When season 7 of Outlander premieres on June 16, the American Revolution has arrived, and along with it, two new characters, who will play important roles in the lives of the Fraser clan: Rachel and Denzell Hunter.
Season 7 will be based on two of bestselling author Diana Gabaldon’s novels, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (book 6) and An Echo in the Bone (book 7). The sixth season was cut short due to COVID-19 and Caitríona’s pregnancy, so season 7 has been supersized into 16 episodes. The first eight will air this summer, and the remaining eight will not air until sometime in 2024.
The casting of Izzy Meikle-Small as Rachel and Joey Phillips as Dr. Denzell Hunter was revealed last August, but now STARZ has released several photos of the Quaker brother and sister in character, which we didn’t previously have.
If the story stays true to the book, we first meet the two when their lives are disrupted by the arrival of Young Ian (John Bell) at their farm with a sick and injured William Ransom (Charles Vandervaar), Jamies’s illegitimate son from a one-night tryst Jamie had with Geneva Dunsany (Hannah James), the daughter of Lord and Lady Dunsany, while he was indentured at Helwater estate.
Denzell has been trained as a Doctor of Medicine in both Boston and London, and the meeting spurs him on to leave the farm and join the Revolutionary Army as a surgeon.
“Denzel has a real urge to join the Continental Army and serve as a surgeon because he believes that liberty is a gift from God. And so that then starts their journey as Rachel comes with me,” Phillips said.
Rachel is more cautious, but when their fellow Quakers disapprove of Denzell’s plans, it puts Rachel in the position of having to follow him to war rather than staying home on their family farm.
“She’s a bit more conflicted though,” Meikle-Small said. “She just has to go. She’s like, “I have to go with him.”
In a recent Outlander Twitter post, the two actors described what they are enjoying most about the roles.
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) May 3, 2023
Phillips said, “When I first read the script and read the character description of Denny, I just loved him straightaway. He’s such a rare character in that he’s an innately good person.”
And Meikle-Small added, “What I really love about Rachel is that she’s so full of conflict. She’s a Quaker, but she’s living throughout the War of Independence. Everything she has, you see her kind of catching herself and having to reevaluate all of her values and different things. So, I think you see her really discovering who she is. But what I love most about her is she’s so empathetic. She has so much time for everybody. She cares for everybody, and she loves the people around her so much.”
Outlander season 7 will premiere on STARZ on June 16.