Diana Gabaldon and Ronald Moore really hit the jackpot when Sam Heughan was signed on to play Jamie Fraser. Although working in the acting business for years he was still virtually unknown and so he has been able to fully embrace this character and really BE him in a way perhaps more difficult for a better known actor with a long list of roles on his resume. The same goes for Caitriona Balfe who plays Claire and many of the actors in supporting roles. Having never seen Game of thrones I was unfamiliar with Tobias Menzies and although I love Lord of the Rings I most definitely didn’t pay enough attention to the dwarf played by Graham McTavish (I will do that next time I see it, though!), and so I watched this show without previous performances tainting the experience. I can’t for the life of me see any other actors playing for instance a better Dougal or a more sympathetic Murtagh. To me, these guys ARE who they play. That is not to say that they can’t play other roles, but rather that to me no one else can play their roles in Outlander.