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Outlander season 6: Everything we know so far

Outlander season 6
(Image credit: Starz)

The Droughtlander is coming to an end! Outlander season 6 is on the way and, to tide over thirsty fans, Starz dropped the first photos of Claire and Jamie. The good news is that filming has wrapped, which means we're one step closer to seeing the Fraser family saga continue. The bad news is that Outlander season 6 will be shortened to just eight episodes. However, there's a silver lining, since Outlander season 7 (already ordered by Starz) will be longer to make up for it.

Outlander season 6 will be based largely on Diana Gabaldon's sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which tracks Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) on the eve of the American Revolution.

Outlander has been a big hit for Starz since it premiered in 2014. Created by Ronald D. Moore, the time-traveling historical drama follows Claire Randall as she journeys from Scotland of 1945 to 1743. There, she meets and falls in love with Jamie Fraser — despite having been married to Frank Randall in the 20th century. Claire and Jamie become involved in the Jacobite rising and slaughter, then are separated when a pregnant Claire travels back to the future. After giving birth and raising their daughter, Brianna, Claire returns to the past to find Jamie. They are reunited and end up sailing across the ocean to America, where they settle down in North Carolina.

Here's everything we know about Outlander season 6.

Outlander season 6 release date window

Starz announced that Outlander season 6 will be released in early 2022.

Filming on season 6 wrapped filming in Scotland in June and now the show heads into post-production.

"We are excited to get into the editing room to work on bringing the fans one step closer to reuniting with the family back on Fraser's Ridge," said showrunner Matthew B. Roberts in a statement.

Outlander seasons have never had a typical premiere month, but season 5 began airing in February 2020. So, it's possible that Outlander season 6 follows suit and premieres in February 2021.

Outlander season 6 cast

The cast of Outlander season 6 will be headlined by its two leads: Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. 

They will be joined by quite a few returning cast members, including: ; Richard Rankin as Roger Wakefield, Bree's husband; John Bell as Ian Fraser Murray, Jamie's nephew; Lauren Lyle as Marsali MacKimmie Fraser

  • Sophie Skelton as Brianna Randall, Claire and Jamie's daughter
  • Richard Rankin as Roger Wakefield, Brianna's husband
  • John Bell as Ian Fraser Murray, Jamie's nephew
  • César Domboy as Fergus Fraser, Claire and Jamie's adopted son
  • Lauren Lyle as Marsali MacKimmie Fraser, Fergus' wife
  • Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser, Jamie's godfather
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy as Jocasta MacKenzie Cameron, Jamie's aunt

Outlander season 6 adds several new faces to the cast, who are playing the Christie family (introduced in book six). 

Mark Lewis-Jones is playing Tom Christie, described by Starz as "a fellow Ardsmuir prisoner and devout Protestant, arrives on Fraser’s Ridge seeking a place to settle. As de facto leader of the Protestant settlers who arrive with him, Tom’s strong opinion and convictions begin to create tension on the Ridge."

Alexander Vlahos portrays Allan Christie, Tom's son, who is "headstrong and wary of strangers, he is highly protective of his family as they settle into this new environment."

Jessica Reynolds is Malva Christie, Tom's "young, spirited daughter" who is "captivated by Claire’s work and modern thinking, which gets Malva in trouble with her conservative father. She struggles to toe the line between what she wants to do and what is expected of her."

Outlander season 6 episodes

As mentioned above, Outlander season 6 will consist of just eight episodes. In a statement, Roberts explained why this season will be so short.

"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," he said. "Dinna fash, we will then film an extended season 7 with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy."

Outlander season 6 teaser trailer

While Starz hasn't dropped an Outlander season 6 trailer yet, the network did treat fans to this behind-the-scenes teaser from the set. It provides a glimpse of the cast filming as well as a very non-spoilery look at what to expect from season 6.

Outlander season 6 photos

Along with the announcement that Outlander season 6 will premiere in early 2022, Starz released three photos, including the one at the top of the page that shows Claire and Jamie in an intimate embrace. 

The other two feature Brianna, with her parents and with husband Roger.

Outlander season 6 photo: Brianna, Claire, Jamie Fraser

(Image credit: Starz)

Outlander season 6: Roger and Brianna

(Image credit: Starz)

The Outlander cast also shared quite a few set photos while filming. Sophie Skelton posted this Instagram selfie with Sam Heughan:

Meanwhile, Heughan tweeted this cheeky image of himself with Caitriona Balfe.

Outlander season 6: Sam Heughan with Caitriona Balfe

(Image credit: Sam Heughan/Twitter)

Balfe posted a selfie with her "first love" — her set horse!

Lauren Lyle shared several set photos, including this one of herself getting ready to wear her costume:

Outlander season 6 story and book spoilers

Outlander season 6 is based on book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which takes place just before the American Revolutionary War. 

Starz released a long description of the season:

"The sixth season of Outlander sees a continuation of Claire and Jamie’s fight to protect those they love, as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in colonial America. Establishing a home in the New World is by no means an easy task, particularly in the wild backcountry of North Carolina—and perhaps most significantly—during a period of dramatic political upheaval. The Frasers strive to maintain peace and flourish within a society which—as Claire knows all too well—is unwittingly marching towards Revolution. Against this backdrop, which heralds the birth of the new American nation, Claire and Jamie have built a home together at Fraser’s Ridge. They must now defend this home—established on land granted to them by the Crown—not only from external forces, but also from the increasing strife and conflict in the community within their care. For the Frasers and their immediate family, 'home' is more than simply a site in which they live, it is the place where they are laying the foundations for the rest of their lives. If Season 4 asked 'What is home?' and Season 5 asked, 'What are you willing to do to protect your home?' then Season 6 explores what happens when there is disharmony and division among the inhabitants of the home you’ve created: when you become an outsider, or an ‘outlander,’ so to speak, marginalized and rejected in your own home."

Outlander cast members have also provided insight into what season 6 will bring. Balfe told that Claire will need to heal from the brutal rape she suffered at the hands of a group of men in the season 5 finale.

"For Claire, this is going to be an ongoing journey of recovery," Balfe said. "She will probably try to plow on and get back to normality, but I don’t think she’s fully aware of just how difficult, subconsciously and psychologically, that’s going to be for her."

Heughan said, "When we left season 5, the whole family is fractured. They are together but Claire still has some healing to do.”

While Jamie and Claire's love is unshakeable, the couple will experience change in their relationship. Showrunner Matthew B. Roberts told Elle, "I think what's going on in the world at the time, 1775, is really similar to what's going on with Jamie and Claire. There's going to be a revolution with them as well, and I think that's what's going on throughout the season: You have a foundation and when that foundation is shaken and there is a revolution, you have to deal with it. That's kind of the theme of the season."

When will Outlander season 6 premiere on Netflix?

Currently, Outlander seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix. 

Usually, an Outlander season is released on Netflix two years after the finale episode aired on Starz. That means Outlander season 5 won't hit Netflix until May 2022.

As for when Outlander season 6 will be on Netflix, it hasn't even aired on Starz yet. It is due to premiere in early 2022. If the finale airs in spring 2022, then season 6 would start streaming on Netflix in spring 2024. Yes, that feels like a very distant future!

What's coming next on TV? This fall brings plenty of drama in Grey's Anatomy season 18, NCIS season 19 and Succession season 3.

And prepare to say goodbye as some fan-favorite series come to an end, including This Is Us season 6 and The Walking Dead season 11.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.