Why Outlander Doesn’t Have The ‘Luxury’ To Start Shooting Season 6 Yet

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in Outlander Season 5 trailer

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A lot of TV shows have gotten back to work at this point, filming new episodes for network TV as well as streaming. One show that sadly has not gone back to work yet is the fan-favorite premium cable series Outlander and now executive producer Maril Davis has revealed why the series is still on the backburner and why shooting would be a “luxury” for the Starz series.

In fact the Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe starrer doesn’t even have the promise of a start date yet. That may seem wild in an era where Shameless already banged out a full season and shows like The Conners can get back to work. However, Maril Davis says Outlander presents a lot of difficult challenges, both in the sheer number of extras needed to film Season 6 and also the intense romance scenes the show requires of some of its major characters. Outlander with no sex for Claire and Jamie? No thanks.

We are going to be shooting Season 6. That has been slowed down as well. We will come back once we feel like it's safe to do so with our crew and our cast. We don't have the kind of show, unfortunately, that can be COVID friendly. That's something that a lot of studios are talking about, and some shows have the luxury to do that, we do not. It's the least COVID-friendly show ever. It means that maybe there's no kissing, there's no interaction; there's not a lot of actors and extras.

Speaking as part of the Outcasts podcast, Maril Davis got into some of the nitty gritty issues that are keeping Outlander from getting back to work. It honestly makes sense. If you are caught up on Outlander or have read the books, you should know that war is on the horizon for America and Britain and tensions are high. Jamie was given a parcel of land by the British government and has been thrust into the middle of the conflict. But if there’s war, that means a whole lot of extras are needed to film the series and right now is just not the time for such a large production to be off the ground, particularly if there are any budget concerns.

Previously over the summer, it seemed like there was already some traction on Outlander Season 6. The cast, including series lead Sam Heughan, was champing at the bit to get back to work.

So, what happened there? On the podcast, Maril Davis does seem to indicate there’s been the hope of starting back up for some months now, but the show hasn’t been able to make it work.

Honestly, it's been conversations that's been happening since everyone shut down, but we're still here and I think we'll still be here. So, hopefully, we'll get a couple more seasons going and we'll be making this for a long time.

Look if you aren’t a huge Outlander fan, you may not understand that the wait between seasons on this show has always been lengthy. It just takes a really long time to produce the Starz series and prior to the events in 2020, the so-called “droughtlander” between Season 5 and Season 6 was supposed to be lengthier than normal. Then COVID happened, and while Maril Davis seems to indicate here the show hopes to get Season 6 (and Season 7!) off of the ground as soon as it can, there’s going to be an even longer drought to contend with.

So, I suppose we might as well get used to it and the fact that Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe are going to be that much closer to their real characters’ ages on the show next time we see them. Luckily, previous episodes of Outlander can be viewed with a free trial of Starz and a few seasons are still available on Netflix. Or you can see what's actually making it to the small screen this fall with our full TV schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.