More specific spoilers can be found below if you still happen to not be caught up! Although we should note, the droughtlander is the best time for that.
Outlander has made headlines for its steamy romances and interesting depictions of life in various periods throughout history; however, the Starz series has also made headlines for changing a lot of the story to differentiate from its book counterparts. Yes, we know it's shocking, but the TV series is different from the book.
Some of the changes include moments that are small and some of them are big, but that hasn’t necessarily correlated with how fans have rooted for or against the changes.
During Season 4 this was no exception, as Outlander opted to change Bree baby's birth in a somewhat subtle but very memorable way. Recently, Matthew B. Roberts, who executive produces the long-running drama, was asked about the Season 4 moment as Season 5 is coming together. He said how scenes end up panning out are mostly a matter of negotiating, noting he doesn’t beat himself up about the creative team making changes because it's all about what he calls "the power structure."
Once again, in the power structure, the decision was made not to show that. There is always debate in the room. You can debate 100 times about something, and somebody ultimately makes a decision. I never debate whether it’s a right decision or a wrong decision, or whether it’s good or bad. It’s just the decision, and then you fall in line. You turn and make the best show you can.
We get it. Author Diana Gabaldon wrote some gigantic books and Starz and the creative team have decided to adapt one book per season, which means some stuff is going to need to be cut out and some stuff is going to need to be changed to make the TV series work. Plus, just in general sometimes plots have to be changed from the books to cut out the fat or make a particular budget work.
It’s the nature of the beast to take behemoth works and crop them down into 13 episode seasons or shorter -- just ask Game of Thrones fans -- and Matthew B. Roberts’ comments to EW reflect that. It’s also interesting that this argument regarding cropping things and making changes is coming up after some people have felt that Book 4 should have been split into two seasons generally.
In Outlander Season 4, one big change was the storyline in question about Jemmy's birth, which kept fans from seeing a likable moment from the books. Some fans were shocked to see that when Bree had her baby, she did so without her mother and the father ( who, granted, she had only fairly newly met) nearby. Instead, Claire and Jamie were still tracking down Roger after Jamie's disastrous mistake and were in the process of negotiating with the Mohawk at the time Bree conceived and little Jemmy was born without his grandparents around.
Of course, given the reunion is a very emotional moment in Drums of Autumn, it’s no surprise this is a question that is coming up now.
Roberts isn't the only one who has been asked about the scene in question. In fact, actress Sophie Skelton, who plays Bree on the popular subscription cable series, reveals she does have empathy for the fans, because the scene in Diana Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn was so solid. She also has said of the scene:
I know. I can completely see why. Obviously from the book, that is a beautiful scene, and I think it would have been a lovely Fraser family moment. But I think, luckily we make up for that when Brianna comes out with Jemmy and she realizes that Roger isn’t with them. They have that lovely little family moment there. Unspoken things are said, especially at the dinner table scene when Bree comes back in. The Frasers are really there to support each other.
Sophie Skelton also defended the TV moment in the interview, noting in some ways that Outlander parallels the trajectory of Bree having to head into motherhood thinking she will be a single mom. Similar to modern women in today’s world, she feels it's fitting Bree was alone in the scene. Bree believed her future would be without Roger and without Roger, she's alone with distant relatives, living and having a baby outside of the world and the timeline she grew up in. It makes the scene a little bit more triumphant for Bree to overcome all of her hardships after the difficulties she faced in Season 4 and end up with a healthy baby in her arms.
Ultimately, although Roger may not actually be little Jemmy’s dear dad, he does come around in Outlander Season 4 and will be a part of the main cast once more in Season 5. Plus, Jamie and Claire do get to meet and coo over their new grandchild eventually. So Bree does reunite with everyone at some point; they simply aren't there for the physical birth. Alls well that ends well. Or in this case, alls well that ends with a Season 5 renewal.
Outlander is currently still in production and is expected to bebe back later this year, although it would not shock me if Starz decided on 2020. In fact, when it comes to Outlander, the announcement of release dates for this series can generally be pretty erratic.
Plus, if I'm being honest, there are probably going to be even more changes from the books to the small screen from here on out, so prepare to take it all in with a calm attitude or be prepared to dislike some more stuff in the future. To see what is hitting the schedule before then, be sure to take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule or see what has yet to come this summer.