'Outlander' Season 6 Will Premiere in 2022

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Photo credit: Starz
Photo credit: Starz

Another droughtlander is upon us, but there's some light at the end of this parched tunnel: The show is officially coming back to Starz for Season 6.

Outlander's fifth season, which concluded last May, saw Claire and Jamie settled at Fraser's Ridge with the inevitability of the Revolutionary War looming in the distance. And now that production is underway, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect—in part thanks to Diana Gabaldon's book series. Here's what we know about Season 6, and keep in mind there are some mild spoilers ahead.

Season 6 Is 100 Percent Confirmed.

Starz announced the news all the way back in May 2018, confirming that like Season 5, Season 6 will consist of 12 episodes. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said "Fans can rest assured their beloved Claire and Jamie will be back facing new challenges, adversaries and adventures."

It premieres in early 2022.

Though there's no exact premiere date yet, Outlander Season 6 will arrive in early 2022, Starz announced. There will be eight episodes with a 90-minute premiere. The cast is all set to return, including Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, and John Bell.

Get a taste of the new installment with the first-look photos below.

It will be based on A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes is Gabaldon's sixth book in the Outlander series. Interestingly, the show has already caught up to some of the most major events in the book—including Claire's capture by Lionel Brown. Here's a spoiler-free description from Penguin:

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence—with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.

But, if you are looking for spoilers, a very detailed summary of the book is right this way.

Filming is about to wrap.

Outlander was scheduled to begin filming its sixth season in May 2020, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic caused production to shut down. As of February 2021, however, filming was officially underway in Scotland, with plenty of health and safety guidelines in place, ELLE.com reported.

Executive producer Matthew B. Roberts promised that the delays won't affect the content of Outlander's next chapter. "I didn't want me or the staff changing what the story is for COVID," he told the outlet. "We have a lot of intimate scenes—that's where we live and breathe."

Production was scheduled to end the week of May 31, 2021. Starz revealed the scheduling when it announced the Season 6 premiere month.

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Jamie and Claire will experience a revolution of their own.

Of his plans for Season 6, Roberts told ELLE, "I think what's going on in the world at the time, 1775, is really similar to what's going on with Jamie and Claire. There's going to be a revolution with them as well, and I think that's what's going on throughout the season: You have a foundation and when that foundation is shaken and there is a revolution, you have to deal with it. That's kind of the theme of the season."

Season 6 is not the final season.

Starz renewed Outlander for a seventh season in March 2021. The network announced that the next installment will be an extended season with 6 episodes, which will film in 2022.

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Lord John Grey is out.

Actor David Berry confirmed that his final episode was "Journeycake," writing on Instagram "Don't like goodbyes, tears or sighs."

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He elaborated in the comments, writing "final ep on show. But 'life is long. Perhaps someday'❤️."

New characters will be introduced.

Tom (Mark Lewis Jones), Allan (Alexander Vlahos), and Malva (Jessica Reynolds) are a trio of new characters "who create tension on the Ridge," Christina Davis, Starz's president of original programming, said in a statement.

Tom arrives to the Ridge leading a group of Protestant settlers in search of a place to stay. His "strong opinion and convictions" create tension, Deadline reported. Allan is Tom's son, who is protective of his family and distrusting of strangers. Tom's daughter, Malva, takes interest in Claire's work, but that gets her in trouble with her conservative father.

Stay tuned for more Outlander Season 6 updates as they develop, including plot details and casting news.

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