The smash hit television series follows former Second World War military nurse Claire Randall who travels back from 1945 to 1743 where she encounters, falls in love with, and marries Highland warrior Jamie Fraser.
It has made huge stars of Sam Heughan and Caitríona Balfe, as well as providing a boost to the Scottish tourist industry as fans travel to the many stunning locations used by the makers.
There are already 75 episodes in the can, based on the bestselling novels by American author Diana Gabaldon, although the last series had to be curtailed to just eight episodes due to the global pandemic.
Last time we saw the couple they were strugging with a huge amount of unrest as Jamie and Claire’s grip on Fraser’s Ridge became ever more fragile.
Now millions of Outlander obsessives are on tenterhooks waiting for the imminent annoucement of when season seven will arrive – bringing an end to the ‘Droughtlander’.
While Starz, the television network that makes and broadcasts Outlander, still hasn’t confirmed a date (sorry) there are a few things we know about the next series.
Here’s all the information we have so far.
1. It’s definitely happening
The first thing to point out is that season 7 is on – there’s no chance of a sudden cancellation. We know for sure that it started filming earlier this year when, on April 6, Starz posted on Twitter: “The cast and crew are back at it – #Outlander Season 7 is in production!”
2. A new credits song
The new opening credits for season seven were released by Starz just before Valentine’s Day this year. As ever, ‘The Skye Boat Song’ plays over the credits, but this time it’s a version sung by Irish ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ singing star Sinéad O’Connor.
3. A new look for Jamie?
Speculation has been growing that Jamie may end up looking very different this season, after Sam Heughan let slip that he had been given a makeover on set (although not necessarily the Outlander set), explaining to Holly Newson during an Amazon Audible interview: “Well, I may have had some prosthetics done at some point. You might see in the future. It was a lot of fun.”
4. But there might still be a bit of a wait
While season 7 is on its way it seems unlikely it’ll be with us this year as it can take around 12 months to film a series of Outlander. It may not be what you want to hear, but that means it’s looking like early summer would be the most likely release time. At least it won’t be as big a gap as there was between seasons 5 and 6 – that was an unbearable wait of two years.
5. It’s still being filmed in Scotland
Scottish tourism has received a major boost thanks to Outlander fans wanting to visit locations used in filming – and that’s set to continue. The cast have been tweeting about filming in Scotland throughout 2022, including at Burntisland’s East Dock, Kinloch Rannoch and Culross.
6. Spoiler alert!
The seasons of Outlander broadly follow the plot of the ten books written by Diana Gabaldon, so if you want to avoid spoilers don’t read the seventh in the series, ‘An Echo in the Bone’. As fans will be aware though, the television series doesn’t always stick entirely to the timeline of the books, so expect elements from other novels as well as some elements unique to the screen version.
7. It’ll be worth the wait
While season six was a super-short eight episodes due to the global pandemic, it has been confirmed that season seven will be a far more satisfying 16 episodes long. Showrunner Matthew B. Roberts 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 7 with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy.” That’ll make it the longest season since the first, which also had 16 episodes, half released in 2015 and half released in 2016.
8. It’s not the only Outlander in development at the moment
As if season 7 wasn’t exciting enough, Starz have confirmed that a prequel is also on the way. Earler this year, the official Twitter account announced: “The #Outlander universe is expanding! Outlander: Blood of My Blood, a prequel that will follow the love story of Jamie Fraser’s parents, is officially in development at STARZ.” It’s thought that it will feature a completely different cast (so no Sam Heughan) because the timeline completely predates the original Outlander.
9. No shortage of familiar faces
Obviously Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan will once again be starring as Claire and Jamie Fraser, with Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin returning as Brianna and Roger, along with Mark Lewis Jones as Tom Christie, John Bell as Young Ian, and Alexander Vlahos as Allan Christie.
10. And there will be some returning characters
Some characters from previous seasons will be back for season 7, including Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish), Brian Fraser (Andrew Whipp), Ian Murray (Steven Cree), Laoghaire Fraser (Nell Hudson) and Joan MacKimmie (Layla Burns).
11. Along with some new faces
Kristin Atherton (Waterloo Road) will be taking over the role of Jenny Murray from Laura Donnelly. Other new characters confirmed include loria Obianyo (Dune) as Mercy Woodcock, Rod Hallett (The Last Kingdom) as Benedict Arnold, and Chris Fulton (Bridgerton) as Rob Cameron.
12. The author who dreamed up the Outlander universe helped write an episode
Diana Gabaldon helped write the script for the last episode of season 6 of Outlander, which was truncated due to the global pandemic. She confirmed earlier this year that parts of the script she wrote would now be used for the first episode of season 7.
13. The end is nigh
So the good news is that Season 7 will not be the last. The bad news is that Starz has announced that Season 8 will be. So enjoy Outlander while you can.