Today at the Television Critics Association presentation, some cast and crew from Outlander took to the stage to answer some questions about the upcoming third season. The STARZ drama is based on the wildly popular best selling book series by Diana Gabaldon, and was adapted for the small screen by Ronald D. Moore. If you haven’t read the books and are unfamiliar with what the big reunion is in book three, you may not want to read any further.
The show has already had two very successful seasons on the cable network, pulling good ratings and even better fan chatter about the faithfulness of the presentation of the story and the characters. The upcoming third season will follow the third novel in the series, “Voyager”. As the title suggests, there will be some travel involved in season three, some characters will go from Boston to Scotland, from Scotland to Jamaica, and all the way to the New World.
Jamie and Claire, separated by 200 years, will reunite at some point during the third season. Fans of the books know this happens at the Edenborough print shop owned by one A. Malcolm, and we’ve had plenty of teases of the meeting from trailers and short videos released by STARZ.
This “parallel lives” featurette tells much as Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall Fraser) provide narration as scenes of from the Culloden battle and Claire’s new life in 20th century Boston flash on the screen. Frank (Tobias Menzies) makes an appearance, as well as Brianna (Sophie Skelton), Lord John Grey (David Berry), Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson), Jamie’s sister Jenny (Laura Donnelly), and Fergus (Romann Berrux).
When asked how far into the season fans could expect to see the aforementioned reunion, Moore talked about the five chapters in “Voyager” that chronicle Jamie’s side of the story, and that “there’s five episodes right there”.
“We decided on that parallel structure for the first half of the season. We never really varied from it. It felt like the right amount of time, and it felt like it was enough to build a want, a desire, in the audience to get Claire and Jamie back together so that they were really pushing for it and getting excited, but it wasn’t dragging it out too long.
“We did talk about that before we approached the season, just in terms of page count, it’s the biggest book, we thought, well maybe this is too much material for one season. But once we put the cards on the board and we saw, well there’s five episodes right here just in Jamie’s story and in the reunion of the two characters. So now you’re almost halfway through the season and that felt like about the right pace… I don’t think we were too tempted to stretch it out. Sometimes sheer page count in a novel doesn’t translate to pages on the screen.
The question of the series having a Game Of Thrones problem with the show out pacing the books, Ron said he “didn’t think that’d happen anytime soon.”
Outlander Season 3 premieres Sunday, Sept. 10 at 8/7c on Starz.