Brace yourself, Sassenachs: this good news may also feel like, well, sad news.
Starz finally announced Wednesday that the third season of Outlander, which just wrapped production in Scotland to move to South Africa, won’t return until September. For season 1 and the second half of season 2, the show bowed in April, but the scale of production warranted the (oh-so-depressing) delay.
“While Droughtlander will last just a little longer, we feel it is important to allow the production the time and number of episodes needed to tell the story of the Voyager book in its entirety,” Starz President of Programming Carmi Zlotnik said in a statement. “The scale of this book is immense, and we owe the fans the very best show. Returning in September will make that possible.”
Go ahead and take a moment to cry. We’ll wait.
Also, just know you aren’t alone in your suffering: Fans of Game of Thrones, who usually get their fix in the spring, will have wait until July for the season 7 return of the HBO drama. Does that help?
Okay, back to business: Here’s a quote from another programming executive who no doubt feels your pain, Outlander nation. “With the scope of the production and all of the intricate details that go into the Emmy-nominated sets and costumes, we had to make sure everything is kept to the high standard of the previous seasons and [author] Diana Gabaldon’s beautiful story,” stated Exec VP Steve Kent of Sony Pictures TV, which produces the drama for Starz. “We’re so proud of the incredible work that Ron [Moore] and the Outlander team have done.”
In case you’ve forgotten, all 13 episodes of season 3 are based on Voyager, the third of eight books in Gabaldon’s best-selling Outlander series. In March, production will resume in Cape Town, South Africa, on the former sets of the Starz series Black Sails to depict Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) adventure-packed voyage.
Filming is expected to wrap in June — just in time for the cast to attend San Diego Comic-Con. So there’s that, Sassenachs!
The new season picks up right after Claire travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948, where she gives birth to Jamie’s daughter Brianna and resumes her marriage to her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). Back in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire.
Here’s a video of Balfe and Heughan saying goodbye to the chill of Scotland so they can begin shooting in sunny South Africa.