When Outlander returns to Starz for its fifth season, it will mark the first time the show doesn’t have any time travel. The season is based on the book The Fiery Cross, which is all about the Fraser family settling in at the ridge. Ahead of its return, get STARZ® now on DIRECTV and read on to find out what’s in store for your favorite Outlander characters this season.

The Fiery Cross is a much slower novel than its predecessors, focusing on the main characters. The plot follows Jamie (Sam Heughan) as he finds himself trapped between the Crown and the rebellious colonists, and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) as she finds herself trying to save people’s lives without the help of adequate medical supplies. The book’s slower pace actually made it challenging to adapt for television. In a recent interview, executive producer Maril Davis told us that adaptation was no small feat. 

“Of all the books, this is the one I had the hardest time reading more than once,” said Davis. “When I’ve talked to [author Diana Gabaldon] about it, I think she feels the same way.” 

Part of what made adapting The Fiery Cross so difficult was the fact that there are fewer tent-pole moments to construct the season around. Instead, the dramatic tension comes down to the quieter moments between characters. Naturally, this puts more of a burden on the actors who can no longer rely on the large-scale, event-based sequences to carry an episode. It turns out, though, that Davis is proud of the actors’ performances across the board.