Rumors that cable network Starz was working on a prequel based on its megapopular period romance Outlander initially broke earlier this year but, at the time, there was little information about what such a series might entail. Now official confirmation has arrived: The prequel, called Outlander: Blood of My Blood, is not only officially happening, but the series' writers' room is already underway.
Based on Diana Gabaldon's bestselling series of novels, the flagship series is currently in production on its seventh season and depicts the time-traveling love story between Claire Randall (Catriona Balfe), a World War II nurse, and eighteenth-century Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). The prequel will apparently focus on the romance between Jamie's parents, Ellen MacKenzie and Brian Fraser, which means that after several seasons in France and the Americas, the Outlander saga is finally going back to Scotland (where it belongs, if you ask me.)
Details about Blood of My Blood are still basically nonexistent at this point, but we do know a few details about Ellen's unique life thanks to the first season of Outlander, which saw Claire as a guest and healer of the Mackenzie clan. But the possibilities are fairly wide open, meaning that we could see everything from Ellen and Brian's courtship to a young Jamie pop up at some point. (One has to assume various forms of clan strife are a given.
Current Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts is writing Outlander: Blood of My Blood and will also serve as the prequel's showrunner and executive producer. In addition to Roberts, Maril Davis will also executive produce the prequel along with Ronald D. Moore, who originally developed Outlander for television, under their production banner Tall Ship Productions. Story Mining & Supply Company will also executive produce with Gabaldon serving as a consulting producer.
The #Outlander universe is expanding! Outlander: Blood of My Blood, a prequel that will follow the love story of Jamie Fraser’s parents, is officially in development at STARZ.— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) August 4, 2022
Read more here: https://t.co/luoHYg3QZ5 pic.twitter.com/TK21YWz7iY
“‘Outlander’ is a riveting show that from season to season has captured the hearts of its fans around the world,” Kathryn Busby, President, Original Programming at STARZ, said in a statement. “We are excited to peel back the layers of this vibrant world to bring our audience the origin of where it all began. Matthew, Maril, and Ronald will continue to bring their excellent vision and creativity to this new iteration, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.”
An Outlander prequel certainly makes sense in many ways for the network. The original series is one of Starz's biggest hits, with a rabid, global following, and, in our current media environment, where reboots, prequels, and sequels of all stripes are all the rage right now, this one pretty much seems like a no-brainer. (To its credit, Starz itself has a habit of building out franchises around existing properties, such as Power or its interconnected female-focused series of Tudor dramas.
A shortened, eight-episode sixth season of Outlander aired back in March after its production was repeatedly delayed due to the various shutdowns necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Season 7, which will be based on the novel An Echo in the Bone, will consist of an expanded sixteen episodes to make up the difference and is expected to air in 2023