- Outlander, which is now streaming on Netflix, will return for seasons five and six.
- Season 5 will feature more Fergus and Marsali—and Adso the cat!
- The season 5 premiere will arrive in early 2020.
Outlander, Starz's epic time-travel action-adventure romance, last left us with a cliffhanger, a grandchild for Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe), and a new couple to root for. What shall we call Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy)? "Murtasta"? We'll keep workshopping it.
Season four's finale resolved a few plot lines, but it also left plenty of room for fresh drama and new twists as the Fraser-Randall-MacKenzie family grows bigger. But when is the show coming back, and what can we expect from season five?
The actors who portray the show's central three couples just teased what's to come in a video posted on June 1st (a.k.a World Outlander Day).
"Last season was the bridge between our old world and this new world, and now that we're really settled in, there's a lot of events wrapping up," Balfe said. "History has a way of pulling the Frasers into it."
Season five will also feature more Fergus (César Domboy) and Marsali (Lauren Lyle), the actors confirmed, as they've finally come to live at Fraser's Ridge with their son Germain.
As for what Brianna and Roger's new 18th-century life will be like now that they're reunited? Bree is still dealing with PTSD following her rape at the hands of Stephen Bonnet, and she's getting used to "becoming a mother," according to Sophie Skelton. The actress also hints at even more friction between the time-traveling couple, who up 'til now have seemed unable to stay in the same room/country/time period for long without one of them stalking off in anger after a dispute.
"Roger's stepping up, looking after his family," actor Richard Rankin says. "Trying to provide for them both, doing an alright job at it."
"An alright job," Skelton concedes.
Read on for everything else we know about Outlander season 5.
When will season 5 of Outlander premiere?
Outlander is back in early 2020, Starz confirmed on July 26.
"We're headed back to the Ridge," their social media platforms announced, sharing two behind-the-scenes photos of Heughan and Balfe.
Please note that Claire is fully strapped with a pistol and...is that a dagger? Gotta protect the Ridge!
Twitter rumblings had speculated that Sam Heughan’s schedule was delaying production—he’s costarring with Vin Diesel in the upcoming comic book adaptation Bloodshot. But Catriona Balfe told Vanity Fair in January that “the pickup came later than we would have needed to have a tighter gap between seasons.”
A later renewal announcement was bound to complicate the production schedule when it came to juggling their rising stars’ other commitments (Balfe’s been busy, too: She voices a character in Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series, premiering in August 2019).
If Jamie and Claire could survive 20 years apart, we can get through this droughtlander! Until we finally get an official premiere date beyond winter 2020, enjoy this image of season five Jamie and Claire, and rejoice in the fact that Jamie's season four four bangs are history.
What will season five of Outlander be about?
Season five is based on The Fiery Cross, the fifth book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, though it won't 100-percent adhere to its events. Don't worry: we won't spoil too much for those who haven't read it.
If you recall, the Fraser fam is still in North Carolina, and Jamie's grappling with how to satisfy his obligations to the government that granted him his land without betraying the Regulators, a group of rebels of which his godfather and friend Murtagh Fraser is a member. Jamie was ordered to kill Murtagh in the season four finale.
As usual, Claire's burdened with her knowledge of what's to come, so she—along with her fellow time travelers, Brianna (Sophie Alexandra Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin)—is fully aware that the Revolutionary War is in the not-to-distant future.
"Being at the center of the birth of America is often a bloody and violent and heartbreaking matter," executive producer Matthew B. Roberts said in a statement. "Now, in season five, Jamie and Claire’s duty is not only to their loved ones, but to the community of settlers forming part of the ever-increasing Clan Fraser.”
In addition, Roberts spoke to EW about the location and taking inspiration from the books.
“Scotland once again plays North Carolina very well, and we’re jumping out to different locations,” he said. “I don’t want a place where we’ve been before. If we go to [Jocasta’s] estate and film there, I want to go to every section of that estate …our new locations manager is fantastic and knows Scotland well. He’s been coming at it with fresh eyes and we’ve really found a few amazing new places that I’m really excited to show the fans. Breathtaking is the word I used when I saw it the first time.”
Other questions likely to be addressed in season five: Is Roger the biological father of Bree (a.k.a. Brianna)'s baby, or is it pirate supervillain Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers), who raped her? Will we see Bonnet again following his infuriating escape from prison? And will Murtagh and Jocasta get married (please let the answer be yes)?
Murtagh's story will majorly affect The Fiery Cross adaptation.
"Obviously, keeping Murtagh alive was a choice that we made that has repercussions in terms of he has a story that he wouldn’t have had if he had died at Culloden," executive producer Maril Davis told Parade. Davis also admitted that although Gabaldon still reads all of the scripts and has access to the dailies (the raw footage shot on a given day of production), she "doesn't always like" the changes.
"But we think the story is really interesting, and we are going to play it out and see. We hope that we still get in the fan-favorite moments, and still have those Jamie and Claire connections and those intimate moments that people are looking for."
"It’s a very thick book. There’s a lot going on in Fiery Cross," executive producer Matthew B. Roberts told Parade. "There’s a lot of really fantastic moments that we’re trying to find space for. Once again, when you have a very thick book and Murtagh’s not even in it, when that story takes up space, then obviously other things have to move to the side. But we’re committed to it, we can’t just go away from it, so we’ll do the best we can."
Hmm...we love Murtagh, just don't cut any more Jamie and Claire love scenes, mmkay?
Which cast members are returning?
It wouldn't be Outlander without leads Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, of course. Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin, who play their daughter Brianna and her love Roger respectively, will also be a major part of season five. In addition, characters Fergus (César Domboy), Marsali (Lauren Lyle), Duncan Lacroix (Murtagh), Lizzie (Caitlin O'Ryan), and Tim Downie (North Carolina governor William Tryon) are confirmed to return.
As for new cast members, there's a fuzzy new addition to the cast: Adso the cat.
"Our new director today said, 'it’s rare you go on to a show in season 5 and feel such a happy atmosphere and feel that everyone still cares so much AND still loves what they do,'" Balfe tweeted on May 20. "Well that made me v happy and proud."
Where is season five filmed?
No, Fraser's Ridge isn't actually in North Carolina. Scotland, where much of the previous seasons have also been shot, will continue to stand in for the North American colonies.
A behind-the-scenes video posted to the show's Instagram on May 6 finds the cast promising "more drama, more adventure" on their first day on set. We see Jamie and Claire's daughter Brianna teaching Roger how to be as good a shot as she is, and another glimpse of Bree's baby.
How many episodes will there be?
Seasons five and six will both consist of 12 episodes—the slimmest orders yet from the network (season four was 13 episodes long).
Is there a season five Outlander trailer?
Not yet, but we'll bring it to you as soon as it's released.
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