‘Outlander’: Sam Heughan Thought the Show Would Only Last 2 Seasons

Outlander Season 6 is already almost over, thanks to its shortened season. Still, Outlander star Sam Heughan never expected the show to get this far. Even though Diana Gabaldon is working on her 10th book, Heughan thought it would be a two season show, tops. He’s glad he was wrong though. 

'Outlander': Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe kiss in season 6
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan | Starz

Heughan was a guest on the Just for Variety podcast on March 29 to promote Outlander Season 6. During the interview, Heughan admitted he initially thought Outlander would not be a long-running series. The Outlander Season 6 finale airs Sunday, May 1 on Starz.

The reason Sam Heughan predicted ‘Outlander’ wouldn’t last 

Gabaldon had already written eight Outlander books when the Starz series began in 2014. However, Heughan didn’t imagine they would film all the books. Heughan was happy to do the job and move onto the next gig, but Outlander would become the defining role of his career. 

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“That’s almost eight years ago going back,” Heughan said on Just for Variety. “No, I actually remember the first day in the car with my driver. We’re talking and he was like, ‘How long do you think we’ll last?’ I was like oh, it wouldn’t last more than a year, maybe two, two seasons. But here we are at season 6. It’s been incredible. It goes so fast though.”

‘Outlander’ made Sam Heughan an industry veteran

Heughan admits he was still a relatively new actor in 2014. Outlander was Heughans’ first lead on a series, and he had lost a lot of auditions for big films. In recent interviews he’s talked about going out for Lord of the Rings, Tron: Legacy and, with Malkin, Superman Returns. Were he starting Outlander now, Heughan would know better.

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“It was all just very new to me,” Heughan said. “Pretty green. I’d worked as a jobbing actor, done bit parts in the odd movie here and there but nothing of this scale. I had really no idea what I was getting into. It’s a phenomenon. The books are very popular. Kind of went in rather naively but here we are now.”

‘Outlander’ Season 7 is in production

Outlander has not quite caught up to Gabaldon’s books yet. The shortened sixth season puts them even further behind, as season 7 will have to conclude A Breath of Snow and Ashes. However, they will get there, and season 7 has already begun production.

It was two years between Outlander Season 5 and 6 because the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic delayed production. Then, they went back into production under COVID-19 safety protocols, slowing down season 6 and limiting its episodes. Now that production has adapted, they moved forward on season 7. Caitriona Balfe has suggested ending Outlander with season 7, but with 10 books and fans wanting more, hopefully she will be outvoted. 

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