Outlander Season 4 Is Definitely Changing A Popular Scene From The Books

outlander season 4 jamie claire
(Image credit: Image courtesy of Starz)

Outlander will soon return to the airwaves with its highly-anticipated fourth season on Starz, and book readers will get to see which of their favorite scenes did or did not get adapted for the small screen. The show is often a mixed bag when it comes to book scenes, with some jumping from page to screen almost exactly and others changing significantly. Now, executive producer Maril Davis has revealed one book scene that will be included, but not without changes, saying this:

We know fans are looking forward to the 'slippery rock' scene where it's a humid day and Claire is bathing by the river. But we can't do it exactly like the book.

There's no shortage of scenes in the Outlander books where Claire, with her 20th century sensibilities, feels the need to bathe. That said, we can probably guess which bathing scene Maril Davis referred to in her chat with TV Insider. Early in the fourth novel of the Outlander saga, called Drums of Autumn, Claire and Jamie are traveling in South Carolina with Stephen Bonnet, among others. Not enjoying the summer humidity in South Carolina, Claire takes off to wash up in a river.

Jamie eventually joins her, and despite the fact that the lovebirds are outside on a slippery rock in the Carolina wilderness, readers got one of the most memorable sex scenes of the fourth book. It's not difficult to understand why the show can't tackle the scene exactly as it happened in the book. For one thing, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan might not have been happy about filming a sex scene outdoors on a rock.

The print shop reunion in Season 3 may have been adapted quite closely to how it was written, but the same really isn't possible with a scene like the slippery rock sex scene. The big question is how the show will handle the sex scene if it can't be done exactly like Drums of Autumn. We may have to wait until the show returns in November to know for sure. That said, a trailer showed Jamie lifting Claire out of a bathtub.

Could that be the stand-in for the slippery rock? Claire would technically be bathing. We may not actually have to wait all that long into Season 4 to find out. Season 4 has a lot to cover if it wants to hit the major points from the jam-packed Drums of Autumn, and the slippery rock scene happens early in the book. The trailer shot looks like it comes from a scene at River Run, although that's difficult to say at this point.

The reviews for the first episode are positive at this point, so hopefully book readers and non-readers alike will be able to enjoy it. The new villain is one that the characters certainly won't enjoy, as he's set to be even worse than Black Jack Randall, and a rape scene involving Bonnet from the book is going to be included.

My fingers are crossed that Outlander finds the time to include lighter scenes to balance the darkness of Stephen Bonnet. Also, I wouldn't complain if Murtagh makes a surprise appearance. He had to survive Culloden and then prison for a reason, right? I'm not asking for him to be the one to get a spinoff. Just more Murtagh!

Outlander returns to the airwaves for Season 4 on Sunday, November 4 at 8 p.m. ET on Starz. There's plenty of options in the fall TV lineup for those nights of the week sadly lacking in Scottish time travel action.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).