Even author Diana Gabaldon was surprised by the recent announcement that Outlander would be getting a prequel. The series, which premiered on Starz in 2014, aired season 6 this Spring and has already been renewed for an impending season 7. Based on Gabaldon's bestselling series of novels, it follows Claire Randal (Caitríona Balfe), a World War II nurse who is sent back in time to 1743 Scotland and falls in love with the dashing Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) during the time of the Jacobite uprising. The show also stars Duncan Lacroix, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, Graham McTavish, and The Crown star Tobias Menzies.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
This week, it was announced that Starz is in active development on a prequel series titled Outlander: Blood of my Blood. The series is set to follow the origin story of Jamie's parents, Ellen MacKenzie and Brian Fraser, both of whom had already passed away before Claire and Jamie met. The show is being shepherded by writer and showrunner Matthew B. Roberts, who is an executive producer on the original series. Although it seems certain that the series would track their love story through their marriage during the Great Gathering, currently there have been no announcements made regarding plot details, cast, or release date for the Outlander spin-off.
Related: Outlander: Why Bonnie Prince Charlie Always Said "Mark Me"
Several hours after the announcement was made, Gabaldon reacted on her Facebook account. She made a post taking umbrage with the fact that she was listed as a consulting producer, saying she doesn't know what that role is and "no one has talked to me about being one." She admits that she is in the process of writing a book about Brian and Ellen, but that she currently has "no idea what the timing of the show might be, or to what extent the show-runners plan to use the book." She took pains to note that she may be involved in the show in the future, but she is not at this current point in time. Read the full text of the post below:
Well....THIS is interesting...
Note that I have no idea what a "Consulting Producer" is, and no one has talked to me about being one. This doesn't mean that I won't be involved with the show, but I have no details at the moment.
Yes, I am writing Brian and Ellen's story. I have no idea what the timing of the show might be, or to what extent the show-runners plan to use the book (insofar as it exists by that point). "In development" is not the same thing as being green-lit; it just means they're starting to put together the pieces.
I'm just mentioning it here because Starz announced it today on Twitter and Facebook, so figured everyone would be wanting to know about it.
It's certainly peculiar that Starz did not reach out to the author before making this announcement, especially considering the fact that the prequel is in line with a novel she is already at work on. She also works regularly with the main Outlander series. On top of her credit as the author of the books, she has served as a consultant, made a cameo during a season 1 episode, and even written several episodes.
While Gabaldon seems to be startled by the announcement, she has clearly left the door open to joining the Outlander prequel. Hopefully, Starz reaches out soon, as the optics of this situation may not prove to work out well for them if they don't. Fans of the series will also want to be certain that Gabaldon is involved, so the show can be as close to her intentions for the new novel as possible.