Here is Part 1 of my reactions to the OUTLANDER Season 1 Vol. 1 Blu-ray Collector's Edition.
First, a few quick comments about the Collector's Edition box and packaging:
- Looking at the introductory booklet, I have to say, that's the most careful, legible signature of Diana Gabaldon's that I have ever seen <vbg>, with the possible exception of the one on my first-edition hardcover that she signed way back in July 1991.
- I didn't understand what a "lenticular" was before I opened the package, but I like this very much! I'm fascinated by the way Jamie turns into Frank and vice versa. <g> It's sort of mesmerizing.
- The packaging is very tastefully done. I was expecting the booklet to be a separate, flimsy little thing that could easily be lost or misplaced (or shared with other fans). Much to my surprise, the booklet turns out to be an integral part of the package.
- I think they did a good job choosing quotes and photos to illustrate all eight episodes.
OUTLANDER: An Epic Adventure
I thoroughly enjoyed this. <g> Even though I've heard almost all of it before, it was fun to see people talking about the books interspersed with clips from the show (and a few of Diana Gabaldon's personal photos, too!) I liked Maril Davis's comment about half of the writing staff being fans, half of them being new to the books: "We wanted to do that so we'd get both perspectives." I had a smile on my face at the end of this segment. Well done!
Authentic in Design: The Dresses and Kilts of OUTLANDER
This was fascinating to watch, even though I had heard a lot of this before, in the podcasts. I didn't realize there were four different tartans. I especially liked the part where Sam talks about wearing the kilt, and the bit where Annette (Mrs. Fitz) shows us her pocket.
I loved this segment, even though I'd heard it all before. It's hard to remember now that it took so long to find Claire. I thought this comment of Ron's was interesting: "It had to be somebody that you could watch think." It was fun to see Sam and Cait and Tobias talk about their roles.
Now, the deleted scenes from Episodes 101-104.
Deleted Scene #1 - "A Word to the Wise"
I think they were right to move the voiceover about Frank to later in the episode. It doesn't really fit here, when we've barely gotten into the story. I loved hearing Mrs. Baird tell the story of Mountgerald's ghost (especially remembering Stephen Bonnet's version of what happened, in DRUMS OF AUTUMN chapter 39), but I can understand why this was cut. Did we really need to spend that much time climbing the stairs of the B&B, just so we could hear this story?
Deleted Scene #2 - "Who are You?"
I liked the extra bit with BJR and Claire, which is taken straight from the book. I think the part where she screams into his ear, and then manages to get away briefly, makes Claire seem more resourceful, not as weak and helpless, and I wish they'd left that in.
EP102 ("Castle Leoch")
Deleted Scene #1 - "Now You're Ready"
This whole scene was fascinating to watch! I love the details of the many layers of 18th century clothing, and seeing how long it takes to put everything on. Mrs. Fitz's reaction to Claire's 20th century clothing was just priceless. <g>
Deleted Scene #2 - "Five Days"
The grand tour of the castle interior was interesting, but I can understand why they cut this. There's just not enough time to show everything. I liked the added bits in the scene between Colum and Claire very much.
Deleted Scene #3: "There's a Price on My Head"
I love this scene! <g> It's just as I have always imagined from the book. I wish they'd had time to include the whole thing in the actual episode.
Deleted Scene #4: "It Could Be Worse"
Rupert is terrific, but I think they were right to cut this scene where they did in the actual episode. I think the bit at the end with Rupert by himself is cute, but not necessary.
Deleted Scene #5: "A Simple Routine"
The first bit, with Claire talking about her "shadows", seems redundant and I think they were right to cut it. I liked the scene with Frank and Claire in the castle, though.
Deleted Scene #6: "Present Your Case"
I really wish I understood what they were saying in Gaelic in this scene. <sigh> (Although I do understand and agree with the producers' decision not to include subtitles for the Gaelic.) On the other hand, I don't think the few added bits from Geillis added very much. This is not really as contradictory as it sounds; what I mean is, I wish the viewers could understand the Gaelic, but I'm glad that Claire does not. <g>
Deleted Scene # 7: "Do You Know Her?"
Interesting to see the leeches! I remember Ron Moore talking in the podcast for this episode about how they tried and failed to create leeches that worked well enough on camera to be used in the actual episode. Too bad. I liked seeing this bit from the book, though. Especially the look on Claire's face when Mrs. Fitz talks about "it's best if it's gathered up in a full moon". You can see Claire thinking, "Superstitious nonsense!" And yet, eventually Claire comes to understand the reasoning behind such practices, and follow them herself, as she explains to Roger many years later in AN ECHO IN THE BONE, chapter 24.
EP103: "The Way Out"
Deleted Scene #1: "A Fellow Practitioner"
The beginning of the scene with Geillis and Claire is filmed from an odd angle, which I thought was very distracting, and I didn't care for it. I think they were right to cut this bit.
EP104: "The Gathering"
Deleted Scene #1: "I Give You My Obedience"
This is a WONDERFUL scene!! All of it. I really wish they'd included it in the actual episode. I think Sam is just mesmerizing here. I love the look on Jamie's face after Colum's speech, and also the way he says the last line, which is better than the way I've heard it in my head all these years. <g>
Look here for my reactions to the "extras" on Disk 2.
For more about the OUTLANDER Season 1 Volume 1 DVD/Blu-ray, look here.