Sunday, August 31, 2014

Diana Gabaldon's cameo appearance

When Diana Gabaldon visited the set of the OUTLANDER TV series in February, she got a tour of the production facilities. Now we can see a bit of it for ourselves in this video.



Here's a brief video of Diana talking about her experience on the set.  SPOILER WARNING: If you don't want to see the actual scenes from Episode 104 in which Diana appears, don't watch this video!



Note to people outside the US, I have no idea if these videos will work for you or not.



Here are Diana Gabaldon and Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore, as they appeared in Episode 104.  I think their costumes are just gorgeous! (By the way, Diana says that she was the one who came up with her character's name, Iona MacTavish.)

Some of you may recall that Diana posted a detailed two-part account of her visit to the set in February, including what it was like to film her cameo appearance.  It's definitely worth reading, especially now that many of us have seen Episode 104 ("The Gathering"), in which she appears.

Episode 104: "The Gathering" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 104 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "The Gathering".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! *** 

There are SPOILERS below!  If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

I love the mist rising from the ground in the opening scene.  You can almost feel the cool, damp air of the Highlands -- very evocative!  Very tense moment to open with, and I was riveted from the beginning.

Angus's "Something catch your eye there, lass?" made me laugh out loud. Priceless! <g>

I liked seeing the kids. Other than Hamish, there are no children mentioned at Leoch in the book, but it makes sense that Claire would have encountered them.  (Love their costumes!) I like the fact that Claire is so focused on escaping, and making detailed plans for exactly how she's going to do it, leaving her ribbon on a tree, etc. The point here is that she's intelligent and resourceful, and not just sitting around waiting for someone to rescue her.

Fascinating to see the encampment -- I love all the little details of 18th-century life, the cooking utensils, the clothing, etc.  I saw at least one woman wearing an arisaid.

Rupert and Angus crack me up. "It's all your w@nking gives ye that much speed of hand." (Angus, to Rupert)

"Uncle Lamb had taught me to ride, during the years we lived in Ireland" -- this detail is not in the book but I think it works very well, as "insurance" in case Cait's accent starts sounding too overtly Irish at some point in a future episode. It's plausible, and a good idea, IMHO.

About the 1940's music. I think it would have been fine if it had been played much softer, just barely audible, so it would be clearer that it's only Claire hearing this in her head.  I thought the music itself was OK, but it was much too loud.

I liked the whole scene between Claire and Geillis.  "I can assure you, I've never been unfaithful to my husband" - not YET, anyway! <g>  Using valerian as a sedative was a good idea, and asking Geillis to bring the port is more proof that Claire has thought her plans through, in detail.

I liked that Mrs. Fitz found Claire a suitable gown for the oath-taking. That's not in the book, but it works very well here. They have rearranged some of the order of events from the book, but it all WORKS, it's plausible, and it increases the dramatic tension on Claire's part considerably, so I'm happy with the changes.

I love Ron Moore's costume! The embroidery on the coat is just gorgeous!  And he looks very handsome and dignified. <g>

I just LOVED Diana's cameo!! Beautifully done! The gown is gorgeous, as is that hairdo. And I loved the interaction between Iona and Mrs. Fitz.

"I see you have the place looking brrrrrright as a new pin."
"Oh, that lovely dress again. You wore it so well to the last Gathering."

I think Iona is a bit of a snob, and Mrs. Fitz's line is the perfect comeback. <g>

Colum looks very different -- younger, more dignified -- with his hair tied back.

Iona shushing Murtagh made me burst out laughing.

I liked Colum's speech -- both the content and the delivery were just right. <g>

I watched the oath-taking absolutely mesmerized, hardly even blinking through the whole thing.  What a spectacle!  It was very close to the way I've always imagined it.  The quaich they used looked suitably ancient, which I was glad to see.  And I think it makes sense for Murtagh to be up in the gallery explaining things to Claire, even if that's not the way it's done in the book.  It's plausible -- Murtagh is, after all, a Fraser, not a MacKenzie, and he'd want to be out of the way during the oath-taking.

I love Claire's gown. Gorgeous!

"Can ye see fit to stay, at least until I bag a lass for the evening?" - This line of Angus's made me giggle.  And the bit about the port ("It's a sedative." "Is that Spanish?") was hilarious.

So Laoghaire wants "a potion that would open a lad's heart to a lassie" - good luck with that one!  Claire's horse-dung potion and the Wizard of Oz reference ("there's no place like love") were just priceless. LOL.

The scene with Dougal and the others in the corridor was very well done.  Again, the changes from the book were very effective and I have no complaints about the way this was handled.  I really didn't expect her to bash him in the head with the chair, but it works very well, reinforcing the idea that Claire is not a woman to be messed with. Ever. <g>

I liked the scene in the stable with Jamie.  "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!". "No, Sassenach, just me." LOL!  I didn't expect Claire to take offense at being called a Sassenach, but I thought this was an effective way to remind the viewers what the word means.  And Jamie did apologize right away. <g>

I loved the way Jamie laughs when he hears what happened to Dougal. "I hope ye left a good mark so he'll remember his error in judgment" -- good line.

I flinched at the sight of Jamie's scarred back.

"How's your head?" "Fine. My sister Jenny says it's harder than an iron pot." - good line.

I love the way Jamie looks right at the camera when he says "Je suis prest".

Murtagh's explanation of Jamie's situation was really effective.  Here's a slightly more detailed explanation from Diana on Compuserve a couple of years ago.

As Jamie prepares to take the oath, the hall goes completely silent.  I liked that. Not easy, with such a large crowd!  I missed Colum's reply to Jamie from the book, but I love the way he smiles at Jamie as he hands him the quaich.

I liked the look that passed between the MacKenzie brothers afterward.  Also Murtagh's "I'm gettin' too old for this" -- my first thought was, just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet! <g>

The tynchal was handled very well.  There were more boars than I expected.  Wonder if any of them were real, or were they all CGI?

"Score one for the pig. Maybe next time you'll think about going fishing." - good line

One minute Claire's alone in the woods with the boar lying dead at her feet --you can see she's absolutely terrified, almost gibbering -- and the next minute, faced with a medical emergency, you can almost literally see her nurse's training kicking in, as she becomes calm, level-headed, confident. I thought that was fascinating to watch.

Geordie's wounds were suitably bloody and gruesome, especially the belly wound. <shudder>  I thought the whole death scene was done very well, very much as it is in the book.  I liked that they used this bit from OUTLANDER Chapter 10:
A better death, perhaps, was what Dougal was giving him--to die cleanly under the sky, his heart’s blood staining the same leaves, dyed by the blood of the beast that killed him.
That's such an evocative bit of writing. I wonder if hearing bits like this in the TV show might encourage people to read the book for themselves?

I liked the added bits with Claire and Dougal comforting Geordie as he lay dying. Very powerful and affecting.

The shinty game was a lot of fun.  Good way to illustrate the conflict between Dougal and Jamie.  I liked the look on Jamie's face when he finally knocked Dougal down -- "Ye taught me well."

The final scene with Dougal and Claire is very good. "Mrs. Fitz would have you sit for a portrait, if it was up to her" -- good line.

And I liked seeing the men ride out at dawn the next morning. Good place to end this episode!

I think this might be my favorite episode so far.  It's highly entertaining, full of dramatic tension, but there's a lot of humor as well, and the costumes and details of 18th century life are utterly fascinating, at least to me.  And Diana's cameo was just wonderful!!

I hope you enjoyed this recap.  You can see my comments on the previous episodes here:

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"

Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 105!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Outlandish Observations is 6 years old!



Six years ago today, I started Outlandish Observations!

I had two goals in mind when I started this blog. The first was simply to learn about blogging. The second was to create a central repository for news and information for OUTLANDER fans, a place where people could go to find answers to commonly asked questions, links to other OUTLANDER-related sites, and the latest information on Diana Gabaldon's new and upcoming releases.

To say that this blog has succeeded far beyond my wildest imaginings is a severe understatement! In the beginning, I never expected anyone to visit my site except a few dozen of my friends from the Compuserve Books and Writers Community and LOL.  I didn't talk about it on Compuserve for the first couple of years, because I was very reluctant to draw attention to it where Diana Gabaldon could see -- which seems silly in retrospect, but it's true.  Suffice it to say that I did get over that shyness, eventually. <g>

I was delighted to see Outlandish Observations, and my Friday Fun Facts, mentioned in the Acknowledgements to WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD:



The FFF have been on hiatus for a few months -- I've just been much too busy! -- but I do intend eventually to put together some all-new FFF posts focusing on WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD. (Maybe later this fall, after the craziness surrounding the TV series subsides a bit.)

Since the premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series, daily traffic on my site has gone way, way up! I've had three times more visitors this month than a year ago, as you can see from the chart below. (The blue represents unique visits, and the green is page views.)



Special thanks to all of my followers on the Outlandish Observations Facebook page! Last year at this time I had 4,195 followers on Facebook. Today that number is 5,455, an increase of 30%! I'm amazed and delighted that so many new people have found my site in recent months. Welcome, and I hope you take some time to look around and see what else is available here.

Outlandish Observations was one of the first successful OUTLANDER-related blogs. These days there are dozens and dozens of fan-sites, Facebook groups, and so on. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned! <g> I'm proud to be a part of such a thriving, creative, and enthusiastic worldwide community of fans, united in our passion for these books and characters and this amazing story Diana Gabaldon has created.

No question about it, this is a very exciting time for OUTLANDER fans everywhere! It's quite a challenge to keep up with everything that's going on these days, and I hope you're finding this site helpful.

Many, many thanks to all of you who've visited Outlandish Observations over the past six years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you've come along for the ride.

THANK YOU ALL!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update on the TV series



A few quick updates on the OUTLANDER TV series:

1) OUTLANDER is continuing to do very well in the ratings on STARZ.  According to this site, more than 1 million viewers watched the premiere of Episode 103, "The Way Out", and the series is quickly becoming "appointment viewing" on Saturday nights.



2) New Zealand gets OUTLANDER starting August 28! The series will be shown on a new service called LightboxTV. For more information, look here and here.

PLEASE NOTE:  As I understand it, OUTLANDER episodes 101 - 103 should be available immediately on LightboxTV when the service launches on Thursday, and episode 104 will be available on Sunday.

3) Many of you will recall that Diana Gabaldon visited the set of OUTLANDER in February, 2014, and spent several days filming a cameo appearance on the show.  That scene will be in the upcoming Episode 104, "The Gathering", premiering in the US on August 30.  Diana says her part is very brief ("blink and you'll miss it", or words to that effect), but still, it will be fun to see her acting debut!

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, see my FAQ page here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

OUTLANDER podcasts now on iTunes!

I just found out that Ron Moore's OUTLANDER podcasts are now on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/outlander-official-podcast/id910631883

This appears to be the permanent iTunes site for all of the STARZ OUTLANDER podcasts.  You can download and listen to the podcasts for Episode 101 ("Sassenach") and Episode 102 ("Castle Leoch").  The podcast for Episode 103 is not yet available for everyone; I'm told some people can access it on iTunes, but I haven't been able to do so yet.

If you don't have iTunes or you have trouble getting to the podcasts that way, try this:
http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander/extras/extras

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested.  Thanks!

OUTLANDER premieres in Canada!



Great news for Canadian fans! The OUTLANDER TV series premieres tonight (August 24th) on Showcase!

I know the waiting has been hard for a lot of Canadian fans.  I hope all of you enjoy the first episode as much as I did! <g>

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, including a list of countries that will be showing the series, see my FAQ page here.

Episode 103: "The Way Out" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 103 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "The Way Out".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! *** 

There are SPOILERS below!  If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

The opening shot of the medicine bottles was a very effective way to set the scene and the time period, reminding the audience we're in the 18th century.  The abrupt transition to Claire and Frank in the train station circa 1940(?) was a shock, but I liked the scene very much.

"Woe betide the man who stands between you and what you set your mind upon." - Great line, and I laughed when I heard it.  I also like that Frank finds Claire's stubbornness attractive. <g>

"Promise you'll return to me" is just heartwrenching.  (Another good addition.)  This scene makes Frank a much more sympathetic character, IMHO, and I liked that.

I liked Claire's "Bloody hell!" under her breath when she's doused with cold water. (Did anybody else think of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" when watching this?  Given how much it's been in the news lately, it was kind of hard not to think of it.)

The whole scene with Mrs. Fitz is just terrific!  Very convincing, and I'm glad they didn't make it obvious that it was Claire's imagination.

I liked Claire's "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!" when she sees the slaters. (If you want to see what they look like at close range, see my Friday Fun Facts post here.)

The scene with Colum and the tailor is absolutely priceless -- I loved the whole thing. Gary Lewis played that PERFECTLY. <g> This is one of my favorite scenes in the episode.

I thought that changing the massage scene from Alec (in the book) to Colum here was quite effective. I liked the way Colum went behind the drapes on the other side of the table to take his breeks off, so they didn't have to CGI his legs while he got undressed.

"You don't have demons in Oxfordshire, Mistress?"  "We do. But we call them Scots." - Good line, and I liked the fact that Claire actually made Colum laugh.

I loved Dougal's line at the beginning of the Hall scene: "It seems the feral cat we picked up on the road is trying to pull in her claws."

The scene between Claire, Laoghaire, and Jamie in the Hall was very good, just as I imagined, and also reassuring that they went back to the book.  I liked the way Claire poked Jamie when he said, "naught but a rabble of snot-nosed bairns." <g> Nell Hudson is excellent as L, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her.

Gwyllyn's music is beautiful.

I like the flickering light in the scene between J&C in the surgery. We don't actually need to see the fire in the hearth to know it's there; we can tell by the crackling sounds and the way the light and shadows play across the room. I thought that was very interesting, and effective.

I love the looks J&C are giving each other in this scene, while Claire inspects his injured shoulder. Also, the little sigh Claire gives at the end, when Jamie leaves, as if to say, "Yeah, he's hot, but....Frank!!"

The brief glimpse of the thistles made me smile.  I liked the scene with Geillis and Claire, and Angus is very funny! (I had no trouble telling who he was, in this episode.)

I like the cobbled streets.  I was a little uncertain where this scene was taking place, though.  On the castle grounds somewhere?  It seemed that the Baxter house is within walking distance of the castle, not as far away as Cranesmuir, but I could be wrong.

The scene with Father Bain is riveting and very well done.  He's just mesmerizing. <g>

I liked the way they worked in the alcove scene with Jamie and Laoghaire.  I bet we'll see that bit in flashback later!  And Angus, again, is very funny, the way he looks at Claire approvingly, like a parent with a child who's finally learned to mind him, when he sees she actually stayed put the way he told her to. <g>

The dining scene was very good.  Again, it's reassuring that they went back to the book for this scene, with only minor changes.  I thought it was fine for Murtagh to be the one speaking to Claire (rather than Old Alec, as it is in the book).  We really haven't seen Murtagh interact with her much so far, and this scene helps to make it clearer for the viewers, I think, that Murtagh is always looking out for Jamie's best interests.

"Not jealous of Laoghaire.  Jealous of their intimacy." -- interesting to hear Claire's thoughts here.

In Cranesmuir, I liked the fact that they remembered the diamond-paned windows in the Duncans' house!  (Good attention to detail there!)  Geillis talking about "a born temptress" made me smile -- look who's talking!  And it's clear from some of the things she says that Geillis already suspects Claire might be a time-traveler ("Assuming that's what you mean", etc.)

I love Geillis in this scene (her costume is beautiful), and Arthur is delightful, too. <g>

I caught a minor inconsistency in this bit:
Arthur:  "Stole two bannocks"
Claire, a moment later: "Stealing a loaf of bread"
So, um, which is it? (Too bad the production people didn't notice that. Oops.)

I liked the way they did the rescue of the boy who had his ear nailed to the pillory, very much like the book, and the transition to the Black Kirk scene was very smooth.

Wood garlic vs. lily-of-the-valley -- I'll have to look them up one of these days.  I thought that was fascinating.

I liked the way both Claire and Mrs. Fitz stood up to Father Bain. Good for them! <g>

Good scene with J&C and the horse.  It's not in the book, but it makes sense.

I liked the way they interspersed the song about the wife of Balnain with Claire's memories of Craigh na Dun.  Although, to be honest, I thought the way the lyrics of the song were changed so they EXACTLY paralleled what happened to Claire (touching the tallest stone threw her back in time, etc.) was rather contrived and heavy-handed compared to the way it's done in the book.  (Give the viewers credit for a little intelligence!  We're smart enough to figure it out without bright red flashing arrows pointing to the part we're supposed to take notice of.)

Finally, I liked the way Claire was wearing her hair loose, in the final scene.  She's beginning to relax just a bit, and I think that was a good sign.

My overall impression:  There's a lot to enjoy in this episode.  It's well-acted, well-written, and the music and the cinematography are very good.  But on the initial viewing, I found the deviations from the book rather disconcerting.  (Yes, of course I realize it's an adaptation, but I wasn't really expecting them to be inventing entire subplots that aren't in the book, and that took a while to adjust to.)  I liked this episode MUCH better the second time, now that I know what's going to be different, and what's going to be the same, and I can simply relax and enjoy the story.

And I am really looking forward to next week's episode!  Judging from the previews, it's going to be terrific! <g>

I hope you enjoyed this recap.  You can see my comments on the previous episodes here:

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"

Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 104!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Compuserve forums getting new software!

Here's an important announcement for those of you who post or follow the discussions on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, which is the online forum where Diana Gabaldon hangs out.

The Compuserve forums are getting new software!!

This is a major system upgrade, the biggest change to Compuserve forums in ten years.  The forums will have a new look and feel, and vastly improved support for mobile devices such as tablets and iPhones.

UPDATE 8/28/2014 9:27 pm:  The upgrade was completed earlier this evening.  The Books and Writers Community has a new URL (web address):

http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/ws-books

PLEASE NOTE: If you have questions about how to use the new forum software, the best place to get answers is the Practice Forum. Although I personally have spent some time in the last couple of weeks testing the new software, I'm not an expert by any means, and you will get a faster response by asking on the Practice Forum.  Thanks.

Hope to see some of you on the new site!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Season 2 speculations

Ever since we heard the official announcement that the OUTLANDER TV series has been renewed for a second season, there has been a lot of speculation about how they're going to handle the "framing story" that opens and closes DRAGONFLY IN AMBER.



*** SPOILER WARNING!  If you haven't read Diana Gabaldon's DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, Book 2 in the OUTLANDER series, there are MAJOR spoilers for that book below!  ***

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

The opening section of DRAGONFLY, starting with "Inverness, 1968", is quite a shock for first-time readers.  And it seems to me that if the producers open Season 2 the same way the book does, with Claire and Brianna and Roger in 1968, they risk alienating viewers who have grown to love Jamie, and were expecting to see a continuation of Jamie and Claire's story from Season 1.  Not to mention giving away, to viewers who have not read the books, the fact that Claire will eventually go back to her own time and have a daughter.

An alternative approach would be to start off Season 2 right where they left off, with Jamie and Claire in France in 1744, and end the season with Claire going back through the stones just before Culloden.  The framing story, along with the introduction of Roger and Bree, could be covered in the first episode of Season 3, assuming there is one.

Whatever they decide to do, I'm sure they will put a lot of thought into it.  The writers have done a fabulous job so far in adapting OUTLANDER for TV.  DRAGONFLY IN AMBER presents unique challenges of its own, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they deal with it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A new record!

I had a total of 4,066 visitors to my blog yesterday, which is a new one-day record!  (That's 16.27% higher than the previous one-day record, set on May 1, 2013, the day the OUTLANDER TV series was announced.)

I'm thrilled to see so many more people visiting this site in recent weeks. If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll take some time to look around and see what else is available here.

Thanks so much to ALL of you for your continued support of Outlandish Observations.  It means a lot to me. <g>

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ron Moore's podcast of Episode 102



The latest installment in Ron Moore's series of podcasts with detailed commentary on the OUTLANDER TV series is now available!  This one covers Episode 102 ("Castle Leoch").  You can download it here.  It's about an hour long, like the episode itself, and definitely worth listening to!  Ron Moore is joined in this podcast by his wife, Terry Dresbach, one of the costume designers on the show.

You can listen to this podcast in iTunes or on your favorite portable device, but it's best appreciated if you can watch the episode, with the sound turned down, while you listen to the podcast.

If you enjoy listening to this sort of commentary on DVDs of other TV series (and I always do!), I'm sure you'll love this podcast.

Ron Moore has said he intends to do one of these for every episode, and I'm really looking forward to the next installment!


For more about the OUTLANDER TV series, see my FAQ page here.

Episode 102: "Castle Leoch" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 102 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Castle Leoch".

I thought this episode was AMAZING! Wonderful. Absolutely riveting throughout, and very, very faithful to the book. <g>  (By which I mean, it's a very effective adaptation, and where changes have been made, all of them make sense, IMHO, and add to the story rather than detracting from it.)

I liked this episode even more than the first one. And Sam Heughan is just perfect as Jamie. <g>

*** SPOILER WARNING!! *** 

There are SPOILERS below!  If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

I thought the brief recap before the opening credits was a very effective way of summarizing the first episode for viewers who hadn't seen it.  Nice to see Gary Lewis and Lotte Verbeek in the opening credits, and it's much easier to see Diana's name in this week's credits, with the white text against a dark background.

Wonderful to see Old Alec, even with two functioning eyes. <g>  Love his dialogue when they arrive at the castle.

I love the first scene with Mrs. Fitz, especially the way she teases Murtagh about his stink. <g> It's great that they managed to keep so much of the dialogue from the book -- that's always reassuring.

Very effective use of brief flashbacks in the corridor. I like this technique, and the way it's used throughout the episode to show us Claire's memories.

The first sight of Jamie's back was horrifying, as it should be, but very much as described in the book.

"Why were you escaping in the first place?" "They were holdin' me prisoner."  Matter-of-fact, and very much in character.

The whole scene at Lallybroch was just riveting, very tense and dramatic, extremely well acted.  BJR rubbing his saliva over Jenny's face made me shudder with revulsion. I was NOT (at all) expecting the bodice-ripping, but it's fitting, in character for BJR (as is the way he forced Jamie to watch), and I have no problem with it.  I am wondering how they'll reconcile this with Jenny telling the story later, where she "taunted him wi' [her] breasts", etc., but it's a really minor point.

BJR beating Jamie was hard to watch, but I kept reminding myself that it's only a faint taste of what's to come.  I liked how unemotional BJR seemed through the whole thing.

"Your husband is a lucky man" - good way to segue into Frank's POV, but I'm glad they only showed a brief glimpse of Frank and the Rev. Wakefield in the present day, keeping the focus on Claire's story.

The first time Jamie holds Claire as she sobs -- it felt JUST like the book, to me <g>, and I just love the way they look into each other's eyes just before she says, "I'm sorry".  We know that Jamie was falling in love with her there, and it shows.

The dressing scene is WONDERFUL, and I'll go back and watch this many more times, I'm sure. <g>  Terrific idea to show all the layers, and exactly what's involved in getting dressed in 18th c. clothing.  I was fascinated.  And I laughed at Mrs. Fitz's reaction to the bra.

I love that they remembered the bird cages in Colum's room. <g>  The first sight of Colum's legs is shocking, but I think they did a good job in portraying the "shockingly bowed and stumpy legs" described in the book. Very cool the way they did that!  And his gait, too, is fascinating to watch.

I liked the little flashback with Frank on how to resist interrogation. <g>  Very much as described in the book, but showing, not telling.

"Is there ever a good reason for rape, Master MacKenzie?"  Good line, and her delivery was perfect! Score one for Claire!

The bit about the tinker coming in five days is of course not in the book, but I thought it was effective.  It's realistic (in a place as busy as this, there must be wagons coming and going all the time, and why shouldn't Claire take advantage of that?) and it adds some urgency (and some suspense) to her desire to leave the castle.  In the book, she seems to fall into a routine a little too easily in the beginning, IMHO, so I like this addition.  It's plausible.

I love the first view of the exterior overlooking the courtyard.  What magnificent scenery!  Notice "Loch Lomond" playing very softly in the background? <g>  The scene with Dougal and young Hamish is terrific, and the boy is very cute!

The dinner scene - The hall is very much the way I pictured it, and I liked the way everyone stared at Claire as she entered.  Claire doesn't eat much in this scene (maybe one bannock?) but I couldn't help but notice that she's drinking an awful lot.  I love the way Dougal stays quiet, saying almost nothing, but his eyes are watchful and it's clear he's taking in every single detail about Claire.

"With your father" -- OOPS!!  Put your foot in the middle of it, didn't you, Claire? <g>  This was effective, though, in explaining the situation to viewers without a lot of tedious voice-over.  And I loved the way Hamish and his mother reacted.

That's quite an impressive kitchen - very realistic-looking!  I'll have to go back and look closer at the details.

"She's just a girl with spirit, is all.  That's always a good thing."  - This line of Jamie's isn't in the book, but I love it!  Clearly he's thinking of Claire when he says it. <g>

I like the stable scene. It feels very close to the book, even if it's not word for word identical.  I had to laugh when Jamie squatted down, very carefully not giving the viewers a peek under his kilt!

"Try not to get flogged or stabbed today."  "No promises, Sassenach."  - I love that they're already teasing each other, even this early in their relationship.  This exchange is terrific, and a good addition.

The scene between Claire and Rupert is great.  I only wish Rupert had been introduced by name. We know who he is, but how will the audience know?  (Unless I missed where Claire was told his name?)

Great confrontation between Claire and Dougal in the corridor. It reminds me of Jamie, many years later, saying, "Ye were always bolder than was safe."  Her personality comes through very well here.  Another good addition!

I like the fact that Claire is hearing 1940's music in her head ("Run Rabbit Run", etc.) just before she meets Geillis. And Lotte Verbeek is very good as Geillis!  Looking forward to seeing more of her.

I liked seeing L's father, though I do have to feel a bit sorry for him.  Having L for a daughter must be quite stressful at times! <g>

The whole punishment scene was just wonderful, and very faithful to the book, even though it's Rupert who actually administers the blows.  I liked the drums in the background.  And Jamie's face is very, very expressive.  You can tell exactly what he's thinking in this scene.  When Rupert hit him on the injured shoulder, I said, "Hey, that's not fair!!", and immediately recalled the much older Jamie saying (to Roger), "Dirty fighting is the only kind there is."  So even though this is not quite the way it happened in the book, it definitely works, and it's plausible.

The scene afterward between J&C is pretty close to the book, except for the absence of the leeches.

I loved the series of "deja vu" moments as Claire enters the apothecary.  And her confrontation with Colum was great, even if she did find herself outmaneuvered by him. <g>

"You mean I'm your prisoner, don't you?" "Only if you try to leave." - great line.

Notice the tears on Claire's cheek, just after the door closes.  Very dramatic end to this episode!

I loved it and I really can't wait to see more!!

Here are my recaps of the other episodes:

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

OUTLANDER is #1!

Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER is #1 on the NY Times Bestseller List this week, in two different categories (Combined Print and E-Book Fiction, as well as E-Book Fiction) and #3 in the Paperback Mass-Market Fiction category.



And WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD is still hanging in there, #18 on the Hardcover Fiction list this week.

Congratulations, Diana!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

OUTLANDER renewed for Season 2!



It's official! The OUTLANDER TV series has been renewed for a second season!!

Look here for details.  I have no more information at this time.

Can you imagine all those scenes in Paris and Versailles, with those amazing 18th-century ball gowns? I'm really looking forward to this!

Here's Diana Gabaldon's reaction on Twitter:

And here's the announcement on her Facebook page.

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, see my FAQ page here.

Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #10



Here are this week's Friday Fun Facts about Diana Gabaldon's books. This is a collection of some of my favorite items from previous FFF posts. In honor of the OUTLANDER TV series, this week's collection includes items from OUTLANDER only. I hope you enjoy them!



1) This photo shows what a Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) looks like.
"Lord help us, it’s the young Scottish wildcat! I thought I’d dealt with you once and for all! Back healed after all, did it? And this is your wife, you say? Quite a tasty little wench, she is, quite like your sister.”

Still shielded by his partly turned body, Randall’s knife-hand swiveled; the blade was now pointed at my throat. I could see Jamie over his shoulder, braced in the window like a cat about to spring. The pistol barrel didn’t waver, nor did he change expression. The only clue to his emotions was the dusky red creeping up his throat; his collar was unbuttoned and the small scar on his neck flamed crimson.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 21, "Une Mauvais Quart D'Heure After Another". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon.  All rights reserved.)


Here's a brief video about Scottish wildcats.  These beautiful animals are on the verge of extinction, due to interbreeding with feral domestic cats.

From Wikipedia:
The wildcat is considered an icon of the Scottish wilderness, and has been used in clan heraldry since the 13th century. The Picts venerated wildcats, having probably named Caithness (Land of the Cats) after them. According to the foundation myth of the Catti tribe, their ancestors were attacked by wildcats upon landing in Scotland. Their ferocity impressed the Catti so much, that the wildcat became their symbol. A thousand years later, the progenitors of Clan Sutherland, equally impressed, adopted the wildcat on their family crest.
Several different clans, including Sutherland, MacPherson, and Mackintosh, have wildcats in their emblems.



2) Remember the injury Jamie suffered just before Claire met him for the first time? Here's an X-ray image from Wikipedia where you can clearly see that the shoulder joint has come out of the socket.
"You have to get the bone of the upper arm at the proper angle before it will slip back into its joint,” I said, grunting as I pulled the wrist up and the elbow in. The young man was sizable; his arm was heavy as lead.

“This is the worst part,” I warned the patient. I cupped the elbow, ready to whip it upward and in.

His mouth twitched, not quite a smile. “It canna hurt much worse than it does. Get on wi’ it.” Sweat was popping out on my own face by now. Resetting a shoulder joint is hard work at the best of times. Done on a large man who had gone hours since the dislocation, his muscles now swollen and pulling on the joint, the job was taking all the strength I had. The fire was dangerously close; I hoped we wouldn’t both topple in, if the joint went back with a jerk.

Suddenly the shoulder gave a soft crunching pop! and the joint was back in place. The patient looked amazed. He put an unbelieving hand up to explore.

“It doesna hurt anymore!” A broad grin of delighted relief spread across his face, and the men broke out in exclamations and applause.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, Chapter 3, "The Man in the Wood". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)


The diagram above, from moveforwardpt.com, shows the difference between a normal and a dislocated shoulder.  Click on the picture for a bigger view.



This video demonstrates several different methods of treating a dislocated shoulder when you can't get to a hospital.  I believe what Claire used was the third method shown.



3) Sporrans come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. This is a Jacobite sporran, circa 1745, made of leather and brass. (Photos by houseoflabhran.com.)
Jamie picked up his sporran and began tucking in the loose bits of things that had come out when he pulled out the pearls. Finding a tangled length of fishing line, he upended the bag over the bed, dumping everything in a pile. He began to sort through it, painstakingly winding up the bits of line and string, finding loose fish hooks and firmly re-imbedding them in the piece of cork where they normally rested.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 31, "Quarter Day". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)


This is a badger-skin sporran, used by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment during the First World War. (I don't know about the rest of you, but I find the eyes rather disturbing!)

Here's an article about a 2009 law banning the use of sealskin sporrans in the European Union.  For more about sporrans, look here and here.

Leather Tawse

4) Remember Jamie telling Claire about his being beaten with a tawse when he was a schoolboy?
"I didna like being beaten at all, of course, but if I had a choice, I’d rather my Da than the schoolmaster. We’d mostly get it across the palm of the hand with a tawse, in the schoolhouse, instead of on the backside. Father said if he whipped me on the hand, I’d not be able to do any work, whereas if he whipped my arse, I’d at least not be tempted to sit down and be idle."

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 22, "Reckonings". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Millport Primary School Tawse

The photos above show what a tawse looks like.  Top: tawse from the Seafield Residential School, Ardrossan, Scotland.  Bottom: late-19th century tawse used at Millport Primary School.  Both of these straps were donated to museums in Scotland. (Photo credits: North Ayrshire Council, on Flickr.)

The Lochgelly tawse was widely used in Scottish schools for about 100 years, until corporal punishment was banned in the 1980s.



5) I always have to smile at this bit from OUTLANDER, because Jamie's too happy (and too obviously in love <g>) to be self-conscious about his singing voice.
He patted one of my rounder bulges and left for the stables, singing rather loudly the air from “Up Among the Heather.” The refrain floated back from the stairwell:
“Sittin’ wi’ a wee girl, holdin’ on my knee--
When a bumblebee stung me, weel above the kneeeee--
Up among the heather, at the head o’ Bendikee!”
He was right, I decided; he didn’t have any ear for music.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24, "By the Pricking of My Thumbs". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
If you click on the video above, you'll hear an audio recording of the Irish Rovers performing "Up Among the Heather".  The lyrics to the Irish Rovers version are a little different from Jamie's, but it's recognizably the same song.

I hope you enjoyed this 10th installment of the Best of the Friday Fun Facts! Here are the previous collections:

Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #1
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #2
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #3
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #4
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #5
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #6
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #7
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #8
Best of the Friday Fun Facts: Collection #9 

Look here to see all of my Friday Fun Facts blog posts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

OUTLANDER premieres in Australia!



Great news for Australian fans! OUTLANDER premieres tonight (Thursday) at 8:30 pm AEST on Foxtel's SoHo Channel!

I hope all of you enjoy the first episode as much as I did! <g>

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, including a list of countries that will be showing the series, see my FAQ page here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ron Moore's podcast of Episode 101



Ronald D. Moore, executive producer of the OUTLANDER TV series, has recorded a podcast with detailed commentary on Episode 101 ("Sassenach").  You can download it here.  It's just over an hour long, like the episode itself, and definitely worth listening to!

You can listen to it in iTunes or on your favorite portable device, but it's best appreciated if you can watch the episode, with the sound turned down, while you listen to the podcast.  (The full video of the first episode is available on YouTube here, but I don't know if it will work for people outside the US.)

I thought it was really fascinating to hear all the behind-the-scenes details of how they filmed various parts of the show. If you enjoy listening to this sort of commentary on DVDs of other TV series (and I always do!), I'm sure you'll love this podcast.

Ron Moore has said he intends to do one of these for every episode, and I'm really looking forward to the next installment!

For more about the OUTLANDER TV series, see my FAQ page here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

STARZ premiere day is here!!



So here we are. <g>  The STARZ premiere day has finally arrived!!

HUGE congratulations to Diana Gabaldon, Ron Moore, Sam, Caitriona, and the rest of the cast and crew!!



Part of me still can't quite believe this is really happening.  Does anybody else understand what I mean?  We've waited for this for sooooooo long, talked about it, argued the pros and cons, debated casting ad nauseam, watched this production evolve gradually from the first announcement all the way through the filming and the world premiere....and yet it still feels more than a bit surreal to me, that I can turn on the TV and see the story of OUTLANDER come to life before my eyes.



To Diana Gabaldon:  I can't even begin to imagine what you must be feeling today.  Congratulations, and may the series continue for a long, long time! <g>

Friday, August 8, 2014

Outlandish Observations in Entertainment Weekly!

I'm DELIGHTED to announce that Outlandish Observations is included in a list of OUTLANDER fan-sites in the August 15 issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine!



This is from page 73 of the print edition, part of a feature on the OUTLANDER books.  Many thanks to Laura for bringing this to my attention! (I haven't actually seen the magazine yet, but I hope to get a copy of it soon.)

Congratulations to the Ladies of Lallybroch, OBC, My Outlander Purgatory, and Outlander Kitchen for making the list as well!  What a thrill for all of us!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Claire and Jamie on the cover of TV Guide!



#UKTVNeedsOUTLANDER on Twitter today!



Many of you have been asking which TV network will be showing OUTLANDER in the UK.  Unfortunately, we still don't know the answer to that.  But we are doing everything we can to make sure that the TV network executives in the UK know just how much the fans there want to see the show!

There is another #UKTVNeedsOUTLANDER Twitter event scheduled for TODAY, August 6, from 8-10pm UK time, 3-5pm Eastern, noon-2pm Pacific.

If you're on Twitter, please tag your tweets with #UKTVNeedsOUTLANDER and show your support for OUTLANDER fans in the UK who want very much to see the TV series there!

Look here for more information, and please pass this on to anyone you know who may be interested. Let's try to get #UKTVNeedsOUTLANDER trending again!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

OUTLANDER is coming to Germany!



OUTLANDER is coming to Germany!

I don't speak German, but I believe this article says that VOX will be showing OUTLANDER in Germany starting in spring 2015:
Auch zahlreiche neue Serien-Highlights und Genre-Erweiterungen sind bei VOX in der Season 2014/2015 im Programm zu finden. Auf eines haben weltweit bereits Millionen Fans gewartet: die Verfilmung der packenden, historischen Highland-Saga „Outlander“. Die Bücher von US-Schriftstellerin Diana Gabaldon erobern international regelmäßig die Bestsellerlisten - wie auch aktuell wieder in Deutschland - und wurden bis heute in über 27 Ländern veröffentlicht und in 24 Sprachen übersetzt. Über 20 Millionen Bücher wurden bereits verkauft. Eine wahre Kultgemeinde hat sich längst um sie formiert. In Kürze (9. August 2014) feiert die Serie um die junge Engländerin Claire Randall und den schottischen Freiheitskämpfer Jamie Fraser, besetzt mit der irischen TV-Beauty Caitriona Balfe („Escape Plan“) und dem schottischen Schauspieler Sam Heughan („Young Alexander the Great“), in den USA Premiere. Die deutschen Fans können sich im Frühjahr 2015 auf eine Ausstrahlung als Free-TV-Premiere bei VOX freuen.
Spring 2015 seems like a very long time away, but at least the fans in Germany will be able to watch the series.

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested. Thanks! As soon as I hear anything more specific about the premiere date in Germany, I will post it here.

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, including a list of countries that will be showing the series, see my FAQ page here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Some interesting links

This article on Buzzfeed is one of the best pieces about OUTLANDER that I've seen in a long time.  Definitely take the time to read it, and share with your friends!

STARZ has opened its official OUTLANDER store, where you can buy OUTLANDER-related items.  (Yes, my Outlandish Observations Zazzle store is still in operation. No telling how much longer I'll be able to keep it going, though.)

Outlander Podcast interviews Diana Gabaldon!  (I haven't had time to listen to this yet, but I will soon.)

And finally, this one's just for fun. It made me laugh.


THANK YOU!!

I had another thought about Episode 101 ("Sassenach").  Slight spoiler below.  If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now!

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

About the scene near the end where Jamie says, "Thank you, Sassenach. Truly."

I think it's really appropriate that the premiere episode contains a heartfelt "Thank you".  IMHO Jamie is speaking for all the fans out there (definitely including me!) who never thought we'd actually see OUTLANDER on screen, or if we did, that they'd mangle the storyline, change the characters beyond recognition, etc.

I keep going back to Ron Moore's words from the press release on June 25, 2013:
I'm sure many of you are balancing your excitement with worry about how faithful we'll be to the original material. Let me tell you right from the start that we're fans of the books and our first priority is to be as true to the characters and the story that Diana Gabaldon has given us as we can. Put simply, our goal is to realize Outlander, not reinvent it.
And they've done just that. <g>  I really couldn't be more pleased with the first episode, and I'm excited about the rest of the season!

So I say, "Thank you, Ron Moore, Diana Gabaldon, and the entire cast and production team!  Truly." <g>

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Episode 101: "Sassenach" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 101 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Sassenach".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! *** 

There are SPOILERS below!  If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

What a lovely view of the Highlands to open the show! Hearing the Prologue in Caitriona's voice was simultaneously reassuring (they're staying close to the book) and different (hearing Claire speak the words).  I liked it very much.

The opening scene was bloody but effective.  "Six months after the end of the war" orients us very precisely in time, without having to put up a big "1945" in the middle of the screen at the beginning.

I love the opening credits and theme song <g>, and I am not going to get tired of watching/hearing them!  I liked the focus on the forget-me-nots at Craigh na Dun when we see Diana's name in the credits. (For those of you who don't know, Diana has said that the forget-me-nots are significant, but we won't find out why until the very end of the last book.  Look here for more information.)

The bit with Claire and Frank reminiscing was well done. Claire couldn't remember his laugh, but Frank remembered the lines in her palm well enough to doodle them on official documents? <g>  You get much more of a sense here, compared to the book, of how much Frank loves Claire.

I liked the bedsprings bit, especially the look on Mrs. Baird's face when they went at it the second time for real. <g>  She can definitely tell the difference!

Young Claire with Uncle Lamb caught me by surprise, especially the bit with the cigarette. She definitely had an unconventional upbringing, that's for sure! <g>

The guidebook Frank had at Leoch isn't quite accurate. Leoch was the home of the MacKenzie clan until the "mid-19th century"?  No, we know from the later books that Leoch was destroyed in the aftermath of Culloden.  (Sorry, don't mean to nitpick, but I couldn't resist....)

"Most never came back" - that made me think of Jerry MacKenzie, of course.

About the sex scene: I miss Frank's line about Claire being "the most devastatingly practical woman I've ever met", but I see what Diana means about how they rearranged bits and moved scenes around occasionally for dramatic effect.  And my reaction to Frank making love to Claire was a) it's clear it's by no means the first time they've done it this way, and b) Frank pays a lot more attention to Claire and her needs here than in the book.

I liked the scene with Mrs. Graham, which seemed pretty much exactly as it is in the book.

I was a little bit disappointed in the ghost scene, because the muted tones of Jamie's plaid make him very hard to see in the dark unless you're looking closely.  I had to rewind it and watch 3 or 4 times before I figured out where he was. That's not really a complaint; I think Frank just has keener eyesight than I do. <g>

The scene with Frank and Claire after the ghost is toned down somewhat from what's in the book, but the effect is to make Frank seem gentler, not so jealous.

Seeing the lights of Inverness from Craigh na Dun was a nice touch.

The dancers were very mystical, beautiful and eerie at the same time, and I liked the music in this part very much.

I love the last lingering look that Claire gives Frank.

I had the fleeting impression that the trees at Craigh na Dun were different, before and after.  I'd like to compare the before and after shots, to see if it's really changed, but it would certainly make sense if the trees are different after 200 years.

I loved the sound the stones were making right before Claire went through. That seemed just right.  The passage through the stones was not nearly as horrible or scary as I expected, though.

The bagpipes in the chase through the woods were terrific!

Tobias Menzies was excellent as BJR - scary and well-mannered at the same time.  Looking forward to seeing more of him!

Dougal looks great -- very commanding presence, and I like the beard. Graham McTavish is a wonderful actor.

The dislocated shoulder looked very realistic. And painful!

Jamie's voice is soft-spoken, just as described in the books.  And Diana is right, it's just astonishing how fast Sam Heughan BECOMES Jamie, right in front of our eyes. <g>

Claire's "NOT a wet-nurse", when she catches Jamie looking at her chest, made me laugh, thinking of the same bit in THE EXILE.  And I think the costume people made the right choice with the white dress. It really does look like an 18th century shift.

"You're shakin' so hard it's makin' MY teeth rattle" -- good line, and evidence that Jamie has a sense of humor.

I like Cocknammon Rock -- very distinctive.  Interesting to hear the discussion in Gaelic between Jamie and Dougal. You can get the sense of most of it in context, from body language and tone of voice, even if you don't understand the Gaelic words.

I loved the scene where J finds C in the woods. I didn't expect the bit with the sword, but it fits, and the rest of the scene is just as I always imagined. <g>

I liked the clansman riding the black horse with the white face -- Rupert?  I have a hard time telling some of the men apart.

I liked the look Dougal gave Jamie and Claire after the bit with the flask, as if to say, why are you being friendly with this very suspicious Sassenach?

"Gerrrrrrms" made me laugh, thinking of various bits in the later books. <g>

The scene with Claire tending Jamie at the roadside was Just Perfect.  And I liked Jamie's line beginning "If ye couldna fix me up well enough to ride...."

"Thank you, Sassenach. Truly."  God, I love that!!  Thank you to the scriptwriter for not making us wait such a looooong time to hear Jamie call her Sassenach.  <g>

Fascinating to see Castle Leoch before and after.  As for "remembering things that haven't happened yet" (paraphrasing) -- my thought was, be careful, Claire, don't think about that too much or you'll get a time-travel headache!

As the episode ended, I was left feeling very happy and contented.  Can't WAIT to see the next one!

SUMMARY:


I thought they did an amazingly good job in staying as close as possible to the spirit of the book.  What an incredible feeling, watching the story literally come to life before my eyes!

The cinematography was terrific, as was the music.  And I thought the whole cast was wonderful.

In particular, I think Caitriona absolutely NAILED Claire! <g>  Everything from passion to intelligence to frustration to fury to bewilderment at her sudden change in circumstances shows clearly on her face, and she "inhabits" Claire every bit as much as Sam does Jamie.  The casting people were incredibly lucky to find her. <g>  She's a lovely and very talented actress, and she's going to be wonderful as Claire.

BRAVO to everyone involved with the production!!

Here are my recaps of the other episodes:

Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"

Friday, August 1, 2014

OUTLANDER free preview starts August 2nd!



More information from STARZ about the free preview of Episode 101 ("Sassenach"), which will be available starting August 2.  (This is for US viewers only.)

OUTLANDER Episode 101 Preview FAQ

Please note that it says this will start at midnight Eastern time. I don't plan to stay up tonight to watch <g>, but I will certainly be watching first thing Saturday morning!  I can't wait!

UPDATE 8/1/2014 7:17 pm: If you live outside the US, please read Diana Gabaldon's comments below, posted on her Facebook page earlier today:
I apologize to the non-US people, but the bottom line here is that STARZ is an American production company, they're making the show, and they have the rights to display it--in the US only. SONY corporation sells licensing rights in the non-US countries, and you'll just have to wait until your country has a deal and announces their own viewing schedule.

OUTLANDER is coming to the Netherlands!



OUTLANDER is coming to the Netherlands!

I don't speak Dutch, but I believe this article says that HBO will be showing OUTLANDER in the Netherlands starting on August 11.

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested. Thanks!

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, including a list of countries that will be showing the series, see my FAQ page here.

July poll results

Here are the results of the July poll: "How long have you been reading Diana Gabaldon's books?"
  • 19.49% - Since OUTLANDER was first published.
  • 15.33% - 5-10 years
  • 15.17% - 15-20 years
  • 12.96% - 10-15 years
  • 12.58% - 2-5 years
  • 10.21% - 20+ years
  • 5.4% - 1-2 years
  • 4.54% - Less than 6 months
  • 3.51% - 6 months to 1 year
  • 0.16% - I read excerpts of her work on Compuserve before OUTLANDER was published.
  • 0.11% - I don't remember.
  • 0.54% - Other
Here are the responses for "Other":
  • since it was published in paperback in UK as Cross Stitch
  • Only since last November, but have read ALL 4X
  • suggested by the librarian, was totally hooked
  • 1st book 4 yrs ago, series this year, now have read all published works. Twice.
  • I don't think I've read any at all
  • 3 years - read all 3 times and listened to first 4 too.
  • Four years over and over and over and over
  • about 9 months, read all of them incl Lord John books, love him too. can't wait
  • The original outlander... In PB...it fell apart!
  • re-read many
There were 1852 responses to this poll, which I think is a new record! Thanks very much to everyone who participated.

I admit to being rather startled that 30% of the respondents have been reading Diana's books for at least 20 years.  By comparison, I'm a relative newcomer to the series. <g> I found OUTLANDER in November, 2006. (My story is here, if you're interested.)

Please take a moment to vote in the August poll, which asks the question, "Would you go through the stones, if you could?" Thanks!