The good news is that Outlander is back for its sixth season as of Sunday, March 6; the bad news is that due to COVID-19 protocols and star Caitríona Balfe’s pregnancy, Season 6 is only eight episodes long. That means a lot of stories that were supposed to unfurl in what would have been the seasons’ ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth episodes have been moved to a super-sized Season 7—which won’t premiere until sometime in 2023.

“Yes, we moved a lot,” Outlander executive producer Maril Davis recently told Parade in an exclusive interview. “There is definitely story to finish. We have four episodes left that we’d already crafted out… We’re definitely going to finish the stories that we wanted to tell in Season 6 in Season 7.”

Work is already underway on Season 7, which will take close to a year to film with the extra episodes. Davis is hoping to get the green light for a Season 8 before the Season 7 finale is written, so they can wrap up the story if need be.

“Listen, I’d love a Season 8, so I think we’re all ready to do it if we get the go-ahead,” she says. “But, obviously, yes, I hope [we find out] in enough time to do justice to it. Also, the longer we wait, the longer the Droughtlander would be because this show is such a massive endeavor, it takes a long time to get it up on its feet. I hope they tell us. I would love to know earlier rather than later, so, hopefully, we will know soon.”

In fact, Davis’ wish list is not just for an eighth season, but to go even beyond that—all the way to the 10th book, which Outlander creator Diana Gabaldon is in the process of writing now that the ninth book, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, has been released.

“I’d love to see it through to the end,” Davis continued. “I think this has been such a fun project to work on. It does make me pretty sad to think one day it will end, because there’s no other show I have as much fun talking about.”

Speaking of seeing it through to the end, an advantage that Davis has over most of us—except for Heughan, who also knows—is that Gabaldon shared the ending with her. Still, she told us, “I don’t know what she’s planning. She sent me the last page of the last book, but I feel like that’s not enough for me. I want to know what book 10 is going to be already. I still have questions, though. I’ll be honest, I still have questions.”

Keep reading our Q&A with Outlander executive producer Maril Davis to find out about the changes at Fraser’s Ridge in Season 6, how Claire (Balfe) and Brianna (Sophie Skelton) deal with being modern women who have to make compromises to live in the 1770s, and how upcoming episode will reveal what happened to Ian (John Bell) during his time with the Mohawks.

The big change for Season 6 is the addition of the Christie family. How would you describe the effect that the Christies’ arrival has on the story—and how big of a threat are they?
We talk so much about the themes of Seasons 4 through 6. Season 4 was: Where’s home? Season 5 was: What would you do to defend that home? And Season 6 is now all about what do you do when that home turns against you.

That starts when the Christies arrive at the Ridge, because they bring with them the fisherfolk, who are a very superstitious group. There’s conflict between Tom and Jamie going back to the Ardsmuir days as we started up episode one. They’re two such different men. Jamie is a leader of men; Tom is not a natural leader of men but wants to be. Jamie is very confident in who he is; Tom is not. He’s a man with so many conflicting emotions.

Their conflict actually permeates the Ridge as the season progresses. We’ll start this march to what we talked about, this idea of Jamie and Claire having to defend themselves against their home. The place they built and brought all these people to is going to start to turn against them. We’ll see that as the season progresses. Quite honestly the Christies are the inciting incident of that.

A lot of people think that Claire is a white witch. How much does that play into what happens with Claire and Brianna in Season 6? Will Brianna hold back her skills because she doesn’t want to be considered a witch as well?
I do think that is Brianna’s nervousness. She’s seen what happened to her mom, and she certainly doesn’t want to not only cause that for herself but also cause that for her family. She’s very protective of her mother, especially coming off the trauma of Season 5.

I think Claire cannot help herself. Even though in Season 5, Claire’s trying to help everyone, trying to bring hygiene and all of these things to the Ridge, to women, to everyone around her, unfortunately, it led to all these problems with Lionel Brown, who didn’t appreciate that from Claire.

Despite that, Claire, this season, recreates ether, despite knowing that this could bring suspicion on her, knowing the fisherfolk might already think she’s a witch because of her doctoring skills and her progressive views. She does it anyway because she knows it can help people. That’s what I love about Claire, that despite the danger it brings, despite coming off of that horrible end of season 5, she still won’t let that stop her and she’s still going to do what she needs to do with ether, because if she can just help one person that will be enough.

Fergus is also greatly affected by what happened with Claire’s kidnapping in the fact that Marsali was also hurt, and he wasn’t there to protect her. Why doesn’t he snap out of it and realize when he’s drunk he can’t protect her?
I think, as it should be, so much attention’s put on a victim of things and they should be the most important person, but it always affects the people around them. While it is crazy to think Fergus could have done anything to help Marsali or Claire, there’s a guilt that’s gnawing on him.

Fergus has struggled for a long time. He’s missing a hand. Even though no one else sees this as an impediment, Fergus feels in this time when working with your hands is so important to having a trade, it gnaws at him. It just brings up the attack when he wasn’t able to help; it brings up all of these emotions he’s been struggling with for so long.

I think the Fergus-Marsali arc this season, while short, is so good. I think Lauren and César really, really nailed it. But I think Fergus is really struggling. Claire’s struggling this season, but Fergus is really struggling, as well, in different ways. It’s like two sides of the coin, it’s like the victim and also someone who wasn’t a victim but has their own trauma surrounding what happened in season 5.

The set for the Big House is gorgeous, and yet you take a whole episode to leave Fraser’s Ridge to tell Ian’s story when he was with the Mohawks. Why step away to do that?
We always have been planning to tell Ian’s story. If anything, I think we’re just sad we couldn’t do more of it because, in the books, he’s with the Mohawk much longer than we were able to play in the show. But it’s such a huge part of who Ian is.

He’s been struggling since he’s been back. He’s struggling with who he is: Is he Mohawk, is he not? Is there still a part of him there? We’ve not been able to solve the answer of what happened to Ian, why has he come back when we never thought we’d see him again, and what has happened to him in that time.

Since we’ve seen Young Ian, there’s kind of a cloud over his head. We know something’s wrong, but we’ve been waiting this whole time for him to let us know, which will be revealed. I just wish we could have spent a little more time in that story. It’s just fascinating and John Bell does such an amazing job.

As the books go on, Diana brings in a lot of new characters, so Jamie and Claire aren’t always in the forefront. But for the series, that’s what people want to see. Do you see that as a problem if you move forward to Season 8?
I don’t think so, because for me it’s true and certainly in Season 7 there are a bunch more characters that she introduces, that you spend more time with. But, for me, I always feel even when you are spending time with the other characters, I think of Jamie and Claire as the center of a wheel and everyone else’s stories are the spokes, so everything that happens somehow comes back to Jamie and Claire. Even when you’re not with them specifically, you feel like you are connected to them. I’m never that worried. I feel like, of course, everyone wants to see Jamie and Claire, so do we. But there are a lot of great stories coming up. I think they will always be there, so I don’t see it as a huge issue.

It was announced that the writer’s room would be working on the prequel concurrently with Season 7. Can you say if it’s coming from Diana or if you will be creating it?
I can’t. I would love to, but I’m not allowed to say anything. As soon as I am, let’s talk again.

Outlander season 6 airs new episodes Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on STARZ.


By Damyan Ivanov

My name is Damyan Ivanov and i was born in 1998 in Varna, Bulgaria. Graduated high school in 2016 and since then i'm working on wordpress news websites.