Outlander is one of the biggest shows of recent times. Based on a series of books, the time travel romance show has had critical and commercial success, even launching the career of struggling actor Sam Heughan. But Outlander almost had Tom Ellis plays Black Jack Randall, imagine that for a second.
The historical fiction series follows Claire Randall, later Fraser, as she is transported 200 years back in time to warring Scotland. There she meets Jaime Fraser and together they try to change history so Jaime, a Jacobite sympathizer is not killed by the Crown.
Featuring an amazing cast, the show managed to hook fans from the get-go and almost seven years Outlander season 6 is coming and season 7 has already been greenlit. But it all started with the rivalry between Jaime and Black Jack Randall in the first and second seasons. They had a different dynamic Tom Ellis revealed he auditioned for that role.
Tom Ellis Auditioned for the Role of Black Jack Randall
In the first season of Outlander, Frank and Claire Randall visit Scotland after the first world war. Frank is looking to trace his heritage and she, a war nurse, goes along to see the beauty of highlands. There she comes across a standing stone at Craigh na Dun and is teleported back in time to 1743 and into the hands of Captain Jonathan Black Jack Randall.
Both Frank and Black Jack Randall were played by Tobias Menzies. And in the early goings, Black Jack Randall was the main villain of the show. From season to onwards the character shrunk away further and further, totally going away after the fourth season.
But instead of Tobias, the character was almost played by Tom Ellis as he himself revealed. Tom Ellis is now famous for playing Lucifer in the Netflix police procedural drama, but before the Lucifer fame, Tom was also a less recognized actor similar to Sam Heughan.
Sam and Tom have known each other for years and when Sam was asked to be on the cover of Square Mile, the magazine asked Tom to interview Sam. Together they covered different topics, like the start of their career and later Tom revealed they were almost castmates in the Starz/Netflix show.
Tom said, “I’m going to let you into a little secret. I auditioned for Outlander, not for Jamie Fraser but for Tobias Menzies’s part, ‘Black Jack’ Randall. I remember reading the script thinking, ‘This is really good.'” The role was good but Tom did not end up getting it.
Sam took in the information and imagined how one of the infamous scenes from the first season would have played out had it been Tom playing Black Jack Randall. “I’m not sure how I’d have felt having you, I don’t know, assault me, shall we say… That would have been quite tricky,” Sam explained.
Tobias Menzies was great as Frank and Jonathan so there is no need to recast the role in our heads. But would it have been interesting to see Tom Ellis as Black Jack Randall? Definitely. Does that mean we would not have gotten Tom as Lucifer? Likely! Are we comfortable with that more than likely scenario? Definitely not.
Tom Ellis as Lucifer was a match made in heaven (no pun intended). Sam Heughan was meant to play Jaime Fraser and both became stars by playing one single role. It was not meant to be for Tom and Outlander but as things stand, everything fell into place perfectly.