Outlander Season 8 is on the way, so here is everything currently known about its cast and upcoming release on Starz.
Based on the Outlander novel series written by Diana Gabaldon, this series centers on a World War II nurse who finds herself taken back in time to 1743, where she falls in love with a Highland warrior.
The show quickly became one of the most highly-regarded historical dramas in the game, traveling across centuries of human history and highlighting some of the biggest wars and public events ever seen in the United States and worldwide.
When Is Outlander Season 8 Releasing?
Deadline announced that Outlander was renewed by Starz for its eighth season in January 2023, also confirming that Season 8 would be the final effort for this series.
However, series star Caitriona Balfe shared with Radio Times that production for Season 8 was delayed due to the writers' strike, noting that a start date was in place prior to the work stoppage:
"Well, we had a date. And now with the writers' strike, who knows? So we have to just wait and see."
This quote indicates that Outlander Season 8 had a start date for production, which likely means that sets and locations were prepped for shooting before Hollywood shut down.
Balfe also told Express in May 2023 that shooting would have started "in a few months," although no specific start date was provided:
"We’re about to start shooting, in a few months, our eighth season but our seventh season is starting to air on June 16th on Lionsgate+."
Filming can kick up fairly quickly since both the writers' and actors' strikes ended in November.
For reference, filming for Season 7 started in May 2022 and finished in February 2023 (confirmed on Instagram by star Sam Heughan), totaling 220 days of shooting before the season debuted on June 16, 2023.
Then Heughan took to Instagram (via TV Insider in November 2023) to share an image of himself in front of a huge Outlander sign with the captions "Season 8..." and "prep," indicating that he was gearing up to start working on the show again.
Assuming Season 8 starts shooting in 2024, that will most likely last throughout most of the year and possibly into early 2025.
Given that timeframe, fans shouldn't expect Outlander Season 8 to hit the air until at least late 2025, but there's a better chance that the show doesn't return until Winter or Spring 2025.
Who’s Cast In Outlander Season 8?
While Season 8's cast hasn't yet been confirmed, a handful of important actors from the first seven seasons are almost certainly set to return to the fray.
Leading the way again will be Caitríona Balfe as Claire Fraser, the aforementioned nurse who is transported to the Scottish Highlands in the 1740s and utilizes her skills throughout history, sometimes resulting in her being put in danger.
Sam Heughan is expected to return as the young Scot Jamie MacKenzie Fraser, portrayed as quite educated and worldly by the standards of his 18th-century origins. He's even granted the title Laird of Broch Taurach before he starts his time-bending relationship with Claire.
Claire and Jamie's daughter, Brianna, should be back in the fold with Sophie Skelton reprising her role, with the character being raised in 20th-century Boston until young adulthood before she learns the truth about her heritage.
Richard Rankin is also expected to be back in Outlander Season 8 as Roger, the adopted son of Reverend Wakefield and a direct descendant of the MacKenzie line. He eventually falls in love with Brianna, and they start a family together, resulting in three children.
Lord John Grey (David Berry) first encountered Jamie and Claire ahead of the Battle of Prestonpans before Jamie spares his life in Season 2, leading to them becoming quite close throughout the decades.
First coming onto the scene in Season 2, Charles Vandervaart should also be back as William Ransom, the son of Lord Ellesmere and Geneva Dunsany, whom Jamie also fathered.
Outside of that, John Bell's Ian Fraser Murray should also be expected to come back, playing a key role as Ian Murray and Jenny Fraser's son.
What Will Happen in Outlander Season 8?
With the Outlander show consistently following the story laid out in the original Outlander series, Season 8 is set to be based on the ninth book in the series entitled Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, which comes before a 10th book set to be released at a later date.
It's unclear if the 10th book will be included as part of Season 8's plot, although Sam Heughan told Business Insider that he knows what happens in the story and is sworn to secrecy about the details.
In this story, Brianna appears to suffer some heart damage from time traveling as Claire diagnoses her with atrial fibrillation. In contrast, William travels to his plantation in Virginia and meets somebody who believes he is Lord John's son.
More romantic relationships get underway as Brianna gets a commission to paint a portrait for a rich society couple in Savanah, and she also finds a new time traveler and gets pregnant later in the book.
Executive producer Maril Davis also discussed the show's ending with Radio Times, explaining to fans that she and the team have had plenty of discussions with Diana Gabaldon about the series' conclusion. Once that happens, they'll run the ending by the book's author and get the go-ahead for development:
"We’ve talked to Diana a bit. Once we figure out how the actual ending is going to be – which we don’t totally have yet – I think we’ll run it by her and make sure she’s OK with it."
Davis made it clear that the team doesn't want to step on any toes, assuring the fans that they "want to repay [Gabaldon] and be respectful of her" and do justice to the stories she wrote:
"I’ve asked her about things that we want to do to make sure she’s OK. The last thing we want to do is step on Diana’s toes, she’s been so lovely and supportive of this series and so thrilled with how it’s gone. We want to repay her and be respectful of her, do her books justice."
Gabaldon has also always felt that "the books are hers and the show is something different," showing the forethought to separate the two entities so that the show can exist as its own story separate from the source material:
"But also, she’s always felt like the books are hers and the show is something different and I love that about her, she gives us that freedom also to take chances and risks and do things slightly differently."
Looking back to the end of Season 7, Claire and Jamie's relationship will be tested against the backdrop of the American Revolutionary War in the 1770s, with their whole family caught in the crossfire.
Considering that those two and their relationship are the centerpiece of the entire Outlander story, Season 8 will give them plenty of action and airtime to send them off with the most appropriate ending possible.
Plenty of mysteries wait to be solved since Gabaldon's 10th book has yet to be released, which could have a huge influence on where the final season goes.
But considering that Outlander hasn't been afraid to divert from its source material in past seasons, that may not be as much of an issue this time, especially with Gabaldon in such close contact with the team behind the TV show.
Outlander Season 8 is waiting for filming to begin, and it hasn't yet a release date.