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Outlander season 6 to introduce the Christie family, causing some conflict

The American Revolution still looms

Scene from the TV show Outlander in a frame featuring illustrated icons from New York Graphic: Sonny Ross for Polygon

The cast and creatives behind Outlander, the Starz juggernaut supernatural romantic epic, gathered both physically and virtually to preview a new teaser and some tantalizing season 6 details at 2021 New York Comic Con. Chief among those, particularly for book readers, was the news that the Christie family will be arriving at Fraser’s Ridge this season and causing some conflict.

While the family first appears in the fifth book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, The Fiery Cross, they are making their debut in season 6 — which is chiefly adapting the sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. When asked what she was most looking forward to seeing adapted this season, Gabaldon chuckled darkly and said many things, but that the Christie family would most likely be appreciated by fans the most.

“You’re gonna love them and you’re gonna hate them,” said Sam Heughan, who stars in the series as Jamie and attended the panel in person. He was joined in person by Gabaldon and Starz Executive Producer Maril Davis. Joining virtually were actors Caitriona Balfe (Claire), Lauren Lyle (Marsali MacKimmie), César Domboy (Fergus), and John Bell (Young Ian).

“We have this family, the Christies, who arrive in the Ridge,” Heughan explained. “Initially they are integrated into the new community, but very soon we start to see a lot of history that’s been between Tom and Jamie really get up under the skin of everyone and start to disintegrate or decay what Claire and Jamie have built at Fraser’s Ridge.”

The brief teaser showed a first glimpse at the Christie family in action. The family is made up of three newcomers to the Outlander clan. Welsh actor Mark Lewis Jones (Gangs of London, The Witcher 2 & 3) will play patriarch Tom, Jessica Reynolds (The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw) plays Malva, and Alexander Vlahos (Merlin, Versailles) is Allan. For those unfamiliar with the books, the exact familial relationship between Tom, Malva, and Allan is a bit of a spoiler. All may not be as it seems when the family first arrives as tenants on Jamie and Claire’s property in North Carolina.

“They’re just a weird little family,” Heughan concluded. “On and off screen.”

The Christies are not the only family that the extended Fraser clan needs to worry about in season 6. Responding to a fan question, Heughan also assured everyone that the Browns are “very dangerous,” “powerful,” and still very much a threat. There’s also, of course, the looming American Revolution and the knowledge that eventually Jamie will have to cross sides in order to be on the right side of history. While season 6 has a shortened episode count, with only eight new episodes coming in early 2022, everyone on the panel agreed that it somehow felt longer, more intense, and even traumatic. Expect the new season to pack a tight punch.