Obviously, we should kick off this particular Outlander article with a note that there are some spoilers within.
Still with us? Then let’s talk about the Murtagh of it all. It’s one of the most well-known secrets out there that the Starz series is bringing this character back in some form during the upcoming fourth season, and that of course stems from them opting to keep him alive in season 3. If they had no plans for him in the future, then clearly, they would have opted to kill him off.
While there are a number of rumors out there suggesting how the Murtagh character could be used, for the most part, Starz has kept things fairly under wraps on this particular subject. Diana Gabaldon is now doing the same thing. Speaking in a new interview with Parade promoting PBS’ The Great American Read (which is revealing the #1 book on the list on October 23 — vote and find out more here), she had the following to say about the discussions she had with the writers on Murtagh:
When I went to visit the writer’s room, we had a conversation walking through what they had for season four and so forth. I said, “It occurs to me that assuming, of course, for the sake of argument that you are keeping Murtagh alive, it would be interesting if this happened or you could use him in this particular plot line.” And, in fact, they took both those suggestions. But by and large, I leave things like that up to them because they have to build the story.
The producers have previously expressed that their desire to keep Murtagh alive stems from him being a very specific part of the show family, and that is something that they did not want to lose on the series moving forward.
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There’s a lot of interesting subject matter covered in the interview and all of it is worth checking out, but we do also want to spotlight here Gabaldon talking about why the series is never going to catch up to the stories that she is telling:
They’ll never catch me. There’s book nine, which I will finish writing within the next eight or nine months. And then there’s only one more book after that, book ten. It takes them about 18 months to film one book and they’ve only filmed four so far and they haven’t even finished the post-production, let alone the airing of season four.
We have the green light for season five and season six. That might be the end. We might not get any more; in which case, we have no problem. But, if we do, that’s three years there. At most it takes me five years to finish a book and usually only four, depending on how much I have to travel.
Say it took me four years. By the time they started season seven, I would be done. Like I say, they will never catch me. I’m about 10 years ahead of them.
The only way we could even see the series coming close to Gabaldon’s stories is if the producers start to combine some material from books into a single season — which we imagine could happen in the event Starz wants to tell the full scope of the story but wants to do so in eight or nine seasons instead of ten. Obviously, though, these are discussions worth having a little bit down the line. Nobody has really committed to anything at the moment beyond season 6, so it’s a little hard to speculate on such things this far in advance.
Let’s focus for now on the present; Outlander season 4 will premiere on Starz come Sunday, November 4 with new episodes. Let us know some of your expectations in advance in the comments! (Photo: Starz.)