Announcing the OUTLANDER Prequel Series, "Blood of My Blood"!

OUTLANDER Blood of My Blood logo

Big news today! STARZ has announced that an OUTLANDER prequel called "OUTLANDER: BLOOD OF MY BLOOD" is officially in development!

This series will focus on Jamie Fraser's parents, Brian Fraser and Ellen MacKenzie.

From the official press release:

Matthew B. Roberts will write Outlander: Blood of My Blood and will serve as showrunner and executive producer. He is also the showrunner and executive producer for the flagship series which is currently in production on Season 7. Maril Davis will also executive produce the prequel with Ronald D. Moore, who developed Outlander for TV, under their production banner Tall Ship Productions.

Diana Gabaldon will serve as "consulting producer" on the show. As many of you know, Diana is currently writing the Brian/Ellen prequel. We have no idea yet when it might be finished, let alone published, but presumably Diana is writing as fast as she can!

I think a Brian/Ellen prequel series has a lot of story potential. Consider:

1) Scotland!! Just as in Season 1 of OUTLANDER, the prequel will be set in Scotland, with all that gorgeous scenery, men in kilts, and so on.

2) A powerful love story, with a bit of a "star-cross'd lovers" flavor to it. As Auld Alec tells Claire in OUTLANDER:

“I heard tell later as they’d met at the Gathering, taken one look and decided on the spot as there could be none other for either one o’ them. So they laid their plans and they stole awa’, under the noses of Colum MacKenzie and three hundred guests.”

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24, "By the Pricking of My Thumbs". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

3) Murtagh! He was Brian Fraser's best friend, and we know he loved Ellen MacKenzie deeply. (If you don't recall this from the show, go back and watch that very emotionally powerful scene in Episode 114, "The Search", where he tells Claire how he felt about Ellen, and about the boar's-tusk bracelets he gave her as a wedding gift.)

4) Battle scenes. We know that Brian Fraser fought at Sheriffmuir in the Rising of 1715. We have very few details about that battle in the OUTLANDER books, but I'm confident that they will show that at some point in the new series.

So there's a lot to look forward to, and quite a lot that will appeal to fans of the books as well as the existing OUTLANDER TV series. But at the same time, I'm apprehensive, because the prequel book on which this series will be based is not yet finished. I'm worried that without a completed novel to use as source material, the writers will end up inventing a lot of situations or subplots or dialogue that diverge markedly from what Diana is planning to do in the book.

We will just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. I'm cautiously optimistic at this point.

UPDATE 8/5/2022 6:36 am: Diana Gabaldon's reaction on Facebook:

Note that I have no idea what a "Consulting Producer" is, and no one has talked to me about being one. This doesn't mean that I won't be involved with the show, but I have no details at the moment.

Yes, I _am_ writing Brian and Ellen's story. I have no idea what the timing of the show might be, or to what extent the show-runners plan to use the book (insofar as it exists by that point). "In development" is not the same thing as being green-lit; it just means they're starting to put together the pieces.

So we'll wait and see.

That's all I know right now. Check back later for further updates as we learn more!

1 comment

EMM said...

Now we can speculate on our choice for the cast. I vote for Kevin MacKidd for Ellen's father. Let's hear it for:
Dougal?
Ellen?
Brian?
Simon Frazer?

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