Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe in Outlander season six first look photo

Outlander announces major change for season six - and shares first-look photos

This is exciting!

Eve Crosbie

Good news, Outlander fans - we finally know when Droughtlander will be over! In celebration of World Outlander Day on Tuesday, the show's bosses shared an exciting update with fans.

MORE: Outlander star teases potential return ahead of series six

To mark the 30th anniversary of the publication of Diana Gabaldon's first book in the best-selling historical fantasy series, it was announced that viewers can expect season six to arrive at the start of next year. 

However, in a first for the series - and perhaps to make up for the long wait still ahead - the season premiere will be 90 minutes long rather than the typical 60 minutes. 

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WATCH: Behind-the-scenes of season six of Outlander

Several new photos from season six were also released, giving viewers a glimpse of what to expect from the new episodes - including one showing Claire and Jamie, played by Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, back in each other's arms. 

MORE: 11 most heartbreaking Outlander moments, ranked

MORE: Outlander star Sam Heughan makes desperate plea to fans

"In honor of #WorldOutlanderDay, I'm excited to announce that #Outlander season six has officially wrapped and is coming your way in early 2022 with a 90-minute premiere episode!" a tweet from the official Outlander account read.

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Are you looking forward to the new series?

A second tweet added: "With the challenges of filming in these unprecedented times, season six will be eight episodes with production on an extended, sixteen-episode season six beginning next year."

Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts explained more in a statement to Entertainment Weekly: "We are excited to get into the editing room to work on bringing the fans one step closer to reuniting with the family back on Fraser's Ridge."

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Season six will arrive in early 2022

"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."

Meanwhile, a video of the show's cast also shared to honour World Outlander Day has fans convinced that a major character is set to return for the new episodes.

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Season six of Outlander promises to be action-packed

MORE: This Outlander star is fronting a brand new ITV drama series – details

Among the likes of series regulars Sam Heughan, Caitríona Balfe and Sophie Skelton, viewers were also delighted to see Australian actor David Berry, who plays fan favourite Lord John Grey appear in the short clip.

"WAIT they're all in costume so does that mean we've got more John Grey scenes in season six? God, I hope so!" one fan speculated. Another added: "Woohoo David Berry is back for season six!" while a third excitedly wrote: "David AKA Lord John Grey is back!!!!!"

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