Outlander season 6 is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: a whole lot more drama at the Ridge.
Based on Diana Gabaldon’s book A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth series sees Claire and Jamie continue to defend their home and family in North Carolina as the revolutionary war looms and redcoats descend upon their homeland.
Fortunately, we’ve been treated to the return of the four central characters, including Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall Fraser; Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser; Sophie Skelton as Brianna Randall; and Richard Rankin as Roger Wakefield. However, we won't see Duncan Lacroix return as Jamie's godfather Murtagh after the character met a grisly end in season five.
Outlander season 6 also sees some new cast members entering the fray as a new family settle on Fraser’s Ridge: the Christies.
And with the new family’s arrival comes some religious disputes, with the fiercely Protestant Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones) having previously clashed with Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) in prison.
Speaking about the new arrivals and the drama they bring in season 6, Richard Rankin, who plays Jamie’s son-in-law Roger, told RadioTimes.com: "We're going to see some religious elements being brought into the show and questions [asked] of people's faith and where it lies."
He continued: "Tom Christie brings in such a staunch devout approach to Christianity, and his methods of teaching and keeping that line among the community are certainly questioned by Roger. So immediately, you get that feeling that there's some sort of tension that's going to build between the Christies and the Frasers/MacKenzies.
"It’s always fun to have new characters, new relationships, potential drama and conflict unfolding. I think the Christies are a particularly interesting bunch – they bring with them a sense of uncertainty and danger."
He added: "That's one of the many ways in which Outlander holds itself up so successfully, its guest characters and its guest actors, and I think this is one of the best [seasons] to be honest."
Here’s everything you need to know about the cast and characters of Outlander season 6.
Outlander season 6 cast
Caitriona Balfe plays Claire Fraser
Who is Claire Fraser? A married World War II nurse, Claire time-travels from 1945 back to the 18th century, where she meets and marries Scottish soldier Jamie Fraser in season one. However, after growing convinced Jamie met his end at the Battle of Culloden, she returns to the 20th century and raises their daughter, Brianna, with husband Frank in America.
20 years later, widowed Claire (now a surgeon) discovers that Jamie survived the battle and travels back through time. Reunited, she and Jamie now live at Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina. In season 6, they continue to pursue a quiet and happy life together at the Ridge, despite the impending threat of the revolutionary war.
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In the season 5 finale, Claire was kidnapped and assaulted by Lionel Brown and his thugs, a traumatic event that Balfe has said causes her character to “unravel” and attempt to self-medicate in season 6 (via Deadline).
Where have I seen Catriona Balfe before? The actress recently starred in Kenneth Branagh's film Belfast. She previously had a role in the movie Le Mans '66 (also titled Ford vs Ferrari), and has also appeared in films such as Now You See Me and Super 8.
Sam Heughan plays Jamie Fraser
Who is Jamie Fraser? Jamie Fraser is an 18-century Scottish warrior who falls in love with a 20th century time traveller (Claire). He previously made a pact with the English redcoats in exchange for land in North Carolina, which became known as Fraser’s Ridge. The town has since grown in size and the Frasers have become affluent.
However, in season 6, Jamie’s past comes back to haunt him in the shape of a man called Tom Christie, who was a fellow inmate in prison with Jamie years ago. The Christie's presence at the Ridge results in the Fraser clans' power beginning to wane in season 6.
Where have I seen Sam Heughan before? Heughnan has previously appeared in The Spy Who Dumped Me, River City, Island at War and The Wild West. He has also starred in Midsomer Murders, Rebus and Party Animals.
Sophie Skelton plays Brianna MacKenzie
Who is Brianna MacKenzie? The daughter of Claire and Jamie, Brianna was born and raised in Boston, but travels back in time when she discovers that her biological father was actually an 18th century Highlander. At the end of season four Brianna gives birth to a baby boy, Jem.
At the end of season five, Brianna and her lover Roger attempted to time-travel back to their home in the 1960s through the stones, only to wind back on the Ridge with Jamie and Claire, a situation Brianna has come to terms with in season 6.
Where have I seen Sophie Skelton before? Skelton has previously starred in Casualty, Waterloo Road, Foyle's War and CBBC’s So Awkward.
Richard Rankin plays Roger MacKenzie
Who is Roger MacKenzie? Roger is a 20th century Scottish historian and scholar, who falls in love with Brianna.
Where have I seen Richard Rankin before? Rankin has starred as Dr. Alex Kiernan in the BBC series Trust Me. He has also appeared in The Last Kingdom, The Replacement and Thirteen.
Tom Christie plays Mark Lewis
Who is Tom Christie? Tom Christie is a fierce Protestant who arrives at the Ridge with his daughter Malva and son Allan. He immediately struggles to get to grips with Jamie’s worldview, partly thanks to his history with Jamie at Ardsmuir Prison, where they were quick to clash in the wake of the battle of Culloden.
Alexander Vlahos plays Allan Christie
Who is Allan Christie? Allan is the son of Tom Christie who arrives with his father and sister at the Ridge in season 6 and immediately causes chaos.
But Vlahos has said Allan is more complicated than your typical villain, telling Starz in a video posted on Outlander's official Twitter page that while he seems like a “carbon copy” of his father, "he also has a mischievous playful side to himself. And also a very protective side".
He added: "There is a beautiful, complicated, nuanced very dark storyline that will creep on all the way ‘til the end of Season 6.”
Where have I seen Alexander Vlahos before? The actor previously starred in Merlin in the role of Mordred. He has also appeared in Versailles.
Jessica Reynolds plays Malva Christie
Who is Malva Christie? Malva is Tom Christie’s daughter. In the trailer for Outlander season 6, a romance between Malva and Young Ian is hinted at. What's more, in the sixth Outlander novel upon which season 6 is based, Malva grows close to Claire and becomes her apprentice.
Addressing the arrival of the conservative Christie family in season 6, Balfe spoke about her character's bond with Malva: "Outlander does baddies and villains quite well. [The Christies] aren't your typical villains, which is great and refreshing."
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she continued: "Claire and Malva build a great relationship and bond. It's very destabilising for Claire. It's a really heartbreaking, but a really twisted narrative that they all get embroiled in."
Talking about her character, Reynolds told Starz: "Malva is a young determined girl who has been very sheltered. When she comes to Fraser’s Ridge that’s when she starts weighing up what really matters to her.”
Where have I seen Jessica Reynolds before? Reynolds has previously appeared as Rachael in BBC comedy My Left Nut.
John Bell plays Ian Fraser Murray
Who is Young Ian? Young Ian is Jamie's nephew in Outlander.
Talking about what's in store for his character in season 6, he said: “There is a lot of mystique about Ian’s life away from the Ridge. And if you haven’t read the books and don’t know what is happening, season six certainly delves into Ian’s character more so I have a lot to play with.”
What else has John Bell been in? The Scottish actor boasts an impressive list of credits including two of The Hobbit movies and T2: Trainspotting. In addition, he recently took to the London stage in a one-man play called The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me.
Additional cast members
The cast is rounded out by Caitlin O’Ryan and Jack Tarlton as Lizzie Wemyss and Kenny Lindsay, respectively.
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