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Simon Callow On Why The Duke Of Sandringham Needed To Die When He Did On 'Outlander'

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Simon Callow On Why The Duke Of Sandringham Needed To Die When He Did On 'Outlander'

Simon Callow's the Duke of Sandringham may not have appeared onscreen that much in the first two seasons of Outlander, but he still managed to be a pervasive presence in Jamie and Claire's lives. From reneging on his promise to help Jamie, to orchestrating a brutal attack on Claire, it was a relief for the characters and viewers alike when the Duke of Sandringham died in Season 2. The only downside to the duke dying was that it meant no more of Callow's delightfully despicable performance. But, according to the actor, the duke died not a moment too soon.

Diana Gabaldon wrote the episode that featured the duke's death, Season 2's "Vengeance Is Mine," adapted from her Dragonfly in Amber novel. While some of the details surrounding his death were altered, Clarence Marylebone III met his end when Murtagh cut off his head after the duke revealed that he was behind the attack on Claire and Mary Hawkins in Paris.

Callow tells The Dipp that the duke's "wickedness was wonderfully uncomplicated" when he first appeared on Outlander in Season 1. But in Season 2, "The schemes were getting more desperate, and were ceasing to be fun." By the time he confesses that he convinced Le Comte St. Germain to have Claire raped instead of murdered — and dared to act chivalrous about it ("You should really be very grateful to me. You could so easily be dead by now.") — there was no denying that he needed to go. As Callow says, if the duke had survived another day, "I'm afraid there would simply have been a lot of thuggishness. No, he died at the right time."

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