It’s been a week of mixed emotions for followers of Outlander.
Tuesday was World Outlander Day and fans were finally treated to some new information on the show’s much-anticipated return and a selection of new photos.
Based on the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the upcoming sixth season of Starz’s historical fantasy romance series started filming in January.
Following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show’s bosses reportedly spent over £150,000 on building a private testing centre at the studios in Scotland to keep cast and crew members safe from Covid-19.
The good news is that Season 6 has officially wrapped production!
Here comes the less good news…
Due to the “the challenges of filming in these unprecedented times,” Season 6 will now consist of only eight episodes.
The original plan had been to shoot 12 episodes.
We’re also sorry to report that Outlander won’t be back on our screens in 2021 after all!
The sixth season will instead be premiering on Starz in “early 2022” – but, on the positive side, it’ll return with an epic 90-minute feature-length opening episode.
Main cast members Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, and John Bell are all reprising their roles in the new season.
They’ll be joined by a number of new characters, including Mark Lewis-Jones (Troy) as Tom, Alexander Vlahos (Merlin) as Allan, and Jessica Reynolds (The Ballad of Audrey Earnshaw) as Malva Christie.
The cast also shared some lovely messages for fans as they celebrated World Outlander Day:
Season 5 premiered way back in February 2020, so this really is a Droughtlander like no other!
Despite the extra long wait until Season 6 debuts next year, we do have one more bit of positive news.
Starz has announced that the previously confirmed seventh season of Outlander has been extended from 12 episodes to a whopping 16 episodes!
So the combined episode count of Season 6 and Season 7 will still total 24 episodes after all.
Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts commented: “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.”
He explained: “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 7 with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy.”
The team is set to recommence production in Scotland in 2022, with Season 7 arriving on our screens in 2023.
In the meantime, Diana Gabaldon has officially confirmed the title for the next Outlander novel.
The ninth instalment in Gabaldon’s series of fantasy romance stories will be called Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.
It’s set for release in November and is available to pre-order on Amazon now!
Outlander is available to watch free with a 7-day trial of Starz on Amazon Prime Video.