Now that we've made our way into February, Outlander fans' thoughts are turning more and more towards Sunday, February 16: that's when STARZ's series adaptation of author Diana Gabaldon's novels returns for a fifth season.
As fans continue to debate and speculate Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie's (Sam Heughan) fates, the cable network is focusing in on the drives and motivations of our cast as they head into the fifth season – beginning with Richard Rankin's Roger and Sophie Skelton's Brianna (which you can check out here). STARZ followed with a teaser focusing on the women who are the heart and soul of Fraser's Ridge (more about that here) and a look at Jamie's journey – one that will find him torn between loyalties.
With only about a week to go, we think it's pretty safe to say that fans' excitement levels are starting to peak around a Spinal Tap-loving "11" – but all that excitement can get exhausting and draining. Thankfully, the fine folks at STARZ have you covered – following up on the ambient sound/visuals of Adso and the Fraser's Ridge yule log with the calming sounds of a flowing Fraser's Ridge stream:
Considering how long fans have had to wait for the series return, there's probably not much interest in talking about life after Outlander – especially with the series renewed through a sixth season. But just in case, series executive producer Maril Davis and STARZ President/CEO Jeffrey Hirsch have some good news: the cable network is already in discussion with producers for more Outlander – including additional seasons, spinoffs, sequels, and storyline extensions.
Here's what Hirsch had to say to Deadline Hollywood: during STARZ's Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press event:
"As long as the fans continue to crave the story, we'll continue to have Outlander on the air. We are constantly talking to our partners at Sony and the show continues. We're excited about season five and because we bought seasons five and six [together], we feel that arc is great and Ron and Meril are doing a great job."
"We think there's a lot of opportunity in the Outlander universe to have story extensions, spin-offs or sequels, we continue to look at that and talk with our partners at Sony. Hopefully we'll find something that feels great and that we can continue to tell that story."
For Davis, there are still books to be adapted so they're good-to-go as long as the cast is: "There are still many more books to go. We're willing if the actors are willing."
With all of that said, Hirsch wants to make it clear that discussions are still in the early stages so no details are in play yet:
"We just started to think about what the story is. There's the next generation of cast in the show, which could be a rich story. We've tossed it around with Sony but there's nothing in the development process."
Following a look back at the trailer (as well as the opening credits and the original teaser), the cast and crew offer clues as to what viewers can expect. But first… the drumbeats of war are getting louder, as is the growing temptation to change history – even for a greater good:
As promised, here's a look at how the new season came together:
Here's what executive producer Matthew B. Roberts had to say about the upcoming season of Outlander, based on Gabaldon's The Fiery Cross (the fifth novel in the series):
"Scotland once again plays North Carolina very well, and we're jumping out to different locations. I don't want a place where we've been before. If we go to [Jocasta's] estate and film there, I want to go to every section of that estate …our new locations manager is fantastic and knows Scotland well. He's been coming at it with fresh eyes and we've really found a few amazing new places that I'm really excited to show the fans. Breathtaking is the word I used when I saw it the first time."
STARZ COO Jeffrey A. Hirsch first revealed that the series would not be returning until 2020 in July 2019, saying at this summer's Television Critics Association (TCA) press event that the decision to delay the 12-episode season was based on STARZ's overall scheduling plan:
"Everything we do is based on delivery, trying to have something on the air to serve that premium female audience. We have some shows coming before like Power that serve the general market. It's more about scheduling around that digital experience."