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Emmys 2017
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Outlander producers give a (super early) season 4 preview

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To read more on Outlander, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

The Outlander season 3 adaptation of Voyager — the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling series — doesn’t premiere until Sept. 10 on Starz, but showrunner Ronald D. Moore and his production team are already looking toward their next challenge: transforming Drums of Autumn into a 13-episode extravaganza for 2018.

Thanks to the network’s decision to pick up seasons 3 and 4 at the same time, Moore and his team have started writing scripts for the next batch of episodes, which are supposed to take place in the 18th century colony of North Carolina, as well as 20th century Inverness and Boston.

“We’re deep into writing it,” Moore tells EW. “There are crews on the ground in Scotland, and have been there for quite some time prepping, so we’re moving forward.”

Moore says the plan is to have locations in Scotland double as 18th century America, but “we’ll also go to Eastern Europe and shoot some stuff for the mountains and rivers of North Carolina.”

In the meantime, season 4 casting began in May when the producers found two Northern Inuit puppies who would play the “role” of Rollo the dog. As Gabaldon told EW earlier this year: “In Drums of Autumn, Rollo first comes into contact by young Ian Murray. Rollo and Young Ian met on the docks in North Carolina, when Young Ian won the dog in a card game, and a life-long bond was formed between them, meaning that Rollo became a member of the ever-growing Fraser family.”

Now that the precious pooch is out of the way, Moore and his producing partner, Maril Davis, are on the lookout for the perfect humans to help forward the franchise. “Season 4 is all about Jocasta, who’s Jamie’s aunt,” Davis says. “There are also several people in Jocasta’s household. Captain Stephen Bonnet becomes a baddie, and there are several Native American roles. There are some really fun parts to cast.”

Finally, you better get used to Outlander’s fall debut, Sassenachs.

“The hope is that we would be on the air regularly in the fall,” Moore says. “That’s part of the reason why we’re overlapping the production. We were actually working on season 4 while we were still shooting season 3 this year. So it made it a much more difficult production because now, you had to shift focus for writers and department heads to start working on that season while the one we were currently on was still underway. So the goal is to try to be on the air again next fall.”

Outlander season 3 premieres Sept. 10 on Starz.