Starz’s Outlander 2021 New York Comic Con panel included Caitriona Balfe, Lauren Lyle, César Domboy, and John Bell appearing virtually while Sam Heughan, executive producer Maril Davis, and Outlander author Diana Gabaldon appeared in-person to discuss season six. The Outlander stars kept it spoiler-free while talking about the much-anticipated sixth season of the series and showed off the first official season six teaser trailer.
During the hour-long NYCC panel, Diana Gabaldon revealed she’s really excited for the fans to meet the Christie family this season. Sam Heughan responded to that declaration with a “boo” and a chuckle.
“Without giving away too much, we have this family – the Christies – that arrive at the Ridge. They initially are integrated into the new community but very soon we start to see a lot of the history that’s been between Tom and Jamie really get under the skin of everyone and it starts to sort of disintegrate or decay what Claire and Jamie have built on Fraser’s Ridge,” said Jamie, explaining the Christies impact on season six. “They’re fantastic. I mean, Mark Lewis Jones is just incredible. Alex (Vlahos)…Jessica (Reynolds)…they’re such a weird little family on and off screen. So you’re going to love them, you’re going to hate them.”
Caitriona Balfe also had high praise for new Outlander cast member Mark Lewis Jones. “Oh my god, he’s great. I mean he’s such a fantastic actor, but I think he had Sam and I in stitches most. There might be a little operation that Claire has to do on Tom and Mark was just so funny. Sam kept breaking every time we were doing it,” said Balfe.
Asked what season six has in store for Bree and Roger, Maril Davis replied, “I think they both have settled in. I mean, as much as one can settle in in Outlander. Obviously, we know crazy things will happen. But I think they have realized this is their home now and they’re going to make their best effort to fit in there.
I think this season is all about, for each of them, figuring out their place on the Ridge. Roger, obviously, has so many skills that he brought with him that aren’t necessarily transferable to this life so he’s still struggling with that. The same with Bree. She’s got an engineering background and it’s like how can she make that work in this time and give herself a purpose. She’s a mother and that is a purpose but she also wants something a little more for herself.”
César Domboy joked that season six will find Fergus really enjoying sampling his own product. “You can see him actually struggling and deciding to drink his way out of sadness, I could say,” explained Domboy.
Lauren Lyle’s character, Marsali, has emerged as a fan favorite and Lyle revealed she’s learned lots of people have named their cats Marsali. “I get regular messages of kittens called Marsali. That’s always great, obviously,” said Lyle, smiling. “Normally people just love that she’s a bit outspoken and says what thinks, and has no filter. I feel Outlander fans often are the same, so we all relate to that same trait.”
Lyle also dropped a few hints as to what’s in store in season six. “You kind of catch Marsali in probably…I would say Marsali and Fergus are in the darkest place they’ve been in,” said Lyle. “Me and Ces always think we’re like the cool, fun couple that like never fight. And maybe there’s one or two fights this season, and Marsali’s slightly more run off her feet.”
Lyle explained raising the kids and taking on more responsibilities will keep Marsali busy in season six.
As for Young Ian, John Bell said we’ll be catching up with him after he’s been through a highly emotional time. “He’s been through the wringer, bless him, but now he’s a little bit more mature, a bit more grown. I think you’re going to see that side of him because he’s not afraid now to really stand up for what he believes in, having had all these amazing life experiences beforehand,” revealed Bell.
Sam Heughan spoke about how the men of the Ridge will act around Jamie in season six, given the amount of men he killed at the end of season five. “I think Jamie and Claire have spent a lot of time building this community and I think this is the season where we see that really disintegrate. Jamie, he went to save Claire but I think obviously she hasn’t gotten over that trauma. I think Jamie’s very aware of it; he’s keeping an eye on her. I think these cracks are really starting to show, not only for Jamie and Claire but for the rest of the inhabitants of Fraser’s Ridge.
The war is coming…it always seems to be coming…but it is coming and we’re very aware. Jamie’s really having to tread a fine line between his loyalties. He knows he’s on the wrong side, the British, and at some point he’s going to have to switch sides. But it’s even harder this season for him because he’s being pulled in both directions.”
Caitriona Balfe confirmed Claire will have a difficult time following the trauma she endured in season five. “I think she’s not intentionally taking a step back, really, but I think given what happened at the end of last season I think for the first time…you know, Claire’s always been so good at compartmentalizing everything. She sort of puts the lid on things and moves on. But I think this is the first time she can’t suppress something and this is the first time where she really has to deal with happens.
We see her maybe be a little bit destabilized and so that bleeds into, I think, every aspect of her life. As much as she wants to continue on as if nothing had happened – and as Sam said Jamie is so aware of it he’s watching her… I think everybody is much more aware of what’s going on with Claire than she is until it becomes too much and she has to sort of deal with it,” explained Balfe. “It has an affect on every aspect of her life and definitely about her life as a doctor.”
- Sam Heughan said the first episode will be extended beyond an hour.
- Maril Davis revealed season six will be intense, packed, and a journey of trauma for multiple characters.
- Maril Davis confirmed season six will air in 2022 and season seven will start shooting next year.
The Outlander Season Six Plot, Courtesy of Starz:
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 Season 5 Episode 1 “The Fiery Cross” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 2 “Between Two Fires” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 3 “Free Will” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 4 “Company We Keep” Preview
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 5 “Perpetual Adoration” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 6 “Better to Marry Than Burn” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 7 “The Ballad of Roger Mac” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 8 “Famous Last Words” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 9 “Monster and Heroes” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 10 “Mercy Shall Follow Me” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 11 “Journeycake” Recap
- Outlander Season 5 Episode 12 “Never My Love” Finale Recap