‘Outlander’ Star Caitriona Balfe Reveals the ‘Rich Material’ She’s Working on for Season 6

Claire Fraser had a lot to deal with in May finale of Outlander. She went through a brutal experience but quickly buried her pain to be strong for her family. Caitriona Balfe —  who plays the resilient time-traveling doctor on the series — recently revealed details about Claire’s emotional journey for Season 6. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Outlander, Season 5.]

Caitriona Balfe
Caitriona Balfe | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ

Balfe says she has ‘rich material’ to work with next season

In the Season 5 finale of Outlander, Claire was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a group of men from Brownsville. But despite suffering so much pain and trauma, by the final scene of the episode, Claire is back up and ready to face the war to come. In an interview with Gold Derby, Balfe — who is also a series producer — talked about Claire’s headspace in the finale, and explained how she’ll have to address her trauma in Season 6. 

“I think the psychology of someone like Claire, and I think it really brings us back to that speech at the end where she was like, ‘And I’m supposed to be broken by this,’ I think that’s such an interesting thing to explore,” Balfe said. “Somebody who has always prided themselves on being so strong, how do they cope with pain and vulnerability, and the idea that they don’t quite know how to get through this.”

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She said that because Claire is such a survivor, and is so strong, she’s not comfortable facing her pain. The actress noted that these complex emotional layers will allow her to explore much more of the character next season. 

“I do think that Claire can sometimes suffer from an inability to accept her own weakness…weakness as in her vulnerability or her pain, or her sort of not being OK,” Balfe explained. “And I think that that gives me something really interesting to work with because I think that Claire doesn’t always consciously know what’s going on within her…that it has to come out in other ways for her to actually understand it. That’s actually going to be really rich material, at least for me to kind of get my head around.”

When will Season 6 of ‘Outlander’ premiere?

The season 5 finale of Outlander aired on May 10, leaving fans with questions about Claire and Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) future in the colonies.  But unlike other “Droughtlanders,” this year, the show’s production schedule is up in the air. 

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, television and film productions have been temporarily shut down. So, until restrictions are lifted, the Starz series can’t start filming Season 6. 

On Twitter, Sam Heughan revealed that the show was originally slated to begin shooting in May, but has now been rescheduled for fall. Because of the uncertainty of the current situation, he suggested it’s something they’ll “have to wait and see.” If production does begin this fall, the show should return with the sixth season in late 2021, or early 2022.