Season six of Outlander has landed on Starz and Starz Play, with the first episode premiering last Sunday, March 6. The episode ended on a touching note as the show paid tribute to Alan Decker with a title card just before the credits rolled, reading “In loving memory of our friend and colleague Alan Decker.”
Who was Alan Decker?
Decker was the re-recording mixer on the show going all the way back to the first episode, “Sassanach,” premiering back in 2014. He went on to work on every episode over a span of six years, up to the season five finale, “Never My Love,” in 2020. Sadly, Decker passed away in December 2020 in Los Angeles, California, aged 69.
Decker started his illustrious career in production sound and studio engineering, transitioning through roles from sound mixer to dialogue editor and then re-recording mixer. Alongside Outlander he is best known for having worked on shows including Homeland and a National Geographic special, Avalanche: The White Death for which he won two Emmy awards, one for sound mixing and the other for sound editing, back in 1999.
Decker was also nominated for multiple Emmys for his work on Homeland and received a CAS award for the show from the Cinema Audio Society. On their website, CAS created a memorial page for Decker, writing, “Alan was a mentor to many and a strong figure in the sound community known for his positive and encouraging nature.” CAS Board member David Bondelevitch said, “Al was a really sweet guy and will be missed.” The organization gave its condolences to Decker’s friends and family.
Alongside these award-winning shows, Decker worked on many notable series including Grey’s Anatomy, The Rookie, Good Girls, Bones, The X-Files, and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer. According to his IMDb page, these are just a handful of shows that Decker has worked on since starting in 1995. Though Decker will have been missed on the latest series of Outlander, as production was halted due to the pandemic and did not officially start till early 2021, the series has been set up to be a good one.
Reported in Parade, author of the Outlander books, Diana Gabaldon, stated, “This is the first season where I have not had a single episode that I found less likable… The season is extremely good throughout.” However, due to the pandemic, and to fans’ potential disappointment, this season will only have eight episodes in comparison to its usual season length of 12. Outlander showrunner, Matthew B. Roberts, said, “Filming in 2021 has presented an unprecedented set of challenges which led us to the decision to truncate the season in order to bring the fans the most vibrant and dynamic season as soon as possible. Dinna fash, we will then film an extended season seven with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy.”
Season six will continue from where season five left off, with the Fraser and McKenzie family dealing with the loss and trauma they went through and with the threat of the American Civil War looming in the distance. Episode one is now available to watch on Starz and StarzPlay, with episode two out on March 13.