Outlander season 6 is well underway, with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan having returned last month (March 6th 2022).
Based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books, the popular fantasy drama follows military nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), who is transported back in time from 1945 to 1743, where she sets out on a whirlwind romance with Highland warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).
The couple set up a home in Fraser’s Ridge, North Carolina, but Jamie finds himself burdened with the knowledge of the outcome of the Revolutionary War that’s on the horizon.
And that’s not the only trouble the Frasers face in season 6, with the addition of a new family – the Christies – disturbing the status quo at the Ridge and clashing with Jamie.
Fans will also be thrilled to hear that filming has officially started on Outlander season 7. Find out more on this below.
Read on for everything you need to know about Outlander season 6, including the latest release date and trailer information, as well as all the details about how to watch the show on Starz US and Amazon Prime Video.
Outlander season 6 release date
Outlander season 6 premiered on Sunday 6th March 2022 on Starz in the US and StarzPlay in the UK.
The good news was confirmed on 23rd November 2021 by Starz.
The first episode was an extended episode to welcome back the show's fans in style.
While fans wait for the new episodes, US viewers can watch previous seasons on Starz US.
Season 6 got back in production in Scotland following a long delay due to lockdown restrictions, and executive producer Matthew B Roberts reassured fans that the show's famously intimate scenes won't be going anywhere, despite some necessary safety adjustments during filming.
"I didn't want me or the staff changing what the story is for COVID. We have a lot of intimate scenes - that's where we live and breathe."
Speaking to ELLE Magazine, he revealed that the solution came down to "testing, testing, testing," adding: "We had to figure out how to make sure we tested everybody a million times before they walked onto set and keep that bubble as safe as possible. That was our main focus—making sure everybody feels safe walking onto a set in the studios and locations."
Despite safety being paramount, Roberts insists he wouldn't sacrifice the tone of the show: "I don't know how to write 'COVID-friendly scenes,' certainly not an Outlander scene, because we are going to have people next to each other, being emotional—you talk close to people, and that's where it transfers COVID. We had to figure out, how do we keep Outlander, Outlander?"
He also revealed that some of these solutions included featuring fewer supporting background actors (for safety reasons), meaning that the show will rely on visual effects more.
- Read More: Outlander season 6: How to watch and stream the series in the UK
- Watch Outlander for free with a 30-day trial for Amazon Prime
Outlander season 6 episode schedule
There are eight episodes in total for the sixth season of Outlander which began in early March and will conclude in late April.
- Echoes - 6th March 2022
- Allegiance - 13th March 2022
- Temperance - 20th March 2022
- Hour of the Wolf - 27th March 2022
- Give Me Liberty - 3rd April 2022
- The World Turned Upside Down - 10th April 2022
- Sticks and Stones - 17th April 2022
- I Am Not Alone - 24th April 2022
These episodes are available every Sunday on Starz in the US and StarzPlay in the UK.
How to watch Outlander season 6 on Amazon Prime Video
Alternatively, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial of the service through Amazon. Download the StarzPlay app directly and you'll get a free 7-day trial.
Can I watch Outlander season 6 on STARZ US?
You can also watch the new season of Outlander directly through the STARZ US site. Stream the new season of Outlander on the platform here.
Who stars in Outlander season 6?
We shall see the return of all four central characters, including Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall Fraser; Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser; Richard Rankin as Roger Wakefield; and Sophie Skelton as Brianna Randall. John Bell will also return as Ian Fraser Murray.
However, we won't see Duncan Lacroix return as Jamie's godfather Murtagh as the character died in season five.
There are new faces on the way though as Mark Lewis Jones, Alexander Vlahos and Jessica Reynolds have all signed up to appear in the sixth season. The three will be playing the roles of Tom Christie, Allan Christie and Malva Christie.
Tom Christie is the de facto leader of a group of Protestant settlers, while his children are Allan and Malva. Expect Malva, in particular, to have an interesting relationship with her father as she gets closer to Claire and her outlook on the world.
In terms of the behind-the-scenes crew, we already know that one vital member of the production team won't be returning for season 6.
In May 2020, Outlander's cast and crew have announced the departure of production designer Jon Gary Steele from the show following the series 5 finale.
Heughan, who has played Jamie Haser since 2014, recently spoke about using an intimacy co-ordinator during sex scenes with co-star Balfe for the first time.
"I suggested we get one after meeting her through work I was doing through my former drama school," the actor told Digital Spy. "It's a relatively new thing in the industry, and obviously there is a great deal of intimacy on our show.
"In a way, it had kind of been left to Catriona and I to just sort of work our way through [sex scenes]. Obviously we have got a way of working and we have created this relationship, but also we realised quite quickly when she came on board that actually, it's a lot of pressure and she really helped us work through those scenes."
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Outlander season 6 plot
Outlander season 6 continues to focus on the Fraser family on Fraser's Ridge with the spectre of the American Civil War lurking.
That's not all, either, as a flurry of new arrivals are also on the way.
Richard Rankin, who plays Jamie’s son-in-law Roger MacKenzie, told RadioTimes.com that faith is a major theme in season 6: "We're going to see some religious elements being brought into the show and questions [asked] of people's faith and where it lies.
"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."
Meanwhile, Claire will be continuing to battle with her demons after being brutally abducted and raped at the end of season 5.
"Even before we filmed it, we had already started the conversations about how important it was to see the recovery and the fallout," recalled Caitriona Balfe when speaking to RadioTimes.com. "I'm so grateful that our writers were prepared to give a lot of air time to that.
"I also think it's important that we see a character like Claire, who often gets this moniker of being a 'strong female', that whether you appear to be strong on the outside, something like this will really shake you to your core. For Claire, who's always been able to compartmentalise and move on from traumas before, we see her experience PTSD and make some missteps along her journey of recovery."
Still, despite her trauma, Jamie and Claire will continue to support each other and are "as in love with each other now as they were from the get-go."
Skelton’s character Brianna will also be fighting her demons in upcoming episodes after she discovered that attacker was still alive and potentially still hunting her down at the end of season 5.
"Brianna's pretty much been through everything that could happen to a person," Skelton told Deadline. "But I know that there's so much more happening next season that will be exciting to see what we've got, what the writers do, because it's always amazing."
In the season 5 finale, Brianna also discovered that she has a half-brother called William and there was a twist that Jamie’s family are not the only time travellers. It’s unclear whether these plot threads will be explored further in season 6, but it seems likely.
In addition, fans of the sixth Outlander novel upon which season 6 is based, will know that Malva grows close to Claire and becomes her apprentice, before the narrative takes a pretty disastrous turn.
It’s unclear how closely season 6 will stick to its source material, but addressing the arrival of the conservative Christie family in season 6, Balfe spoke about the “heartbreaking” and “twisted” storyline concerning her character and 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."
The official season six synopsis reads: "The sixth season of Outlander sees a continuation of Claire and Jamie's fight to protect those they love, as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in colonial America."
"The Frasers strive to maintain peace and flourish within a society which – as Claire knows all too well – is unwittingly marching towards Revolution. Against this backdrop, which heralds the birth of the new American nation, Claire and Jamie have built a home together at Fraser's Ridge. They must now defend this home – established on land granted to them by the Crown – not only from external forces, but also from the increasing strife and conflict in the community within their care."
"For the Frasers and their immediate family, 'home' is more than simply a site in which they live, it is the place where they are laying the foundations for the rest of their lives. If season four asked 'What is home?' and season five asked, 'What are you willing to do to protect your home?' then season six explores what happens when there is disharmony and division among the inhabitants of the home you’ve created: when you become an outsider, or an 'outlander,' so to speak, marginalised and rejected in your own home."
Outlander season 6 trailers
In October 2021, STARZ dropped a first-look teaser for Outlander season 6, taking us back in time to Claire and Jamie Fraser.
The season 6 clip (which was previously teased with an Outlander episode one script reveal) sees the Frasers discuss the (perhaps unwelcome) arrival of the conservative Christie family, before things get a little steamy. Watch below:
A second trailer dropped in January 2022, hinting at more trouble ahead and “the heart of the storm” as the revolutionary war looms.
The clip shows their lives being thrown into disarray amid the growing political unrest. As redcoats descend upon their homeland, Claire issue a warning about the imminent revolution. “It’s starting,” she says ominously. “If only they knew what was coming.”
Despite this, Jamie's love for Claire remains unwavering. "You helped to pull me back from the darkness. You are always with me," he promises her. Watch below:
Will Jamie and Claire be able to protect their family and new life? Will they remain in the past or could they be torn apart once again?
Outlander season 6 opening titles
Starz has also released the opening title for the new season which features the classic theme tune and folk song, Skye Boat Song.
The stylised opening titles show shows of Jamie and Claire Fraser as they continue to pursue a happy and quiet life on Fraser's Ridge.
With the American Civil War approaching, we can't imagine it will stay happy and quiet for long.
Check out the clip below.
Will there be an Outlander season 7?
Yes, filming has officially started on the seventh season.
The news was announced on Outlander's official social media account, which shared a picture of the beaming cast on-set together, including Sophie Skelton, Balfe, Heughan and Richard Rankin.
Outlander was renewed for a seventh season back in March 2021, and will be based on Diana Gabaldon’s novel Echo in the Bone.
Matthew B Roberts, Outlander showrunner, said: “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.”
In an interview with ELLE Magazine, Roberts explained exactly how the pandemic had impacted the show, causing the most complications with its trademark sensual scenes.
"We have a lot of intimate scenes – that's where we live and breathe," he said, explaining that the cast and crew had worked hard to "keep Outlander, Outlander" while still sticking to safety guidelines, and that the series would rely more on visual effects this season.
However, a wider question is also raised: will the seventh season be the last?
Speaking to RadioTimes.com earlier this year, Caitriona Balfe said: "I don't know. I mean, we've only been picked up for one more season. So those decisions are sort of out of our hands.
"But you know, I always have said, if we have good scripts, and if the story is interesting, then, you know, why wouldn't you want to continue on?"
However, the actress reiterated on further renewals of the show: "That's above my pay grade, those decisions.”
Outlander season 5 ending explained
*Warning: spoilers ahead for Outlander season five episode 12*
Season five was as action-packed and nail-biting as ever, with near-death experiences for both Roger (by hanging) and Jamie (snake-bite); a desperately sad farewell to Murtagh; and Brianna dealing out justice to her rapist Stephen Bonnet, whom she shot out of mercy knowing that drowning (his death sentence) was his greatest fear.
Roger, Brianna and Jemmy also failed to return to the future through the stones, landing back where they started in 18th century America – before realising that 'home' meant their family around them at Fraser's Ridge.
However, the most dramatic and also controversial storyline was reserved for the end of the season, which saw Claire brutally gang-raped by Brownsville resident Lionel Brown and his men.
Lionel – a previous patient of Claire's – attacked Fraser's Ridge and kidnapped Claire, before confronting her about her medical pseudonym, Dr Rawlings, and blaming her for his wife rejecting his sexual advances.
During the rape, Claire went into a dissociative dream-scape, imagining her family as they would be if they lived in the 1960s.
Speaking to The New York Times, Balfe explained how the creative team "had so many conversations about how to empower Claire".
"I felt that if we were going to do the dream-escapes, we had to keep in mind why," she said.
"They’re not a gimmick, not a reason to wear cool costumes. Claire is experiencing something terrible. This has to show the progression of her mental state, to show that she’s reached a breaking point, that she’s snapped in some way, and is trying to stay in one piece."
Jamie and his men discovered Claire tied to a tree, Lionel and his men asleep at their campsite – all were killed except Lionel, who was brought back to Fraser's Ridge for questioning.
John Quincy Myers offered Claire revenge, but Jamie reminded her and John of her Hippocratic oath to "do no harm".
However, Marsali never took such an oath, which she later used to her advantage when she poisoned Lionel using Claire's newly-made syringe.
Outlander season 6 episodes: What will happen next?
Speaking about season 6, Heughan said: “We’re still in America, we’re in Fraser’s Ridge and there are some new characters who are friends and there are new foes, too... But we’re also building up to the War of Independence – nothing is ever easy in Outlander.”
Earlier, Heughan and co-star Caitriona Balfe had spoken to Starz about what storylines they were looking forward to, claiming they want to see the Frasers “heal together” after the shocking moments in the season five finale.
Speaking during a Starz interview in September 2020, Caitriona Balfe said that Claire's healing process was "one of the things I'm most looking forward to, seeing how she copes with all that... how the family as a whole unit heal together or help her to heal."
Fall-out from Lionel's death – and Claire's trauma
Jamie returned Lionel's body to his brother, who swore revenge on the Frasers – meaning that season six will likely deal with the fall-out from Lionel's murder, and Marsali's part in it.
We will also likely see Claire continue to cope with her trauma from series five – and will likely be aided by her husband, Jamie, and daughter, Brianna, who are all also rape survivors.
And of course, there's that teensy tiny issue of the looming American War of Independence, with further danger to be faced in North Carolina. Plus, Jamie's own mortality is clearly weighing heavy on him.
In the series five final episode, he ominously told Claire: “When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not, ‘I love you’, you ken it’s because I dina have time.”[sic]
In a fundraiser interview hosted by Starz in September 2020, both Balfe and Heughan mentioned the "repercussions" of Claire's rape in season five.
You can listen to their conversation here from around nine minutes in.
Marsali and Fergus
In May, Lauren Lyle (who plays Marsali MacKimmie Fraser) teased plot details for her character next season. She told TV Line that season 6 will see a change for Marsali and Fergus (César Domboy).
"We love the fact that they're one of the only couples that don't fight that much, and we don't argue that much. I mean, there's stuff I can't really talk about," she said.
"I do know some stuff is going to happen with them next season that's very much them together, so that will happen, but it'll be a totally different situation to what you've seen them in before," she added. "A lot of what Marsali is about this season is protection and really having found her place and her meaning on the Ridge."
In the books, Marsali (currently pregnant in the series) also gives birth to a baby boy, Henri-Christian, who is born with dwarfism, and the little family face cruel persecution from superstitious locals, with Fergus' mental health suffering as a result.
Beyond the central Fraser family, in the book A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Jocasta’s maid Phaedre (Natalie Simpson) and butler Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) play a larger role – it's Phaedre who discovers that her mistress and Ulysses were having an affair, and Jocasta is terrified of her new husband, Duncan Innes, discovering the truth.
However, in the series, Jocasta and Ulysses appear to have a (so far) more platonic relationship – the latter even aids his mistress in her romance with the doomed Murtagh. But could the series writers introduce the romance afresh in the upcoming season 6?
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
We also learnt in June that author Diana Gabaldon is planning a sequel book about Jamie's parents, Ellen and Brian Fraser (as she confirmed herself in a tweet).
Since Gabaldon is so involved in the TV adaptation, writing several scripts, it would stand to reason that her new writing about Jamie's parents might inform future seasons – could we see another flashback to young Jamie, as we saw right at the beginning of season five?
Sam Heughan, who has played Jamie from a young Highlander to a settler and patriarch, also told Gold Derby that he could "see where the end might possibly be" – could season six herald the end for Outlander, paving the way for possible spin-offs?
“As we get further along in the lifetime of this show, we’re going into season six now, and I think and I can see where the end might possibly be," he said.
“And it’s hard to think about that and to think about what will happen when the show is over.
“I think we’ll all miss it greatly. We already are with Droughtlander and with everything going on in the world.”
Outlander fans have also recently been speculating about whether we'll ever find out if there was a hidden reason behind Jamie's ghost appearing way back at the start of season one, staring up at an oblivious Claire, while Frank Randall in turn tried – and failed – to approach the ghost.
Fans now believe that it was Jamie's ghost from Purgatory, waiting for Claire to potentially die in her own, modern timeline.
One fan wrote on Reddit, “Remember in DiA [Dragonfly in Amber] in that beautiful monologue about God giving him a rare woman, he said it would be worth enduring 200 years in Purgatory. I don't think that 200 years was randomly included.”
Could we see Jamie dying before a heartbroken Claire returns to the present day?
Could dead characters return?
Speaking on a a panel called the End of Summer series, hosted by Facebook, Outlander author Diana Gabaldon teased that some characters that she's previously killed-off may make a return.
Asked by series producer Maril Davis if she has ever renegaded on storylines, Gabaldon said she had: “As my husband has said, ‘You can’t tell if anybody in your books is really dead unless you saw them go [dying noise] right in front of you.’"
Could this mean that a character like Black Jack could make a shock return to the show?
- Outlander is available to watch on Starz US now.