What we learned from the Outlander PaleyFest 2020 panel

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

The Outlander PaleyFest 2020 panel is now officially available for all to see

While Outlander didn’t get an SDCC 2020 panel, it did get a virtual one for PaleyFest 2020. It was a chance to get to know what’s to come in Outlander Season 6, but also a chance to look back over the show and the books.

Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, Diana Gabaldon, Maril Davis, and Matt B. Roberts took part in the virtual panel. They talked about the fifth season and teases for what’s to come in the sixth season.

Here are the top things we learned from the panel.

Roger came about accidentally

Diana Gabaldon admitted that Roger MacKenzie came about as an accident. She needed someone to do research for Claire, which brought him into the story. What a character he has become!

As for Brianna, it was much harder for Gabaldon to understand her. She only came about because Claire was pregnant. She needed to figure out who Brianna was, and admits that this was one tough nut to crack.

The theme for Season 5 is about protection

Matt B. Roberts shared that breaking down the book is about finding the main theme. That’s not necessarily easy for Diana Gabaldon’s novels, but for Outlander Season 5, it was all about protecting the home and the people they love.

This just meant the storylines worked into that theme well. Gabaldon is certainly happy with the way Season 5 worked out.

No longer using the voice over

Roberts also talked about the loss of the voice over. In the earlier seasons, Claire would share everything in her head through a voiceover. That’s something Roberts and the sho wanted to move away from. There’s only so much voiceover that works.

Instead, the show needed to find a way to get inside the characters’ heads. This is how the stylized episodes in Outlander Season 5 developed. It wasn’t just about doing flashbacks, especially for Roger, but to fit in a different way that offers something new for the viewers.

Skelton also shared that it allows us to see how the characters deal with trauma differently. It’s the case for life, so someone is going to see their own way trauma has affected them in at least one of the characters.

Jamie needs to respond to what Claire needs

Jamie has been through trauma in the past. He understands what Claire is going through, but that doesn’t mean he can just hug her and help it all go away.

Sam Heughan shared that this is something Jamie needs to figure out. He needs to respond to what Claire needs, which makes him a partner in this. We’ve already seen that Jamie has already offered that. It sounds like there will be more of this during Season 6.

What Brianna wants moving into Outlander Season 6

Bree certainly belongs in a modern time period purely based on her life as an engineer. That doesn’t mean she’s heading back. We know that Bree and Roger have realized that home is in the past.

Being in the past, Sophie Skelton thinks Bree feels safer. She’s around her family, which can make her safer. With Jemmy, she also wants to have a family that she didn’t have. While she grew up with Frank as her dad, she later learned that Jamie is her biological father. She didn’t have a large family. She wants something better for Jemmy.

Bree will also feel less guilty. Roger was thinking of home and ended up back in the past. This tells Brianna that she’s not forcing Roger to stay in the past, so there’s a little less guilt around that.

What to expect in Outlander Season 6

Roberts then shared a little bit about what to expect in the sixth season. We already got a bit of a tease of this section of the PaleyFest 2020 panel.

He shared the problems in the writer’s room is fighting over the scenes to include. This leads to some of the storylines changing positions to work with particular episodes. The writers enjoy this because while fans of the book are expecting certain storylines, they get those storylines in a slightly different order to keep them on their toes.

It sounds like a lot from Book 6 is going to be included. This is Maril Davis’s favorite book, and Roberts notes that it’s a favorite for many book fans.

Davis did share that Lizzie has a big storyline in the sixth book, and it sounds like that is going to be included. There were some hints at that during the fifth season when Lizzie and Josiah Beardsley met.

Caitriona Balfe also hinted that there might be a haircut coming. Those who have read the books will get a hint of what’s to come there.

Heughan talked about how he’s excited the world of Outlander is opening up. There was a mention of storylines from past books that haven’t been touched on and there are more time travelers now.

When asked if Roger is ready for the Revolutionary War, Richard Rankin joked that he’s definitely ready for that. However, he did say that he’s happy not to have to wear a wig now that he’s grown his hair out for the show. Rankin also shares that he hasn’t read the sixth book just yet, despite having four months in lockdown. It’s the first time he’s going into the season without knowing the book storyline.

One thing is certain: the cast is ready to get back on set. Hopefully, Outlander Season 6 filming will happen in the fall. Gabaldon also remains surprised by things, and pleasantly surprised.

Check out the full panel below:

Next. 10 biggest questions for Outlander Season 6. dark

What do you hope to see during Outlander Season 6? What surprised you the most in the panel? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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