With ‘Droughtlander’ in full swing following the conclusion of season 4 at the end of January, Outlander producers Starz have offered a tantalising sneak peek of the next instalment.
On Tuesday, the American network distributed a picture online of main protagonists and power couple Claire and Jamie Fraser, played by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, looking lovingly into one another’s eyes.
The photograph shows the couple in full 18th century garb stood in woodland next to a wagon and fans of the show couldn’t be more excited.
Although filmed in Scotland, the in-show location is likely to be near the couple’s home in colonial-era North Carolina, dubbed ‘Fraser’s Ridge’. The remote settlement received its proper debut during the last season as Claire and Jamie embarked on a new life in the new world.
Shooting for season 4 took place predominantly at Wardpark Studios near Cumbernauld, with season 5 expected to follow suit.
This week’s announcement was accompanied with an intriguing plot summary from Outlander executive producer Matthew B. Roberts, who wrote: “In Season Four, Jamie and Claire’s decision to remain in the New World changes the course of their life together. After being struck by the beauty of the North Carolina wilderness – untamed and uncultivated – they choose to call it home: Fraser’s Ridge,” he said in a statement.
“However, what is a ‘dream’ for some is a ‘nightmare’ for others. Being at the center of the birth of America is often a bloody and violent and heartbreaking matter. Now, in Season Five, Jamie and Claire’s duty is not only to their loved ones, but to the community of settlers forming part of the ever-increasing Clan Fraser.”
Season 5 of Outlander will be loosely based on the fifth book by franchise author Diana Gabaldon entitled The Fiery Cross. Events during the book are nestled in the early 1770s in the lead up to the American Revolution.
Starz offered a vague explanation into how the book and the series will be linked together: “Establishing a home in the New World is by no means an easy task – and protecting it proves even more difficult – particularly in the wild backcountry of North Carolina during a period of dramatic sociopolitical upheaval.
“As Claire knows all too well, friends, neighbours and countrymen are unwittingly marching towards Revolution, with members of the elite ruling classes struggling to stifle the alarming undercurrent of unrest triggered by the Regulator Movement.
“Against this backdrop, which soon heralds the birth of the new American nation, Claire and Jamie are forced to ask themselves just how far they are willing to go to protect their home, and praying there will be no reason to light the fiery cross, an ancient Scottish call to arms.”
Expected to span 12 episodes, season 5 is scheduled to air at the end of the year but could be held back till 2020.
A sixth season of the Golden Globe-nominated series has also been confirmed.
The show’s beloved lead duo Claire and Jamie will both be returning for the next two seasons.
In an interview with Elle, executive producer Ronald Moore also confirmed that character Brianna, played by Sophie Skelton, would be returning. A recent Instagram post showing Sophie Skelton in make up added further credence to Moore’s confirmation.
No trailers for either season have been released as of yet.