- Outlander -How 'Outlander' Season 6 Plot Could Be Impacted By Fewer Episodes
Are the people behind Starz's Outlander some sort of time travelers like Claire? Because it seems the writers saw into the future and knew that COVID-19 would make Outlander Season 6 have fewer episodes than expected. Why else would they include so much of the sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, into their Season 5?
As Entertainment Weekly announced, Outlander Season 6 will have eight episodes instead of the intended 12 because of filming complications due to COVID-19. To make up for the cut, Season 7 will have 16 episodes. Here's what Roberts said about the decision: "Filming in 2021 has presented an unprecedented set of challenges which led us to the decision to truncate the season in order to bring the fans the most vibrant and dynamic season as soon as possible. Dinna fash, we will then film an extended season 7 with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy." (I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little "fash", sir.)
But what about the storylines in Diana Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes (ABOSAA)? Will they all be wrapped up in the shorter Season 6 or will the TV adaptation need to dip into Season 7 to finish?
If Season 6 will end with what happens at the end of ABOSAA, the show is suspiciously prepared for this change. ABOSAA is one of the longer books in the Outlander series, but Season 5 already featured these Book 6 plots:
- Stephen Bonnet capturing Brianna
- Bonnet's death
- The Dutch family's house
- The Browns forming the Committee of Safety
- Claire being kidnapped and sexually assaulted
- The introduction of Wendigo Donner
By wrapping up Bonnet's storyline early, the show freed up Brianna's plotlines significantly. And by already introducing Wendigo, they set up for events dealing with the long-awaited house fire. When it comes to Claire's assault, she'll still be processing it in Season 6. But the show can get into her relationship with the Christies — played by new actors Mark Lewis Jones, Jessica Reynolds, and Alexander Vlahos — quicker. Vlahos joked on Twitter that the longer Season 6 premiere (90 minutes versus a standard hour) is due to introducing these scandalous characters.
While I've spoken to both The Outlander Podcast and OutlanderBTS about how difficult it must be for the writers to adapt ABOSAA with its many complicated storylines, it seems the show might have been able to complete the book with just eight episodes... and a 90-minute Season 6 premiere. If that proves to be true, then, the house fire will probably occur in the Season 6 finale, setting up Season 7 to begin where the seventh book starts.
Still, fans on Reddit are torn if eight episodes will be enough to finish ABOSAA. And viewers probably won't know for sure until Season 6 is closer to premiering in early 2022. (According to Sam Heughan, it will premiere in February, but that's not official.) But this whole season switch-up has led to another query: What will Outlander do with 16 episodes for Season 7? Season 1 had no problem filling 16 episodes, but could the extra episodes be used to finish off Jamie and Claire's TV story? Well, a longer Season 7 should not be interpreted to mean the show will end then. But someone send the time-traveling writers back through the stones to find out for sure!