Jackie, I have not noticed anything remotely resembling what you’ve observed about Ron’s attitude or feelings toward Sam, and I’ve probably read 90% of the interviews and podcasts and videos out there relating to Outlander. All the things I’ve read leading up to 115 and 116 from Ron discuss how intense and uncomfortable the shoot was for both men, a lot of the logistics about filming in the cell, and how the TV story is different from the book story, but I never felt that he was slighting Sam in the least. Can you point me to the sources you’ve read that make you feel this way?
As far as changing the importance of the central characters, I don’t agree that the focus is going to move from Jamie and Claire. I’m actually excited to see some of the Claire/Frank stuff in season 2, which is just alluded to in DiA, and later in Voyager. The idea that she has to go on living without Jamie, and be with a man that she once loved, who betrays her with other women, and all the while thinking Jamie died, is going to be some incredible storytelling. All the things about her character that Jamie loved, and Frank ignores, to see how Claire lives with that day to day is going to take some amazing acting from Cait, which I know she can pull off. Those 20 years apart changed both of them, but in the books you get a lot more of Jamie’s life during that time (in Voyager, which I’m rereading now so it’s fresh in my mind) and so much less of Claire’s. Then to see how their love is so strong that it overcomes all of these things–wow, that will be something. And how Frank struggles to love a woman who bore another man’s child, and how much that child looks like Jamie, and knowing that she doesn’t feel for him what she once did, but still choosing to stay with her anyway, yeah, I want to see Tobias do that. I think, in every way that counts, focusing on the Claire/Frank storyline will only reinforce the Claire/Jamie lovestory by showing how inferior everything else is. My only issue is that we have to wait 8+ months for the story to continue.