A SECOND season of the multi-million pound fantasy season billed as Scotland’s answer to Game of Thrones has been given the green light - just days after the first episode was aired in the United States.
More than five million viewers have watched the launch of Outlander, which has been extensively filmed in Scotland since last autumn and is set in the Scottish Highlands. A second season could be worth around £20 million to the Scottish economy.
The 16-part series, the biggest single television or film production to be made in Scotland, led to the creative of a temporary studio complex in a disused warehouse in Cumbernauld.
Cable channel Starz, which has joined forces with entertainment giants Sony to make Outlander, has now announced that at least another 13 episodes will be made, with executive producer Ronald D Moore, who is best known for Battlestar Galactica, at the helm again.
The show is based on the novels by American author Diana Gabaldon, who has written eight full-length books so far, which have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
Chris Albrecht, chief executive of Starz, said: “The overwhelming support Outlander has received from the fans, viewers and critics made the decision for us to go ahead with the second book a very easy one.
“Diana Gabaldon has given us years of great drama. With an incredible artist such as Ronald D. Moore at the helm and a cast as spectacular as this, we look forward to continue this spell-binding journey.”
Moore added: “I’m thrilled at the prospect of doing another season of this show.
“This project has been a labour of love from the very beginning and it’s incredibly gratifying to see it succeed with viewers and critics alike.”
Both Moore and Gabaldon are due in Scotland next week to make appearances at the TV and book festivals respectively.
Outlander has been in production in Scotland since September, filming in a vast temporary studio created in a warehouse in Cumbernauld, as well as at a range of outdoor locations, including Doune Castle in Perthshire, the villages of Falkland and Culross in Fife, and Loch Rannoch, in the Highlands.
Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government said the show, which has a budget of more than £50 million for the initial series, represents the biggest single inward investment in a film or TV production in Scotland, with around 200 crew based here working on the show.