It’s that time again where we look towards the long-term future for Outlander as a series, and that includes news that not everyone may want to hear — the idea of having to wait another year still to see more of the series on Starz.
Given that neither Sam Heughan nor Caitriona Balfe has officially started filming the latest batch of episodes yet for season 5, it’s fair to go ahead and make the assumption that we’re not getting new episodes this year. While we’d love Starz and Sony to magically edit and piece together episodes in the blink of an eye, it rarely happens like that especially with a show like this that has so many moving parts. These people need time! In order to create greatness, especially with twelve one-hour episodes coming up that are often filmed out on location, you want to make sure that things are close to as perfect as possible. There’s a bar that has been set since season 1 and you don’t want season 5 to walk straight into the bar you want them to continue to raise it.
Have you seen this week’s Outlander video yet? – If not, watch our debate over Brianna’s future at the bottom of this article! To get more like it, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and bookmark our Outlander playlist — there are video discussions on the show posted every Sunday.
The best way to ensure that the quality of the show is as every bit as good as when we’ve already seen is to give everyone time to make it happen, and we’re adjusting our season 5 premiere date expectations with that in mind. Originally, our hope was that season 5 could premiere within the first couple of months of 2020, but that was with the thinking that production would start for everyone last month. (That was based on comments made by Cesar Domboy last summer.) Since filming hasn’t fully gotten underway just yet (even though there is definitely some work being done) you have to think that the show will now be coming back a little bit later. That’s why a start date in March or April 2020 makes more sense.
Think of things this way — typically, Outlander premieres a good year or so after its batch of episodes kicks off filming. In the case of season 4, it was a little over a year — given that season 5 is one fewer episode, it doesn’t necessarily have to be as long of a drought. It also makes sense for Starz to skip over a premiere in February — while HBO showed with True Detective that you can air programming opposite the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and the Grammys, we still don’t think it’s ideal. It’s not so much about those shows taking ratings from you, as we’ve already documented many times over how the live ratings for these shows don’t really matter all that much. It’s all about buzz! You want Outlander to be standing on the stage, commanding a rather big spotlight; it’s a little harder to do that when you’re having to compete against a number of actors and singers standing atop an awards-show stage of their own.
Premiering in March would allow Outlander to skip the February chaos, give the crew time to perfect everything, and also provide a wonderful spring getaway. We’ve already seen through the second half of season 1 and season 2 that the series is certainly successful airing within this window. Those episodes started in April — but season 5 could also work in that spot and carry through to early summer.
Do we understand that Starz has plenty of time to figure this out? Sure, but as someone who’s used to waiting well over a year for things we like (Outlander in the past, Game of Thrones, or even the fabled Final Fantasy 7 Remake from the video-game world that is our great white whale at this point), we’ve become quite used to circling dates on a schedule and crossing our fingers. This is just one that makes sense for the time being.
If you missed it yesterday…
Check out our conversation about the Big House, and the timing for its construction.
Do you think Outlander season 5 is gearing up for a spring 2019 launch?
Be sure to share right now in the comments! (Photo: Starz.)