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What to watch after 'Outlander'

Outlander's Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan)
(Image credit: Starz)

Looking for a recommendation on what to watch after Outlander? Are you looking to keep yourself entertained whilst you wait for season 6? We've got you covered.

As with a lot of shows, there has been a bigger gap than normal between the last series of Outlander and the upcoming sixth season. The good news is that new episodes are on the way, including a 90-minute special — the longest in the show’s history — opening the new series. The bad news is you’ll still have to wait until early 2022 to see Outlander season 6. While the countdown is on, what can you do to fill the "Droughtlander" (as fans have nicknamed it) before the new series?

Outlander is certainly unique. It’s a tortured love story, it’s a historical drama, but it’s also got a bit of sci-fi/fantasy thrown in, some epic battles, and has moved over several locations and times since its early Highland-centric episodes, including some trips to more modern eras.

With all those different elements to consider, there are quite a few possible replacements to keep you entertained. So, let’s jump through the portal and find out which shows you should watch after Outlander.

'Salem'

Salem star Janet Montgomery plays Mary Sibley

(Image credit: Alamy)

If you’re looking for a bit of history, with a big fantasy twist (sound familiar?), then let us take you to 17th Century Salem.

The show follows the famous witch trials, only here witchcraft is real. Captain John Alden (Shane West, Nikita) returns from war and discovers that his lost love, Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery, New Amsterdam), has married while he’s been away. Mary has now become both a powerful woman and a powerful witch. 

John's hometown is also in the grip of a witch panic, with Mary planning to use the witch trials to destroy those who stand in the way of witches running Salem. While this one has a bit more of a supernatural take than Outlander, the series is big on gothic romance and tortured souls, and with only three short seasons to get through, it’s a satisfying journey.

Number of seasons: 3

Episodes: 36

Average episode length: 45 minutes

Where to watch: US: Hulu UK: Buy on Amazon

'Highlander'

Highlander

(Image credit: Alamy)

The clue is in the title as to why Outlander fans might enjoy this one! In this follow-up series to the classic movie, we meet Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul, Arrow), a 400-year-old immortal former highland warrior, who lives a quiet life in modern-day America with his girlfriend Tessa. 

As the series opens, we see Duncan drawn back into the world of the immortals, battling evil and dishing out the traditional beheadings. The pilot pulls out all the stops and manages to rope in Christopher Lambert as Connor from the original film, and the series developed a huge following in the 1990s. While set in the modern-day, we often flashback to Duncan’s first meetings with his enemies, so we do get a bit of a historical fix.

The show spawned a spin-off series, Highlander: The Raven, as well as two ropey film versions Highlander: Endgame and Highlander: The Source.

Number of series: 6

Episodes: 119

Average episode length: 48 minutes

Where to watch: US: Peacock UK: Buy on Amazon

'Timeless'

Timeless

(Image credit: NBC)

Timeless is a great option if you're after a time-traveling adventure. After a prototype time machine is stolen, a team set out in pursuit in their own machine through various times and places. History professor Lucy (Abigail Spencer, Reprisal), soldier Wyatt (Matt Lanter, Jupiter’s Legacy) and programmer Rufus (Malcolm Barrett, Genius) go on the trail of the thief, who is trying to change history to benefit a mysterious organization.

While we take plenty of journeys into the past, it's more through the last 100 years than the 18th century time of Outlander. However, there is plenty of action and even a romance playing out between Lucy and Wyatt.  

Although it had a rocky history, canceled before a fan campaign won a second season, Timeless produced two special episodes as a finale to tie up the story nicely, rather than leaving things unresolved.

Number of series: 2 and a 2-part finale.

Episodes: 28

Average episode length: 43 minutes

Where to watch: US: Hulu UK: Netflix

'A Discovery of Witches'

A Discovery of Witches stars Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer

(Image credit: Sky)

This historical supernatural series follows Diana (Teresa Palmer, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), a young American scholar who's also a witch.

Diana has tried to distance herself from the supernatural part of her life. However, she unearths a long-lost alchemical manuscript whilst on sabbatical at Oxford University. Soon, she becomes drawn into an enchanted underworld, where she tries to protect the bewitched manuscript from evil outside forces while uncovering its secrets.

Diana finds an ally in Matthew (Matthew Goode, The Crown), who is a biochemistry professor...and a vampire. Like Outlander, this started life as a romantic novel — author Deborah Harkness' All Souls Trilogy — so worth checking out. 

Number of series: 2

Episodes: 18

Average episode length: 45 minutes

Where to watch: US: AMC+ UK: Sky

'Black Sails'

Black Sails' Toby Stephens playing Captain Flint

(Image credit: Sky)

OK, it’s the high seas rather than the Highlands ­­– but we did once see our Outlander characters set sail for Jamaica. If you're after another rollicking adventure set in the 1700s, Black Sails might be for you.

This nautical drama is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and follows the famous story’s characters Captain Flint (Toby Stephens, Lost In Space), Billy Bones (Tom Hopper, The Umbrella Academy), and Long John Silver (Luke Arnold) as they pillage their way around the Caribbean. We even meet some real-life pirates, including the legendary Bluebeard.

The show doesn’t shy away from the debauchery of the pirate life, with plenty of gore and big fight sequences. Meanwhile, the romance is equally rough and ready, but it’s a fun and gutsy ride.

Number of seasons: 4

Episodes: 38

Average Episode Length: 49

Where to watch: US: Hulu UK: Starz on Prime Video

'Poldark'

Poldark star Aidan Turner

(Image credit: BBC)

This UK rural romantic drama transformed star Aidan Turner (The Suspect, Leonardo) into an immediate heartthrob. Poldark is set in a similar time period to Outlander, so we immediately get the right vibe from the show. 

This drama follows British army captain Ross Poldark as he returns home from the war in America. When he returns, he discovers his one-time love is now marrying his cousin! Scandalously, he soon falls for the charms of a new scullery maid, Demelza.

The Cornish landscape is a good substitute for the Highland scenery, and there’s plenty of drama to come from marriages, lost loves, death, and children. A lack of time travel and less sex and violence than Outlander makes this show a gentler ride.

Number of series: 5

Episodes: 43

Average episode length: 60

Where to watch: US: Prime Video UK: Netflix

'Vikings'

Vikings star Travis Fimmel

(Image credit: MGM Television)

Based on the real-life Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel, Raised By Wolves) and his crew, Vikings follows Ragnar from his raid on England, his rise to Scandinavian King, and then follows his sons to Iceland, the Mediterranean, and North America.

Spanning several years, and featuring a handful of great battle scenes every season, Vikings is one of the best historical shows around and an excellent Outlander substitute for those viewers desperate for another historical fix. Meanwhile, there are some strong couples to become invested in, not least including chief Ragnar’s rocky marriage to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).

Number of seasons: 6

Episodes: 89

Average episode length: 45 minutes

Where to watch: US: Prime Video UK: Prime Video

'Doctor Who'

David Tennant and Billie Piper escaping a werewolf in the Doctor Who episode 'Tooth and Claw'.

(Image credit: BBC)

Doctor Who is the grandfather of all-time travel shows. It's just finished its 39th season so far, but sadly for Outlander lovers, the show’s first visit to Bonnie Scotland, 1966’s The Highlanders, is lost from the TV archive.

However, it’s an important story for the show as it introduced highlander Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), the Doctor's companion for the next three years. Moreover, it was seeing Jamie in his kilt on Doctor Who that gave Outlander creator Diana Gabaldon the inspiration for Jamie Fraser. Frazer Hines has since appeared in the show as Sir Fletcher Gordon.

Another Who adventure with a Scottish flavor is Tooth and Claw. This Tenth Doctor story saw David Tennant’s Doctor facing a werewolf in a Highland castle alongside Queen Victoria.

Number of seasons: 39

Episodes: 868 to date

Average episode length: 25 minutes (Classic) 45 minutes (2000s revival)

Where to watch: US: BritBox(Classic series) HBO Max (2000s revival) UK: BritBox (Classic series) BBC iPlayer (2000s revival)

Steven Murphy

Steven is a writer, editor, and commentator with a passion for popular TV and soap operas. He spent 20 years as the editor of Inside Soap magazine, documenting every punch up and pucker up in the Street, the Square and the village. As a feature writer he’s covered TV crime dramas, period dramas and even some real-life star dramas. He’s been seen as a talking head on more TV clip shows than he cares to remember, has a 

a life-long passion for TV sci-fi – the older and creakier the better – and is a slight obsessive about any reality show featuring hotels.