The Droughtlander is halfway over for fans of the breakout Starz drama, “Outlander.” And when the fourth season of the series returns, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) will be trying to build a new life for themselves — with their daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) still weighing heavily on their minds.
“Season 3 was a year of transition, whereas Season 4 is more about settling down and finding a home. Claire and Jamie are literally building a house on the frontier. There’s an element of ‘Little House on the Prairie,’” showrunner Ronald D. Moore teased at an FYC panel for the show.
Joining Moore on the panel were Balfe, Heughan, executive producers Toni Graphia, Matthew B. Roberts and Maril Davis, and production designer Jon Gary Steele.
Steele conceded that while he knows most of the fans are looking forward to seeing Fraser’s Ridge come to life, his personal favorite set piece for Season 4 belongs to Aunt Jocasta, as it is “glamorous, huge, and you see tons of tobacco.”
The “Outlander” team agreed that the biggest challenge for Season 4 is bringing this traveling show to America while filming just outside of Glasgow, Scotland.
“It does not look quite the same, and obviously we don’t have the oppressive mugginess you’d find in North Carolina. And while most people think everything should be Americanized at that time, there was quite the British hold on the area,” Davis noted.
This particular period of history also brings tumult for the couple, as Claire especially struggles to come to terms with slavery in the New World.
“There’s slavery, there’s American Indians, there’s a rebellion brewing up in New England that will become the American Revolution. And they land right smack dab in the middle of all this,” Moore said.
But what’s most exciting for fans is the upcoming reunion of Jamie with his and Claire’s daughter, Brianna.
“I’m going back tomorrow to shoot that scene. I just got the scripts two days ago, and we start shooting this week. This season, it’s a huge moment and will be the catalyst to a lot of the drama that unfolds,” Heughan said.
But Davis warned that Claire might be wary of Brianna becoming a fellow time-traveler.
“The only reason she wouldn’t want Brianna to come through is because it’s obviously a dangerous time, and I think you’d want your daughter probably to stay in a time where it’s not quite as dangerous,” she said.
Moore also hinted that audiences might not have seen the last of Frank (Tobias Menzies) or Laoghaire (Nell Rose Hudson) onscreen, the latter of whom he called a “fascinating character.”
“The fans love to hate her. That just means you want to see her more,” Moore said.
And while Claire may seem to be the only one traveling back in time to reunite with her true love, Jamie did make his way to the present-day: Davis confirmed that Jamie was indeed the man in the kilt who Frank saw looking up at a window in the pilot episode back in season one.
“It hasn’t been explained and hopefully we get to that point where we can explain it, but Diana [Gabaldon] has said many times that it is Jamie Fraser,” Davis said.
“Diana has written that scene, and she showed it to a few of us. It’s to be revealed,” Heughan added.
Gabaldon is currently in the process of writing the ninth book in the series, “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.”