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Outlander drops first episode of Season 4 at NYCC, and a surprise appearance by Diana Gabaldon

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Oct 6, 2018, 8:01 PM EDT (Updated)

New York Comic Con's panel for Outlander started off with a couple surprises: a screening of the first episode of Season 4, and the appearance of Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander book series and a previously unannounced guest at the con.

Season 4 starts off with a change of location: North Carolina, eight years before the Revolutionary War, and a brand-new title sequence to better reflect the change of setting. Without giving too much away, it looks like you can look forward to the U.S. Government's mistreatment of Native Americans; women's rights; slavery; other time travelers; and pirates in the new season.

Executive producer Ronald D. Moore described it as a story of immigrants coming to the New World. “It's a great re-telling of the American foundational myth.” Despite the Colonial Americana feel, the fourth season, like the three preceding it, was shot in Scotland. "We realized that with a little help from the art department, costume, and locations, we thought we could pull it off," said executive producer Maril Davis. "The only thing we can't do there is the weather."

Gabaldon confirmed that Season 4 is based off her fourth book in the series, 1996's Drums of Autumn: "The audience always laughs at all the lines taken straight from the books!" Despite this, Richard Rankin (Roger Wakefield) noted that there are obvious changes from the book to the TV series, "but Season 4 still has the essence of the original writing, particularly when it comes to Roger and Brianna’s relationship."

On Jamie and Claire's relationship, Sam Heughan (who plays Jamie) said, “I think their relationship has evolved and at the core of it is this great love and understanding.” He noted that this season, Jamie and Claire are allowed to be together (if briefly), and find a home. “I don’t think there’s cliffhangers about whether this couple will stay together or not," his other half, Caitriona Balfe, pointed out.

Season 5 and 6 have already been ordered by Starz, and Davis promises the writers are "well underway" on Season 5.

Season 4 of Outlander premieres on Starz Nov. 4. 

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

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