Why ‘Outlander’ Star Sam Heughan Actually Thinks Droughtlander Is a Good Thing

Droughtlander is the bane of existence for most Outlander fans, though Sam Heughan believes it actually serves a purpose. Fans have suffered through an unusually long Droughtlander between season 4 and 5 of Outlander. Thankfully, the new season is finally upon us. But as far as Heughan is concerned, the Outlander star wouldn’t get rid of Droughtlander even if he could.

Outlander Sam Heughan
‘Outlander’ star Sam Heughan | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ

‘Outlander’ returns for season 5

The time-traveling epic romance Outlander is set to return to Starz on February 16, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The series will pick up with Jamie (Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) continuing to establish themselves in the American colonies.

At the end of last season, the governor of North Carolina tasked Jamie to hunt down a rebellious group led by his good friend and godfather, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix). Jamie obviously has some difficult decisions ahead of him, and the new season is going to test his loyalties like never before.

Claire will also be facing her own hurdles in the coming season. In season 4, Claire and Jamie’s daughter, Brianna (Sophie Skelton), traveled back in time and reunited with them. Along the way, Brianna gave birth to her first child, whom she is raising with her husband, Roger (Richard Rankin), at Fraser’s Ridge.

With the Revolutionary War looming large, Claire will face some tough decisions regarding her daughter and grandchild.

While fans are eager to see what happens, Heughan recently admitted that he is grateful for the breaks in-between seasons.

Why does Heughan like Droughtlander?

According to Winter Is Coming, filming for season 4 of Outlander concluded in the summer of 2018. The season wrapped up in January of last year, yet production on season 5 did not start until that following April.

The extended break gave the cast and crew of Outlander a good 9 months of rest between seasons. Although most people would probably have used the time to rest up, Heughan revealed that it gave him a chance to work on other projects.

“For me, personally, it’s been fantastic. It opened a lot of opportunities,” Heughan shared. “I shot two movies in the hiatus last year. […] I actually think it’s necessary for me as an actor to go and do something different. I’ve been doing [Outlander] for six years now and so it’s good to go and stretch myself and try new things.”

Heughan is not the only one who continued work during the break. Balfe also took on a new project. The Outlander star landed a role in the award-winning film, Ford v Ferrari.

Aside from getting more work, Droughtlander also gives the cast and crew of Outlander a chance to recharge their batteries. For Heughan, this results in a more energized set, which is something that translates to better performances from everyone.

What other projects is Heughan working on?

Playing the lead in a popular show like Outlander comes with a lot of benefits. One of these is being able to take on unique projects, something Heughan has taken advantage of in recent years.

Heughan, for example, is getting ready to launch his first whiskey line this March called The Sassenach (a nickname Jamie calls Claire throughout the show).

The actor is also starting a new video series with his former Outlander co-star, Graham McTavish. The new project is called Clan Lands, which promises to take fans around the countryside of Scotland and explore the country’s rich history.

The project was originally supposed to be a podcast but has since been changed to a video format.

Sam Heughan shares his views on Scotland’s film industry

While shows like Outlander have done a lot to promote Scottish history, Heughan does not believe the country has done enough to capitalize on its popularity.

In a recent interview, Heughan revealed that most people in Scotland know how much the series has boosted tourism in the region, but he believes that many of them are “a little late to it.”

Heughan does, however, believe that Scottish people are super proud of shows like Outlander, which have attracted a slew of fans to the area.

“I think they are. I think Scotland was actually kind of unaware of what’s been happening here for many years, I think we were under the radar a little bit. I think finally they’ve realized, I think Scottish tourism has obviously risen dramatically,” he stated.

There is no denying that Scotland has seen a major boost in tourism as a direct result of Outlander. Since 2013, the country’s tourism sector has grown by an astonishing 67 percent, which happens to coincide with Outlander’s rise in popularity.

Fans can watch Heughan return to action when the new season of Outlander premieres February 16 on Starz.