Moore Talks The Future Of “Outlander”

Starz has wrapped up the second season of “Outlander” with one hell of an ending, one with a lot more light and narrative shock than the previous season’s incredibly dark and brutal finale. It caps off a complicated season which saw time jumps and various elements in play, one which the writers had to change around from the books to make sense narratively.

With the show already renewed for two more seasons, showrunner Ron D. Moore spoke about its future with Deadline and says next season is less of a challenge narratively due to its more straightforward nature:

“Yeah, some things get moved around, but the third book is not nearly the same challenge as the second book is. Voyager is a little bit more of a straight-ahead narrative and the adaptation process has already proven easier in the writers room because the structure is a little bit more straightforward.

Even in the first season we resequenced things and moved certain elements around, so that’s just part of doing an adaptation, but it’s just not as big a hill to climb in the third season, so we’re all feeling pretty optimistic and pretty good about where the third season is taking us.

The writers room is well underway, and we have scripts for the first two, three episodes. We’ve broken stories up to like Episode 8, 9 or 10, and we’re in that range right now in the writers room, which we don’t have formal outlines and all, but we’ve been actively breaking stories. So we have a pretty good sense of where the balance of the season is going. We’re in preproduction at the moment. We won’t start shooting again until late August, early September.

One thing that will prove more of a challenge is production. Plenty of scenes take place on the high seas, while a bunch of the season takes place in Jamaica which will be difficult for the show’s Scottish production base to recreate in the Highlands:

“We’ve got to figure out [the ocean-set scenes]; that element is a big one. Also, you know, after the sea voyage they end up in Jamaica – which doesn’t look a lot like Scotland either. So we are actively scouting other locations and having conversations about where to do both of those things, but our production base will still be primarily in Scotland.

I think everything’s on the table at this point. It’s a big undertaking to try to figure out where to do all those sequences. So I’m sure there’ll be some CGI wizardry involved. It’s a big puzzle, but we’ve got time to figure it out because the first half of the season takes place easily in Scotland and in Boston. So we have all those things to do before we even get to the high seas and the Caribbean.”

Then there’s the fourth season, which mostly takes place in the America colonies. Asked about how they’re going about adapting that material, Moore says:

“We’re only just sort of talking in very general terms about Four. I mean, we know what the broad outlines are of it, but right now the lion’s share of our attention is on Three. Still, having the two-season pickup makes all that easier because you can sort of put Four over here to the side for a moment knowing that you’re going to do it. Then, as we get deeper into Season 3 – the planning, logistics – we’ll get closer and closer to start talking in earnest about Four.

Also, the writers will start turning their attention to Season 4 while this season is still underway. So we’ll write all the scripts for Season 3, get them all in train, get them all starting to prep, and then the whole writing staff will start to work on Season 4 while we’re still shooting this one. That gives us a big leg up, get on schedule and production and budget and all that – it’s enormously helpful.”

“Outlander” is expected to return to screens sometime in 2017.