🚨 Minor spoilers for Outlander Season 5 below. 🚨
It's official: Outlander Season 5 is coming in February.
Starz announced today the new season will premiere Sunday, February 16, 2020. The cast of Outlander—Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Duncan LaCroix, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and David Berry—as well as author Diana Gabaldon will also appear on a panel at New York Comic-Con on October 5.
Though it feels like this round of Droughtlander has stretched on for two centuries, it's only been a few months since we last saw Claire (Balfe), Jamie (Heughan), Brianna (Sophie Skelton), and Roger (Richard Rankin) on our screens. Production on Season 5 of Outlander is currently underway in Scotland, and thanks to Diana Gabaldon's books, we have a good idea of what's coming next for the Frasers.
The Season 4 finale saw several significant changes for the Frasers: Brianna gave birth to a son before reuniting with her parents and eventually, Roger, though his return required Young Ian (John Bell) to take his place as a member of the Mohawk tribe. And the episode's final moments brought a startling cliffhanger: A letter from Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) demanding Jamie build an army to fight the Regulators—and capture and kill Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix).
Now, we have one of our first looks at the new season, set to premiere early next year. Starz released a "Coming Soon" sizzle reel of its upcoming shows and projects, and it features a few seconds of footage from Season 5 of Outlander. At 0:18 in the video below, you can watch Claire and Jaime tenderly embrace. At 0:32, Claire tells Jaime, "it's time."
Here's everything else we know about Season 5 of Outlander.
1 | Season 5 will premiere in early 2020.
Starz confirmed the news on July 26.
2 | Season 5 will likely be based mostly on Book 5 of the Outlander series, The Fiery Cross.
When Seasons 5 and 6 were officially renewed in April 2018, Starz announced they would be comprised of the fifth and sixth books in the Outlander series, The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
“Every year we approach it fresh,” executive producer Ronald D. Moore told EW in March 2018. “Should we keep it a book a season? We’ve done that up until now. But we’ve talked about splitting books, and we’ve talked about combining them. We want to be free in the writers’ room to pick and choose and do what feels most comfortable that year.”
Though it's unclear whether the seasons will split up both books evenly—as the show's done for the most part in seasons past—or attempt to combine the two, executive producer Maril Davis tweeted a sweet photo of a dog curled up with a copy of The Fiery Cross. Part of the caption read, "Thankfully we’re already knee deep into S5 #FieryCross," a hint that most of the next season will be based on that book.
Here's how Gabaldon's publisher, Penguin Random House, describes The Fiery Cross:
The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge. Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleft stone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time—1743—when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George’s army. Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor—Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes…
You can read a spoiler-y preview of The Fiery Cross at dianagabaldon.com.
3 | Seasons 5 and 6 will have 12 episodes each.
In comparison, Seasons 2 through 4 had 13 episodes each.
4 | Season 5 started shooting in April.
Starz announced on April 16, 2019 that production on Season 5 had officially begun. In June, Heughan told Parade production shot two and a half episodes so far.
5 | Balfe and Heughan are now producers.
BAZAAR.com confirmed in April that the show's stars are also now producing on the series. Balfe told BAZAAR in December 2018, "It's important to have a say. We've built these characters from day one, and I think we feel—especially when so many of our core writers are not on the show anymore and we've got new writers coming in—it's [important] to retain that through-line throughout all the seasons."
6 | The Frasers will get caught up in America's pre-Revolutionary spirit.
"By the end of the season you see, no matter how hard they try, they get pulled into it," Heughan told BAZAAR.com of Season 4's climax, teasing what that means for the new season: "It's going to really set up that whole world and the different political sides with Murtagh... It's going to be tough. This is not the first time they've dealt with these things. And at first Jamie thinks he can play it. He can play with fate and play with history, maybe to his detriment."
Heughan also told Parade that Jamie ultimately joins the British side against his better judgement. "He’s actually on the opposite side of the side where his allegiance really is and his loyalty lies, but he knows he needs to do it," Heughan said. "He needs to do it for his family and for his tenants. He has to secure this land and make it a safe place for them, so he goes in league with the British."
7 | Brianna and Roger aren't going anywhere.
Expect to see just as much Bree and Roger as Claire and Jamie in seasons to come. “The story is as much Brianna and Roger's as it is Claire and Jamie's,” Balfe told BAZAAR.com in December. “The show has evolved to tell the story of this couple, and more, this family... Going forward it's going to be a much more evenly doled-out set of storylines.”
8 | Jamie and Roger will clash again.
Executive producer Toni Graphia told Variety that Jamie isn't pleased with Roger's hesitancy to return to Brianna. “I think Jamie will never forget that Roger took more time than Jamie may have thought he should have taken to come back," Graphia says. "He’ll still have to do some proving of himself to Brianna’s father, so I think there will be some conflict in that relationship next season that they’ll have to sort out.”
9 | Brianna and Roger will work through their relationship problems.
Bree and Roger separated angrily in the middle of Season 4, with Brianna accusing Roger of keeping vital information about her parents' deaths from her. Skelton teased there's more to come with that storyline in a February interview with TV Line. "They haven’t really sat down and had any conversations yet," she said. "They left on a big fight, and they haven’t even talked that out, and now they’ve got a baby to think of, too… They could put everything that happened aside, or it could complicate things and make things harder."
10 | Young Ian will be back.
Ian became a member of the Mohawk tribe in the Season 4 finale, but book readers know he's still very much a part of the Fraser family. As Davis put it to THR, "I'd be surprised if we didn't see Young Ian down the line somewhere."
11 | Season 5 will likely open with the Gathering.
Season 4 left out an important segment from the end of Drums of Autumn: the Gathering of all the Scottish clans in North Carolina, a setting that bleeds into The Fiery Cross. "We didn't want to start it and then stop it and then pick it up again in Season 5," Davis told THR. "It seemed like a rather large story that we wanted to get into one season as opposed to trying to bridge it over two."
12 | Several new actors are joining the cast.
Though Starz hasn't announced the news yet, four actors have signed onto Season 5, according to tweets from their management. Mark Barrett and Leonard Cook will appear in "featured roles" (per claireandjaime.com), while three-year-old twins are joining the cast in an unknown role.
13 | Adso the cat has been cast.
Starz announced the news on Twitter with a perfect photo.
14 | Changes are coming to Fraser's Ridge.
The scale of the show increases with Season 5, Heughan told Parade. "We have this whole new settlement. Fraser’s Ridge has really flourished. There’s a lot of towns nearby and you can feel the buildup of it," he said. Fans of The Fiery Cross know the Frasers eventually build a larger two-story house on the Ridge. Production designer Jon Gary Steele teased its appearance in Season 5 on Twitter back in January.