"Outlander," the historical drama that stars Caitríona Balfe as a nurse in World War II who travels back in time to 1743 and falls in love with a Highland warrior played by Sam Heughan, will call it a day after season eight, producers have announced.
The good news? Season seven hasn’t aired yet – 16 episodes of "Outlander" are on tap starting in the summer – and season eight will wrap with ten more, so there’s still plenty of "Outlander" for fans to binge on.
The show first aired in 2014 and was an instant hit for Starz. Co Monaghan native Balfe has acknowledged its huge impact.
“Bittersweet but also very exciting that we get to continue this journey for an 8th and final season," Balfe wrote on Instagram.
"It’s been a gift beyond my wildest dreams…brought me friendships for life, stretched me as an actor and a person and now we get to give you back one more season and finish it right for all you amazing fans.
"Thank you for being with us on this magical journey."
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Given the show’s success throughout the years, it’s not surprising that the folks at Starz plan to extend its life by creating a prequel. "Outlander: Blood of My Blood" will focus on the parents of Jamie Fraser, Heughan’s character. The story of Brian and Ellen Fraser “will explore what lengths a person will go to find love in a time when love is considered a luxury, and when marriages are made strategically, often for political or financial gain,” a press release said.
No casting or filming announcements for now, but no doubt Starz is hoping that the prequel will have a built-in audience when it debuts.
*This column first appeared in the January 25 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.