Earlier this week, as part of World Outlander Day celebrations, Starz announced that Season 6 of beloved time travel romance adaptation Outlander would be coming to us in early 2022. While Starz didn’t confirm a specific release date for Outlander Season 6 past “early 2022,” series star Sam Heughan (hilariously) seemed to let the cat out of the bag on Twitter with a more specific “February 2022.” So don’t make any Valentine’s Day plans just yet.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on television and film will continue long after the United States and other countries have turned the corner on containing the deadly virus. This is especially true in the relative short-term, as TV and film production has been made much more complicated in the past year as companies spend more money and time to keep their cast and crew safe. (Or, you know, that’s the dream.) As part of the Outlander Season 6 premiere announcement, the creators behind Outlander also revealed that Season 6 would only consist of 8 episodes, which represents the shortest Outlander season yet.
“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,” said Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts in an official statement. This shortened season will include a 90-minute premiere. Because of the limited number of episodes, Season 7, which has already been greenlit by Starz, will include a whopping 16 episodes, which will tie with the first season for the longest season of Outlander yet. (Season 2-4 consisted of 13 episodes, with Season 5 coming in at 12 episodes.)
Season 6 of Outlander will follow the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, which is titled A Breath of Snow and Ashes. The book follows Claire and Jamie as they fight for their family in the lead-up to the American Revolution. While this has not been explicitly made clear, I imagine that, because of the truncated sixth season, Season 7 will finish adapting the events of A Breath of Snow and Ashes before moving onto An Echo in the Bone, the seventh book in the series that is partially set during the American Revolution.
Filming on Season 6 just wrapped this week, with several actors (including Caitriona Balfe) marking the occasion on Twitter. While this is common practice, Balfe made mention of the uncommon circumstances of the filming, highlighting the Outlander crew for the extra measures taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And of course the fans. As part of the World Outlander Day celebrations, Outlander released a video featuring interviews with the cast (including some new additions!) speaking about the passionate nature of the fanbase.