Outlander is a historical drama television series based on the Outlander novel series by Diana Gabaldon. Developed by Ronald D. Moore, the show premiered on August 9, 2014, on Starz. It stars Caitríona Balfe as Claire Randall, a former Second World War military nurse in Scotland who, in 1945, finds herself transported back in time to 1743. There she encounters, falls in love with and marries a dashing Highland warrior named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a tacksman of Gabaldon’s fictionalized version of Clan Fraser of Lovat and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite rising.
The 16-episode first season of the television series (released as two half-seasons) is based on the first novel in the series, Outlander. The second season of 13 episodes, based on Dragonfly in Amber, aired from April to July 2016. The 13-episode third season, based on Voyager, aired from September to December 2017. The 13-episode fourth season, based on Drums of Autumn, aired from November 2018 to January 2019. The fifth season of 12 episodes, based on The Fiery Cross, aired from February to May 2020. The sixth season of 8 episodes, based on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, aired from March to May 2022. The upcoming seventh season which consists of 16 episodes, is based on An Echo in the Bone and is set to premiere in mid-2023.
In 2022, development began on a prequel series titled Outlander: Blood of My Blood, which will focus on Jamie Fraser’s parents.
- Caitríona Balfe as Claire Fraser
- Sam Heughan as James “Jamie” Fraser
- Tobias Menzies as Frank Randall (seasons 1–4) and Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall (seasons 1–3)
- Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie (seasons 1–2, 7) and William “Buck” MacKenzie (season 5)
- Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (seasons 1–5)
- Grant O’Rourke as Rupert MacKenzie (seasons 1–3)
- Stephen Walters as Angus Mhor (seasons 1–2)
- Gary Lewis as Colum MacKenzie (seasons 1–2)
- Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan a.k.a. Gillian Edgars (seasons 1–3, 7)
- Bill Paterson as Edward “Ned” Gowan (seasons 1, 3)
- Simon Callow as Clarence Marylebone, Duke of Sandringham (seasons 1–2)
- Laura Donnelly as Janet “Jenny” Fraser Murray (seasons 1–3)
- Douglas Henshall as Taran MacQuarrie (season 1)
- Steven Cree as Ian Murray (seasons 1–4, 7)
- Stanley Weber as Le Comte St. Germain (season 2)
- Andrew Gower as Prince Charles Edward Stuart (seasons 2–3; guest season 6)
- Rosie Day as Mary Hawkins (season 2)
- Dominique Pinon as Master Raymond (season 2)
- Frances de la Tour as Mother Hildegarde (season 2)
- Nell Hudson as Laoghaire MacKenzie (seasons 2–4, 7; recurring season 1)
- Clive Russell as Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat (season 2)
- Richard Rankin as Roger MacKenzie (season 2–present)
- Sophie Skelton as Brianna “Bree” Fraser MacKenzie (season 2–present)
- David Berry as Lord John Grey (seasons 3–present)
- John Bell as Ian Fraser Murray (season 3–present)
- César Domboy as Fergus Claudel Fraser (season 3–present)
- Lauren Lyle as Marsali MacKimmie Fraser (season 3–present)
- Richard Dillane as Captain Raines (season 3)
- Edward Speleers as Stephen Bonnet (seasons 4–5)
- Maria Doyle Kennedy as Jocasta MacKenzie Cameron (season 4–present)
- Colin McFarlane as Ulysses (seasons 4–5)
- Natalie Simpson as Phaedre (season 4)
- Tantoo Cardinal as Adawehi (season 4)
- Caitlin O’Ryan as Lizzie Wemyss (season 4–present)
- Braeden Clarke as Kaheroton (seasons 4, 6)
- Gregory Dominic Odjig as Satehoronies (season 4)
- Billy Boyd as Gerald Forbes (seasons 4–5)
- Carmen Moore as Wahkatiiosta (season 4)
- Tom Jackson as Tehwahsehwkwe (seasons 4, 6)
- Yan Tual as Father Alexandre Ferigault (season 4)
- Sera-Lys McArthur as Johiehon (season 4)
- Chris Larkin as Richard Brown (season 5–present)
- Ned Dennehy as Lionel Brown (seasons 5–6)
- Mark Lewis Jones as Tom Christie (season 6–present)
- Glen Gould as Chief Bird (season 6–present)
- Simon R. Baker as Still Water (season 6–present)
- Gail Maurice as Tsotehweh (season 6)
In July 2012, it was reported that Sony Pictures Television had secured the rights to Gabaldon’s Outlander series, with Moore attached to develop the project and Jim Kohlberg (Story Mining and Supply Co) producing. Sony completed the deal with Starz in November 2012, and Moore hired a writing team in April 2013. That June, Starz picked up the Outlander project for a sixteen-episode order, and in August it was announced that John Dahl would be directing the first two episodes. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht later said that he had green-lit several genre projects, including Outlander, to shift the network’s series development toward “audiences that were being underserved” to “drive a real fervent fan base that then becomes the kind of advocacy group for the shows themselves”.
Calling it “a different kind of show than has ever been on, in my memory”, Albrecht believed that Outlander‘s combination of fantasy, action, a strong central romance and a feminist focus would set it apart. Another distinguishing feature of the show is its use of Scottish Gaelic. Àdhamh Ó Broin is the language consultant and Griogair Labhruidh sang in Gaelic on the second season’s soundtrack.
On August 15, 2014, after only the pilot episode had aired, the network renewed the series for a second season of at least thirteen episodes, based on the second book in Gabaldon’s series, Dragonfly in Amber. On June 1, 2016, Starz renewed the series for a third and fourth season, which adapt the third and fourth Outlander novels, Voyager and Drums of Autumn.
On May 9, 2018, Starz renewed the series for a fifth and sixth season, which adapt The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes, respectively and each season to consist of twelve episodes.
On March 14, 2021, the series was renewed for a seventh season, originally to consist of 12 episodes and will adapt the seventh novel, An Echo in the Bone. On June 1, 2021, Starz announced the sixth season is scheduled to premiere in early 2022 with a shortened eight-episode season while the seventh season consists of 16 episodes. On November 22, 2021, Gabaldon announced that the sixth season would premiere on March 6, 2022.
Outlander premiered in the United States on August 9, 2014. Its first eight episodes aired through September and the remaining eight episodes resumed in April 2015. The first-season finale aired on May 30, 2015.
Outlander debuted in Australia on SoHo on August 14, 2014, and began airing in Canada on Showcase on August 24, 2014. The series also premiered on October 21, 2014, in Ireland. In the United Kingdom, it was acquired by Amazon Prime Video, where it premiered on March 26, 2015 In April 2015, The Herald reported that emails leaked in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack suggested that the broadcast delay in the UK may have been due to sensitivity about the September 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
The second season of 13 episodes premiered on April 9, 2016, and the 13-episode third season on September 10, 2017. The fourth season premiered on November 4, 2018, and the fifth on February 16, 2020. The sixth season premiered on March 6, 2022.
In New Zealand, Outlander was previously distributed by the video streaming service Lightbox. Following Sky’s acquisition of Lightbox, Sky’s streaming service Neon acquired the distribution rights to Outlander in New Zealand.
- E01 – “Echoes”
- E02 – “Allegiance”
- E03 – “Temperance”
- E04 – “Hour of the Wolf”
- E05 – “Give Me Liberty”
- E06 – “The World Turned Upside Down”
- E07 – “Sticks and Stones”
- E08 – “I Am Not Alone”
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