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Laura Hurley

Outlander Executive Producer Talks The Super-Sized Season 7 And Jamie's Thoughts On The Revolution: 'Allegiance Will Be Torn'

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in Outlander Season 7

Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of Outlander, called “A Life Well Lost.”

Outlander has officially returned to Starz for the seventh season in the 2023 TV schedule, more than a year after the Season 6 finale ended on Claire imprisoned as a murderess with Tom Christie as her only ally in Wilmington. “A Life Well Lost” wasted no time in resolving the cliffhanger, with Jamie arriving to try and save his wife and Tom ultimately confessing to Malva’s murder so that the innocent Claire could go free. All the while, the rebels taking up arms against those loyal to king and country complicated everything, and there are still fifteen episodes left in the extra-long Season 7. Executive producer Maril Davis spoke with CinemaBlend about what’s on the way!

Claire discovered while briefly imprisoned that the courts had shut down due to the brewing war against the British, and her knowledge of the future was enough that she knew she could be languishing behind bars for years while awaiting trial. The war also resulted in Jamie’s loyalties being called into question when he tried to persuade the governor to free Claire, and even citing his friendship with Lord John wasn’t enough to get his wife freed. 

The first episode of Outlander Season 7 seemingly pretty much wrapped up the Malva Christie plot, complete with Jamie getting his revenge on the Browns. There’s still the question of who actually killed the young woman and her child, but the Frasers are free to head back to the Ridge. War is on the way, however, and even knowing the future won't necessarily save them all. The seventh season should have plenty of time to tell the story, with its 16-episode count as the longest in nearly ten years. When Maril Davis spoke with CinemaBlend, she shared her thoughts on crafting that super-sized season after Season 6 was cut short:

I don't know if we were able to plan ahead, but I think certainly knowing we had more episodes was helpful. Season 6 was a bit of a crazy season for us. Obviously, I've never had a season where we, halfway through, were like, 'Oh, we're not going to make it,' that we had to shave off some episodes. It worked out beautifully, and actually, the season ended on kind of a lovely little cliffhanger moment, so actually it all worked out really well. But during the time it was quite stressful, and I think knowing we could make that up in Season 7 was a relief. But also, that's a long time for filming. We haven't done that since Season 1 had 16 episodes. I was a little worried about our crew and our cast.

Season 6 was originally planned to run longer than just eight episodes, but the challenges of production in 2021 with COVID precautions meant that it had to be cut short. A total of sixteen episodes means that fans will get enough in Season 7 to not only make up for the shortened sixth season, but it will be the longest since Season 1. Maril Davis went on to share that it “was such an exciting season” despite her early concerns about the cast and crew, then continued:

Everyone just felt this renewed sense of energy, and it did not feel like it was a year of filming. It really went by so fast, because I think everyone was so enthusiastic. We were all so thrilled to be back in more of a normal sense after COVID. We still wore masks, and we still had the protocols, but... there was a feeling on set this year. I haven't felt that since Season 1... That COVID period, that Season 6 made us have a new appreciation of the show, and we've always loved it. But I just felt a spring in everyone's step, and I don't know if that's also because we had new cast members this season. It was really exciting.

An extra spring in everyone’s step is promising for what’s on the way in Season 7, not least because news that Outlander will end with Season 8 makes this the penultimate batch of episodes. All sixteen won’t air over the span of four months, however, as eight episodes will air in 2023 and the other eight at some point in 2024. So, with the Outlander team unable to fulfill the original plans for Season 6, were any of the leftover episodes incorporated into the new season? Maril Davis answered that very question, sharing:

We had four episodes that we had, like, early writers' drafts on for Season 6 that obviously we didn't film, and we had to change them. But we did roll them over to the next season, so they will start off Season 7. They've changed, but they're basically some of the stuff we had towards the end of that Season 6.

The executive producer of course didn’t drop all the spoilers about what exactly was brought into Season 7 from the episodes that couldn’t be filmed for Season 6, but fans are getting to see some of that “stuff.” Outlander certainly packed a lot into “A Life Well Lost,” and there doesn’t seem to be much of the Christie/Brown plot to be resolved after the events of the premiere. That should allow the show to embrace the complications of the coming revolution, with questions already arising about Jamie’s loyalty. 

When speaking with the Maril Davis, I noted that one of the most striking images of the whole series came when Jamie previously went into battle in the Colonies, and he donned the dreaded red coat of the British army. Sam Heughan fought for that moment to be included, but Jamie obviously would have preferred to never wear it. According to the EP, fans shouldn’t worry about Jamie having to wear that coat again:

I think that's pretty safe to say. [laughs] I don't think we'll be seeing him in that again, but I think obviously, his allegiance will be torn, and that question of who to fight for and what to fight for is a big theme of this season.

It should be interesting to see how Jamie handles his allegiance being torn, considering that thanks to the time travelers, he already knows that the Brits will lose the war and the Colonies will become the United States of America by the time Brianna is born. Still, he has ties to the British that won’t be easily cut, and Season 7 will feature Lord John and William Ransom, a.k.a. Jamie’s secret son. 

All in all, there’s a lot happening for the Frasers with the American Revolution breaking out, and it remains to be seen how the MacKenzie branch of the family plays a part with Brianna and Roger. Stars Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin shared honest thoughts about their characters’ relationship and Bree’s second pregnancy.

See what’s next for Jamie, Claire, and all the rest with new episodes of Outlander on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz. Season 7 will also be available on the Starz app at midnight E.T. on Fridays for fans who prefer their fix of 18th-century drama via streaming. 

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