According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Starz has renewed Outlander for both seasons five and six. The popular sci-fi romance series based on Diana Gabaldon’s books is still months away from beginning to air season four.
OUTLANDER Crosses the Pond
At the end of season three, the Frasers found themselves washed ashore in the New World—a very young America. While season four is still in production, the network already secured the show for two additional seasons. Based on Drums of Autumn, season four will premiere this November.
Seasons five and six will adapt their corresponding books in the “Outlander” series: The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes, respectively. The book series currently has eight installments, with a ninth in development. Gabaldon has also written the “Lord John Grey” novels in the same universe. Additionally, she worked on the graphic novel The Exile, which tells the events of Outlander from a new perspective.
While the books are consistently massive installments, their television counterparts have shortened with time. Season one (adapting Outlander) contained 16 episodes split into two arcs–before Jamie and Claire’s wedding, and after. Seasons two, three and four each have 13 episodes. The contract for seasons five and six, however, only contains 24 total episodes.
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So Many Reasons to Watch…But One Tends to Stand Out…
Outlander began thirty years ago as a writing experiment for a young Gabaldon. She had no idea then that the story would develop into a published book, let alone a series with a television adaptation. She credits this experimental nature with the ecclectic nature of her world-building. There’s time travel and mysticism, yes, but all rooted in a deeply-researched and heavily realistic history. Claire is independent and feminist but not so independent that she can resist Jamie’s…everything. There’s warfare and romance and marital negotiations, torture and sex and political intrigue. You never know quite what’s going to happen in an Outlander book, and as a result, it’s hard to determine what elements will make it to the screen.
Viewership numbers from season one, however, reveal one massive reason viewership continues to climb: the soft-core sex scenes are pretty hard to resist. While sex has always been evident in the “Outlander” series, it’s the honest and romantic way it’s often portrayed that keeps luring people in. Claire and Jamie age 20 years over the course of season three, and their actors had to wear makeup and costumes that helped portray the change. And for a thirty-year-old book that takes place in the past, the sex was brought up to speed with 21st century sensibilities almost faultlessly.
OUTLANDER Stands the Test of Time
Betting on two more seasons before the current one even begins airing is a bold move on Starz’ part. But networks seem less and less likely to take a risk on something new, and Outlander is hardly running out of material to adapt. As Game of Thrones exceeds its printed counterpart, Outlander has almost the reverse problem…and a much larger female viewership.
Based on Diana Gabaldon’s books, Outlander star Caitriona Balfe as Claire Beauchamp and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. The series follows Claire on a time travel adventure between 1940s England and 1740s Scotland. Claire is taken by mystical stones, and torn from her husband (Tobias Mezies) and post-war life in the “present day”. She meets and is forced to marry Jamie in the 18th century. Jamie and Claire reluctantly fall in love, leave Scotland, and attempt to clear his name. More characters travel through the stones and Jamie and Claire build a life together. But they still must decide what to do with Claire’s foresight before it’s too late.
Outlander was developed by Ron D Moore, who currently serves as showrunning. It is produced by Sony Pictures, Left Bank Pictures, Story Mining and Supply Company, and Tall Ship Productions.