maybe I’m just not that smart” (or words like that). Ugh. On the other hand I have always loved Bree. Now that I am in my mid-30s with two kids I feel the most connected to her and Roger’s stories in the most recent books. I am rooting for Sophie since I root for Bree (it is always shocking to me when people don’t like her character!) and sincerely hope she steps it up this season.
Well said! Can’t wait to see how she does. ?
I want to go back and watch some of Sophie’s previous work now! I’m sure she’s excited to show off her acting this season. Thank you ladies for reading and commenting!
It never occurred to me that anyone would not like Bree, either in the books or via Sophie on screen!
Right?! Our Outlander community can have very unique and different opinions – but that’s part of what makes it fun 🙂
Perfect analysis! I liked Bree from the start, as a mother my daughter and I had some spats! Now older we are best friends. Thank you again and I look forward to season 4. Cheers!
Thank you so much for reading! Happy end of Droughtlander!!
Agree with Jilly’s comments. My only original slightly negative impression was that she might be struggling with the “American” accent. What I feel I saw during Season 3 was a number of scenes scattered throughout where it appears she was more comfortable in her speech patterns and the generic “American” accent. I think she does a good job in the role, and agree that Season 4 should be where she can really shine.
Great point about the accent! (See my comment to Jilly Bean above).
Accents are tough – I used to be an actor and doing one was something I always dreaded. You have to literally ingrain it into yourself, otherwise you’ll have too many things running through your head during scenes. I personally never really noticed her accent to be off, but I’m glad to see for those who do that they also notice an improvement 🙂
I liked your article very much! I love Sophie as Bree and Richard as Roger. They make a great team and Season 4 will showcase their acting talents. If people read the novels, this couple and Marsali & Fergus are in the remainder of the books. Casting was perfect for these four young actors. Sophie & Roger have big events happening to them in Season 4. I am SO looking forward to Season 4 Drums of Autumn. Sophie and Richard — what chemistry and acting chops you both have! Thanks again for your comments. I love Sophie’s acting and she will just get better growing into Bree.
Aw shucks thank you so much Judy! Looking forward to season 4 as well!
I’m not a big fan of either Book Frank or Book Brianna, but Tobias Menzies and Sophie Skelton have helped their appeal enormously. I know that Jamie and Claire are a ‘success story,’ but the fact remains that Claire was a bigamist for almost three years. Actually, she was a bigamist even longer if you add of the eighteen years she spent with Frank. Frank thought his wife had been kidnapped and likely brutalized for years. So Brianna had every right to be angry at her mother for putting her Dad through that. Nonetheless, Brianna rose above that and let Claire go back without any guilt or resentment.
I’d also like to say that I thought that the boy they chose to play Willie did resemble Jamie. He had his eyes, his mouth and his nose. And let’s add to that the surrounding gossip, over what happened. Geneva was pregnant for nine months having never slept with her husband. It’s likely the many servants heard any number of fights between them for months. then that horrible man tried to kill the baby with a knife in the hall of the mansion. Do you think that none of the servants saw that? Add to that, Willie doesn’t look anything like the Earl or Geneva, aside from the hair color. Given all that criteria, is it any wonder Jamie felt the need to disappear?
Haha I think the bigamist part is something we all like to forget about Claire and Jamie….
But you’re right! I didnt care for Frank much in the books and Tobias has made me almost swoon for Franks devotion.
When I see Willie I 100% see Geneva, but its very had for me to Jamie. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to this, so I just acknowledge that maybe my vision is starting to go bad haha!
I am a huge fan of the books but I had to separate the TV characters from the books and that was okay. I have loved the books for years but didn’t watch the show until last year. Now that I have separated the books from the TV series, I am enjoying it immensely. All the characters are familiar but different and that is really okay. Once I quit comparing one to the other I found both perfectly and completely enjoyable! I don’t know what is not to like about Brianna and Roger? Or the actors who play them? They are awesome!
Very well put
I’ve heard a lot of fans share this same belief! I’m always curious about the changes writers make to visually make the story work – they HAVE to make changes, its just a matter of which ones? Its awesome that we get to have two seperate intetites to love and enjoy!
Thank you for your thoughts and taking the time to defend Bree (and Sophie). I really don’t see why people gotta hate on Bree or Roger for being themselves in 18th century.
Thank you for reading Susan! 🙂
I just wish they had cast someone with blue eyes. I notice that kind of detail.
I personally do not notice things like eye color when it comes to acting/casting, but I understand this has been a complaint not just with Sophie but some of the other actors. I guess the team felt that it wasn’t an issue – they could have made them wear colored contacts if it really needed to be fixed. Who knows!
Spot on! Every reason you provided to love Bree is spot on. Like you, Bree and Roger are by far my favourite characters (I almost want to duck at times saying that for fear of retribution from the fandom!) Also, all the love for Sophie Skelton, couldn’t imagine anyone else as Bree.
Yay! Team McBree! 😀 Can’t wait to see their journey this season – thanks for reading!
Nay bother! I enjoy Outlander when reading the books and viewing the TV series. I am impatiently waiting for the coming season. In 2019 probably as there is no possibility to see it otherwise as on DVD here in Belgium. So, I review all the spoilers, interviews, presentations, etc.. Some small crumbs and snacks before the main dish will be served. I loved the characters in S1 and realized that the people responsible for the cast-selection had done an immense job. And this increased with the following seasons. So, let us wait for Bree/Sophie to show her skills! I think she will do fine because her role – with Roger/Richard – becomes more important, will be standing out as they will become the second “happy” couple of Outlander. Give them time. Let them show what happens in S4 as daughter and son-of-the-house in the coming chapters. I am sure they will be OK. I am more worried about Fergus and Marsali… Not an easy story if the season follows the book. But, anyhow, I am a fan of both books and series. I am 81 years old and as enthousiastic as a girl of 20! Let us wait and see.
WOW! I commend you for your incredible patience – I dont know if I could wait so many months to see the show while others are enjoying it! Major props to you. Agreed with casting – there hasn’t been a single character I felt was miscast, why would Sophie be any different?
Thanks so much for your compliments on my post, Rachel.
I just had a thought on Sophie’s trying to do an American accent.
You know, I think she does a wonderful job. I think of the character as someone who has been brought up by parents who have had English accents, so I think it would be only natural for her American accent to have English or British undertones, cadence or even syntax.
Certainly she would have used English expressions as Claire and Frank did to express herself.
Look how Fergus’s way of speaking changed in Season 3 when he moved away from Paris to live in Scotland: His expressions definitely was influenced by the Fraser’s– it was a mixture of French and Scottish.
Just some thoughts,
It’s definitely a “different” kind of accent – and that’s the funny thing as well. Its honestly rare to hear someone had a single accent. Usually its a bit of a blend, or has a stylist change depending on parents or other places the person has lived.
I have always liked Bree and think her initial reaction to the knowledge that her father was not Frank but a stranger was very realistic. Bree adored Frank. She learns that Claire had, while married to Frank, loved another man 200 years before her time (or had crazily imagined she did?). It seems to me unlikely to make for immediate acceptance and more likely to cause rejection and anger for a while. I cannot for the life of me understand some Outlander fans’ response to her character, which followed Diana’s plot pretty closely. I am thankful that some fans think as I do. I am, by the way, 81 years old and have had one daughter and a teenaged granddaughter.
I tried to put myself in Bree’s shoes in that moment, and realized my reaction would be exactly the same! It can be hard to stay open minded when we are so passionate about the books and story, but I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the show and Sophie as well 🙂
I’ve always liked her because, like you, I could relate to her rough relationship with her mother. But mostly because she is the only child of Claire and Jamie. Looking forward to seeing her on the show.
Yes! The daughter of two of our favorite people – how would we not like her!? 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
Loved this article. Have always loved the character of Bree. Oh and by the way Jm almost 76. I think Diana has written s wonderful character in Bree, with true insight into her temperament and growth at every age. Also I think Sophie’s characterisation of Bree is absolutely spot on. I love how Diana has embodied both Claire and Jamie into Bree but also some of Frank’s influence.
It really is great to read something positive on both Bree and Sophie, thank you
AW thank you Ginny! After reading a lot of negativity on the inter webs, I felt like putting something positive out there was needed! She really does embody all three really well – can’t to see it unfold more this season!
She still doesn’t fit the physical description that Diana wrote of Brianna in the books! And neither does Roger.
And neither do most of the actors from the show.
Good point Jonathan. I can imagine when casting any book adaption to the screen, the balance of finding an actor who looks most like the book description while embodying the character is challenging.
sadly Bree is not almost 6 feet tall and blue-eyed. If it weren’t so much of the story I could let it pass. But the emerald green eyes of the witch Geilis and Roger as well as his 6 foot one height .
I just think of it as a take-off on Diana’s books with different characters and different stories.
That’s a good way to look at it! Enjoy each for what they are. I’m personally not bothered by the height and eye changes, but to each their own. Hope you’re enjoying season 4!
There are the books- and there is the film series. I try to separate them in my mind so I can enjoy them equally. I love the Bree & Roger dynamic and I am looking forward to seeing them together this season.
Me too! Can’t wait to finally see them together in episode 3 🙂
I hated Bree in the books, but I love her in the series. It might be because I have a daughter now, and didn’t when I read the books. But I think it has more to do with her being so charismatic, an attribute that I hadn’t really given her in my imagination. I *read* her as an annoying brat that needed to be swatted away, and I’m not sure why I did that. Now I interpret her acting this role as someone struggling for respect just like her mom, but in a more modern way and ironically having a harder time of it than Claire did. It’s a nice juxtaposition. Roger is Roger: a luke-warm character in the books and on the show. So far.
I never had a problem with Bree in the books, but I do feel Sophie is gravely miscast. From her inability to force out a half believable american accent, to her vastly incompatible physical characteristics, it just feels all wrong.
Bree’s physical stature and presence are a large part of her personality. She’s tall, large, and has a commanding presence- just like her father. And in consequence, she’s sometimes recklessly overconfident. In the books, this makes sense, as she towers over most of the people she meets, and she’s accustomed to being gawked at.
Sophie on the other hand is smaller than her mother, resembles neither of them, and lacks the overall force of personality that her character is built around. There is nothing about her that makes her appear different or out of place in the 18th century, and watching the actors around her trying to pretend differently is awkwardly painful to watch.
By stripping Bree of everything that made her Bree in the books, I feel like the show has lost a step. Book Bree embodied beauty and strength in a non-traditional package. Show Bree is just a watered down, typical screen choice. Short, petite, and forgettable. ( Which says nothing of her really unforgivable “american” accent, and flat acting delivery. )
It sort of feels like they’re saying “Sorry tall girls, TV isn’t ready to acknowledge your worth.”
“her inability to force out a half believable american accent” She did two movies as a lead actress where she does the same accent, and Sophie said she wanted to give Bree a common accent. She even did a french movie where she does an accurate accent, so she’s not a random actress who doesn’t know what is she doing.
So true! Unforgivable that this role didn’t go to a tall, formidable actress (think Gal Gadot or someone similar that inspired awe…)
?this response, right on the money
You are flat
Love the book character of Amazon goddess Bree. But I bristle every time Sophie–of the botoxed emotion level–is on screen; made even more apparent after Richard Rankin’s excellent work when NOT with Sophie. No way is it the direction, since every other character is spot on. I’m praying for a recast–or mandatory acting classes–for the remaining years. She’s really bringing the show down for me. Can’t wait to see how John Bell will handle all the meaty stuff headed his way!
Please know that the above noted comments by Adam and Michael about Sophie’s performance are so precise and describe exactly how and why Sophie was woefully miscast as Brianna. Forgettable and annoying are the two characteristics that continuously spring to mind. about this actress. What is more incredulous is when she tries to be firm and sounds like a petulant and demanding 4 year old with her whiny monotone voice that never changes. Ruined what was otherwise a perfectly cast series.
Regarding Brianna/Sophie’s eye colour, couldn’t she have gotten her darker eyes from another family member? Jenny’s eyes are brown.
The problems with Sophie Skelton are:
1. Her height and coloring
-In the books, she was a carbon copy of Jamie with his coloring, mannerisms and stature. Sophie Skelton is just not believable as the child of these two characters and it’s distracting.
2. Her TV character IS a brat, unlike in the books where she is stubborn and outspoken, just like Claire and Jamie, but very confident and nature. Sure, she gets angry when her true parentage is revealed but she is not nearly as nasty as in the show.
3. Sophie Skelton is just a very poor actress. Rather than portray a young person with emotional outbursts, her ability to convey different emotions is cringe-worthy, unlike the other outstanding actors/actresses in Outlander. Those responsible for casting completely blew it with this character. It would have been great to see an impressive, tall strong actress portray this character.
I 100% agree. I honestly don’t understand why people hate Brianna so much. She might be a bit feisty and sassy sometimes but, like you say, she’s young and she’s still learning. And it is wonderful to have a younger character in there. I’m pretty sure I’m one of Outlander’s youngest fans (I’m sixteen) and it’s good to see a larger age-range of characters.
every episode up to 410 was wonderful. very well acted and great writing. however, sophie’s acting is terrible and not believable at all, and the writing is lacking here. but, since i am addicted to the show and have thoroughly been mesmerized thus far, i will stay faithful!
I suppose I’m not a part of team Bree, but it isn’t the character I dislike so much as Sophie’s acting. Idon’t *believe* Sophie as I do others. She feels like a modern-day girl from the 21st century -not the 20th, let alone the 18th!
We are a multigenerational group of Outlander fans from work. Those in their early 20’s feel if you consider Bree to be a fine example of American woman in that age group then you have some real problems. 2o is well beyond childish tantrums and smacking the father who sacrificed all for her. True maturity comes once you figure out the world does not owe you anything. You get out of this life what you put in to it. Maybe a little less me me me might go a long way toward Bree putting someone else before her selfish needs. So Sophie thought her not forgiving her father and having the baby alone made her an hot shot independent person? Think again, what OL is forgetting is love is not just stupid running across lawns. It is the hard day to day living and working together in trust and forgiving other humans and asking for forgiveness so we can all make the world better. Bree owes Jamie more than passing him a piece of bread.
AMEN! It’s not the writing as much as the acting though. She’s not convincing whatsoever. Hate it, makes me sad for Outlander!!
Nice try! As much as I want to love her & or like the books, her acting is very poor.
It’s not the Brianna character I’ve had problems with, it’s Sophie Skelton. Where writers veer from Ms. Gabaldon’s story, it’s been a kind of fun alternative version I’ve never felt off from the spirit of the works. Likewise, casting someone whose looks vary significantly – as do Ms. Skelton’s from Ms. Gaboldon’s Bree – was merely a blip of acceptable difference. My problem was with Ms. Skelton’s acting. She has been the only member of the cast who seems to be doing a job instead of living a role through well becoming a character not herself. She has gotten better so that by the end of season four I could accept her as Bree. But, she goes in and out of competence as an actress. She needs to become Bree and stop playing Bree. Until she well accomplishes that feat, she will be the only weak link I can see in an otherwise excellently cast, directed, & edited series.
Leaves me flat. I went to the Internet to find out whether Brianna’s voice was fully ADR’d. It would be hard to have an off-screen voice fill-in for an on-screen actress. The voice is monotone and does not emotionally connect with the other characters. She might be the poster child for why ADR should always be a last resort. I think most of Season 4 leaves me flat though. It’s tedious. I think the relationship with the Natives could have been more interesting. Native Americans often had close relationships with the Scots — clans, war chiefs, spirituality were similar in both cultures. I do enjoy Richard Rank and have seen him in other projects, but because of the issues with the Brianna actress, and his look, he’s playing it somewhat comic… Well, all that hair! He’s working without a net.
I think the character of Bree has merely suffered from extremely bad directing–not acting. It’s as though the director wanted a performance of utter immaturity and childishness, and that is what we have the dubious joy of watching. Every appearance of this character is as cringe-worthy as all the rape scenes combined. Even as a child, the character was portrayed as responsible and even somewhat serious. Then at ages 18-20 there is a reversion to the teenage angst and verbal tantrums that are more understandable from 13-year-olds going through a difficult puberty.
Yes, it’s very like the perceived behavior of Millenials in their 20’s today. Self-entitled, self-indulgent, and self-focused to an embarrassing extreme. A caricature drawn by what appears to be a British view of American culture. But “Bree” was a product of the ’50s and ’60s. Baby Boomers were serious and hardworking, whether passionate about politics and social change or applying themselves to consumerism with complete indifference to the environment. A young woman of Bree’s time would grow up believing she could make a difference. As a college student in Boston, she would have been exposed to the sexual revolution in America and New Age ideas. Her Harvard experiences in Outlander appeared more like Oxford.
Whether DG missed the boat with this character or the production team did, all we can do is suffer through it and pretend that the character of Bree will be directed to portray some depth and insight as the series continues.
Thank you! I don’t know why so many people doesn’t like Bree and Rodger in the tv series or Sophie. I feel like some people’s expectations are unrealistic when it comes adapting the books to screen and finding actors they think the character should look like. The show has a hard task of finding someone that someone matches the book description, as well as looks somewhat like Sam & Cait, and has great chemistry with Richard (since he was cast first). I watched the first four seasons before reading the books, and the task they have adapting the books to screen is huge. I think the only change they made that I didn’t like was Jaime’s mutiny in season 3. It’s tough because in books we get so much of the characters inner thoughts and we don’t have that on screen. There is so much in Brianna’s thoughts in book 4 that we don’t get in Season 4. Plus it’s stated multiple times that Brianna has a good poker face, like Jamie. So if it seems like Sophie doesn’t show as much emotion, I attribute it to that. If Bree seems immature at first, I think we have to remember that she had a pretty good life til Frank passed away. Then everything gets turned upside down. In contrast, Jaime and Claire and both been through a lot by age 18. Claire lost her parents at a young age, traveled the world with her uncle and then was a nurse in WWII. That gives her a lot of depth. We also meet her at age 27, not 18 or 19 like Brianna. Jaime has lost his mom and two siblings before becoming a teenager and then was flogged, lost his dad, and fought in France before age 23, when he meets Claire. Plus he was raised, knowing that he’d have to lead as a laird. All of those things contribute to him being mature so early. But in the book, he admits he got in trouble a lot. So Bree being bratty could be a little like what Jaime might have been. But I think too that what some people label women as “bratty” is what others label men for being “moody.” She’s headstrong and stubborn and while some people see those characteristics as admirable in men, they don’t always appreciate it with women. In the books, I enjoy the perceptions of Brianna through other people’s eyes. In Drums of Autumn, Lord John says she has her mother’s bluntness and her father’s honor. Rodger describes Claire and Brianna as women of science in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I really hope we get to see more of Brianna’s engineering side in Season 5.
Currently half way though Season 3. The actor who plays Brianna drags down a great storyline. This season is better thematically than the previous 2 seasons. Hoping BIG TIME that a director steps in to help her acting or that she realizes how amazing all the actors she’s working with are and she tries to emulate them. An aside. The bad hair dye job is as obvious as the hairline of Claire’s ‘6os wig. Wishing they had found a real ginger to play Claire and Jamie’s daughter, I am.
I fast forward through all of a few and Roger.
You made a case for why someone should like the character.
Not a case for why an audience should like Sophie as Bree.
In my opinion Sophie Skelton is without doubt the WORST actress on Outlander; its cringeworthy at times. I am sure she is a lovely human being, but acting is just not her thing! Just my opinion, its worth what you paid to ead it.