Little-known sci-fi fact: Outlander would've never been written without Doctor Who

As sci-fi and fantasy fans across the genre get ready to learn more about Outlander via Roland D. Moore’s upcoming Starz series, it turns out we really have Doctor Who to thank for the whole thing anyway. Well played, Doctor.

Diana Gabaldon, author of the long-running Outlander book series, was inspired to write the century-spanning love story after watching an episode of Doctor Who during Patrick Troughton’s era as the Second Doctor.

According to a great report at Zap2it, Gabaldon was scratching her head back in the day trying to figure out a setting for her novel -- but all that changed when she saw Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), the Doctor’s long-running companion who appeared in 116 episodes in the mid-to-late 1960s. (Note: That's the most of any companion on the main series.)

Hines’ character hailed from 18th-century Scotland, and Gabaldon just happened to think he looked really sharp walking around in his kilt on the series. Gabaldon said she found the look romantic, then a lightbulb went off about setting her book in the same era. Yep, that’s it -- funny how serendipity works.

The author explained her random bit of inspiration at a recent press event promoting the series, saying she “thought that was kind of fetching,” and the idea kept gnawing at her. She even gave homage to Doctor Who when she named her protagonist Jamie Fraser. She took “Jamie” from the Who character, and “Fraser” from the actor’s name, and even made the character a doctor. The rest is best-selling history.

The seven-book Outlander series has spanned the early 1990s to late 2000s, and much as HBO’s Game of Thrones has done for George R.R. Martin’s work, many think Ronald D. Moore’s series will help open the gate up for more new fans. The TV series debuts this summer.

(Via Zap2It)

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