Outlander stars Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton on happy families, time travel, and loyal fans

Outlander season 6 arrives on Prime Video March 6, so we spoke to stars Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton about the hit romance series

Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton: Outlander, time travel, and loyal fans

The hit Prime Video drama series Outlander returns for season 6 on March 6, 2022, with Jamie and the rest of the Fraser clan set to experience more of the romance, conflict, and time travel we have come to expect. We spoke to two of the show’s stars, Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton, who play married couple Roger and Brianna Mackenzie in Outlander.

Outlander has been running since 2014, and the incredibly popular TV series has built an incredible following of fans who eagerly await each new season. Season 5 left our characters with a lot of pain and suffering hanging over them, and audiences will be keen to see how the Fraser family deal with this in the upcoming season.

We managed to spend some time with both Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton, to discuss their experience on the show over the years, what the future may hold for their characters, and the loyal Outlander fanbase. And, of course, we had to pick their brains about the joys of time travel!

The Digital Fix: Season 5 of Outlander, in particular the finale, contained a lot of heavy scenes and distressing moments on screen. Do you find it difficult to shoot scenes like that, or is it always well-organised on set for those shoots?

Sophie Skelton: It’s always very well organised, and everyone is always briefed and sensitive. You’ll have a bit more of a closed set, where there’s less people, so you feel in safe hands. But it’s definitely something that sits with you for a while, and it’s hard not to take things like that home with you.

It’s hard enough for a movie, but especially when you’ve been on a season for so long and you’ve been with all these characters for so long, and you know the ins and outs of all of them; whatever character it’s happening to and wherever it’s taking place, it’s never less harrowing. It’s definitely something that carries into season 6, and the weight of it certainly isn’t lost as we go into the new season.

TDF: The first episode of season 6 actually sees the Fraser clan back together, playing happy families; your baby is on the way, and Jamie and Claire are reunited. How long do you think the happiness can last in season 6?

SS: You know, it’s Outlander, isn’t it. As soon as you have a happy moment, you know they’re just going to tear your heart apart in a minute; you’re lured into a false sense of security. But I have to say, for Roger and Brianna actually, they are the light relief of this season. They tend to stay happier for a little longer than the other characters are given the chance to this season.

There are some lovely scenes this season, where it’s happy families, like the simple dinner scenes where it’s all the Frasers together. So there are moments of joy and peace…but not for long.

Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton discuss Outlander season 6

TDF: Richard, if the Outlander books are anything to go by, your character Roger, and Brianna, could be set for some time travelling this season; can we expect to see that happen?

Richard Rankin: We can’t confirm spoilers, you know that! But that does sound like a lot of fun! For those who have read the books, they know it happens. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be in the show, but I’d like to think the producers and writers would seize that opportunity. In fact, I plead with you, writers and producers, please do it and make the most of it. Roger and Brianna travelling to the ’70s or ’80s, that could be a lot of fun.

TDF: Speaking of time travel, what are your favourite time travel movies?

RR: Back to the Future. I mean, that’s a given. But if you remove that from the equation, because it’s a bit unfair as that is the best time travel movie, I would say Timecop, with Jean Claude Van Damme, or the Bill and Ted movies.

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SS: What about Looper? The Bruce Willis one where he goes through those Doctor Strange style portals! I also love the Time Traveller’s Wife book. And Harry Potter, of course!

RR: Is Harry Potter time travel?

SS: Yes!!

RR: OK, I won’t even challenge Sophie on Harry Potter actually. I don’t know why I tried.

TDF: And if you could go back in time to any time period, what would it be?

SS: I always say I would want to go back to Ancient Egypt, and see the pyramids being built. But I think it would be fun to go back to the post-Prohibition era in America, everyone just enjoying the end of the depression, and living life.

RR: I would go back to the prehistoric era, back to the dinosaurs. As long as I know I can be safe.

SS: Is that so you can make your own Jurassic Park?

RR: That would be cool. I’d love to be in Jurassic Park.

Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton discuss the future of the Frasier clan in Outlander

TDF: Over the years, Outlander has built an incredibly loyal following of fans. Have either of you had any interesting or strange fan interactions?

SS: Richard, didn’t you have an interaction in a hotel?

RR: Sophie, what kind of a line is that!? That’s going to lead to all kinds of speculation and rumours! I’m not going to tell it again, but that story is not as bad as Sophie just made it sound!

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SS: No the fans are amazing. For me, the best things are when we get really heartfelt letters, and especially with the things Brianna has been through. People actually talk to you about trauma or events that have happened in their life, that they’ve never told anyone else.

It’s a hard responsibility, but at the same time, you have this rare opportunity to help people that you wouldn’t be able to do had your character not been through it. It’s very touching and memorable.

TDF: Finally, a bit of a cheeky one… the rumours are one of your co-stars could be in line to be the next James Bond?

SS: It’s me! No, we have seen those rumours, but actually, I don’t know anything about that. All I know is they do like to cast people that are maybe unexpected. Richard is a Bond girl though, so maybe he knows more?

RR: I’d be a great Bond girl.

TDF: You would! So neither of you saw anyone sneaking off set in a tuxedo, heading for an audition?

SS: No! Maybe to go on a hot date.

Season 6 of Outlander premieres on streaming service Prime Video on March 6, 2022. You can watch the previous five seasons of Outlander, plus the upcoming sixth season, with a subscription to Prime Video.