Maril Davis took time to discuss Outlander Season 7. More specifically, we talked about picking the storylines and combining books.
Something that is very clear when it comes to the promotional material is that we’re not just getting An Echo in the Bone storylines in Outlander Season 7. Of course, we’re getting the tail end of A Breath of Snow and Ashes considering how Season 6 had to be condensed, but we’re also getting some of the Written in My Own Heart’s Blood storylines.
How did the writers work together to pick out these storylines, and what happened when Outlander Season 8 was confirmed? On top of that, what’s it like bringing in the American Revolutionary War into the story?
Merging the book storylines in Outlander Season 7
We did start with a touch on merging the storylines. It turns out that at one point, there was a chance that Season 7 was going to be the last. That meant finding a way to add some of the important Written in My Own Heart’s Blood storylines into the story. Then, the team found out there would be an eighth and final season after all.
Davis shared the process:
"“We do the same thing pretty much every season. We take the key moments…we call them tentpole moments…and we arc out the season and we then start breaking it and see what we can keep and what we can’t keep.”"
It’s certainly not possible to keep every single storyline. At the same time, the story needs to remain cohesive, so that’s the next part of the process.
This season does include storylines from three books. Outlander Season 6 was cut short and the four remaining episodes were tacked onto Season 7. Then the writers made the decision to move some of Book 8 into the season.
"“Going into this season, we weren’t sure if it was going to be our last…so we really tried to utilize as much material as possible…It was a bigger job than normal to try to fit all that material in. But I’m so proud of this season and so proud of the writers.”"
Keeping material for Outlander Season 8
While at first there were questions of whether there would be an eighth season, STARZ did renew the show for a final season. Did using some of the Book 8 material cause problems for that? Fortunately, not all of Season 7 was written by this point, but most of it was.
"“We did adjust the ending. We had left the ending slightly open-ended…but it was too late to make adjustments for the bulk of the season.”"
When it does come to using their own storylines, this is only done when necessary. There’s no point changing something that is better than they can come up with. One of the problem parts comes from not getting cast members back, and Davis did bring up the Outlander Season 4 storyline as an example of that.
The Revolutionary War in Outlander Season 7
This season does see the American Revolutionary War in as a major part of the storyline. There is no way around that. What was it like developing the battles for the season?
"“At the end of the day, we talk a lot to our directors about having these battles come through someone’s point of view, because we knew we had quite a few this season and they’re quite expensive.”"
This certainly helps to add a personal element to the battles. This is a great way to connect the audience to everything that is happening.
Take a look at the full interview with Maril Davis below:
Outlander Season 7 premieres on Friday, June 16 on STARZ.