OutlanderBTS: A Look at Season 4 Characters + Casting News

Photo: Starz: Season 4 

On September 16th, Matthew Roberts posted this beautiful photo of the famous standing stones at Craig na dun, along with the line: 7 more weeks #Outlander. Well folks, make that number just over FOUR weeks now…! ????

*** WARNING*** This post contains MAJOR spoilers for non book readers, and actually, after proof reading this, I’m coming back to upgrade this warning. I don’t advise reading this unless you’ve read the Outlander series through at least Drums of Autumn. Book readers and non book readers who don’t mind major spoilers, read on.

I published a piece like this last year while we waited for Season 3. I wondered about new characters for whom casting had not yet been announced, and about how the “old” characters might show up after 20 years. It was such a reader favorite (and frankly, fun to do!) that I’ve done a new version, as we count down the weeks to Season 4.

Of course we have the answers to the questions we pondered then, for Season 3. And now we have new questions. So let’s daydream, shall we? I will include any recent information I have, and I welcome the same from you in the comments!

But first, here’s a review of some of the characters we were waiting for last year, and who played them…

Duncan Innes: no one (yet, anyway!)

Hal: Sam Hoare 
 
Father Fogden: Nick Fletcher

Mamacita: Vivi Lepori

Ping An: No one.

Arabella: Er… ?

Margaret Campbell: Alison Pargeter 
 
Archie Campbell: Mark Hadfield

Madame Jeanne: Cyrielle Debreuil

Mr. Willoughby: Gary Young (See my interview with Mr. Willoughby (Gary Young) HERE.

Elias Pound, played by Albie Marber

just to name a few…

And now, what about all of the characters we are looking forward to in Season 4??? (Hee hee hee heeeeeeeeee!)

Well, first and foremost, always, I’m looking forward to Jamie and Claire, without whom we would have no story. Look at these wee babes from way back in Season 1, on their wedding night <sigh>. 

Of the newbies coming in Season 4, I’m probably most excited to see the uber talented Maria Doyle Kennedy’s portrayal of Jocasta, and all her interactions with Jamie, Claire, and SPOILER Brianna!

And then of course, there’s Rollo… my favorite dog character from any book series (sorry Lassie!).

I can’t wait to see Young Ian and Rollo form their deep bond, and all they will go through together. (No easy task to film, I’m sure!)

I’m excited to see Willie again, played in Season 3 by (then) 11-year-old Clark Butler. Will he play Privy Willie? I think he must, as Privy Willie is 11 or 12 at the time of his visit to the ridge. They aged Clark down for Season 3, (he was supposed to be 6 or 7), and I think he will play his actual age in Season 4 – my guess.  

Below is an updated photo of Clark taken last month (from Twitter); I would buy that he is this woman’s child, would you?

                                                                              

  …And when he arrives on the ridge, Claire immediately notices his resemblance to not only Jamie… but to Brianna. What do we think? 

    

I look forward to seeing more scenes between Willie and Jamie – I thought Episode 304 was in close contest with 301 for Sam’s best episode last year.

Seeing Claire meet Willie for the first time will be a loaded scene, which Caitriona will no doubt deliver stupendously. We’ll watch her go through an array of emotions, including longing for Brianna, sadness for Jamie, feelings about Geneva? And feelings for Willie.

I think we’ll also enjoy any scenes between David Berry and Clark.

 

I thought Tanya Reynolds did a really fabulous job as Isobel in Season 3, but sadly, I don’t think we’ll see her again. Maybe I’m wrong, that would be a nice surprise. 

Like everyone else, I’m dying to see the reunion between Murtagh and Jamie, and what role Murtagh plays in this new season. Last time we saw him was in this sad moment in Season 3, when he and Jamie were forced apart upon the closing of Ardsmuir Prison. Jamie went to Helwater, and Murtagh to the American colonies. According to the Diana’s timeline, Ardsmuir closed in 1756, and Drums Of Autumn picks up (where Voyager leaves off) in 1767. So, when Jamie and Murtagh see each other again in Season 4, it will have been 10 years or more since they were last together ?.

One of the theories circulating is that Murtagh’s character will take the place of the Duncan Innes role (I did a whole piece on that – Murtagh’s Back, Will He Marry Jocasta?),

Fan Art by Cyanbrise

but I believe Diana has gone on record saying that Murtagh does not take Duncan Innes’s place. So, just how will Murtagh show back up, and in which episode?? Finding out the answer is just one of the many things to look forward to…. I saw Episode 401 at NYCC, and I will tell you that he does not show up in the first episode of the new season. (More on that soon).

I typically don’t publish many photos from set, selfishly, as I like to see it all presented at once, and be surprised by the story elements, makeup, costumes, and sets/locations for each new season. But, since I already posted this one, I’ll repost it. Here’s a photo that was circulating of Old Murtagh. Those ten + years don’t look like they’ve been entirely kind to him, or at least not to his hair, but we’ll have to see…

And speaking of reunions… we have a couple of other huge ones to look forward to this season! It’s going to be so interesting to watch Sam tackle playing father to an adult child. (And, this is technically a first meeting, rather than a reunion.)

What about Claire and Brianna?? Those two thought they would never see each other again. I can only imagine the joy of a mother who sees her child again after grieving and accepting that she’s said goodbye forever! ?I think Caitriona is gonna kill us in this scene. Tissues at the ready, for sure. 

Not to mention the JOY Claire will feel at seeing the two people she loves most in the world, together! 

And then there’s this reunion! Wow. Roger is gonna go through one hell of a journey this season! (Hell being the key word, but no breaks for you Roger, The Fiery Cross is coming next! ?) 

And then, ?, we get to meet little Stephen Bonnet Jr…

KIDDING! This is, of course, Jeremiah Alexander Ian Fraser MacKenzie, with a name rivaling that of his grandsire in length! 

(This is not Actual Jemmy, this is just a very cute red heided baby from Pinterest!)

I am also looking forward to the reunion of, and any and all scenes between these two gentlemen, with David Berry expertly playing LJG, channeling his deep love and animal lust for Jamie into the “friend and guardian of your child” category… (I thought the scenes between these two (and David and Cait) at LJG’s Jamaican ball were done so well!)

Now, however you feel about it, it’s rumored that Frank will be back this season in flashbacks. Well, I assume in flashbacks, since Frank is DEAD! What age Frank will it be though? To be honest, newlywed Frank…

does nooooot look that different from Not That Long Before He Dies Frank ?. So, we should get… Frank.

Oh, but that does mean we may see Wee Bree (Gemma Fay) , or Little Bree (Niamh Elwell) again, 

  

along with an aged down Sophie as Young Bree

Honestly, the way this show jumps around, the hair, makeup and costume departments really have their work cut out for them! (And they do a fabulous job in my opinion). Especially as the actors themselves age (they’ve been at this for SIX YEARS now!), and they change for other roles (lose weight, gain weight, change hair, facial hair, not facial hair, etc). 

And then we have more first meetings to look forward to (besides Jamie and Brianna, Willie and Claire, Rollo and Young Ian); we will see the relationship between these two – Lord John Grey and Bree, begin. I have always loved that relationship. It feels like LJG is one of the few people who does not take Bree’s crap (at least in the books). 

Photo: David Berry, Graham McTavish, Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, and Lauren Lyle in NYC post New Jersey Comic Con. David Berry’s Instagram

In fact, we can look forward to watching Brianna meet many new (to her) people in Season 4…

Jocasta, and Jenny…

and… Old Leg Hair ?- SPOILER! That’s gonna be good!

Ah yes, it’s always good to get back to Lallybroch.

I do wish we could have some flashbacks to Castle Leoch though. Couldn’t Jamie or Claire, or even Murtagh have a vivid dream about Mrs. Fitz, Angus, Rupert, Colum, and Dougal? That would be so nice. I would prefer that over the Frank flashbacks, personally, (though I am not complaining!) I don’t know about you guys, but each time I’ve read Outlander, there’s such a sadness when we leave Castle Leoch and everyone there – probably because the weight of real history is baked right into that ending – the end of a way of life. Maybe that’s one of the many reasons we go back and read that one over and over again, more than any other. Not only is it the beginning of Jamie and Claire, it’s a window into the lost Highlander way of life. 

But, Lallybroch becomes the home base after we leave Castle Leoch (sniff), and we get to go back there this season (hurrah!). Drums of Autumn only covers 1767 to 1771, so people will not have aged as much as they did between Seasons 2 and 3, (which spanned 20 years). Ian has bounced all around in the aging department, as in Season 1 we got this Ian…

But then, in a flashback in Season 3, when Jamie returns to Lallybroch after Culloden, we got this Ian, who looks like he’s been at a spa while Jamie was at Culloden, I think Steven may have been thinner for Season 3, definitely clean shaven here, and then his wig seems to have gone on a wee diet as well. 

After 20 years though, time has been most unfriendly to Ian. Jamie, on the other hand, after 7 years in a cave + 3 at Ardsmuir, 8 at Helwater and 2 as a seditious printer, looks hardly a day over 40! You know, Diana looks really young for her age too – maybe there’s something to this stinking papist thing ?.

We will likely see the scads of Murray descendants at Lallybroch as well. There are so many! When I interviewed Steven Cree after Season 3 he said that during filming, it felt like Ian had 25 kids and 100 grandchildren! (Steven Cree Interview ). I can only imagine what it felt like for Season 4!!! Those Murrays are fertile.

We may see Slightly Less Young Jamie – whom we first met in Season 2, as he learned the words “trollop” and “neb” from Mommy.

We saw him again in Season 3 as this dashing and dimpled lad.

We may see an older version of Wee Janet back in Season 4, 

and possibly older versions of these little Cutie Murrays.

 

We may even see a slightly older Wee Joni, who was a big favorite in Season 3. 

 

And how about these two, eh? Claire introduces Marsali to the sponge (soaked in tansy oil) method of birth control on her wedding day, and it clearly has the same effectiveness rate that it does today ?. 

Instead of staying in Jamaica, show Marsali ventures forth with the gang to the colonies, and I assume we will get a wee little Germain this season!  

(Again, not Actual Germain, just a cute little kiddo who matches Book Germain‘s physical description).

 

Of course we can’t forget this guy… Stephen Bonnet, played by Ed Speleers, whom some people know from the film Eragon, and from Downton Abbey. At the Land Con 2 in Paris, Richard talked about what a great character Stephen Bonnet is, and how well Ed plays him. Having seen Episode 401, I can tell you, this character is a royal SOB!!!!

 

And speaking of Bonnet makes me think of this puir wee sowel – whom we met in Season 3 and do see more of in Season 4 – not a very lucky fellow, this one ?, first he was the Jonah, and now, weel…

Other new characters include…

Nayawenne, the Wemysses, the White Sow, Otter Tooth et al, Clarence! John Quincy Myers, Morag MacKenzie, William Buccleigh MacKenzie, Ulysses, Phaedre, and the list goes on. What minor characters will return? Will we see Joe Abernathy again? 

I do have some casting news. Usually Starz releases this stuff, but I caught wind, and just have to share…

 

And if that’s not enough, I have this one too…

FOUR weeks guys, four weeks, and the DROUGHT is over!

As I say, I saw Episode 401 this past weekend at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, along with the other approximately 5,600 people. It was shown on a very large screen (which didn’t look that large due to the size of the room), and owing to the acoustics in the room, and to the thick accents, I could not understand all of the dialogue. I will say that I enjoyed the episode very much, especially the ending. It was done soooo artfully – kudos to writers Toni and Matt, and director Julian Holmes. The costumes, sets, and locations are all what we’ve come to expect, the acting is superb, the cinematography is beautiful, etc. I can’t wait to watch it again at home! I will say this, that Stephen Bonnet is a bloody bastard!!!

Be well xo

 

22 comments on “OutlanderBTS: A Look at Season 4 Characters + Casting News

  1. Hi Courtney, This is a great post. It sums up very well all the new and past characters and the various twists and turns we can expect. I too am looking forward to the Jamie and Willie reunion. Ep. 304 was my favorite of Season 3. I thought Clark was wonderful and Sam fantastic. Also looking forward to Bree meeting Jamie and reconnecting with her mother. The whole politics going on at River Run should be interesting. Finally the reappearance of Murtaugh will be a special moment as he is one of my favorite characters. By the way, I am going to see a movie this week-end called The Sisters Brothers ( a western comedy of sorts) and Duncan Lacroix has a small part in it. I’ll let you know if it’s worth seeing. Thx again.

  2. What about Ulysses who will be played by Colin McFarlane, Natalie Simpson as Phaedra, and the lovely young woman cast to play Brianna’s friend Gail whose name I can’t remember?

  3. Huzzah! You never fail to intrigue me and challenge both my memory and my speculative powers!!?? Loved this piece as a way of getting ready for Season 4! Bring it on!! x

  4. I saw 401 as well at Hulu and had the same response. Loved it!! Agree about some minor sound issues due to the Theater etc but so beautifully done. And YES, Stephen Bonnet is an absolute bastard!!! The last part was hard to watch. But I still can’t wait for November 4th!!!

  5. John Quincy Meyers will be played by Murtagh Fitzgibbons

    I think we will see Murtagh as John Quincy Meyers. The Myers storyline is rich in the books but for TV it plows a lot of “been there done that” ground. More Claire surgery – balls out and all!

    By morphing Murtagh into Myers, a good deal of the Myers story can still be told and who didn’t love Myers in the book? Like we love Murtagh.

    Jamie relies on Myers in a way he shared with Murtagh. And Murtagh taking on a new name in the new world wouldn’t be out of character as many immigrants did that to escape their past.

    And lastly; no casting news on Myers. I think rolling Murtagh into this spot is a TV win, and a book reader win. If I were at the writing table this would have been my choice for how to seemlesly bring Duncan LaCroix back and stay true to Herself.

    My two cents. And in a few weeks we’ll know. This season is a lot about people “showing” up … can’t wait to see who it is.

    • I agree!!! I think it is a roll that would fit Murtagh perfectly. I can see him heading into the mountains and ” living in the rough”. Then maybe taking on the roll that Arch Bug would take in later books. Just my two cents. Loved this arrival though. 11/4 can’t get here soon enough!!!

    • I hope so! On a recent re-read, i had the thought that Murtaugh might replace…Arch Bug. Please God know fornthise who knownthe end of that story. That would be a travesty…

    • Nice idea, but he would have been in 401. Unless they changed the timeline some. Also, I saw a picture on another website (don’t remember where) of a picture of a dark haired bearded man who was identified as JQM. Of, course I haven’t seen the episode, just going by what others posted who have.

  6. Wow! Thank you for all the photos and the summation. What a thrilling ride Season 4 will be. November 4 is getting closer and closer. Amazing Post!

  7. I loved all this info. Thanks for your reveals snd your take on things. I so regret I could not be in NY to see you and the first ep of S4.

  8. Wonderful summary and photos, Courtney! Thank you! Considering the differences between the characters’ age, health and temperment, I don’t think Murtagh wiill take the Meyers role, unless it is significantly re-worked. But, I look forward to seeing another wonderful book come to life!

  9. Thank you for all the photos and information. I am waiting patiently for the show on Starz in November. I have finished all the cannot wait for Diana’s new one. Thanks again,

  10. Great article, Courtney! I think you covered all the characters, new and old, that we hope to see. I expect season 4 to be a season of reunions and new relationships, though I wouldn’t call what happens between Bree and Bonnet a relationship. It’s more of an incident. Anyway, love the article!

  11. This is a wonderful recap of so many theories and speculation, as well as what we all know takes place in the books. Most of the new cast have been introduced to us, with a few gaping holes, such as Duncan Innis and Meyers. I personally think Murtagh will not take anyone’s place, but simply be woven into the collective story of gathering Jamie’s men from Ardsmuir. I hope so, and can’t wait for that reunion!
    Thanks, Courtney, always enjoy your posts and insights. I will see S4Ep1 in Savannah on Oct 28, and I understand there will be a screening in London the same day. Hope we get a few interesting cast members for our panel!❤

  12. Am also very much looking forward to Season 4. I wonder how they will deal with the various languages and accents for the Native American characters. Hope they had someone as talented as our Àdhamh to coach them!

    Recently saw a video of a mature Judy Collins (in a duet with Joan Baez) – now there’s a look they could have gone with for Jocasta… bright, wavy silver white hair… Doyle Kennedy is a wonderful actress but I was surprised at the hair color and texture they chose for her. In the books she is more striking and alluring than the Jocasta we’ve seen so far in the S4 previews.

    I have my fingers crossed that Sam will not, in any other scenes, come across as he does in the “…will that be our dream?” bit which they’ve kept in the S4 trailer. It does not do him, or the character, justice.

    We book readers are so lucky that the quality of this production is so high. Let’s hope Maril and the others on the team who have read and loved all the books continue to do their utmost to keep the scripts and acting true to the characters we know and love. Diana’s story deserves no less.

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