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Unfortunately for Outlander fans, "droughtlander" the clever title for the period between seasons, is here once again, and it's prolonged this time because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But the show is coming back for another chapter, and the first full trailer just dropped, which is every bit as haunting and epic as fans could have hoped:
The trailer shows Jamie and Claire's peaceful life at Fraser's Ridge being threatened by the looming Revolutionary War, alongside some ominous captions and dialogue that suggest it's going to be a very rough season for our favorites.
"Change takes courage. Freedom takes sacrifice. Love takes everything," reads the especially worrying tagline. Elsewhere, Claire warns Jamie that "the tide has turned," before a glimpse of the arrival of the Christie family.
Here's what else we know so far about season 6:
Outlander season six will air in March 2022.
On November 22, 2021, at the launch event for Diana Gabaldon's ninth Outlander book Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, Starz announced that season six of Outlander will premiere on March 6, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
On May 9, 2018, Starz announced that the series would be renewed for two more seasons (season 5 and season 6).
"Fans can rest assured their beloved Claire and Jamie will be back facing new challenges, adversaries and adventures in seasons five and six as we delve into American history and continue the story of the Frasers as they settle in the New World," Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement.
Season six will be eight episodes, including a 90-minute premiere episode. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, and John Bell will all reprise their starring roles, while new cast members will include Mark Lewis-Jones as Tom, Alexander Vlahos as Allan, and Jessica Reynolds as Malva Christie.
“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,” Matthew B. Roberts, Outlander showrunner 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.”
The episode titles have been revealed.
They range from the season premiere "Echoes" to the finale "I am not Alone." See them all on Twitter here.
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) January 24, 2022
Jamie and Claire will face "heartbreaking" new challenges.
Because it just wouldn't be a new season of Outlander unless it put our beloved heroes through the emotional wringer! Executive producer Maril Davis just shared this ominous tidbit with Entertainment Weekly: "Jamie and Claire keep thinking they're safe at Fraser's Ridge, but in season 6 we're asking, 'What do you do when your home turns against you?' We'll see how that happens in their own backyard."
That new threat comes with the arrival of the Christie family—Jamie's old nemesis, Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones), and his two children, Allan (Alexander Vlahos) and Malva (Jessica Reynolds). The arrival of the family will be "very destabilizing for Claire," Balfe says, adding that the Frasers' interaction with the Christies is "a really heartbreaking, but a really twisted narrative that they all get embroiled in."
Sam Heughan recently added fuel to that worrying fire during his appearance at New York Comic Con. After Jamie and Claire have spent so much time and energy making a home for themselves at Fraser's Ridge, he says, season six will "really see that disintegrate... I think these cracks are really starting to show — not only for Jamie and Claire but for the rest of the inhabitants of Fraser’s Ridge. The war is coming,” he said, per Us Weekly.
Some scenes from season six had to be re-shot.
Also at New York Comic Con, Heughan revealed that some of the sixth season had to be re-shot to accommodate Caitriona Balfe's pregnancy. “You all know my co-star was pregnant. Congratulations to Caitriona,” he said. “When they knew, they had to really move everything around so we could shoot her out before she got too big… and she got big.” Later in the panel, Balfe shared that these scenes had been shot from strategic angles to hide her baby bump. She welcomed her first child with husband Anthony "Tony" McGill back in August.
Starz just released new images of the upcoming season.
See an inside look at season six below:
They also shared this look at Roger and Brianna, with a funny caption:
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) September 14, 2021
Production on season six has wrapped.
In the June 2021 statement, Starz noted that filming on season six is wrapping up. Back in March 2020, actor Sam Heughan confirmed in a Twitter Q&A that they had started working on future episodes before the finale of season five even aired.
When one fan asked, "have you read S6 scripts yet?" he responded, "We have started... Ep 1!!! So excited. But you’re going to love the rest of this season."
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
Unfortunately, the ongoing coronavirus crisis has impacted production, but in early February, Heughan shared a photo from set. "We’re BACK!!" he wrote on Twitter. "Feel very fortunate to be working right now, production are ensuring everyone is safe and protected. Now just need to deal with the snow...."
We’re BACK!!@Outlander_STARZ Season 6 shooting!
Feel very fortunate to be working right now, production are ensuring everyone is safe and protected. Now just need to deal with the snow....
⛄️ 🏴 pic.twitter.com/akKKUAz3Ik
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) February 9, 2021
And in March 2021, the show released a new behind the scenes look at production. Check it out here:
ICYMI: Season 6 is going to be amazing. See for yourself with this look behind the scenes.
Catch up on Seasons 1-5 of #Outlander any time on the @STARZ App: https://t.co/izxi7qPRux pic.twitter.com/KTS6cM4xKf
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) March 29, 2021
Malva Christie will be introduced in season six.
Meet the actress playing the character here:
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
In fact, the whole Christie family will appear in the upcoming season. Here's an introduction to Mark Lewis Jones as Malva's father, Tom Christie:
Are you ready to meet the Christies?
First things first, I’m thrilled to welcome @marklewisjones as Tom Christie, a fellow Ardsmuir prisoner and devout Protestant who arrives on Fraser’s Ridge seeking a place to settle... though not without some tension. #Outlander pic.twitter.com/ikb3cFpfbF
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) March 19, 2021
And here's Alexander Vlahos who will portray Allan Christie:
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
Costumer Trisha Biggar has been prepping for months, even while social distancing.
"We had started prep, and we're just moving slowly with that at the minute. Sorting some fabrics, and looking at shapes, but nothing very definite yet. We don't have a lot of information about what's happening when, or to who," she told T&C.
"So we just started moving forward with it. It's quite nice in a way. We have time to chat and think about it. You know, we could think of this, think of that once you have more ideas when we start back. We hopefully get going quite quickly, because I have bought lots of fabric so we have got lots of things ready to get going on when we are allowed to start back at work. "
In December of 2020, Heughan shared a video from the costume department.
"Guess where I am, it is, indeed, the costume department of Outlander. Amongst hundreds and thousands of costumes we have to dress so many people, so excited to be back," he said. "We're prepping, we're dressing people, we're learning to deal with all the guidelines but we can't wait to show you what we have got in store for season six. I might even have a new hat, we'll see."
The @Outlander_STARZ costume department is VAST!! Lots of coats, kilts, dresses, corsets and hats. We are prepping for 2021 and season 6!
Now just need to find the way out...#hathair #outlander pic.twitter.com/aWIjqbmPXZ
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) December 27, 2020
In a separate clip, he was joined by some of his castmates:
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) December 25, 2020
The renewal came as something of a surprise to star Caitriona Balfe.
"We kind of hoped that we would get a season five," she said, according to Digital Spy. "We weren't really expecting them to pick up both together, so that's really exciting."
Season 6 will be, at least loosely, based on Diana Gabaldon's sixth book in the Outlander series: A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
Prior to season five, each season of Outlander has been loosely based on one book. But season five has covered storylines from both The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
"Every year we approach it fresh," Moore told EW in March of last year. "Should we keep it a book a season? We’ve done that up until now. But we’ve talked about splitting books, and we’ve talked about combining them. We want to be free in the writers’ room to pick and choose and do what feels most comfortable that year."
It's possible that season six will cover the rest of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, but also some of Gabaldon's seventh book, "An Echo in the Bone.
Claire's healing journey will play a key role in the season.
"Claire has still some healing to do," Heughan said in a recent interview, hinting at what's to come for the show. In fact, one of the things Balfe is "looking forward to" in season six is seeing "how the family as a whole unit heal together" following her character's abduction.
Watch their full conversation below:
Outlander was also renewed for a 7th season.
Get all the details right here. Gabaldon is also currently working on her ninth novel about Claire and Jamie, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, which she says will be finished later this year. In June 2021, Starz announced that season seven would consist of sixteen episodes, due to the shortened sixth season.
"Six seasons is an incredible run as it is, but I think Diana has a few more books [planned] so we'll see," Balfe previously said.
And it sounds like there could be even more shows set in the Outlander universe. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter about his new deal with Disney in early, Outlander creator Moore, who continues to be involved in the production of the show, shared that "conversations are underway on both season seven and on a spinoff."
"I think we're going to have good news on both those fronts before too long so I feel very optimistic about it. I agree that I would've been happy to see it happen sooner than this but everything happens in its time. I think both those things are probably going to happen and hopefully we'll be able to say something about it before too long."
Need to catch up on the drama?
Stream all five seasons of Outlander right now on Amazon. Or, pick up one of Gabaldon's books below:
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