We know that it is far too early to start discussing an Outlander season 10 — and yet, here we are doing it!
In the past, there has been an article or two discussing whether or not there should be a season of the Starz series for every single book that is out there — overwhelmingly, the answer to that question seems to be yes among most of the viewers we’ve heard from. Who doesn’t want to see the story through and experience the journey from start to finish? It is still, admittedly, a rather challenging thing to even speculate much on given that there are two Diana Gabaldon books in the series that are not even out in bookstores.
For the sake of this article, let’s position the argument a little bit differently: Whether or not it will actually happen. There are two clear schools of thought on the subject.
Why an Outlander season 10 could happen – If the ratings continue to increase from one season to the next, it’s going to be hard creatively for Starz to justify slowing things down or stopping them. The same goes for if the cast and crew want to keep going — they should have their own say in this. Nobody is contracted as of right now to do ten seasons and at some point along the way, there will need to be more discussions on the subject.
One of the challenges we foresee in making a season 10 happen is simply the scheduling of it all — this show is exhausting work. The cast is working a good nine or ten months of the year when you throw in post-production and promotional commitments. This requires a ton of travel all over the globe and, at times, very challenging hours and conditions. This is a little different than an actor working that same period on a network series, one that is a little more cushy in terms of when you are working and also where. (NCIS, for example, films for the most part within a Los Angeles studio.) A way to help mitigate exhaustion long-term is change up the airing structure down the road — as much as we love getting a season every year it doesn’t always have to be that way. Whether it be Stranger Things or Atlanta, many series are now having longer hiatuses. It’s perfectly normal at this point.
Related – Discussing spoilers on social media through an Outlander lens
Why an Outlander season 10 may not happen – There are three reasons we could see the show stopping early — if the ratings fall, if the story is organized different, or if the cost starts to get too high, which it does at times for long-running series.
Let’s focus on how the story could be organized for a moment — as we get further along in the series, there’s no guarantee that Outlander is going to stick to its one-book-per-season mold. They could opt to condense a book and a half, for example, into a season. If things are combined differently you could see ten books’ worth of story told in eight seasons. As for the cost, so much of that is dependent largely on contracts, locations, and a number of other legal things beyond our purview. It’s a concern, but not something that is easy to discuss without particulars.
Relish the show that we have. Outlander for sure has a season 4 and it’s close to certain that a season 5 is coming. A season 6 seems likely to go along with it. We’ll probably get a better sense as to a season 7 once we get around to a year and a half from now and some of the season 5 ratings start to come in, provided that season 5 airs in the fall of 2019.
Right now, the odds of a season 10 really feel almost 50-50 in that there are so many different ways the story could be structured or ways things could change along the way. Be grateful for the now, keep watching, and keep encouraging others to watch.
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