The end of the Droughtlander is in sight! New photos of ‘Outlander’ season 6 have been unveiled, and STARZ has given an update about the season 6 premiere. HL has all the latest news about filming, new cast members, and more.
In honor of World Outlander Day on June 1, STARZ revealed that season 6 will premiere in early 2022. The highly-anticipated sixth season of Outlander will return with an 8-episode season, including a 90-minute premiere episode. Season 5 ended in the first half of 2020, and fans have been waiting anxiously for season 6 ever since. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Droughtlander has lasted a little longer than usual.
STARZ also released four new photos from Outlander season 6 (which you can see in our gallery above), featuring Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Richard Rankin, and Sophie Skelton as Jamie Fraser, Claire Fraser, Roger MacKenzie, and Brianna MacKenzie. The stakes will be elevated once again for our favorite characters in the highly-anticipated sixth season. HollywoodLife has rounded up the key updates we know about season 6, including the new characters coming into the picture.
Will There Be An ‘Outlander’ Season 6?
Yes, Outlander season 6 is definitely happening. The hit STARZ series was renewed for a fifth and sixth season way back in 2018. “Fans can rest assured their beloved Claire and Jamie will be back facing new challenges, adversaries, and adventures in seasons 5 and 6 as we delve into American history and continue the story of the Frasers as they settle in the New World,” STARZ boss Chris Albrecht said in a statement in 2018. Season 5 aired in 2020, so now we’re just waiting on season 6.
Ahead of the sixth season’s debut, Outlander has already been renewed for season 7, according to Deadline. The renewal announcement was made in March 2021. The seventh season will consist of 12 episodes. There are still three additional Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon to explore: An Echo in the Bone, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, and the forthcoming Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, so the series will likely extend beyond season 7.
What’s In Store For Season 6?
Season 6 will likely explore more of the sixth Outlander book, A Breath of Snow & Ashes, and possibly An Echo in the Bone. STARZ is describing season 6 as follows:
“The sixth season of Outlander sees a continuation of Claire and Jamie’s fight to protect those they love, as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in colonial America. Establishing a home in the New World is by no means an easy task, particularly in the wild backcountry of North Carolina – and perhaps most significantly – during a period of dramatic political upheaval. The Frasers strive to maintain peace and flourish within a society which – as Claire knows all too well – is unwittingly marching towards Revolution. Against this backdrop, which heralds the birth of the new American nation, Claire and Jamie have built a home together at Fraser’s Ridge. They must now defend this home – established on land granted to them by the Crown – not only from external forces, but also from the increasing strife and conflict in the community within their care. For the Frasers and their immediate family, ‘home’ is more than simply a site in which they live, it is the place where they are laying the foundations for the rest of their lives. If Season 4 asked ‘What is home?’ and Season 5 asked, ‘What are you willing to do to protect your home?’ then Season 6 explores what happens when there is disharmony and division among the inhabitants of the home you’ve created: when you become an outsider, or an ‘outlander,’ so to speak, marginalized and rejected in your own home.”
‘Outlander’ Season 6 Release Date
Outlander season 6 will premiere in early 2022. The fifth season ended in May 2020, so it may be a bit of a wait until the sixth season. Back in March 2020, Sam responded to a fan on Twitter that he had started reading season 6 scripts.
We have started… Ep 1!!! So excited. But you’re going to love the rest of this season. https://t.co/Pd5dfBUHOW
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) March 22, 2020
Filming was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s understandable that the series would need a full year in-between seasons. Season 6 will also have only 8 episodes, as opposed to the usual 13 episodes.
When Did Season 6 Filming Begin?
Initial plans for season 6 filming were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Nov. 2020, Sam gave an update about the delay. “We have been delayed,” he said on the UK daytime series This Morning. “We were supposed to start shooting by May. But we are gearing up. We’ve had fittings, we’ve got scripts, we are getting there. It’s just such an epic show it’s taking a while to get there, but we will be back for season 6.”
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) February 9, 2021
On Feb. 9, 2021, STARZ and Sony Pictures Television announced that production has started on Outlander season 6. The season is filming on location in Scotland. A behind-the-scenes video was released to give fans a look at the cast and crew back on set. The sets have been built, the costumes have been fitted, and the props are in place. Everything is ready. The title for the season 6 premiere is “Echoes.” STARZ and Sony Pictures Television also released a photo of Sam and Caitriona in character on set (see above).
As of March 29, the Outlander cast and crew were still filming season 6. Outlander released a minute-long behind-the-scenes video teasing the upcoming sixth season. Caitriona noted the “new things” of season 6 include “the fisherfolk, the Christie family.” Sam added, “The Christie family are kind of a blast from Jamie’s past as well.” Richard hinted at “lots of new characters, lots of new relationships. Lots of potential drama. It’s what Outlander does so well.”
Caitriona also said that everyone’s beginning to “find their feet” but “some are still struggling.” Sam noted that the theme of the season is “there’s a lot more turmoil here.” Caitriona posted a sweet behind-the-scenes photo with Sam on the same day the video dropped. “Back on the ridge…!!” she captioned the photo.
Sam opened up about how season 6 filming was going in a March 2021 interview. “We started in January and it’s going well. Obviously, it’s been tough with COVID protocols, but also the weather in Scotland has been pretty horrendous,” he told the Daily Record. “The snow has been bad, but it feels like the spring is finally here, there is hope around the corner!”
Filming is set to wrap up the first week of June. “We are excited to get into the editing room to work on bringing the fans one step closer to reuniting with the family back on Fraser’s Ridge,” Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts said in a statement. “Filming in 2021 has presented an unprecedented set of challenges which led us to the decision to truncate the season in order to bring the fans the most vibrant and dynamic season as soon as possible. Dinna fash, we will then film an extended season seven with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy.”
Christina Davis, President of Original Programming for STARZ, added, “We are committed to telling the story fully with gripping and bold storylines in the upcoming eight-episode season that introduces viewers to new characters including Tom, Allan and Malva Christie (Mark Lewis-Jones, Alexander Vlahos, and Jessica Reynolds) who create tension on the Ridge. We can’t wait for viewers to see the exciting sixth season that reflects the STARZ #TakeTheLead initiative through unapologetic storytelling and powerful female characters.”
How Did Season 5 End?
Season 5 ended with Claire being kidnapped and brutally raped by Lionel Brown and his men. She was rescued by Jamie, Fergus, Ian, Roger, and others who killed Claire’s captors except for Lionel Brown. Claire was unable to kill Lionel Brown when he was lying on her surgical table, but Marsali did the deed and poisoned him.
Lionel Brown’s brother, Richard, vowed revenge on the Frasers after Lionel’s death. “And you did what you must. So will I… when the time comes,” he threatened. Wendigo Donner also turned out to be a time traveler like Claire. He told her that he wanted to return to his own time, and Claire revealed that she knew of a stone circle he could travel through.
Roger, Brianna, and Jemmy traveled through the stones, but they ended up back in the 18th century. They’re still in Fraser’s Ridge for the time being.
After the finale, Caitriona admitted it’s going to take time for Claire to fully deal with the horrifying assault she experienced. “She wants to be superwoman and to be able to say that this is not going to break her, but the whole point is that she doesn’t really have control,” Caitriona told Elle. “This is something that’s going to take her own patience and the patience and love of her family to get her through this.”
Shows Similar To ‘Outlander’
The Droughtlander’s been tough, no doubt. However, there are a number of shows to hold you over until Outlander season 6 premieres. Outlander stars Sam and Graham McTavish teamed up for a new travel series called Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip With Sam and Graham, which is now available on STARZ. The series features Sam and Graham exploring their homeland of Scotland — everything from food to sports to beer.
There are also plenty of period dramas to hold you over until Outlander season 6. The Spanish Princess is a STARZ series that explores Catherine of Aragon’s rise to power in England and her marriage to King Henry VIII. The Crown’s first 4 seasons are now available on Netflix. The most recent season, which featured Princess Diana, swept awards season.
Poldark was a Masterpiece on PBS series that aired from 2015 to 2019. The series starred Aidan Turner as Capt. Ross Poldark, a redcoat returning to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War, only to find his father dead and his true love about to marry someone else. The show became a fan favorite among viewers and is now available to watch in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video.
Outlander is full of epic battle scenes and jaw-dropping moments, so if you’re into that, Game of Thrones would be good to watch if you haven’t yet. All 8 seasons are available to binge on HBO Max. Plus, it’ll get you ready for the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon.
Season 6 Cast
In addition to Sam, Caitriona, Richard, and Sophie, many of the other Outlander stars will be back. Lauren Lyle (Marsali), César Domboy (Fergus), John Bell (Young Ian), Caitlin O’Ryan (Lizzie), and Paul Gorman (Josiah and Kezzie Beardsley) have all been pictured on the season 6 set. New cast members will also be joining the show in season 6. We’re talking about the Christie family. Book readers will be very familiar with this family.
STARZ released the character descriptions for Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones), Allan Christie (Alexander Vlahos), and Malva Christie (Jessica Reynolds). Their characters were teased in three videos released on the Outlander Twitter account on March 19.
Last but *certainly* not least… meet Alexander Vlahos (@vlavla) AKA our Allan Christie. Son to Tom and brother to Malva, Allan is highly protective of his family as they settle into this new environment. #Outlander pic.twitter.com/7xMJPUtswB
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) March 19, 2021
Tom Christie is a “fellow Ardsmuir prisoner and devout Protestant who arrives on Fraser’s Ridge seeking a place to settle… though not without some tension.” Allan Christie is Tom’s son and Malva’s brother. Allan is “highly protective of his family as they settle into this new environment.”
Alexander teased that Allan has a “very dark history. But he’s also trying to find his way in the world. He’s come over to the settlers and to Fraser’s Ridge to try and take a claim of a little bit of his own manhood, I guess, trying to emulate his father, trying to follow in his father’s footsteps.”
Next, join me in giving the warmest of welcomes to @jesssreynolds_ who plays Malva Christie, Tom’s spirited daughter who is captivated by Claire’s work and modern thinking, getting her into trouble with her conservative father. #Outlander pic.twitter.com/8cmmuofbN7
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) March 19, 2021
Malva is “Tom’s spirited daughter who is captivated by Claire’s work and modern thinking, getting her into trouble with her conservative father.” Jessica also notes in the behind-the-scenes video that Malva is “kind of in awe of Claire. I think when she gets to the Ridge she’s heard so much about Jamie and she expects him to kind of be the hero of her story, and then she sees the woman and she’s like, ‘Oh no, I’m more interested in that.’… We kind of start off with a very innocent, kind of eager to learn, she’s got the world in front of her, she thinks this is kind of her chance to blossom and become a woman potentially like Claire, and then lots of stuff gets in the way.”
HollywoodLife will keep you posted on all things Outlander season 6. The cast is keeping us fed until the premiere, and we’re thankful for that. The Droughtlander won’t last much longer!