The "extras" on the Blu-ray Collector's Edition (Disk 2)
Here is Part 2 of my reactions to the OUTLANDER Season 1 Vol. 1 Blu-ray Collector's Edition. This post covers the "extras" on Disk 2 only. (You can see Part 1 here.)
On Location: Castle Leoch and the Magic of Scotland
I enjoyed this segment quite a bit. The scenery is amazing! And yes, Scotland absolutely IS a character in the show, just as it is in the books. <g> I'm so glad I got to see it for myself in 2012. Every time I see that scene at the end of the opening credits with J&C riding toward the mountains in the distance, I remember how incredibly green it was in Scotland, especially in the area around Glencoe -- exactly as it's shown in that shot. I had never seen a landscape that green before, probably because I've never lived anywhere where it rains as much as it does in Scotland.
I liked seeing the contrast between Castle Leoch in 1945 and 1743. I also liked seeing how they replicated Castle Doune's stone walls. The Great Hall set is amazing -- it's even bigger than I thought it was! -- but seeing all those candles reminded me of Diana Gabaldon's story of what it was like to film her cameo on that set, with people practically collapsing from heatstroke (in February!)
And I liked Diana's comment that "You really can't write about the culture [of the Highlands] without evoking the landscape."
Emerging a Scot: Cast Goes to Bootcamp
This segment was a lot of fun! And fascinating to watch. I didn't realize that Sam's fight scenes were quite so "martial-artsy"; I'll have to watch for that in future episodes. I liked Grant O'Rourke's comments about riding horses. <g> I loved the Gaelic bits, especially Adhamh's explanation of the sounds, and watching the cast members practicing their Gaelic.
A Walk Through the Sets and Stages with Ronald D. Moore
I was very happy to see this feature included on the Blu-ray. When Diana visited the set in February 2014, her descriptions of what "OutlanderWorld" was like made me intensely curious to see for myself, and I suggested that they do a guided tour just like this for the DVD. It's really amazing to see all the behind-the-scenes work that goes on in a production like this. The attention to detail in every aspect of the production is just incredible. I liked seeing the artist hand-decorating the jar of "slaters", for example. And the armoury was really interesting, particularly the working firearms and the process of "antiquing" swords. I remember that Diana said the armoury was her favorite part of "OutlanderWorld", and you can see why. <g>
Here are my reactions to the deleted scenes for Episodes 105-108:
Deleted Scene #1: "Scots Will Never Flee"
"No, I do understand, I saw it happen in France." I understand what they were trying to do here, but I think the significance of this comment might have been lost on viewers who don't know where exactly Claire was stationed during WWII. As for "Their answer is to flee their land. The Scots will never flee," it sounds good in theory, but of course we know that many thousands of Scots did just that, in the years after Culloden and during the Clearances in the 19th century.
Deleted Scene #2: "Guest of the Clan MacKenzie"
I didn't like the added voiceover as they rode away. Yes, it's a parallel to the poem that opens the episode, but I thought it was unnecessary and rather distracting. And this whole scene works much better with the cliffhanger ending! In the version we see here, the dramatic tension of the moment is sort of drained away by the recitation of that poem, IMHO. I'm glad they changed it.
EP106 ("The Garrison Commander")
Deleted Scene #1: "An Affair of the Heart"
The major change here seems to be the voiceover of Claire's reaction to BJR. I'm glad they cut it. It seems to be a classic case of "telling" rather than "showing", and it really wasn't necessary.
Deleted Scene #2: "The Idea of Marriage"
This is a terrific scene! All of it. I wish they'd been able to keep some of this in the final version of the episode, although I do like the ending in the actual episode very much. This scene does an excellent job of showing how conflicted Claire is (with dialogue taken word-for-word from the book <g>) and I thought the flashback scene with Frank was very sweet.
EP107 ("The Wedding")
Deleted Scene #1: "Why Jamie?"
This is a great scene! I love the exchange between Murtagh and Dougal: "Are ye insulting my integrity, you bastard?" "Oh, no. That would require ye to have some for me to insult." Jamie's reaction is spot on, too.
Deleted Scene #2: "Tell Me About Your Family"
Wow. This scene is a keeper, definitely! <g> Sam does an outstanding job throughout. I liked Claire's explanation for her parents' deaths ("A car crash. A carriage....a carriage overturned on the road.") Jamie is a wonderful storyteller, and I liked the bit with the cups, as he gently teases Claire.
Deleted Scene #3: "Give Us Peace"
This seems almost the same as the original, with just a couple of extra lines. I'm not really surprised Willie's lines got cut, but it was good to see Murtagh's line from the book added here.
Deleted Scene #4: "Jamie and Claire's Wedding"
I'm so glad to have a clip of the whole ceremony!! I liked the way Claire paused a long time before saying her vows, and also the way she reacted to the line "to be meek and obedient". (Ha! I hear a much older Jamie in my head saying, "I've never seen you do ANYTHING meek, Sassenach.") And the kiss is exactly as described in the book. <g>
Deleted Scene #5: "Blood Vow"
I love that we finally get to hear the "Respect has room for secrets, but not for lies" exchange between Jamie and Claire! I really wish this had been included in the final episode, but I guess there just wasn't time.
EP108 ("Both Sides Now")
Deleted Scene #1: "Bound by Society's Rules"
The discussion of wigs would be interesting under different circumstances, I think. As it's shown here, it's a distraction, and decreases the dramatic tension, IMHO, instead of letting it build up. But I do like Claire's opinion of 18th c. men's wigs. <g> I thought the rest of the exchange between BJR and Claire was very good.
The Blu-ray Collector's Edition is very well done and I would certainly encourage you to buy a copy if you can.
For more about the OUTLANDER Season 1 Volume 1 DVD/Blu-ray, look here.