Category Archives: Matthew B. Roberts

Droughtlander Updates: Books 6 and 7 Mash-up?

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Richard Rankin as Roger Wakefield MacKenzie and and possibly baby Amanda

As with every repeated Droughtlander, and many of you turn these into Draughtlanders with Whiskey, wine, and tears,  during Seasons 1-5 weeks long marathons with friends. What you haven’t started yours yet? I just started up Series 1 for the hundredth time. Socially distanced gatherings which unless you are pods is done virtually with Zoom and the telly. At least some of the Outlander cons are making a slow comeback, see Outlander Events.

There will be book references, so spoilers alerts as always.

Speculation is rife as always, so here we will break down some possibilities, keeping in mind that Series 6 will be shortened to 8 episodes and pulling from A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and possibly the 7th book, An Echo in the Bone. The writers have been blending in and cut and pasting story lines into the series to speed up for television translation. The 7th season was announced as going into production in early 2022, which sadly means at an extended 16 episodes will fill out most of the year. Unless they do a split season like they did for season 1, don’t expect this extended season before 2023. 

So many of the key players have been seen on BTS pictures, however there has been report  by Matthew B. Roberts as showrunner and producer, that the Murray’s will not make it in this season. Both Laura Donnelley and Steven Cree have continued on in stage and series (The Nevers and A Discovery of Witches respectively), and with the shortened season, could not be added. However, they figure in the book storyline for An Echo in the Bone.

And, since Caitriona Balfe announced the birth of her baby boy this last week, it will take time with family before the actress can begin filming for the next season. It is not known at this point if she is producing on the season definitely yet.

So here is what the main points of books the next 2 books are and could possibly be moved around and edited to the television series writers whims:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
The Dutch cabin family burnings already shown in season 5
New character Major MacDonald tried to recruit Jamie to form a Committee of Safety and warns of similar deaths. And recruits him as Indian Agent for the Crown, and accept more tennant coming from Scotland.
The Browns announce they have formed a Committee of Safety, forcing Jamie to take on the role of Indian Agent out of mistrust of the browns after the attack and kidnapping of Claire.
Roger is tasked with bringing the new Scottish Tenants residing near River Run, of which the Christies will prove to be the thorn in the Fraser’s sides.
The storyline with Stephen Bonnet was extracted from this book for Season 5
The storyline with Claire and Marsali being attacked in the barley shed was changed to Claire’s surgery and extracted for Season 5.
Marsali and Fergus have a fourth child, Henri-Christian, and his birth causes disruption and superstitions among the Scottish settlers. What doesn’t.
Ian talks of the loss of his Indian wife and child.
Jamie must decide if he will sell of the gemstones they have been saving for future time travel should Roger and Brianna to go back.
Claire experiments with ether, changing time yet again. There will be a few operations.
The Boston Massacre happens.
Fergus and family remove from The Ridge, future in printing.
Jocasta reveals more info on The Frenchman’s Gold.
Roger ordains as a minister.
The MacNeill family has a dire illness that spreads to the rest of The Ridge, Claire becomes very ill but believes that she has been poisoned.
Jamie breaks with Lord John Grey over the growing colonial tensions and his being an Indian Agent.
Richard Brown demands Claire be taken into custody for murder in Wilmington. Claire is asked to be a midwife to the new Governors wife. A rising occurs with colonists seeking the Governor.
Brianna is kidnapped by Bonnet extracted and used in Season 5
The Jocasta and Ulysses flight to Canada to her relations there.
The Frasers and MacKenzies remove to the cabin to see if the published house fire does really occur in 1776.
Jamie joins the rebel’s cause.
Brianna and Roger take their new daughter through the stones at Ocracoke as Claire finds she has a heart murmur and needs a heart surgeon.
An Echo in The BoneBrianna and Roger with their children are living in Lallybroch in the 20th century, 1980. They receive a cache of letters from the past from Jamie and Claire, mentioning the Hoard of Gold.
Jamie is now a high ranking officer in The Continental Army.
William Bucchleigh travels through the stones and finds Brianna and Roger (Cameo for Graham McTavish fans)
Jem is kidnapped. Roger goes back through the stones to locate Jem, but arrives too early in the year 1739. Meeting another time traveller or two.
William Ransome serves in the Kings Army and ends up fighting in the American Revolution, eventually fighting in the battle of Saratoga.
The Bugs go after the gold, and Ian intervenes.
Jamie, Claire and Young Ian return to Scotland to retrieve his printing press.
Press gangs and high seas travel bring the Fraser’s right into the heat of the battles for the Revolution.
Confrontation between Laoghaire and Claire of course.
Ian falls for a Quaker named Rachel.
Reports come that the ship that Jamie and Jenny are traveling on is sunk, and in despair the fact that Claire is about to be arrested as a spy, Lord John Steps in to marry her.
Jamie turns up alive at Lord John Grey’s house alive and quite incensed.

Which of the above mentioned storylines do you see being in this shortened season 6 and longer season 7? Will season 7 include events of the rest of the American Revolution that follows in 1778 with Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. The release of book 9 Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone comes in November 2021 and since it will be hard to press this series on for a 9th season, will we see events come to a conclusion after the War?

Gotta love the time travelling series.

‘Outlander’ Season 6 Cast: 2 Characters Were ‘Impossible’ to Bring Back, EP Says

Outlander season 6: Marsali and Fergus split as star teases ‘testing’ series?

Outlander season 6: Will Brianna and Roger MacKenzie travel back to 20th Century?

It’s a Wrap! Outlander Season 6 Wraps Filming on a Short Season

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Some really great news to help us get over the longest ever Droughtlander.

Starz ® announced during #WorldOutlanderDay on Twitter that it’s a wrap on Season 6. Here’s what we know so far:

There was an apologetic celebration on Outlander_Starz announcing that due to theIMG_5797 difficulties of dealing with a world pandemic and restrictions on filming and production, they have decided to have Season 6 end after the 8th episode. Sounds a little ominously GOT to me. However, they have promised to return with a longer Season 7, with a promise of 16 episodes and a Season 6 opener of 90 minutes length. Plenty of time to set up the aftermath of Claire’s ordeal and recovery at the end of Season 5 in “Never My Love”.

IMG_5798The time travel adventure will take on two of Diana Gabaldon’s books in the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and An Echo in The Bone. Given it takes Gabaldon anywhere from 5 plus years to write a book, with her 9th book Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, due out this fall, we wonder if Season 7 may be the last season. Indeed since one more book is planned, the writers, who have already changed and added storylines, will no doubt have to wrap up the series. We are hoping we can see it reach a Season 8, and finally the mystery of the Ghost of Jamie in Inverness in the 1940’s will finally be explained. 

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Robert Wilson for Starz

And new pictures have arrived! What we do know, is that Claire (Caitriona Balfe) will be recovering from her kidnapping and rape, only to have a whole other ordeal to live with coming to the ridge. The seeds of the American Revolution have been sown, and war is on the horizon. Fergus and Marsali continue to add to their family, and that if one of the book storylines is brought in, the MacKenzies may just make it back to the 1970’s as war becomes more of a reality.

The Season 6 Episodes so far titled are:

  1. “Echos”, written by Matthew B. Roberts
  2. “Allegiance”, written by Steve Kornacki and Alyson Evans
  3. “Temperance”, written by Shaina Fewell 
  4. TBA
  5. TBA
  6. “The World Turned Upside Down”, written by Toni Graphia
  7. TBA
  8. TBA

We have perhaps our first glimpse of Amanda, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger’s (Richard Rankin) daughter? 

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Robert Wilson for Starz

New relationships (Beardsleys and Lizzie) will blossom on The Ridge, as well as a powder keg of ideals with religion, loyalties to King, or the new forming country. 

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Robert Wilson for Starz

Returning for Season 6 are: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, David Berry as Lord John Grey, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Cesar Domboy, John Bell, Lauren Lyle, Caitlin O’Ryan, and Colin McFarlane.

Keep an eye out in these pages as we confirm this season’s locations and add them to our inclusive list of Outlander Locations. It was a season of very well kept locals for production and Covid standards expediency. So once travel get’s back to normal, we are all heading back to the highlands, lowlands and all places in between.

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Robert Wilson for Starz

So now watch Happy World Outlander Day with your fellow fans, where you will see old friends and new characters. See who is returning and joining the cast here:

All images ©2021 Starz® and Sony Pictures.

Outlander Fandom Wiki Season 6

Outlander to return in early 2022 EW Article

‘Outlander’: Starz Sets Shortened Season 6 2022 Return, Extended Season 7 For Fantasy Period Drama

Outlander Season 6 First Look Images Reveal Claire & Jamie’s Return

Lord John Grey & Aunt Jocasta Are Back, Baby!

Starz® Announces Season 7 for Outlander

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Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

March 14, 2021

Starz® has officially announced that season 7 of Outlander is a go! Filming for the long delayed season 6 began this past month in Cumbernald, Scotland. Covid-19 restrictions delayed the season 6 filming based on Diana Gabaldon’s book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Season 7 will encompass the 7th book in the series, An Echo in the Bone. Matt B. Roberts will return as showrunner, with Sam Heughn, Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton, and Richard Rankin all on board. Sony Pictures has picked it up as a 12 episode season. But don’t look for it to air before 2023. Season 6 will be possibly airing in early 2022.

Will the television series stay the course and cover all of Diana Gabaldon’s books? Diana is finishing up the latest book, Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone, the 9th book in the popular series, possibly early next year and may be timed for release when season 6 comes out.

Ron D. Moore, Maril Davis (Tall Ships), Toni Graphia, Jim Kohlberg and Andy Harries will be Executive Producing for season 7. It is not clear yet that Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe will produce again.

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Oliver Finnegan as Lord William Ransome

And could we see William Ransome in season 6? Since Stephen Bonnet’s demise was brought in early and in the books, that is where Brianna meets her half brother for the first time, since it the writers are now condensing some story lines, we may get to see young William surface in the season. Outlander has been keeping casting close to the bone this season.

An Echo in the Bone continues with Jamie and Claire Fraser deeply embroiled in the American Revolution. Jamie’s illegitimate son, William Ransome, is an officer in the King’s army with Lord John Grey searching for him. The book has some great plot twists I will not reveal, and as always, the Outlander writers room will possibly combine scenes from the following book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, to speed up the story line.

Even though the American Revolution actually spanned 7 plus years. Remember, just because independence was declared, it was fought for for many years. However, television series on this scale can rarely go through 10 seasons. There have been hints that the Outlander series will receive the same treatment as Game of Thrones, shortened to 8 seasons and writers taking the helm completely as Diana Gabaldon is just beginning the final book in the series. If you have been a fan, you know she takes a good 5 years average to finish each book, often times longer.

However, rejoice in knowing you will have at least 2 more seasons, and a possible spin off series to come. 

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César Domboy, John Bell, and Kyle Rees

All images ©2020 Starz® and Sony Entertainment


Diana Gabaldon’s Go Tell The Bees I am Gone will be Finished Soon

Outlander’s Renewed At Starz For Season 7 Ahead Of Season 6 Premiere

Outlander renewed for season 7! Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan returning

Outlander Panel at Paley Fest’s Virtual Festival

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Paley Fest 2020 Virtual Event August 7 to 11, 2020 

Outlander Panel

Participants: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, Maril Davis, and Matthew B. Roberts

Details here Paley Fest Virtual 2020

You must be a member at $75.00 to access early on August 7.

Here’s the Paley Fest YouTube Channel

*** Please read the details of the paid members and general public access. There are exclusives for the first few days. Know before you click.

Deadline Virtual Screening Series: Outlander June 18, 2020

Outlander Season 5 2020

June 18, 2020, 10 AM Pacific Time/ 1 PM Eastern US

Join thousands of other fans at a virtual screening party with Deadline and panelists Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and Matthew B. Roberts.

You must RSVP for a link at https://outlander2020.splashthat.com/

If it tells you the event is not available for registration, it may be very busy.

For more information on their Virtual Screenings Series.

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Outlander LA Premiere Today at 5:30 pm PST and Interview Round-Up

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It’s two more sleeps and the Outlander drought is over for this year. Earlier this week, New York had its premiere. And apparently, Sam Heughn let slip that it may be Murtagh’s last stand? Caitriona Balfe tried to save him, or stop him, and Sophie Skelton sought to deflect. But were they successful? There was a gasp in the audience. Was it an intentional slip, meant to tease? Who knows?

Go to the Facebook page for the live broadcast at 5:30 PM.

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Is This The End of…

We have all surmised that it may finally be Murtagh’s end. Historically the Battle of Almanance saw an answer by Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) with the hanging of some of the dissidents. If you are a book reader and history buff, you know about the last stand of the Regulators at Almanance and how it lit the fuel for further rebellion. However, Murtagh has survived before, and possibly he can escape. If Stephen Bonnet can do it, he most certainly can. Or will he sacrifice himself for another? Nail-biting commence. Got that dram handy?

The Low Down

Recent interviews with Matthew B. Roberts, producer, and writer on the series, have revealed what many of us book readers knew, there’s going to be another wedding. I didn’t expect them to be so revealing about it, as they usually like to keep cards close until the first episode has aired.

The costumes and wedding pictures revealed the wedding dress of Brianna very early on this last month. This is a departure from another wedding dress that was kept under wraps for some time. Roberts reveals more details on the season, the conflict as it stands for Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), Godfather and Godson on two opposing sides. Jamie will don the redcoat of the British Army, and the army that has dogged him all of his life, to keep the land grant for Fraser’s Ridge.

Claire will be urging Brianna, Roger, and Jemmy to go back through the stones. The violence is mounting with the heavy taxation by the crown. Both Brianna and Roger, (Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin) know what will happen during the next 5 years. Claire fears for their safety. And everyone has that newspaper clipping about a particular fire on Fraser’s Ridge that is a few years away, in the back of their minds. Jamie is in conflict, he doesn’t want them to leave. He finally has his family around him. He already lost 20 years with Claire after forcing her to go back to their time.

There’s going to be further Murcasta Emo, with ups and downs. Their star crossed love will play out over the season. It will be a bit of a rollercoaster. Not a surprise with two Firey personalities. Will they secretly get married? Or will Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) be forced to marry a particular naval officer to keep suspicions at bay?

When and Where to Watch Season 5

The drop for Season 5 is at Midnight (ET) Saturday, February 15th on the Starz App, 9 pm PT. It will be 8 pm (ET/PT) on Sunday, 16 February on Starz cable. In Canada, it’s on the W Network premiering at 9pm on Starz.

UK watchers can view Outlander on Monday, February 17 on Amazon. Australian viewers on the same date, on Foxtel.

Watch for Sam Heuhan and Caitriona Balfe on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

The series has been very good at managing its pre-season reveals. Many of the supporting actors must wait until it is official for them to announce they’re even being on the show. Veteran actors of the series have been releasing all sorts of behind the scenes goodies.

The Crew

We’d also like to thank the film crew and everyone else who makes this show great. The cast is very supportive of who makes them look fantastic.

Check the cavalcade of BTS below. And one really great shot of Duncan Lacroix by Richard Rankin, Film-Noir Murtagh.

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Interview on Facebook Live if you missed it!

Matthew B. Roberts Interview on The Hollywood Reporter

Did Sam Heughan Just Spoil That Murtagh Dies in Outlander Season 5?

Outlander season 5: Caitriona Balfe says series won’t face problems like Game of Thrones

It’s The Annual Outlander Season Class Photo and Season 5 Next Peek

IMG_3838Every year of production, the cast and crew available on set have that big class photoshoot. This one includes the Big House all fans have been waiting for. It’s a house designed by Jon Gary Steel, one of his last big set designs for the series. Cast and crew were saying goodbyes, snaps behind scenes, smiles and exhausted tears this week.

We were also graced with more previews, including another wedding bell scene. What is that, one per season almost? Last season’s handfasting counts, right? For more details, check out Lynette Rice’s article here:

Season Five Wedding Bells and Updates

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Another thoughtful Matt B Roberts snap

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Matthew B. Roberts Talks About Season 5 and 4 Book Adaptations

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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.

Follow Matt on Twitter @TheMattBRoberts, and Instagram matthew_b_roberts

Article Matthew B. Roberts on Jamie’s Rock and a Hard Place