If there’s one thing Outlander fans are good at, it’s waiting. Maybe it’s something to do with the whole uncertainty of time travel - no one ever knows for certain how long the separation is going to last. Multiple times throughout Diana Gabaldon’s amazing stories, characters have stepped through standing stones, gemstones in hand, not knowing for sure where or when they would arrive, or how long it would be before they saw their loved ones again, if at all. So, it probably stands to reason that fans of the series would have to learn to endure their own version of torturous waiting.
Book fans have become used to tantalisingly long cliffhangers, with the wait between books 8 and 9 a record seven years - a number, ironically, that’s the same as the amount of seasons that have currently been filmed! But for some tv fans, the wait between those seasons has been almost too hard to bear. Thankfully, that’s all about to change.
The announcement of season 7’s premiere on June 16th has been met with both excitement and frustration, with the added news that only the first half of the season will be screened in 2023, with the remainder to follow in 2024.
Fans that have been with the series since the beginning will be familiar with this formula - who could ever forget the 6 months that passed between the episode where Jamie appeared on that castle wall, pistol in hand, saying to Black Jack Randall, “I’ll thank you to take yer hands off my wife” and the episode where he actually ensured Claire’s rescue? It wasn’t only Jamie’s guts that had been torn out - it was ours too! Six months was certainly a long time for our hero to be crouching on that ledge!
But of course, we survived. Then, at the end of season 1, we endured a longer Droughtlander of almost 11 months before season 2 began. Subsequent Droughtlanders have always been around the year long mark, until a global pandemic stretched the wait to almost two years between seasons 5 and 6. Yet somehow, the cast managed to juggle industry lockdowns, social distancing, masks, testing and the pregnancy of the show’s star, Caitriona Balfe, in order to continue Claire and Jamie’s story - even if it was in a shortened season of only 8 episodes. Fans were then promised a bumper season 7, which only completed filming a few weeks ago. With 16 episodes, it is not surprising that editing will take time, so just like season 1, there will be a mid-season Droughtlander to endure before the entire season is screened.
The good news, of course, is that fans will now be guaranteed new Outlander episodes in both 2023 and 2024, with a Droughtlander between the two halves that promises to be shorter than usual. Plus, season 8 will commence filming before this year is out, so it may well follow in 2025. (We won’t talk about *that* Droughtlander though, given that it will far more permanent…)
And that’s not all! Seasons 7 and 8 will be followed by “Blood of my Blood”, the prequel story of Jamie’s parents. Already a planned book, this new tv series will be in the safe hands of Matthew B Roberts, Ronald D Moore and Maril Davis, with Diana Gabaldon herself serving as a consulting producer.
On top of all of that, book fans will be rewarded for even more waiting, with the tenth and final Outlander novel, the prequel novel about Jamie’s parents, a book about the mysterious Master Raymond and a tantalising story called “What Frank Knew” all due to be published in the years to come. There may well be more short stories, more Lord John adventures and another Outlandish Companion too.
So, in short, dinna fash, Outlander fans! There is lots to look forward to for a long time yet!
What’s that motto again?
Oh yes, that’s right.
“Je suis prest.”