Outlander spoilers ahead.
Outlander season seven is on its way, but unlike our beloved Claire, it’s just not as easy as jumping forward in time to see how the new episodes play out.
The sixth season of time-travelling period drama landed on Starz/Starzplay in March 2022, continuing the adventures of the Frasers and their family, who are attempting to build a nice, quiet life in 18th-century North Carolina.
Unfortunately, their lives are never peaceful – and it doesn’t help that the Revolutionary War is brewing, either.
By the end of season six, Claire found herself in serious danger, with the other members of the family, including Jamie, Young Ian, Bree, Roger, Fergus and Marsali, spread out across the land.
So what’s going to happen in Outlander season seven? Here’s everything you need to know.
Outlander season 7 potential release date: When it’s it out?
While there was a huge 21-month droughtlander between seasons five and six (thanks for nothing, pandemic) fans hopefully won’t have to wait quite as long for season seven.
A photo on Outlander’s official social media accounts in April 2022 showed main cast members Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin back on the Scotland set at the start of production.
Sure enough, Outlander boss Maril Davis confirmed, during an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, that they had started shooting for season seven in May 2022. While she remained coy about when it may hit our screens, Davis noted that they were on “a fairly typical schedule” while also pointing out that it’s set to be a “supersized season”.
We were previously aware that Outlander’s seventh outing is going to be twice the length of season six, at 16 episodes long.
During an interview with Digital Spy for season six, Balfe also revealed that they would be filming the next season for 13 months, which would take us up to at least May 2023.
We’d expect to see episodes soon after that. So unfortunately, we’re likely looking at the end of 2023 at the absolute earliest.
Obviously as soon as we know more, you’ll know more!
Outlander season 7 cast: Who will be in it?
Season seven will focus on events featured in author Diana Gabaldon’s sixth and seventh books of the Outlander series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone.
Those books feature all the main characters so the following actors will definitely be back:
• Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser)
• Caitriona Balfe (Claire Fraser)
• Richard Rankin (Roger Mackenzie)
• Sophie Skelton (Brianna Mackenzie)
We’d also expect to see fan-favourites return including:
• John Bell (Young Ian)
• Lauren Lyle (Marsali)
• Cesar Domboy (Fergus)
• Caitlin O’Ryan (Lizzie)
• David Berry (Lord John)
And as the new season needs to resolve cliffhangers from the end of season six, some newer cast members may return to continue their character storylines, including:
• Alexander Vlahos (Allan Christie)
• Mark Lewis Jones (Tom Christie)
• Brennan Martin (Wendigo Donner)
• Chris Larkin (Richard Brown)
• Paul Gorman (Josiah and Keziah Beardsley)
In July 2022, Alex Vlahos, in an exclusive chat with Digital Spy, teased his return to the series and what that does entail.
“For Tom and Allan, it surely can’t be over,” he said.
“So I will say, you know, Allan’s journey on that, there’s so much more that we shot that didn’t even make it in to the show, which is a shame. The Christie’s journey isn’t over.
“He’s a puppet master. He might look dim or quite simple when people meet him, but I think he’s malicious. He’s a puppet master.”
A brand new cast member was announced in May 2022, finally putting a face to one of the franchise’s most highly-anticipated characters. Charles Vandervaart, of Lost in Space and The Craft: Legacy, is going to join Outlander as William Ransom – the secret son of protagonist Jamie Fraser.
In the book William, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, has been raised by his stepfather Lord John Grey (played by David Berry on the show), and he is completely unaware of the truth about his birth father.
There will also be the introduction of the Hunter siblings from the books in the new batch of episodes. Never Let Me Go’s Izzy Meikle-Small is taking on the role of Rachel Hunter, while Joey Phillips (Casualty) will play her brother Dr Denzell Hunter.
The siblings’ lives are changed when Young Ian comes to their farm with a sick and injured William Ransom.
Denzell is trained in medicine, and is planning to join the Revolutionary Army as a surgeon, while Rachel is modest but shows signs of fiery spirit that gains admiration from Young Ian and William.
Fans will also be hoping that Graham McTavish may pop up in Outlander again. The actor, who appears with pal Sam Heughan in the TV road trip travel series Men In Kilts, starred in the first two seasons of Outlander as Jamie’s uncle, Dougal Mackenzie.
He then returned in season five to play Dougal’s relative, Buck, and hinted to Digital Spy that he would always be up for another appearance on the series.
“Buck… I don’t know,” he teased. “Well, I know he’s in the books – I think he’s in book seven and eight – but I don’t know… Well, listen, I’ll tell you one thing about this business is that the actors are the last to know!”
Outlander season 7 plot: What will happen?
Season six ended with some big cliffhangers that are sure to be followed up in season seven.
Claire is imprisoned in Wilmington and could be put on trial for the murder of Tom Christie’s daughter, Malva – and if she is found guilty she would be sentenced to be hanged.
Jamie, meanwhile, has just been rescued from the clutches of Richard Brown’s Committee of Safety and – with Young Ian and John Quincy Myers – is en route to rescue her, presumably planning another prison break. (He already rescued her from Fort William in season one, and she rescued him from Wentworth in season one and from the Bastille in season two, so they both have experience in these matters.)
The seventh season also needs to reveal who really did kill Malva, and what the significance of the reappearance of time traveller Wendigo Donner means for the Fraser family.
There’s lots more danger to come for the Fraser family, too. The finale of season six hinted at the growing unrest in the nation as Claire arrived in Wilmington, and season seven will show the Revolutionary War (the American War of Independence) looming ever closer to Fraser’s Ridge.
Diana Gabaldon’s seventh book, An Echo in the Bone, takes place between 1776 and 1778, and the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, while the war itself continued until 1783.
Fans of the books will know that the Fraser family get pulled into the war, and that Jamie will find himself on the opposing side to his friend, Lord John, and Lord John’s ‘son’ (actually Jamie’s biological son) William.
There will also be the arrival of a new family member – in season six, Brianna announced she was pregnant with her second child – which could lead to big decisions for her and Roger about where (and when?) they wish to raise their growing family.
Outlander season 7 episodes: How many will there be?
Due to pandemic filming issues, Outlander season six was cut from 12 episodes down to eight – the shortest season of Outlander there has ever been.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that those four episodes have been carried over to season seven which, as previously mentioned, will be a storming 16(!) episodes in length.
“What we did was we took the four episodes that we would have filmed [for season six] and we are now having them at the beginning of season seven, so season seven is going to be a 16 episode season,” Caitriona Balfe explained exclusively to Digital Spy.
“I think in that way we are still able to do Outlander in the way we’ve always been able to do it, we take our time, we allow the story to unfold…”
Outlander season 7 trailer: When can I see it?
Unfortunately, there’s no sign of any new footage just yet from season seven. Trailers for Outlander tend to be released when Starz (in the US) and Starzplay (in the UK) want to announce a broadcast date for the next series.
Since that’s unlikely to be until the start of next year at the earliest, we wouldn’t expect to see a trailer to arrive until least the end of 2022.
Can’t wait that long? At least your favourites will still be on your screens in some capacity. Sam Heughan stars in the romantic comedy It’s All Coming Back to Me, which is due for release in cinemas in February 2023 (just in time for Valentine’s Day!). He also has a second season of Men In Kilts (set in New Zealand) with Graham McTavish on the way.
Cesar Domboy will be in the thriller series SAS: Rogue Heroes alongside Dominic West and Sex Education’s Connor Swindells, which is due to air in 2022. Lauren Lyle will star in ITV’s Scottish police drama series Karen Pirie, also set to air later this year.
Outlander season 6 streams on STARZPLAY in the UK and Starz in the US.