COMIC CON 2017: Outlander Returns to the Con

outlander season 2 finale

It was two years ago that the Starz drama Outlander debuted at Comic Con in San Diego. Last year, due to production schedules, the show did not have a presence at the convention. When it was announced the show would return for this year’s event, you can imagine that the fans were extremely excited to have the hit series based on the Diana Gabaldon novels back on the stage.

The ‘Outlander’ panel was scheduled for the early evening of Friday, the second day of the convention. After spending eight hours in Ballroom 20 anxiously waiting for the panel to take place, I finally got to see the cast members and creative minds introduced to the stage by moderator Jenna Dewan Tatum. [I have to admit it was strange to me that Dewan-Tatum was chosen as the moderator, especially when she claimed she is a “big fan” of the show, having watched ‘The Wedding’ episode at least “5 or 6 times.” I hate to break it to her, but true fans have watched that episode hundreds, if not thousands, of times.]

The cast members on the panel included Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin; and the creative minds included Ronald D. Moore, Maril Davis and “herself” Diana Gabaldon.

Naturally, the first question to the creative minds on the panel was if they could provide an overview of season three. Ron shared that “there will be a sea voyage” with Jamie and Claire heading to the Caribbean where they will experience a “long journey” ending in the Southern part of America. He also shared that they were able to use the sets from the Starz drama ‘Black Sails’ in South Africa as a stand-in for the Caribbean. Maril shared they spent almost four months in South Africa, which she joked “was really hard” on them after spending so much time in Scotland. Also when asked if she would be writing an episode for season three (as she wrote a season two episode), Diana shared that she would not.

Other teasers for the new season were that viewers would get to see the Battle of Culloden – and more specifically a showdown between Black Jack Randall and Jamie and the ‘Print Shop’ scene from the book ‘Voyager’ [on which the third season is based] will be featured in the new season and that episode was written by Matt Roberts.

As new members of the cast, Richard and Sophie were then asked about how they prepared for their roles. Sophie shared she watched season one on repeat and studied both Sam and Caitriona to understand their mannerisms when in character. She also shared that she actually auditioned for the role of Brianna Randall way back in 2014, but didn’t land the role until two years later. As for Richard, he read the books and “dug into being an historian.”

Then the panel took an unfortunate turn, at least in my opinion, when Jenna said she wanted the panelists to participate in a game she called “Truth or Dance.” They either answered a question or they had to dance. For me, this was an obnoxious ploy to show off her dance moves and get a chance to put the cast on the spot rather than just ask questions. This reminded me of the needless game that Kristin dos Santos from the E! Network had the cast members play at Paley Fest 2015.

Moving on from that, the audience only got to ask three questions before the panel was brought to a close supposedly with the season three trailer behind aired a second time [it was first screened before the panelists came out on stage.] But instead of that, Ron announced that the audience would get to see the third season premiere episode in its entirety. Needless to say, that made up for the ridiculous game and the shortened panel.

I won’t spoil what happens in the premiere, but fans should be prepared for a lot of tears, bloodshed and more tears.

‘Outlander’ will return for its third season on Starz on Sunday, September 10 at 8/7c.