Why is the Outlander Season 4 premiere in November?

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

When Starz renewed Outlander for Seasons 3 and 4 together, fans rejoiced at the news Droughtlander wouldn’t be as long as before. However, it looks like filming still makes it impossible to air both seasons at the same time of year.

Outlander Season 3 concluded with a 20-second teaser of the fourth season and the news that the show would return in fall 2018. That was expected. When Starz renewed the season for two at the same time, we knew that this allowed for a shorter Droughtlander. We hoped it would mean the fourth season would premiere at the same time of year as Season 3.

Now we’ve learned that the fourth season isn’t premiering until November 2018Outlander Season 3 premiered in September 2017, so the fourth season is two months late. Just why is that?

Filming is on track

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By the looks of filming, the fourth season is still on track. Claire and Jamie previously reported that we expected the fourth season to finish filming around June 2018. This would give the actors a chance to meet all their convention appearances and give the editors a chance to work on piecing all the clips together in time for September.

While filming has remained on track, maybe piecing everything together is taking longer than expected. “Drums of Autumn” was always going to be one of the hardest books to adapted into a TV series. While “Voyager” was relatively linear, “Drums of Autumn” jumps between two time periods and focuses on more characters.

It’s possible that trying to get everything in order needs more time. We don’t want a rushed finish, so it’s important to have plenty of time to manage all the edits and create the final product.

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Outlander Season 4
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Giving time just in case

There is the chance that everything is all planned, but the two months for edits would just leave very little time for things going wrong. Rather than push is, the showrunners may have decided to give a little extra leeway. This is smart planning, rather than having to push a release date after announcing it or give us anything less than perfect.

The showrunners will also now work on ideas for Outlander Season 5. It’s possible that the date was pushed while trying to negotiate the next two seasons. Now that we’ve got it, this is a chance to make sure the ending for Season 4 is just right to move into Season 5.

More time to plan Outlander Season 5

Speaking of Season 5, the pushed by release date for Outlander Season 4 also gives the showrunners and writers more time to plan out the fifth season. They have the time to find all the locations and develop the storyline–deciding whether to still tell just one story or combine two books into one.

With a September release date, the filming for the fifth season would need to start almost immediately after. That wouldn’t give the actors or production crew much of a break. A November release means more time to film so there isn’t a long Droughtlander between Seasons 4 and 5.

Next: Outlander Season 4 photos released

Are you disappointed at the later release date for Outlander Season 4? Does this help settle that disappointment a little? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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