As excited as I was for the new prince born this week to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the baby I’m really holding out for is the fourth season of Outlander. I don’t know about you, but this Droughtlander is hitting me harder than usual, mostly because I know of all the amazing things to come. So let’s muse on what we can look forward to this fall, shall we? Because twelve is too many and ten is too few, here are the top eleven things to get excited about for next season.
WARNING: This post contains MAJOR spoilers from Drums of Autumn. Most of this discussion is spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Terry Dresbach is a costuming genius and luckily for us she’s also pretty accessible on social media. I squealed like a tween fangirl last week when we had the following exchange on Twitter:
Ooooh…that’s some exciting stuff! Terry hates paparazzi photos and costuming spoilers so I’m not going to post any of that here. But what I will speculate is that I think she’s going to incorporate some 1960s fashion into the eighteenth century costumes for Claire, Brianna, and Roger. Similarly to how Claire infused 1940s style into her Parisian clothes…
…I think we can maybe expect some late 1960s trends for Season 4:
I doubt we will see much in the way of miniskirts given the majority of the season will be set in the eighteenth century, but perhaps we will see a spin on mod-style and Jacqueline Kennedy-inspired pieces. Especially with Brianna. And I have no doubt that some pieces from earlier seasons will also make it into some episodes because that’s just the reality of the time— people reused clothes for many years. Which is totally fine by me because I’ll take any chance to relive Terry’s genius from Seasons 1 and 2.
10. Colonial America
Except for a time when I was a very tiny human and we lived in Hawaii, I’ve only ever lived in California. And while our state does have a really fascinating history (Spanish exploration! Manifest destiny! Gold rush!) it doesn’t really have much that documents the birth of our country. I have no illusions that it will all be roses- this was an era of slavery, infectious disease, violence, and inequality- but I’m still very excited to see the American Colonies brought to life in the detail-oriented and authentic way only the Outlander production team can do.
9. Family reunions
Understandably, the Outlander fandom is pretty anxious and excited to see Jamie meet Brianna. I almost want to taper my expectations now lest that episode runs into the same hype from which the printshop episode suffered. But besides Jamie meeting Brianna (and Brianna being reunited with Claire), we will also presumably see Jamie and Claire meet Jacosta, have Jamie reunited with Willie, and witness Brianna meeting the Lallybroch gang. Sophie Skelton slamming those pearls down to shut up Laoghaire? Can. Not. Wait.
8. Native American life
Similar to the way Seasons 1 and 2 educated thousands of viewers (myself included) about the culture of the Scottish Highlands, I have high hopes that Season 4 will provide an educational glimpse into the Native American world of Eastern Carolina. This sort of thing is always tricky to write and film— Noble Savage and Magical Native American tropes are fairly easy traps in which to fall— but, again, I have faith that the Outlander team can execute this with respect. For one, the story already deals heavily in magic so I don’t think the writers will exoticize Native American culture too much. Additionally, we already know that they have cast First Nations actors as extras, which is always a positive (Hollywood used to hire white actors for Native American roles, also known as red-face).
A plug for the novels: Diana Gabaldon really did her research and homework regarding the tribes, languages, and culture of the Tuscarora, Iroquois, and Mohawk people; for an in-depth look I highly recommend reading Drums of Autumn (and the subsequent novels) if you haven’t already.
7. More Fergus and Marsali
César Domboy and Lauren Lyle seem to have really great on-screen chemistry and I am eager to see Fergus and Marsali’s marriage unfold. I also can’t wait to see the cutie-pie they’ll cast to play Germaine.
It will be really interesting to see what Bear McCreary can do with the new setting of North America for inspiration and I’m speculating he’ll infuse some continent-specific sounds into the soundtrack. I anticipate some Native American musical elements- drums, rattles, flutes- as well as Colonial fife and drum sounds. I’ll also be tuning in to see if/how he changes the Skye Boat Song in the opening credits. Considering certain characters and relationships also have their own theme music, look to maybe see specific elements for Ian and Bree and Roger.
Speaking of music and Roger…we know they’ve filmed the 1960s Gathering already so hopefully we will be treated to some singing by Richard Rankin—preferably in a kilt, please.
p.s. For an excellent look at the music from Season 3 check out this article from Outlander Cast.
5. Friendly faces
Oh, sorry, I was temporarily hypnotized by this sexy Governor of Jamaica. Anyway, friends both old and new make appearances in Drums of Autumn and many of these characters are still very relevant all the way through book eight (Written in My Own Heart’s Blood). I assume we will see Lord John Grey for at least a few episodes, and more David Berry is always fine by me. But we can also look forward to meeting Nayawenne, Lizzie and Joseph Wemyss, and the Bugs. We will get lots of Ian and Rollo and maybe we’ll even get a bit more Joe Abernathy.
As for Murtagh? Well, we’ve already gone over that. But Duncan Lacroix was spotted on set back in January so we know he’s bound to turn up somewhere. In the meantime he will be safe in my dreams.
Edited: Multiple people have reminded me we don’t meet the Bugs until Book 5. I stand corrected! Perhaps we will meet them at the Gathering.
4. Life on The Ridge
If you read the entire Little House series then you are a person after my own heart. Life on the American frontier can seem pretty romantic, despite the reality of danger and death constantly lurking around the corner. For many the lore of the American Pioneer epitomizes the America Dream- staking a claim on some land, working the soil, and beginning new traditions.
Is it a flawed romance? Most certainly, considering much of our country was already inhabited before European settlers. Still, it will be exciting to watch Jamie and Claire finally lay down some roots. And I’m very antsy to see what production does with regards to the cabin. I have a picture in my mind of what the house looks like so it will be fun to see how well my imagination matches up with set design.
3. Dr. Claire, Medicine Woman
Inguinal hernias, hypothermia, lacerations, measles, malaria, abscesses, concussions…there’s nothing Claire isn’t willing to tackle. She even makes her own penicillin! Watching her apply her nursing skills in earlier seasons was pretty awesome and now that she’s returned as a doctor my inner biology and medicine geek loves watching her preach about germ theory. Claire is actually most in her element when she’s in charge of a medical situation; the times where she’s most assertive in the show are during medical emergencies. Her kick-ass attitude is a great thing to behold and I can’t wait to get more.
2. More Brianna and Roger
Gahhhhh…they are so cute together! So, listen. Jamie and Claire’s marriage is the fantasy but I would argue that MANY of us see versions of our own marriages or relationships in Brianna and Roger. And why wouldn’t we? They are the twentieth century couple, after all. Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin have really made these two feel authentic and I sort of love the gender role reversal they have going on— Roger is the dreamy romantic (common to many historians), while Brianna is the engineering pragmatist. It won’t be until the end of the season if it happens, but I’m holding out for the scene where Roger vomits all over Brianna. That’s the good stuff. That’s the stuff of marriage.
1. More Jamie and Claire
It’s why we’re here, right? To see the next chapter in one of the greatest love stories ever told. Although their lives are never boring, Jamie and Claire’s time on the Ridge is pretty much the closest they ever get to simple domesticity. There is much to be said for the romance of the rhythms of everyday life. It also helps that these characters are portrayed by stunningly beautiful actors.
There’s been a lot of chatter lately about whether or not the essence of these characters has changed. I’m putting my two cents out there that it has not. Jamie is the take-charge romantic hero we’ve always known him to be. He dove into the ocean to rescue Claire in the middle of a hurricane. He’s going to build a cabin with his two hands. He’s going to kill a damn bear. It’s all going to be fine. I’m putting my trust in the crew that they will deliver us a beautiful adaptation based on the novels we love. What a gift!
And the best part? There’s still a ton I left off this list! When we finally get there this season will truly be a feast. We will just have to endure the famine of the next few months.
Until next week,
Photo credits: STARZ, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Colonial Williamsburg, MGM, Vogue, Tuscarora adoption ceremony- http://www.western-artist.com/tuscarora.html,