‘Outlander’ Season 5 Will Likely Be Different From The Book, Says Series Star Richard Rankin

Actor Richard Rankin attends the 21st SCAD Savannah Film Festival "Outlander"
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Fans of the Outlander series of books have largely been happy with the many ways in which the series on Starz has mirrored the novels, but series star Richard Rankin, who plays Roger MacKenzie, says that viewers should brace for a series of changes that started with the cliffhanger at the end of last season, which has a new group of people turning to the books in an effort to play catch up.

Cinemablend says that author Diana Gabaldon keeps cranking out new tales of Jamie and Claire that fans devour, but that the difference in the formats sends the narratives in different directions.

After the finale, fans wondered, in the next season, if the show would move back to the novels with less Murtagh, or continue on its own path with more Murtagh.

Rankin explains that the next season and book five will likely diverge.

“It’s all very early stages in terms of the adaptation. I know they’re compressing a lot of stuff but keeping the essence of it quite similar. Adaptations are always going to be tricky, especially with book five. There’s quite a lot of it in the first part. There’s too much to transfer over to television anyway; half the season would be gone with just the Gathering alone.”

Season 5 of Outlander will include 12 episodes and is set to air in late fall, so Rankin can’t speak for the whole season, but his hints suggest that a portion of the novel, The Fiery Cross, will be cut.

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Rankin mentions The Gathering of Scots in the American colonies which will be where Jamie tries to get some Scottish babies baptized by a priest — including his grandson — and Brianna and Roger get married in a formal ceremony. It’s possible that both of these events could make it to the small screen — handfasting was only good for one year — though it’s always possible that they could be carried out off screen, and simply be mentioned.

While Rankin didn’t speak about the relationship between Murtagh and Jocasta, it’s fair to say that if this is to continue, things will certainly be different from the books.

The Inquisitr says that the cast of Outlander has been sharing photos and videos of the season in progress with everything ranging from the set to costumes. Joining the cast will be Brianna and Roger’s son, and another cast member in the form of a little feline. The social media accounts for Outlander should continue to provide hints and spoilers until the fall premiere.