‘Outlander’ prequel series in the works at Starz

Image via Starz / Outlander

Ahead of the season six premiere of Outlander on Starz, the network has announced (per Deadline) that a prequel series is in development from executive producers Matthew B. Roberts and Ronald D. Moore.

According to the report, Roberts will be running the show, with Moore and Maril Davis serving as producers via their company Tall Ship Productions. Sony Pictures Television will be the production studio, and the story will be based on Diana Gabaldon’s upcoming prequel novel to the Outlander saga, chronicling the life of Ellen MacKenzie, the mother of Outlander‘s main protagonist – Jamie Fraser.

Back in the main series, season six of Outlander will continue to depict the epic romantic tale of Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Catriona Balfe), stuck at the precipice of the Revolutionary War. After the tragic events of the season five finale, which involved Claire being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Lionel Brown and his men, the character now has to process her trauma, as Jamie prepares Fraser’s Ridge for battle and struggles to choose a side in the war to come.

Speaking at the season six premiere event in Los Angeles, here’s what Caitriona Balfe had to say about Claire’s evolution in the upcoming run.

“When we first see Claire this season, she’s really—on the surface—trying to put forward this very brave face. Obviously, the events of the end of last season were so horrific that it’s not something that anybody gets over. But for Claire, she’s always been this sort of rock for other people, someone who finds it very difficult to ask for help. So when we see her, she’s trying to tell everyone that she’s ok but we see that’s not the case. She’s unraveling and she’s not really willing to admit that to herself.”

Sam Heughan, meanwhile, appeared in the London premiere with Sophie Skelton (who plays Brianna) and Richard Rankin (the actor for Roger) and discussed Jamie’s demons in the next chapter.

“[Jamie] is being pulled in every direction,” He said. “And while he’s dealing with that, he’s also trying to give Claire her space. He’s aware of what she’s going through and he knows she’ll speak to him. I think what really gets between these two in their relationship—normally they talk about everything—is that for the first time, Claire doesn’t have those tools and she doesn’t consult with Jamie. I think that’s where they lose each other a little bit.”

Outlander season six is set for a March 6 premiere on Starz and the show has already been renewed for a seventh outing by the network.