DROUGHTLANDER is officially over and season 6 is well worth the wait, according to the show’s star Richard Rankin.

The Scottish actor told The National he was wracked with nerves for the exclusive showing at the Glasgow Film Festival on Thursday.

Fans have been eagerly anticipating the release following two years without a new season due to Covid, dubbed “droughtlander” by fans.

Those who managed to snag a ticket waited up to 4 hours in the queue before returning hours later to wait in a queue again just for the screening.

Show stars Rankin, John Bell, Lauren Lyle (all below) and Joanne Thomson took to the red carpet for the showing and The National got a chance to speak to some of them.

The National:

Rankin, who plays Roger Wakefield MacKenzie, said he was excited but nervous for fans to see the new series after such a wait.

Asked how it feels to be back, Rankin told The National: “Stressful. It feels quite stressful. I am wracked with nerves about the show and how they will receive it. I hope it will be everything they hope it will be.”

He said the next season “ramps up another a gear”.

“Outlander does such a good job of escalating not just the situation but changing the whole scope of the thing: the environment, the place, the characters, the relationships,” he said.

“It’s just got a little bit of something in there for everyone.”

On what’s next for his character and his on-show wife, played by Sophie Skelton, he said: “Drama. But they are very much a united front this season, very much in love, very much a team and very strong together so I think we will see more than that.”

And asked if it’s worth the wait, Rankin joked: “How dare you! Of course it's worth the wait.”

Fellow star Lyle, who plays Marsali MacKimmie Fraser, agreed: “Yes it’s brilliant. It’s been absolutely amazing to shoot. I think the fact it’s a short amount of episodes means it’s way more condensed into just drama, drama, drama.

“I think the end of the last season it was a lot darker. The end of the last season was such a horrible, tumultuous end. You pick back up there and it’s all about a family trying to regain hope and regain themselves and who they are. Marsali and Fergus for example, Marsali is in a much darker place than you’ve seen before.

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“She is always like the cool young couple that don’t fight but this is certainly not what happens this time. It’s a lot darker, it’s a lot more sad. But then it’s all about trying to find who they are again because everyone sort of lost that at the end of last season because of how traumatic it was.

“I think the fans are such an amazing part of the show. The fans really make the show we wouldn’t be doing it without them. There is no show without them. It’s really, really exciting to have everyone support us and to connect with them because you don’t always see that.

“You’re all over Instagram and Twitter and everyone is talking to you but to actually see everyone in person and see the love it all is so special.

“A lot of fans talk about how they made friends from the show and have all come together from it and is so special and exciting and that’s like how amazing people have connected like that through our show. That make me feel very privileged to be a part of it. And also, the fact that it’s Glasgow, that’s my home town. I am so proud to be here and to be from here and to see that wee man in his window to be excited that we are all here.”

The National:

And new star Joanne Thomson said: “I am playing a new character called Amy McCallam. She is new to the world so I am looking forward to getting started.

“I can tell you that it’s going to be worth the wait for sure. It’s just so good to be working right now during a difficult time and everyone pulled together to make it happen.

“The whole fandom is completely new to me. This is the biggest thing I’ve ever been in so this is new for people to say ‘Joanne’.

“I have been acting 10 years doing lots of different theatre and it’s nice to be noticed and the fans are so nice, they are so supportive.”

Hailey, a fan who says she has devoted her life to Outlander, was outside the Glasgow Film Theatre to queue for the screener. She had already been to the London premiere but was excited to see it again.

The American, who moved to Scotland because of the Starz show, told The National: “As a book reader? I know that this is a very intense book where I think it's the most climactic book thus far.

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“And there's so many scenes and events that I'm just really looking forward to seeing them play out on the screen, which I think the non-book readers are not even going to know what to do with themselves when they find out what happens. Right. Wow, that's really exciting.”

She said even though she saw it once she wanted to see it again because of how good it was.

More fans came from other parts of Scotland as well as Spain.

Holly McCormack was with two other women she said she met through going to Outlander events.

She was excited the fans were together in Glasgow. She said: “I am looking forward to Glasgow hosting the event and everybody coming together and celebrating Outlander here in Scotland. I’ve met friends too. Outlander is a bridge.”

For those who didn’t manage to snag a ticket, Outlander is set to premiere for the rest of the UK on March 6.