New episodes of Outlander are just around the corner, and to gear up, the cast took on New York Comic Con 2021 on Saturday, October 9.
While star Sam Heughan joined executive producer Maril Davis and series author Diana Gabaldon in person on the Empire Stage at the Javits Center, costars Caitriona Balfe, Lauren Lyle, César Domboy, and John Bell attended virtually to offer teases and answer questions about the upcoming sixth season.
Along with unveiling the first teaser trailer and key art for the season arriving in early 2022, the panel featured some scoop on upcoming storylines, as well as behind-the-scenes secrets. Below, we’re breaking down all of the buzziest moments from the event.
A Snowy Situation
One of the first topics discussed during the panel was the weather’s effect on Season 6 production. “It has become a character in the show,” Maril teased. “We were just hit by so much horrible weather,” she added, noting that there were a lot of last-minute changes that needed to be made because of the weather. According to the executive producer, the bad weather was one of the many reasons Season 6 has been reduced.
The show’s key art teases snow, and considering Season 6 is based on Gabaldon’s book A Breath of Snow and Ashes, it’s a fitting element. Caitriona remarked on the chilly weather revealing that she and César “had a pretty snow scene” this season.
Make Way for the Christies
“They’re such a weird little family,” Sam teased of Outlander‘s latest additions, the Christie family. Patriarch Tom (Mark Lewis Jones) is someone from Jamie’s past who settles on Fraser’s Ridge with his daughter Malva (Jessica Reynolds) and son Allan (Alexander Vlahos). Those familiar with Gabaldon’s books know that the trio will be stirring up trouble in North Carolina.
Sam joked “unfortunately, Jamie is a man of his word,” meaning his acceptance of the Christies is something that a less tolerant man might not have. Despite the more serious storylines that will take place with the family, Caitriona remembered new costar Mark brought some lighter moments to set. “He’s great,” she said. “He had Sam and I in stitches.”
Diana also shared her excitement over the Christies’ arrival saying, “I’ve been thrilled with how they’ve metamorphosed.”
Despite Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin missing out on the panel, Maril filled fans in on where Roger and Brianna are when the show picks up. “They have kind of realized this is their home now,” the executive producer shared, hinting at the couple’s failed Season 5 attempt to return to the future.
Meanwhile, it sounds like Fergus is hitting the bottle as César said, “yeah, there’s a bit of Fergus liking to try his own product.” Could it lead to some problems? Based on Lauren’s estimation of Fergus and Marsali’s Season 6 journey, it sounds like a possibility. She teased that it’s “the darkest place they’ve been” in the series so far.
And expect a more grown-up Young Ian in Season 6. “He’s a bit more mature,” teased John, adding that his character is “not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.” It’s like nephew, like uncle as Sam shared that Jamie being a man of his word doesn’t mean much to his fellow Fraser’s Ridge inhabitants as ties begin to “disintegrate.” The actor revealed that it’s “even harder” for Jamie this season as he begins to lose his grip on the reins a bit.
Jamie is supporting Claire after her brutal Season 5 finale assault. As she heals, Caitriona said Claire’s “not intentionally taking a step back” from her work, but it is the “first time she can’t suppress something” and that it “bleeds into every aspect of her life.”
When asked about the status of Roger and Brianna’s family planning, Maril was vague in her answer joking that the couple could have triplets. “Who knows?” she said, keeping some mystery regarding the young couple. This spawned a deeper conversation about pregnancy on set, particularly, Marsali’s fake baby bump.
“They think it’s funny to punch the stomach,” Lauren said, noting that César doesn’t but most of the other men do. “I feel like for Season 7 we’ll have a special episode where the men are pregnant,” Maril interjected, suggesting an interesting concept.
The “first episode is extended” Sam shared, adding “it just builds.” Despite being a shortened season, there’s still a lot to unpack as the characters endure different forms of trauma amid the Revolutionary War. “There are so many traumatic things this season,” Maril added.
When the panel entered the fan Q&A, Maril described the season once again as “traumatic,” and Diana chimed in “that’s why it’s my favorite.”
During a round of quick questions from the panel’s moderator, the participants shared some interesting behind-the-scenes secrets such as Caitriona and Lauren’s ability to nap almost anywhere. And when it comes to disasters with animals on set, John brought up his character’s dog Rollo, whom he lovingly referred to as “our disaster.”
The fan Q&A unveiled some interesting info including some of the toughest skills the cast has had to pick up in order to play their character. For Caitriona, the one-handed stitch as a surgeon was her toughest skill challenge. Meanwhile, one fan inquired about where things stand between the Frasers and Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) who essentially threatened Jamie in the final moments of Season 5. “It’s pretty clear this is only the beginning,” Sam responded.
Another attendee congratulated Caitriona on the recent birth of her son and asked how that impacted filming in regards to hiding her baby bump. Despite some incredible and “more voluminous” costumes, Caitriona noted that most of the camera people on set are men and that was a bit challenging because they didn’t notice the bump as much. According to Caitriona and Maril, there’s some work being done in post-production to fix any slip-ups.
As for Catiriona’s onscreen husband Sam, he couldn’t commend her enough for managing to get through the season in winter… during COVID… while pregnant.
Season 7 Plans
In the panel’s final moments, it was also revealed that filming for Season 7 will commence next year, in other words, Outlander fans have a lot to look forward to in 2022. Stay tuned for updates on the show as we head into the new year and let us know what you thought of the panel in the comments, below.
Outlander, Season 6, Coming Early 2022, Starz