This past weekend, the cast of Outlander returned to New York Comic Con to discuss the upcoming Outlander Season 6. Sam Heughan showed up in person, while Caitríona Balfe streamed in virtually from the UK. Outlander author Diana Gabaldon and executive producer Maril Davis joined Heughan on stage. And Lauren Lyle, John Bell, and César Domboy all virtually joined as well. The always engaging cast dropped some tea for season 6, plus some behind-the-scenes stories. So buckle in, here’s every single thing we learned about Outlander season 6 at Comic Con.
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Outlander Season 6 is darker
The panel kicked off with the Outlander season 6 trailer. It was 60 seconds of pure joy and a hint of trauma. And by hint of trauma I mean it looks extremely intense and stressful. What happened to “Jamie and Claire go on a nice vacation?!” Instead, they are stuck on Fraser’s Ridge, which looks very snowy and very dark, and Claire and Jamie look very concerned. Because the Revolutionary War is coming, people. You know what doesn’t mix well? Wars and Frasers. Ask any of them. Though the trailer does open on Jamie and Claire cutely riding in their little horse carriage smiling at each other. Ahhh bliss, peace. Then there’s a shot of Claire crying. I do not like this. If Claire cries, we cry. She’s been through enough. We’ve been through enough. But then again, that tracks. Hello, Outlander you’re back.
When asked how the cast would describe season 6 in one word, here’s what they had to say:
Diana Gabaldon: “Fabulous.” Gabaldon also revealed that this upcoming season is her second favorite after season one — and season one was amazing. So that’s quite an endorsement.
Maril Davis: “Traumatic” — to which Gabaldon interjected, “That’s why it’s my favorite.” (Okay, so any of us hoping for Jamie and Claire to take a nice peaceful beach vacation as they deserve, well that’s gone.) Davis is always honest, we are her. She is us. A traumatized Outlander fan. Remember when Gabaldon indicated that Jamie was okay in her newest upcoming book, but said nothing about Claire? Well, that scared Davis and Outlander fans everywhere.
Cesar Domboy: “Healing.”
Lauren Lyle: “Intimate.” Okay, Fergus and Marsali have 20 children, let’s slow the intimacy down you little randy cats.
John Bell: “Cathartic.”
Sam Heughan: “Extended” — Heughan reminded everyone that the Season 6 premiere will be an extended episode. Although this season will only be 8 episodes, season 7 will be 16 episodes.
Caitríona Balfe: “Unraveled” — this worries me. But then again, Claire ended last season coming right off a horrible trauma, so Claire unraveling is to be expected. But Balfe implied everyone would be unraveling. Cool. Can’t wait. Wine, whisky, or Xanax, which do we need? Tell us.
Hard to imagine Outlander getting any darker! But here we are.
Jamie and Claire
Balfe and Heughan both revealed that Jamie and Claire will be facing the aftermath of Claire’s assault, the incoming war, new enemies, and old ones including the Brown family, one of whom was responsible for Claire’s brutal attack. But thankfully he’s dead. Thank you Marsali. Heughan also revealed that Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna might start a fire. And considering she traveled back in time to warn her parents that she saw that they die in a fire, we’re left wondering is Brianna the hero and the villain?
Fergus and Marsali
This seems like a very, very dark season for Fergus and Marsali. Lyle teased that although they have been the happy couple in the past, “They have more arguments.” Maybe it’s about child care, because wow so many children. In the trailer, Fergus looks like he forgot his umbrella in one scene and is really mad about it. Plus, he might have a drinking problem. Domboy indicated he’ll be drinking the whisky instead of selling it. If the show sticks to the book storyline, Domboy’s Fergus will be facing a depressing, but interesting storyline – one that should give Domboy, Balfe, Heughan, and Lyle many scenes together. Something that was severely lacking in season 5 with Fergus.
Roger and Brianna
Sadly, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin were unable to participate in the panel due to other projects, but the cast did drop a few things about their characters. From the trailer, we see the couple looks happy. Ha, that won’t last. Roger has a big beard. Like giant. Santa Claus level. When asked if there would be more children for them, Davis quickly nipped that spoiler in the bud and said, “Maybe.”
Skelton did tease one thing to us last year. In the season 5 finale script, Brianna was pregnant, but they cut that scene. Watch what Skelton had to say here. (Wait a minute. Why does Roger have a baby in this photo? Did Maril “Spoiler Police” Davis drop a spoiler?!)
John Bell said he was looking forward to Season 6 being a “cathartic” year for his character. Last year, Young Ian was pretty down in the dumps. Something happened when he was with the Mohawk, so much so that he wanted his Aunty Claire to drop him off back in time. That’s not how time travel works! Jeez. Ian. But we love Young Ian because of how he helped save his aunt last year. He’s very handy with an ax. But you never want to mess with his aunt. Otherwise, you’ll be axed. Like fired… forever.
This season there were two baby bumps. One was Marsali, who is always pregnant. Always. And sounds like she will be again in Season 6. The other was Caitríona Balfe. One fan asked Balfe and Maril Davis how they managed to hide the bump in scenes. Because Claire is around 60ish (she’s like the Paul Rudd of the Ridge, she doesn’t really age). But while Claire is magical, I don’t think pregnant at 60 is part of those powers. Balfe said they definitely had to shoot from different angles and hide her baby bump, but most of the crew is male and she laughed that they may have thought it was hidden, but in post-production, it might not have been after all! Davis added that because people now will be looking for it, it might be easier to spot, but that “Balfe looked incredible the whole time.” Heughan added, “It’s incredible, I would say. Just to be shooting through winter, during COVID, and also being pregnant. I think Caitríona did an incredible, incredible job.”
Balfe’s been on maternity leave, in fact, the day of the Comic Con panel was her first day back at work. She started with doing a panel about her film Belfast, for which she and the film are getting a lot of Oscar buzz, deservedly so.
The cosplay Outlander game at Comic Con was impressive. There were a lot of Claires and kilts. “I can see Clairely now at Comic Con.” You know you’re singing that. Don’t lie. “I see Claire people.” No, I actually did. See for yourself.
Even though half the cast was virtual, there were still some fun classic Outlander cast moments. Lauren Lyle wins for best zoom performance at a half virtual panel. She did an impersonation of Heughan that should win some sort of award. Heughan replied deadpan, “Can’t wait to see you guys.”
Balfe also delivered her usual dose of humor, when asked what was the hardest thing she’s had to learn in this role. She replied, “The one-handed surgeon stitch. Because it’s the hardest thing a surgeon has to do.” Then she waited a moment and said, “It was a joke. I told a joke.” Balfe’s delivery of this line was pretty epic. Lyle then explained that those of them streaming in couldn’t hear the audience’s reaction. All they heard was silence. Insert sad Affleck listening to the Sound of Silence here.
When asked who does push-ups before shirtless scenes (ahem, love scenes), Heughan said, “Cait does pump a few out.” Balfe replied, “I do it all the time, there I am in my trailer doing so many. Sam never does. Ever. Ever.” (That was a joke, she told a joke). Apparently, Heughan is known for exercising before um, “exercising.” Heughan did once promise Skelton and Balfe that he would do sit-ups in a corset.
Wouldn’t be the first time darling.x https://t.co/YSp6ALnMbM
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) May 16, 2020
Is that my aunt or my wife? The Jamie Fraser story
During the fan Q&A, a woman who was in costume stepped up to the mic. Heughan exclaimed, “Claire!” To which the woman responded, “I’m Aunt Jocasta.” And Balfe looked mildly horrified. In Heughan’s defense, it’s common to mistake your 1700s wife for your 1700s aunt. Also, there was plexiglass at this event and it’s hard to see through…? (I’m really trying to help him out, but honestly, I saw her, she was clearly, Aunt Jocasta).
And how did Outlander fans react to finally seeing the cast after such a long break? The Season 5 finale was May 2020, that’s like 500 something days ago. I’m not doing the math. If joy could appear in human form, then it was Outlander fans at this panel and online. Which stories are the fans most looking forward to? Jamie and Claire as always, but also the addition of a new family, who seem to be this season’s villains, the Christies, played by Jessica Reynolds, Alexander Vlahos, and Mark Lewis Jones. They are rumored to wreak havoc on Claire, Jamie, and Fraser’s Ridge. The other story fans can’t wait for is Fergus and Marsali’s storyline this season. Fans have been craving more screen time for César Domboy’s Fergus. In Season 5, he only had a handful of scenes and didn’t speak much. This season looks to be rectifying that and fans can’t wait.
Droughtlander is almost over
The trailer showed that Outlander returns in early 2022. And someone whose name rhymes with Ham Sheughan may have accidentally on purpose dropped on Twitter a few months ago that it would be in February. Heughan is a delightful spoiler dropper. Davis is the opposite, and it’s very amusing to watch her react to every answer that might be a spoiler in this panel.
Wondering what to do in the last few months of Droughtlander? First, re-watch the entire series, seasons 1 through 5. And here’s a helpful guide we put together with our favorite episodes. Read Gabaldon’s books, it’s like getting extra Jamie and Claire content, because those books are epically long and sadly every moment can’t be included in the show. Plus, you can order Gabaldon’s upcoming ninth book in the Outlander series, Go Tell the Bees I am Gone, which comes out on November 23, 2021.
Entertainment Weekly put out this amazing special collector’s edition Outlander issue and it’s got pictures from every single season, plus exclusive interviews with Balfe, Heughan, Skelton, and Rankin. It’s like an Outlander yearbook.
You can also head to social media. Balfe and Heughan have returned to Twitter to resume their normal banter, so that’s always worth watching.
You wish you had his skills..!!!! Haha
— Caitríona Balfe (@caitrionambalfe) October 11, 2021
Season 6 will be here before you know it. The writers are already working on Season 7, and filming will resume next year for that. Jamie and Claire are backenach! We’ll leave you with this happy family photo from Season 6. You can look at it as you wait for the new season. Brianna is all of us.
The poster that was handed out and unveiled at Comic Con said, “Come What May,” with Jamie and Claire walking below holding hands. Ominous. (Not Jamie and Claire, but that saying can’t be good). Then Maril Davis tweeted the trailer out with the caption, “The storm is coming.” I hope she means a snowstorm. Jamie and Claire can just put on a parka and they’ll be fine. Everything will be fine. Narrator: But everything would not be fine.
Before you go, check out the all-time best ‘Outlander’ episodes you need to watch.