Starz announced yesterday that Outlander has been renewed one last time. The beloved time-traveling period drama will end with season 8. While fans may not be ready yet to say goodbye to the Fraser family, there are a lot of positives that can be found in this announcement.
First of all, no matter what happens during season 7 of Outlander, which will air this summer, the writers will have the opportunity to bring closure to the major and minor plots in season 8. Not all of the storylines from My Heart’s Own Blood, Go Tell The Bees and future novels from Diana Gabaldon’s series may make it into the final season but the novels will always be there for fans to revisit and take comfort in.
While some fans may not see the need to announce something that is at least a year or two from now, there are logistical considerations Outlander has to plan out that far in advance. As it is, there are several book storylines from seasons 4 through 6 writers had to either abandon completely or change, such as Jamie’s remaining family in Scotland because actors from previous seasons could not come back to film additional seasons. Season 8 may still face some of these scheduling issues but now it may be easier for some recurring actors to film their last cameos on the series since there’s advance notice.
Outlander will mark its 10th anniversary next year in 2024 while likely having new episodes in production or on air, an achievement few TV shows on either side of the Atlantic can claim. This is especially rare in the period drama genre when most shows rarely have more than 3 or 4 seasons.
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, budget cuts, and other reasons too complicated to explore in this article, many viewers in recent days and weeks have heard the bad news that their favorite series is canceled and will never return. Starz recently canceled Dangerous Liaisons along with Becoming Elizabeth and Step Up because of low ratings. Fans of other recent series on Netflix, HBO Max, and other services have heard that they will never find out what their favorite characters will do next.
It is also important to consider what 10 years of filming mean for the cast and crew that have worked so hard on this series. Filming means spending months at a time away from family, and pandemic safety has made film sets even more isolating. It’s understandable that some people are going to want to take an extended hiatus from working. Fans should definitely keep in mind that the cast and crew have more than earned the right to rest and spend time with their family and friends.
There’s also the consideration that the current core Outlander cast have gained international renown from the series. Fans have enjoyed seeing their favorite actors pursue side projects such as Lauren Lyle in Karen Pirie, Caitriona Balfe in Belfast, and Sam Heughan’s charity and business ventures. Viewers will likely never know how many opportunities were missed because other projects couldn’t fit around the intense filming schedule. Outlander having a clear end date now allows this brilliant cast and crew to be able to pursue many more exciting on and off screen projects.
Starz also announced that the prequel series Outlander: Blood of My Blood is officially beginning production. Since the prequel is focusing on Jamie’s parents, this is an equally good opportunity for novel fans to find the answers to unanswered questions but also for TV series fans to see Scotland as a central focal point of the story once again. The sequel series will likely bring back viewers to the fold who stopped watching Jamie & Clare’s story after they move to America. Outlander: Blood of My Blood is also an opportunity for the creative team to explore history and personal stories that do not have as much novel material behind them. We already know the ending which makes the journey and process to get there more intriguing.
Saying goodbye to a favorite TV show is hard but there are aspects of Outlander we’ll always keep with us. The friends we’ve made through fandom, our happy memories of seeing favorite moments on screen for the first time, reading and re-reading the novels, the meetups/conventions, and more. If you think about it, the really hard goodbye is actually whenever we read the last page of the last novel.
Outlander is available to stream on Starz in the U.S. and LIONSGATE+ in the U.K.