Matthew B. Roberts
Recently Matthew B. Roberts, executive producer and show runner for Outlander, teased about season 5 storylines. It appears that the show’s writers are just as daunted by the size of the books as we readers are. “The Fiery Cross”, book 5 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, is rather thick at 979 pages, and getting it down to a mear 12 episodes from the customary 16 we were spoiled with in season 1.
Some major considerations were:
Season 4. Laura Donnelly (Jenny Murray) was not available to film do to oth commitments with her play, “The Ferryman”, then in London and traveling to a New York stage. The scene in which Brianna (Sophie Skelton) travels back through the stones and ends up at Lallybroch ended up being hastily rewritten with lodging with Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) and Joanie. Brianna eventually fights her way to Lallybroch and Ian (Stephen Cree), and eventually gets rerouted to the new world on a boat.
That Rock And it’s Hard Place
Roberts went on to discuss that Murtagh’s (Duncan Lacroix) character died at Culloden in Drums of Autumn, but was saved in the series and became the vehicle of conscience for both Jamie and Claire through the Court of Versailles to his reuniting with them in Wilmington. For season 5, Murtagh’s involvement with the Regulators puts Jamie in the unenviable position of having to hunt down his beloved godfather. The rock being the land grant. This storyline all has to be blended in with the rest of the large tome of TFC and shrunk into 12 episodes. There will be some losses to some fan favorites.
Then there is fleshing out Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna’s storyline, one that has some fans thrilled and others non-plussed. How to build these two out in a sympathetic line when season 4 left many fans annoyed at their behavior. Can they smooth things out with two 20th century young people who are not adapting to the 18th century so well. There’s a much anticipated wedding afoot at a gathering at Mount Helicon. However, with Outlander, this will all start well and no doubt go awry.
Matt discusses many adaptation considerations, including the challenges of crunching down TFC into 12 episodes for season 5. Here’s hoping that maybe Outlander will lengthen the episodes like Game of Thrones did over the last few seasons, maybe we’ll still see some classic moments from the next book as well, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”. They have only been approved for seasons 5 and 6 so far. We’re hoping they will to the end of the book series.
To catch up with Matt and read about all the adaptations and considerations for season 5, read this article. Follow him on Instagram as he does some amazing photography and has great BTS shots of previous seasons.
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Article Matthew B. Roberts on Jamie’s Rock and a Hard Place