‘Outlander’: Our Favorite Behind-the-Scenes Moments Over 7 Seasons (PHOTOS)

Outlander behind the scenes sip

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s Outlander Forever Special Collector’s Issue, which is available to order online at OutlanderForever.com and available nationwide on newsstands now.

We didn’t peek under anyone’s kilt, but we did travel through time — six glorious seasons and an upcoming seventh — for candid photos and loads of insider info on Outlander. Scroll through for a peek behind the curtain at what production’s like for Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and the rest of the cast and crew.

Outlander, Season 7 Premiere, TBA, Starz

Outlander Season 7 Sophie Skelton, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Richard Rankin

Season 7

Sophie Skelton, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and Richard Rankin look ahead to the show’s seventh chapter in this group shot from behind-the-scenes.

Outlander Behind the Scenes Season 1 Jamie Claire

Season 1

There’s already heat between new arrival Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) when she tends to him in Episode 2, “Castle Leoch.” During casting, with Heughan locked in, an intimate screen test sealed the deal for Balfe: “There [was] definitely on-camera chemistry,” exec producer Ronald D. Moore says.

Outlander Season 1 Diana Gabaldon

Outlander book series author Diana Gabaldon cameoed as Iona MacTavish in “The Gathering” and quickly learned Highland glamour comes with a price: “Once tightened and dressed in all the layers, you really can’t do much beyond walk and wave your arms in a circumscribed sort of way.”

Outlander Season 1 Laura Donnelly

In “The Search,” Claire looks for a kidnapped Jamie with the help of his fiery older sister, Jenny Fraser Murray (Laura Donnelly) — who had given birth only days earlier.

Outlander Season 2 Caitriona Balfe Behind the Scenes

Season 2

Balfe may be a former runway model, but maneuvering in a dress 4-feet-2-inches wide would be a challenge for anyone! The crimson stunner — which Claire wore to the French court in Versailles — was created by costume designer Terry Dresbach for “Not in Scotland Anymore.”

Outlander Season 2 prestopans behind the scenes

“Preston­pans” details that stunning, bloody, and controversial victory for the Jacobites over the British. “We’re trying to be as truthful as we can,” says episode writer Ira Steven Behr, “knowing that the truth is elusive, especially from hundreds of years ago.”

Outlander Season 2 Prestopans behind the scenes graham mctavish

In the “Prestonpans” hour, writer Behr says, when Dougal (Graham McTavish) stabs a British soldier (Grantchester’s Tom Brittney) after having won the battle, “You love him and hate him almost from moment to moment… It was important to show what war could make people do.”

Outlander Season 2 behind the scenes tobias menzies

A shocker from the books comes alive in “Untimely Resurrections” when Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) resurfaces in Versailles. His encounter with Jamie and Claire “ends up being really creepy,” says episode writer Richard Kahan. “It’s the Black Jack we know and love and love to hate.”

Outlander Season 3 behind the scenes duncan lacroix

Season 3

The opener, “The Battle Joined,” would be the last episode for rascally Rupert (Grant O’Rourke, above, with Duncan Lacroix as Murtaugh), executed by the redcoats after Culloden. But, explains EP Moore, “In the book, that character was already dead by this point. I saw it as an opportunity to give our Rupert a fitting goodbye.”

Outlander Season 3 Sam Heughan behind the scenes culloden

Filming the Battle of Culloden, where Jamie and Black Jack face-off, required an army of extras — an average of 160 per day, with a grand total of 1,100. One of their tasks: helping to camouflage stuffed dummies stacked up to look like soldiers killed on the field.

Outlander Season 3 behind the scenes costumes

Stacks of racks and rows of chapeaus! For the show’s third round, costume designer Dresbach needed looks for 20th-century Boston and Scotland, 18th-century Scotland (from Culloden to Ards­muir Prison to Edinburgh) and England (a Lake District estate), and — for a change of scenery — a West Indies voyage and Jamaica!

Outlander Season 3 Sam Heughan behind the scenes

Heughan enjoys fair winds aboard the Artemis, which was custom-made for the show in Cape Town, South Africa. The two other ships in the same storyline — the Porpoise and the Bruja — were used previously in the Starz pirate drama Black Sails.

Outlander Season 4 Sam Heughan behind the scenes

Season 4

In North Carolina (shooting location: Scotland), Jamie and Claire build a home on 10,000 acres called Fraser’s Ridge. “It’s Outlander, so there’s always going to be external forces,” Balfe says. Example: Heughan’s Jamie has a run-in with what is seemingly a bear in “Common Ground.”

Outlander Season 4 behind the scenes

Costume designer Dresbach spent a year doing research to bring authenticity to the wardrobe for Cherokee (above, in “Blood of My Blood”) and Mohawk Nation characters. Still, with details scarce, she also looked at practical concerns like climate.

Outlander Season 4 behind the scenes caitriona balfe sam heughan

Some actors turn to their phones or head to their trailers once cameras stop rolling — Heughan and Balfe horse around! “He’s got a huge heart,” she once tweeted, and he’s called her everything from a “great advice giver” to an “extremely nice person.”

Outlander Season 4 behind the scenes rollo

Two Northern Inuits play Young Ian’s (John Bell) dog, Rollo. “We bought two puppy brothers and named them Whisky and Mac Dubh—Dui for short,” says exec producer Maril Davis. “Dui is the better actor, but he’s not the ferocious dog of the books. He’s quite a sweet dog with a mellow personality.”

Outlander Season 4 Caitriona Balfe behind the scenes

Balfe (getting a touch-up to Claire’s gray-tinged hair) has enjoyed playing Claire at different parts of her life as the show hopscotches through the years. “It’s interesting to try and figure out how time weighs on a person,” she says.

Outlander Season 4 Sam Heughan Jamie

Whether it’s a simple scene wielding an ax or a choreographed fight sequence, Heughan has proven adept at both. “Never before have I fought someone with the fitness of Sam Heughan,” says stuntman–actor Flint Eagle, who played exiled Cherokee Tskili Yona. “He is a phenomenon.”

Outlander behind the scenes season 5

Season 5

Vile Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) gets his comeuppance in “Mercy Shall Follow Me.” The murderer, rapist and smuggler was unlike the last big bad. “He mimics emotions, he can fit in anywhere, and that’s not Black Jack,” says executive producer Matthew B. Roberts.

Outlander behind the scenes duncan lacroix maria doyle kennedy

“Never My Love” uniquely depicts Claire’s brutal rape: Visions of family members, like Murtagh and a not-blind Aunt Jocasta (La­croix and Maria Doyle Kennedy in 1960s costumes), are “Claire’s escapism into her mind to try to not deal with the reality of the horror that’s happening to her,” says EP Davis.

Outlander Season 5 Sam Heughan behind the scenes

“The Ballad of Roger Mac” chronicles the Battle of Alamance Creek, which pits Jamie — honoring his commitment to the Crown — against his fellow Scots. “We decided that Jamie could not put on the red coat, that Jamie had to be forced to put on the red coat,” says EP Roberts. “Ballad” also marks the death of Jamie’s godfather, Murtagh.

Outlander Season 5 behind the scenes Lauren Lyle and Cesar Domboy

Marsali (Lauren Lyle, with César Domboy as Fergus) and Claire didn’t start off well. Flash-forward to Season 5, when she becomes the healer’s eager (and often horrified) apprentice. Says Lyle: “She trusts Claire and she’s also probably quite flattered that Claire would trust her.”

Outlander Season 6 Caitriona Balfe behind the scenes

Season 6

Balfe (in “Allegiance”) had a special assist from costume designer Trisha Biggar in hiding her pregnancy. “Trisha really worked with getting the costumes early, slightly bigger-looking and more voluminous so that we could hide things under,” says the actress, now mother to a baby boy.

Outlander Season 6 behind the scenes Richard Rankin Sam Heughan

Surviving being hanged last season has changed Roger (Richard Rankin, with Heughan, in the premiere, “Echoes”). Moving forward. Rankin says, “It’s more about embracing the change that he’s been through.”

Outlander behind the scenes alexander vlahos jessica reynolds

New arrivals! Siblings Allan and Malva Christie (Alexander Vlahos and Jessica Reynolds) come to Fraser’s Ridge with their father, Tom (Mark Lewis Jones). Malva is “in awe of Claire,” Reynolds says, and becomes the healer’s new apprentice. As for Allan, Vlahos says he has a darker past and is “trying to find his way in the world.”

Outlander Season 6 behind the scenes richard rankin

The latest season explores the American Revolutionary War, and Rankin (shooting Episode 5) prepared by growing out his own hair during the 2020 lockdown. “I will be excited not to wear a wig and a cap,” he says.