Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Watching Diana write (a brief Book 9 excerpt)

Diana Gabaldon posted something very interesting on Facebook yesterday: a detailed example of how she writes. It's a very brief snippet from Book 9, just a couple of sentences, but Diana goes into great detail about how and why she chose each particular word or image.

* * * SPOILER WARNING!!  * * *

If you haven't read the last chapter of WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD (Book 8 of the OUTLANDER series), then this particular excerpt contains a Major Spoiler.

If you've finished that book, this brief snippet from Book 9 isn't very spoilerish, in my opinion, but everyone's tolerance for spoilers is different, so use your own judgment.

I'm normally a strict excerpt-avoider (no, I don't read #DailyLines!), and in fact I think this is the first bit of Book 9 I've peeked at. I made an exception for this one because it's such a brief snippet, and I very much wanted to see how Diana deconstructed it.  I think it's fascinating to see how she does that!

If you like this sort of thing, here are two more examples:

Annotated version of the "Coda in Three-Two Time" from WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD.  Diana Gabaldon included this piece in the OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 2 that was published last year.

Annotated version of the windowsill scene from THE FIERY CROSS, chapter 107, "Zugunruhe".

I hope she'll do more of these in the future.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Episode 203: "Useful Occupations and Deceptions" (SPOILERS)

Here are my reactions to Episode 203 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Useful Occupations and Deceptions".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

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


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Overall, I thought this episode was very well done, and much closer to the book than I expected.

I like the combination of the very ornate chess pieces and the music, evocative of 18th-century France, at the very beginning. It sets the stage very effectively.

Claire wakes in her bed, alone. Not a good sign!

Jamie comes home at dawn, immediately heads out again -- does he ever sleep, or eat? I'm glad Claire commented on his lack of sleep. I liked the way she gently pushed the servant away to tend to Jamie herself.

"I would not want to be late for tea." In his exhausted state, Jamie completely missed the sarcasm in Claire's tone. That's unusual -- he's usually so sensitive to her moods and needs, but not here.

The scene with Mary Hawkins and Louise is hilarious, just perfect! I actually think it's funnier here than in the book, because while Claire manages to keep from laughing (as in the book), Louise shows no such restraint, and her laughter is infectious. Definitely a keeper!

"In Sussex" - I wasn't expecting this little flashback, but I think it's a clever way to show Claire's sudden realization of exactly who Mary Hawkins is. I paused the screen on the genealogical chart, then went and got out my OUTLANDISH COMPANION Vol. 1 Revised and Updated Edition to compare the two. In case anyone's wondering, the names shown in Frank's family Bible here are exactly the same as in the chart on p. 208 of the OC. <g> The format of the chart has been rearranged a bit, to simplify it and put the focus on Frank's direct ancestors, but it's recognizably the same set of names.

Most of the chart is in what appears to be the same font as that chart in the OC (I thought that was a nice touch <g>), but if you look closely you can see that the last several names, including Frank's, are in a different handwriting, indicating that these names were added later.

(If you're not familiar with the OUTLANDISH COMPANION books, look here for more information.)

The scene with Murtagh and Suzette took me totally by surprise! LOL.

"Since when did ye become such a priggish scold?" I wondered that myself, though not in those words, and was glad Claire apologized right away.

The reason Murtagh gives for not telling Jamie immediately about BJR is plausible, but I didn't expect it. He's right, Jamie would probably tear off to Scotland immediately in pursuit of his vengeance, but I still really don't like Claire and Murtagh keeping secrets from Jamie. ("Oh, what a tangled web we weave...." and all that.)

I liked this exchange:

Claire: "I don't suppose you've ever thought of birth control?"
Murtagh (baffled): "Control??"

That library at Versailles is magnificent -- and immense! Kudos to Jon Gary Steele for his wonderful set design.

I liked the banter between Jamie and Duverney during and after the chess game, but I didn't care for the odd camera angle when they stood up, where the camera was looking up at them from below. I found it disconcerting and a little distracting.

I loved the Comte's air of menace and barely controlled fury at sight of Claire.

Master Raymond's use of the word "contraceptive" seems jarringly modern, at least to me. I didn't think the term was in common use in 1744. (Was he testing to see if she would react to the word?) On the other hand, I liked the fact that he was the one who suggested that Claire work at L'Hôpital des Anges. This is a change from the book, but I think it works well here.

"In need of helping others" - that's very perceptive of Master Raymond, and I very much hope Jamie will come to see it too, in time.

That first scene in L'Hôpital des Anges was wonderful, just as I'd imagined, and I'm really glad they were able to keep so much of the original dialogue from the book. My only small comment in this part is that Sister Angelique, the nun who introduces Claire to Mother Hildegarde, is so tiny that Claire looks twice her size! Either Claire has gotten taller in the last couple of episodes <g>, or she's wearing high heels under her gowns that make her tower over average-size women. Even Mother Hildegarde looks smaller by comparison.

Mother Hildegarde and Bouton are both terrific! I'm so thrilled to see Frances de la Tour playing this role, as I predicted back in 2009. She's just right for Mother Hildegarde. And Bouton is very cute. <g>

The scene with Charles and Duverney and Jamie in the brothel was notable for Jamie's first glimpse of young Fergus, and for the fact that Jamie was unnaturally quiet, taking little part in the discussion. I think they could have shortened that scene somewhat.

I wondered at first why Jamie didn't go out searching for Claire when she didn't return before dark, but then I remembered that Murtagh was with her.

The scene between J&C on her return was very good, but Jamie's body language throughout really bothered me. It seemed very unlike him -- keeping his back turned, hardly even looking at her, not touching her at all. And when she puts her hands on his shoulders, clearly trying to ease some of his stress, he puts her hands away from him, gently but firmly refusing to let her touch him.

Jamie's whole demeanor in that scene was so cold, distant, and angry that I found myself actually wondering if the TV viewers who have not read the books would conclude that he no longer loves Claire or feels any affection for her at all. (!) I found it very disturbing.

UPDATE 4/24/2016 7:39 pm: I mentioned my concerns about Jamie's body language in the Episode 203 discussion on Compuserve. Diana Gabaldon's reply is definitely worth reading! Her explanation might help other people who are having difficulty with Jamie's reactions in this scene. It certainly helped me!

"Indulging yourself with poultices and potions" - that's pretty harsh, IMHO, especially given that her skill with those same poultices and potions saved his life after Wentworth. I hope he was just snapping at her out of fatigue and frustration -- and in fact that's how I interpreted his, "When do I get to find meaning in my day?"

The scene where Jamie chases after Fergus is really good! After all the talking in the last couple of episodes, it's nice to see an action sequence! I liked the music during the chase, and I laughed whe Jamie turned Fergus upside-down to empty out his pockets. <g>

Romann Berrux is wonderful as Fergus, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. Just one small quibble: at one point he says to Jamie, "Just when we are very busy and, like, the gentlemen are very drunk." Like?? Why is he talking like a kid in 2016? I wish they had edited that word out, because it jerked me momentarily out of the story.

And again, Claire wakes in bed alone. <sigh> Fergus's flattery made me laugh, but in the scene with Jamie and Claire after Fergus leaves, once again Jamie's body language is subtly "off", IMHO, and he can't seem to turn to face her directly.

Claire's "That's a good plan" seemed to me to be a peace offering, acknowledging that she values what he's doing.

I like that little bed in the alcove!

The scene with Claire, Mother Hildegarde, and Bouton is just as I've always pictured it from the book -- just perfect!

And here Jamie appears in his kilt for the first time in quite a long time. <g>

The Bach reference makes me giggle. Mother Hildegarde is wonderful in this scene, which is taken almost verbatim from the book.

I loved the way J&C turned to look at each other and said, "Sandringham" at the very same time. They're starting to be able to work as a team again, and I was glad to see it.

"This calls for a celebration," Jamie says, and then we see a genuine smile from him for the first time all episode. (The line about "fighting feathers" is based on a line from DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, chapter 11.)

"To my wife, who's always there when I need her." It's not quite up to the standard of his toast on their wedding night <g>, but it's sincere, and I took it as the closest thing she'll get to an apology. And I was very relieved to see Jamie take Claire in his arms (finally!) and kiss her.

I don't blame Claire one bit for not wanting to burst Jamie's bubble of happiness by telling him about Black Jack Randall right then and there. But it's an interesting twist. If the goal of the writers at the end of the episode is to leave you wondering what's going to happen next, I think it worked very well.

I hope you've enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my comments on Episode 204.

Here are my recaps of the previous Season 2 episodes:

Episode 201: Through a Glass, Darkly
Episode 202: Not in Scotland Anymore

Look here for my recaps of all of the Season 1 episodes.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mandy!



Wishing a very happy birthday to Amanda Claire Hope MacKenzie, aka Mandy, who was born on April 21, 1776.

That would make her 240 years old, which is rather mind-boggling to contemplate, considering that she was only a toddler when last seen in WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD.

Here are some of my favorite quotes by and about wee Mandy.  Hope you enjoy them!

* * * SPOILER WARNING!! * * *

If you haven't read all eight of Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER books, up to and including WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD, there are Major Spoilers below. Read at your own risk!

1) Roger holds his baby girl for the first time.
Roger had never felt so terrified as he did when his newborn daughter was placed in his arms for the first time. Minutes old, skin tender and perfect as an orchid’s, she was so delicate he feared he would leave fingerprints on her--but so alluring that he had to touch her, drawing the back of his knuckle gently, so gently, down the perfect curve of her fat little cheek, stroking the black cobweb silk of her hair with an unbelieving forefinger. 

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 114, "Amanda". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
2) We get our first hint that baby Mandy may have inherited her parents' time-travel gene:
Jamie Fraser took his father’s ruby ring, and held it over the face of his granddaughter. Amanda’s eyes fixed on it at once, and she stuck out her tongue with interest. He smiled, despite the heaviness of his heart, and lowered the ring for her to grab at.

“She likes that well enough,” he said, skillfully removing it from her grip before she could get it into her mouth. “Let’s try the other.”

The other was Claire’s amulet--the tiny, battered leather pouch given to her by an Indian wisewoman years before. It contained assorted bits and bobs, herbs, he thought, and feathers, perhaps the tiny bones of a bat. But in among them was a lump of stone--nothing much to look at, but a true gemstone, a raw sapphire.

Amanda turned her head at once, more interested in the pouch than she had been in the shiny ring. She made cooing noises and batted wildly with both hands, trying to reach it.

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 114, "Amanda". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
3) Roger and Claire, not long before the MacKenzies returned to the 20th century.
"Mandy's got my mother's hair."

"Oh, good," Claire said dryly. "I'd hate to think I was entirely responsible for it. Do tell her that, when she's older, will you? Girls with very curly hair invariably hate it--at least in the early years, when they want to look like everyone else."

Despite his preoccupation, he heard the small note of desolation in her voice, and reached for her hand, disregarding the fact that she still held a plant in it.

"I'll tell her," he said softly. "I'll tell her everything. Don't ever think we'd let the kids forget you."

(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 21, "The Minister's Cat". Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
4) Jemmy and Mandy at Lallybroch:
"But Mama! Mandy hit me!” came an indignant report from the top of the stairs. Looking up, she could see the top of his head, the light from the window glowing on his hair.

“She did? Well—”

“With a stick!”

“What sort of—”

“On purpose!”

“Well, I don’t think—”

“AND …”--a pause before the damning denouement--“SHE DIDN’T SAY SHE WAS SORRY!”

[...]

“MANDY,” she bellowed. “Say you’re sorry!”

“Non’t!” came a high-pitched refusal from above.

“Aye, ye will!” came Jem’s voice, followed by scuffling. Brianna headed for the stair, blood in her eye. Just as she set her foot on the tread, Jem uttered a piercing squeal.

“She BIT me!”

“Jeremiah MacKenzie, don’t you dare bite her back!” she shouted. “Both of you stop it this instant!"

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, Epilogue I, "Lallybroch". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
5) This scene from ECHO hit me like a gut-punch the first time I read it. Mandy may be only a toddler, but I think she does an amazing job of telling her parents what's wrong and communicating the urgency of the situation. Thank God Bree and Roger took her hysteria seriously!
He made it to Amanda’s room a half step before Brianna and scooped the child out of her bed, cradling her against his pounding heart.

“Jemmy, Jemmy!” she sobbed. “He’s gone, he’s gone. He’s GONE!!” This last was shrieked as she stiffened in Roger’s arms, digging her feet hard into his belly.

"Hey, hey,” he soothed, trying to rearrange her and pet her into calm. “It’s okay, Jemmy’s fine. He’s fine, he’s only gone to visit Bobby overnight. He’ll be home tomorrow.”

“He’s GONE!” She squirmed like an eel, not trying to get away but merely possessed by a paroxysm of frantic grief. “He’s not here, he’s not here!”

"Aye, like I said, he’s at Bobby’s house, he—”

“Not here,” she said urgently, and thumped the palm of her hand repeatedly on the top of her head. “Not here wif me!”

(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 85, "Son of a Witch". Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
6) Many of you will recall that Diana Gabaldon said repeatedly that she wanted an octopus on the cover of WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD. She didn't get that, but I knew there would be an octopus reference in the book somewhere:
Mandy unbuckled her seat belt and popped up on her knees. She’d pulled her arms out of her sweater so they flopped around, and now just her face was poking out of the neckhole.

“I’m an ottopus!” she said, and shook herself so the sweater’s arms danced. Jem laughed, in spite of himself. So did Mam, but she waved Mandy back down.

“Octopus,” she said. “And put your seat belt back on right now. Octo means eight in Latin,” she added. “Octopuses have eight legs. Or arms, maybe.”

(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 99, "Radar". Copyright© 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
7) In spite of the seriousness of the situation, Mandy's counting makes me laugh.
"Go, Mandy. Right now. Mummy will be there before you can count to a hundred. Start counting now. One...two...three..." She moved between Cameron and Mandy, motioning firmly with her free hand.

Reluctantly, Mandy moved, murmuring, "Four... five... six... seven..." and disappeared through the back kitchen door.

[....]

"Think fast,” he shouted up at her. “Your wee lass will hit a hundred and be back any second!”

Despite the situation, Brianna smiled. Mandy had very recently been introduced to the idea that numbers were infinite and had been enchanted by the concept. She wouldn’t stop counting until she ran out of breath or someone stopped her.

(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 26, "A Step Into the Dark". Copyright© 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
8) I love the way Jem is so protective of his little sister.
There was a lot of screaming and crying going on inside the Buchans’ house, and he felt his chest go so tight he couldn’t breathe.

“Mandy!” He tried to call, but her name came out in a whisper. The front door was hanging open. Inside, there were girls everywhere, but he picked Mandy out of the muddle in the lounge instantly and ran to grab her. She wasn’t crying, but she latched on to him like a leech, burying her black curly head in his stomach.

“It’s okay,” he told her, squeezing the stuffing out of her in relief. “It’s okay, Man. I gotcha. I gotcha."

(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 38, "The Number of the Beast". Copyright© 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
9) I don't have words to express how relieved and grateful I am that the MacKenzies found each other at last.
"Think ye might have lost something,” Buck said gruffly, and handed Mandy carefully down to him. She was a heavy, lively weight in his arms—and smelled of goats.

“Daddy!” she exclaimed, beaming at him as though he’d just come in from work. “Mwah! Mwah!” She kissed him noisily and snuggled into his chest, her hair tickling his chin.

[....]

Roger was crying again, couldn’t stop. Mandy had burrs and foxtails stuck in her hair and in the fabric of her jacket, and he thought she might have wet herself somewhere in the recent past. Buck twitched the reins, as though about to turn and go, and Roger reached out a hand and grabbed his stirrup.

“Stay,” he croaked. “Tell me it’s real.”

Buck made an incoherent noise, and, looking up through his tears, Roger could see that Buck was making an inadequate attempt at hiding his own emotion.

“Aye,” Buck said, sounding almost as choked as Roger. He looped his reins and, sliding off into the road, took Jem very gently into his own arms. “Aye, it’s real."

(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 108, "Reality is That Which, When You Stop Believing in It, Doesn't Go Away". Copyright© 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Happy Birthday to our favorite time-traveling toddler and "feisty wee baggage", Mandy MacKenzie!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Episode 202: "Not in Scotland Anymore" (SPOILERS)

Here are my reactions to Episode 202 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Not in Scotland Anymore".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

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


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First, a general comment: Ira Steven Behr is by far my least favorite of the OUTLANDER writers, and it showed in this episode. The costumes were amazing, and I liked the new characters, especially Louise, Master Raymond, and Mary Hawkins. I enjoyed many scenes, but I thought the show dragged quite a bit in the second half, especially on the first viewing. There was very little dramatic tension or conflict in this episode, and I found myself, on the first viewing, checking the time every few minutes during the Versailles scenes, which is something I rarely did in Season 1.

Now, to the episode itself:

The gown in the opening scene is amazing, and looks very authentic! I keep thinking of the way a reviewer somewhere described the Season 2 costumes as "costume porn", and it's really true in this episode! <g>

The nightmare was very well done, if gory. Notice how BJR's eyes pop open at the very end. <shudder>

"He's alive, in my head. I couldna get him out." - good line.

I liked the way Claire dealt with his nightmare. She seemed concerned, but matter-of-fact rather than panicked. This clearly isn't the first time they've been through this, and it surely won't be the last.

That bed looks so luxurious, especially when you compare it to many of the places they slept in Season 1.

Claire and the housemaid: "I shall endeavor to be sloppier in my personal habits." This takes the situation in the book (Claire is frustrated and bored because the servants handle everything so well that there's nothing for her to do) and turns it around, so here we see a servant who is frustrated because Claire is in effect doing her job. Interesting twist. <g>

I liked the music as the carriage moves through Paris, and I was fascinated by the costumes worn by all the extras in the streets. The costumes in this episode alone must have taken a phenomenal amount of work for Terry and her team!

I loved Master Raymond's shop. It's bigger than I thought it would be, but otherwise looks very much like the image in my head. I'm glad they included the stuffed crocodile! (In case you're wondering, crocodiles were traditional in apothecary shops for centuries. For an explanation, check out this video, which I found a few years ago.)

Dominique Pinon is terrific as Master Raymond! He's a very appealing character. Note that what he prescribes for Jamie's nightmares is valeriana officinalis -- the very same valerian root that Claire used as a sedative in Episode 104, "The Gathering". I was surprised that Claire didn't comment on that, since she's obviously familiar with it. But that's a minor detail.

I liked the sword-fighting scene between Jamie and Murtagh very much. It makes sense to show that Jamie is gradually getting the strength back in his injured hand, and I loved the way the bystanders gawked at the two of them.

"Dueling is outlawed in France." (Can you say foreshadowing??)

"Yet another wrong to mark against this misery of a country." - good line from Murtagh, who really lives up to his dour reputation in this episode.

"Lard-Bucket and Big Head" - LOL! I love Jamie's reaction to this. It's the first time we've seen him laugh since before Wentworth, and you can see his old personality reasserting itself. Sam looks terrific in this scene, like he's really enjoying himself.

"Dinna fash. We won't be here forever."
"No. But it'll seem so."

I liked this exchange. Wondering if this is meant as a response to fans complaining that the story has moved away from Scotland?

"Maison de Madame Elise" -- so this is not just any brothel, it's the one where Fergus was born. Book-readers should catch the reference, even if it doesn't mean anything yet to some of the TV viewers. It does seem high-class, for a brothel. The bit with the dildos (what are they made of, ivory?) took me by surprise, but Charles is right, this is vulgar.

Charles looking down his nose (figuratively speaking) at Murtagh: "I don't recall asking for your opinion, or even inviting you here this evening."
"Where he goes, I go." (just like Dougal in the beginning of Episode 106, talking to Lt. Foster)

"The clans canna agree on the color of the sky." - good line

Murtagh's speech to Charles was very good, even eloquent at times, but I thought it was risky to be so blunt, considering what we know from the book about Charles' volatile temper. I expected Charles to take offense at his boldness and order him to get out, and was surprised by his reaction: "I see you [Jamie] have the heart of a true patriot, willing to risk my divine wrath in order to safeguard your countrymen."

I'm really glad they subtitled the Gaelic in Murtagh's response: "Not too late to slit his throat."

I love Claire's dressing gown in the next scene -- gorgeous!

The waxing scene was very good. I love Claire Sermonne as Louise, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her. She seems just perfect for the role! A little flamboyant and over-the-top, but Louise was like that in the book, too, so it fits. Mary Hawkins is very young and very shy, just as in the book. Those huge eyes just add to the impression of naivete. I loved the way she and Claire both reacted to the idea of waxing one's "honeypot".

The sex scene with Jamie and Claire that follows is, of course, different from the book, but I think it works very well. "I thought you'd be intrigued. Something different." And of course Jamie's a quick learner. <g> I did think Jamie would be more shocked at what she'd done, though.

It seems clear that the point of this scene (unlike the one in the book) is to show that Jamie hasn't yet recovered from the trauma of Wentworth. Having him see BJR's face while making love to Claire was shocking, but IMHO very effective. I actually moaned out loud at that fleeting glimpse of BJR's face.

"It's OK. It's OK." Claire's use of 20th-century slang here is a little jarring, but I would still consider it in character. She's used the expression before (talking to young Rabbie at Lallybroch, for example) and Jamie clearly has heard her say it often enough to understand what it means. A very poignant moment, and I like the way the scene ends, with Claire holding Jamie and Jamie clutching his injured hand. Very well done.

We next see them two weeks later, preparing to leave for Versailles. I like the way Jamie teases Murtagh: "You could have at least washed your knees, you swine." "I did."

The red dress is breathtaking, but it appears several inches too short, and I don't think it's the camera angle, because we see the same thing later as she walks across the courtyard outside. That's a shame. All they needed was a couple more inches of fabric (yes, I realize it's probably a lot more complicated than that! <g>), to make sure the gown would touch the floor. I found this distracting, and IMHO it diminishes the overall effect.

On the other hand, I loved Jamie's expression as he catches sight of her. Also his smile as he says, "I suppose it'll have to do." The business with the fan is just as I imagined from the book.

I liked seeing Versailles lit up at night. "Costume porn" indeed -- the costumes in this whole part of the episode are just amazing!! I like Louise's gown, and Mary's, too.

The scene with Annalise de Marillac is just priceless, especially for Jamie's reactions. <g>

Now, about that scene in the King's chambers: Yes, it's based on something in the book, but I think it went on for far too long. Did we really need to spend that much valuable screen time on Louis XV's bathroom habits, especially when we've been told over and over that they often have to cut scenes from these episodes due to time constraints? I suppose Ira Steven Behr thought this would be hilarious to show on screen. I didn't find it very amusing. In fact, I think he missed the point of this scene in the book entirely:
"That sounds an awful way to live,” I remarked, wanting to distract him. “Not watching owls, I don’t mean--the King. No privacy, ever, not even in the loo.”

“I wouldna care for it myself,” Jamie agreed. “But then he’s the King.”

“Mmm. And I suppose all the power and luxury and so forth makes up for a lot.”

He shrugged. “Well, if it does or no, it’s the bargain God’s made for him, and he’s little choice but to make the best of it."

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 7, "Royal Audience". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I wish they'd found a way to keep that bit in the show.

I did like the King's line: "Is that so? Unfortunately the King has never acquired a taste for peasant food."

Claire's fan in the next scene is gigantic, compared to the little one she was carrying when they left Jared's house. I laughed when I saw that. But again, in the scene in the courtyard, Claire's gown is too short.

I liked the way they combined M. Duverney's role with that of the obnoxious courtier in the book. (Duverney's wig looks like a drowned animal pelt after it's retrieved from the fountain.) So this is how Duverney's friendship with Jamie begins, by way of apology for his boorish behavior toward Claire? I really doubt Book Jamie would be so forgiving, so quickly. It's clearly intended here as a plot device to get the two of them interacting, but I found it contrived.

The "nipple dress" is stunning, and very much the way it's described in the book:
She was, in current vogue, wearing a gown cut below both breasts, with a bit of supercedent gauze which was clearly meant for the sake of fashion, as it couldn’t possibly function for either warmth or concealment.

It was neither the gown nor the prospect it revealed that had rattled me, though. The breasts of “Nesle,” while reasonably adequate in size, pleasant in proportion, and tipped with large brownish areolae, were further adorned with a pair of nipple jewels that caused their settings to recede into insignificance. A pair of diamond-encrusted swans with ruby eyes stretched their necks toward each other, swinging precariously in their gold-hooped perches. The workmanship was superb and the materials stunning, but it was the fact that each gold hoop passed through her nipple that made me feel rather faint.

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 9, "The Splendors of Versailles". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
The King's comments to Duverney made me laugh. But I didn't like the way he passed over Claire in the red dress without even asking who she was. In the book, the whole point of the red dress was to attract attention, but it doesn't appear to have had much effect on Louis here.

I wasn't expecting to see Sandringham here (I missed Simon Callow's name in the opening credits on the first viewing) but he was very good, as always. Claire's fury at seeing Sandringham is much easier to understand if you assume that Jamie told her how Sandringham gave BJR that petition of complaint, and BJR burned it in front of Jamie's eyes in Wentworth.

Lawrence Dobiesz is very good as Alex Randall. I'm glad that they didn't have Tobias play this role as well.

"I'll have to tell Jonathan that I met you." I gasped at this, but the more I think about it, the more I dislike what they did here. The revelation that BJR is still alive is a huge plot point, and yet we learn about it through telling, not showing, so it has far less dramatic and emotional impact than it did in the book. I was very disappointed in that.

The voiceover at the end was also disappointing. So they're setting up a situation where Claire is going to intentionally withhold vital information from Jamie? What about all that talk about honesty? I sincerely hope that she doesn't keep this secret from him for very long, because I think he's going to be furious if he finds out she knew BJR was alive and didn't tell him at once.

Overall, I liked this episode better on the second viewing, but I wish they'd found a way to inject more dramatic tension and conflict into it. I hope we'll see that in future episodes!

I hope you've enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my comments on Episode 203.

My recap of Episode 201 is here. Look here for my recaps of all of the Season 1 episodes.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Culloden anniversary



Today is the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, which took place on April 16, 1746.



I like this video very much. (The song is "The Ghosts of Culloden", performed by Isla Grant.)

*** SPOILER WARNING! ***

If you haven't read VOYAGER (Book 3 of the OUTLANDER series), there is a Major Spoiler below. Read at your own risk!

Diana Gabaldon noted in her blog post about her 2008 visit to Culloden that she saw the place where Jamie woke after the battle, thinking he was dead.  When I asked her on Compuserve if she recalled where that was, exactly, she said,
Jamie made it almost to the second government line.  He woke in a little swale or dip (you recall he was lying in water), about forty feet off the path that leads from the Visitors Centre--maybe a couple of hundred yards beyond the VC itself.
The photo below shows the area where the government lines were, marked with a red flag.



I was lucky enough to be able to visit Culloden in 2012.  It's an amazing place, and the Visitors Centre is very well done.  I'm making plans to go back to Scotland in July with my brother and sister-in-law, and we will definitely go back there!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Virgins" makes the NY Times Bestseller List!




Congratulations, Diana! For more about "Virgins", see my FAQ page here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A behind-the-scenes look at Episode 201



Looking for more behind-the-scenes information about OUTLANDER Season 2?  Check out OutlanderCommunity's new "Inside OUTLANDER" feature, where you can see lots of fascinating behind-the-scenes details, including Ronald D. Moore's annotated version of the script for Episode 201, "Through a Glass, Darkly".  Well worth reading!

Also, Ron Moore's Episode 201 podcast is now available. I haven't had time to listen to it yet myself, but I enjoyed the podcasts for Season 1, and I would certainly recommend them. (I don't know if these podcasts will be available on iTunes.)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Season 2 opening theme and title sequence



Here is the opening theme and title sequence from OUTLANDER Season 2.

*** SPOILER WARNING!  If you haven't yet seen the first episode of Season 2 and you don't want to know yet, don't read this post! ***

I think the new opening sequence is very good. I like it more every time I watch it, which is probably a good sign. <g>  I'm glad they didn't veer too far away from the Season 1 opening sequence.  This feels to me like a gradual and very natural evolution of the original theme, very much in keeping with the original, but incorporating bits of the Paris scenes, French lyrics, and a slightly different musical score, to illustrate the fact that the first half of Season 2 will have a completely different feel to it.

I like the way it starts off very similar to the Season 1 opening sequence. Reassuringly similar, even as the music has changed subtly, with strings (viola?) used to give more of a French flavor to it.  And then at about 00:26 into this video, we start seeing brief bits from Season 2, including:

- someone winding a clock
- an overhead view of a carriage  moving through a cobbled passageway (it took me a while to work out what that was, given the unusual camera angle)
- a woman (Louise?) holding a fan

At about 00:32, we see what appears to be the scene from DRAGONFLY IN AMBER where M. Forez demonstrates how to numb a leg by driving a nail into it at a specific location:
He reached into his capacious pocket once more, this time coming out with a small brass pin, some three inches in length, with a wide, flat head. One bony, thick-jointed hand tenderly explored the inside of the patient’s thigh near the groin, following the thin blue line of a large vein beneath the skin. The groping fingers hesitated, paused, palpated in a small circle, then settled on a point. Digging a sharp forefinger into the skin as though to mark his place, Monsieur Forez brought the point of the brass pin to bear in the same place. Another quick reach into the pocket of marvels produced a small brass hammer, with which he drove the pin straight into the leg with one blow.

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 14, "Meditations on the Flesh". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Interesting use of the French lyrics, and I like it more every time I hear it. <g>

[UPDATE 4/16/2016 7:39 am]  Here are the French lyrics (thanks to @ms_sassenach on Twitter!):

Chante-moi l'histoire d'une fille d'autrefois
S'agirait-il de moi?
L'ame légère elle prit un jour la mer...

So, as you might expect, the words are more or less the equivalent of "Sing me a song of a lass who is gone...."

Notice the snake, at about 00:48.  That has to be the serpent from the Star Chamber scene with Master Raymond and the Comte:
"The Holy Bible says, 'They shall handle serpents unharmed,' " he thundered. “ 'And by such signs shall ye know the servants of the true God!' "

I thought it was probably a small python. It was nearly three feet long, a smooth, gleaming length of gold and brown, slick and sinuous as oiled rope, with a pair of disconcerting golden eyes.

There was a concerted gasp at its appearance, and two of the hooded judges took a quick step back. Louis himself was more than slightly taken aback, and looked hastily about for his bodyguard, who stood goggle-eyed by the door of the chamber.

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 27, "An Audience With His Majesty". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I love the fact that they ended with the ship sailing off "over the sea". Very appropriate!

UPDATE 4/13/2016 7:02 am: Check out composer Bear McCreary's blog post about the new main title sequence for Season 2.

Episode 201: "Through a Glass, Darkly" (SPOILERS)

Here are my reactions to Episode 201 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Through a Glass, Darkly".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

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


S

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I thought this episode was very well done. Kudos especially to Caitriona and Tobias, who both gave outstanding performances!

"I wished I were dead." - Very powerful way to start off the episode and the new season! Immediately we're pulled into Claire's POV, and this scene does a good job of showing her utter devastation.

The bit about the ring took me by surprise at first, until I noticed the empty space where a gemstone had been. I agree with others who speculated that Jamie must have given her this ring when they parted. That would explain her frantic scrabbling through the grass in search of the missing gemstone.

I liked that scream very much. <g> Sort of a primal howl of grief and despair, absolutely gut-wrenching. We didn't see this scene in the book, but I have no trouble believing that Claire reacted just this way. It's one thing to hear the words, "I am asking you to tear out your heart and live without it." Quite another to actually do it!

When the car horn beeps, Claire is slow to react, as though she can't quite remember what that sound means. I liked that.

"Who won the battle of Culloden?!" And on hearing the answer, she collapses, weeping. I see this as another sign of how distraught she is. Surely anyone in the vicinity of Culloden Moor on the day before the battle, as she was, would have no doubt whatever about what the outcome of the battle was going to be. I see this as Claire's mind frantically grasping at the shred of hope that maybe, just maybe, they'd managed to change the outcome anyway, even at the cost of Jamie's life, and having that last bit of hope abruptly snatched away. All I could think at that moment was how she must feel (despite what Jamie tried to tell her in the book) that it's all her fault, for getting them involved in the Rising in the first place, and that guilt only adds to her devastation. Really powerful stuff.

I will put my reactions to the new Season 2 opening theme in a separate post.

Nice touch to have wee Roger featured in the beginning. The book on the floor is titled, "My Picture Book of Tall Ships" -- presumably a nod to Tall Ship Productions? <g>

Claire's "Will you turn that bloody thing off, please?" echoed my thoughts exactly. I found that milkman song annoying.

I liked the way Claire sees Frank's reflection in the window first. The many references to windows, mirrors, reflections, etc. in this episode are fascinating to think about, and I like the way they give additional depth to the title, "Through a Glass, Darkly".

Very effective use of the brief glimpse of BJR's face there, to show how Claire is momentarily shaken by the resemblance, but I'm glad they didn't make a big deal of it.

As Frank picks up the stays, notice the very subtle Jamie and Claire theme playing quietly in the background.

The newspaper headline reads, "KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIRIES". I liked this exchange very much:

Frank: "Devil take the press."
Rev. W: "That's not likely. Even the devil has some standards."

I really liked the scene with Claire and Mrs. Graham. It's a good idea, IMHO, to give Claire someone to talk to about Jamie in those first days, rather than keeping it all bottled up inside. And we know from Episode 108 ("Both Sides Now") that Mrs. Graham is already predisposed to believe her story. I liked the way Claire's whole face lights up when she talks about Jamie, and she even smiles -- until she's stopped dead in her tracks by that word "was", and you can see the grief hit her all over again. Just heartbreaking.

I liked this line from Mrs. Graham very much: "Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart."

When I saw Frank in the hallway, hesitating outside Claire's door, my first thought was that he looked very young and vulnerable.

When Claire started telling the story, I was sure they were going to show a flashback of her from Episode 101, but I suppose they decided it wasn't necessary. (Anyone who wants to know what happened can go watch Season 1, after all. <g>) After she finishes, Frank rubs his forehead as though he has a headache, in exactly the same way that Black Jack Randall did in Episode 106 ("The Garrison Commander") re Claire's totally fictitious story. I thought the parallel was interesting.

I loved Frank's speech, especially the way he goes through a whole range of emotions, from rage to grief to trying hard to stay in control. And just when he's convinced himself it's going to be all right ("I can accept it"), she says, "I'm pregnant," and at once his facade of acceptance crumbles. For an instant, you can see the incredulous joy on his face, and then it hits him, and he's overcome with rage. Just a marvelous performance by Tobias, and fascinating to watch!

Frank smashing things in the shed -- again, just as with Claire's scream, I think it's good that Frank had a chance to let that rage out, in private, in a situation where he couldn't hurt anyone else.

So TV Frank has known since 1947 that he couldn't sire children? Interesting.

"I am not Joseph, she is not Mary, and I'm fairly certain that the father was not God Almighty! He was a man -- a man who fucked my wife." - great line from Frank! And then wee Roger shows up, with an uncanny sense of timing. LOL.

The little boy playing Roger is cute, but the scene didn't work for me. I really wish they had cast an older child, at least 7 or 8 years old, to play Roger in this scene. This kid is FAR too young to convincingly play an eight-year-old! (Keep in mind that we're in 1948 and Roger's father disappeared in October 1941, so Roger has to be at least 7 or 8 years old here.) I also didn't like the very formal and polite way the boy speaks. What child of that age has such exquisite manners? One of the wonderful things about Diana Gabaldon's books is the very realistic way the kids talk, but that's definitely not in evidence here. All I see in this scene is a very young child actor reciting lines he's memorized, and looking cute. He's not believable to me as Roger, unfortunately.

"A child without a father, and a man without a child, have been given this chance to find one another -- and yes, I would call that part of God's eternal plan." Another great line from Rev. Wakefield.

The scene between Claire and Frank was very good.

"Don't ever use the word flog in my presence again, is that understood?" - good line.

I liked Frank's two conditions very much. Their hug brought tears to my eyes.

When Claire started to take off the ring, I was yelling, "NOOOO!!! NO NO NO NO!" at the TV. Also thinking of this quote:
I twisted my gold ring off, hands trembling both with fear and rage. The silver one was harder; it stuck on my knuckle as though reluctant to part from me.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 9, "Two-Thirds of a Ghost". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Thank God Frank didn't insist that she take it off right then. "When you're ready" -- ha! She'll never be ready for that, not in a million years.

Frank burning Claire's 18th century clothes - awww, that's sad. But it means that the only remaining tangible evidence of Claire's time-traveling (aside from Brianna, of course <g>) is the pair of rings, the wedding ring and the burned-out one, that she came back with.

I liked the transition between centuries very much. As Claire takes that final step off the staircase, she smiles. She's looking at Frank, but I think she's smiling because she's remembering Jamie at that moment. And of course the bit with the outstretched hands is very reminiscent of the Season 1 key art. <g>

[UPDATE 4/16/2016 7:44 am] About that date of 1745 for Jamie and Claire's arrival in Le Havre: Maril Davis, executive producer of OUTLANDER, confirmed on Twitter yesterday that this was a mistake:



Maril said the date would be corrected going forward.

As soon as Murtagh appears, the whole tone of the show changes, injecting some humor for the first time into an episode that had been awfully serious up to this point. I suppose with Rupert and Angus gone for now, Murtagh may have to take some of the role of comic relief?

Jamie is clearly in a lot of pain, but Claire doesn't fuss over him, likely knowing what his reaction would be.

"Sometimes I feel his touch" -- shudder! I do wish Jamie would sit up a little. I know they're trying to show he's still physically weak from his ordeal, but filming him flat on his back like that just looks awkward, and I didn't like it.

I think Claire did the right thing in trying to distract him, to give him something to focus his mind on other than the memories of Wentworth. In that context, I can understand her being somewhat more "pushy" about the idea of preventing the Rising than she is in the book.

"What the hell are we going to tell Murtagh?" -- good question!

The first thing I noticed in the scene with Murtagh is that he appears to have bathed and washed his hair. <g> He looks significantly less scruffy here than he ever did in Season 1.

"One day I will tell you the reason....at the proper time."
"And when will be the proper time?"
"You tell me, Sassenach. You're the one from the future."

I laughed a little at this the first time I heard it, but the dialogue seems a little forced. You can definitely tell that these lines aren't from the book.

The scene with Jared was very good. I liked Jared's skepticism, and I thought he was right to be cautious. I wasn't expecting Jamie to show his scars like that, but it made sense under the circumstances, and the contrast with Episode 105 ("Rent"), where Dougal forces Jamie to display his scars in public, is interesting.

And finally, 3/4 of the way into the episode, we get to a scene that comes straight from DRAGONFLY IN AMBER. <g> I was very impressed with Stanley Weber as the Comte St. Germain. He has a very commanding presence, very menacing.

I liked the fact that they used subtitles for the French. My high school French is way too rusty to keep up with what they were saying, most of the time. <g>

The whole scene with Claire's discovery of the smallpox was very well done. I really missed this bit from the book, though:
"D'ye think what we've set ourselves to do is important, Sassenach?"

My hand dropped from the door handle.

"Stopping the Stuarts from starting a rising in Scotland? Yes, of course I do. Why do you ask?"

He nodded, patient as an instructor with a slow pupil.

"Aye, well. If ye do, then you'll come here, sit yourself down, and drink wine wi' me until Jared comes back. And if ye don't..." He paused and blew out a long breath that stirred the ruddy wave of hair above his forehead.

"If ye don't, then you'll go down to a quay full of seamen and merchants who think women near ships are the height of ill luck, who are already spreading gossip that you've put a curse on St. Germain's ship, and you'll tell them what they must do. With luck, they'll be too afraid of ye to rape you before they cut your throat and toss you in the harbor, and me after you. If St. Germain himself doesna strangle you first. Did ye no see the look on his face?"

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 6, "Making Waves". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I thought the burning of the Patagonia (the Comte's ship) was done very well. That final shot of the ship burning in the harbor at night could almost have been an oil painting.

"I wouldn't change you to save the world" - I like this line from Jamie, and seeing them ride away in the carriage was a satisfying way to end the episode.

All in all, a very good start to Season 2, and I can't wait to see more!

I hope you've enjoyed this recap.  Please come back next week to see my comments on Episode 202.  Look here for my recaps of all of the Season 1 episodes.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Season 2 is finally here!



OUTLANDER Season 2 is finally here!!

Episode 201, titled "Through a Glass, Darkly", will premiere on STARZ in the US at 9pm ET/PT tonight, April 9, and it will be available in many other countries on Sunday, April 10.

I plan to post my detailed reactions to this episode on Sunday.

Friday, April 8, 2016

"Virgins" standalone e-book is now available!



Diana Gabaldon's novella, "Virgins", is now available as a standalone e-book!

For those of you who don't know, "Virgins" is the story of Jamie Fraser and his best friend Ian Murray as young mercenaries in France, before Jamie met Claire.  "Virgins" was originally published in the DANGEROUS WOMEN anthology in 2013. (And yes, it's still available in print form, but only as part of that anthology.)

Like Diana Gabaldon's other standalone e-books ("A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows", "The Space Between", etc.), "Virgins" is available for $1.99.

You can order the e-book here:

Kindle
Nook



The standalone audio version of "Virgins" is now available as well. It's narrated by Allan Scott-Douglas, who sang the part of Jamie on the OUTLANDER: The Musical CD that was produced in 2010.  The audio version of "Virgins" is 3 hours 3 minutes long.

For more information about "Virgins", see my "Virgins" FAQ page.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Live chat with Diana Gabaldon today!



USA Today will be hosting a live video chat with Diana Gabaldon today (Thursday, April 7) at 7pm ET (4pm PT).

Please note, the site says the chat can only be accessed on a desktop browser.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The latest Season 2 news!

Lots to talk about today, as we wait for Season 2:



VIDEO OF APRIL 5TH PANEL DISCUSSION IN NYC

Here is the video of last night's panel discussion in NYC, "From Scotland to Paris: A Behind the Scenes Journey with Outlander", with Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, Ronald D. Moore, Maril Davis, Terry Dresbach, Bear McCreary, and Jon Gary Steele.

It's about an hour and 20 minutes long, but well worth watching! This is one of the most interesting OUTLANDER panel discussions I've seen. The behind-the-scenes details from Season 2 are fascinating!



NEW STARZ STREAMING SERVICE AND STANDALONE APP

STARZ announced a new streaming service on Tuesday, a standalone app that will allow users to view and download STARZ programs for $8.99/month.  The new app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

EPISODE 201 AVAILABLE TO STARZ SUBSCRIBERS ON APRIL 7!

Great news for OUTLANDER fans in the US! The first episode of OUTLANDER Season 2, "Through a Glass, Darkly", will be available to STARZ subscribers on Thursday, April 7, two days before its official premiere on STARZ.
Subscribers can watch the episode on the Starz streaming app or Starz.com, as well as on other on-demand and online platforms. For everyone else, the 13-episode second season of the sci-fi historical drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s series premieres on April 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.
Look here for more information.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Season 2 premiere in NYC tonight!



The official premiere of OUTLANDER Season 2 will take place in New York City this evening (April 4, 2016).



Entertainment Tonight will be live-streaming the Red Carpet on their Facebook page starting at 6pm ET. If you're on Twitter, please use the hashtag #ViveOutlander today. Let's see if we can get it to trend!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

8,000 followers on Facebook!



I'm celebrating a blogging milestone today: My Outlandish Observations Facebook page now has 8,000 followers!!

THANK YOU ALL!! I really appreciate your support!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Premiere week event guide



One more week until OUTLANDER Season 2 premieres on STARZ!

A few highlights from the upcoming week:
  • STARZ is running a Season 1 marathon this weekend (April 2 and 3) from 2pm - 10pm, showing all 16 episodes.
  • The official Season 2 premiere will take place on Monday, April 4th, in New York City.  The red carpet will be live streamed on Facebook. Look here for details.
  • The panel discussion, "From Scotland To Paris:  The Season Two Journey of Outlander" will be live streamed at http://www.TelevisionAcademy.com/Events/Outlander on Tuesday, April 5th, starting at 7:30 pm ET.
  • Diana Gabaldon will be doing a live chat with USA Today on Thursday, April 7, at 7 pm ET.
  • Sam Heughan will be Grand Marshal of the annual Tartan Day Parade in NYC on Saturday, April 9.
Here's a handy Premiere Week Event Guide from STARZ that lists some of the major events and public appearances.

Obviously there's going to be a tremendous amount of media attention focused on OUTLANDER in the next few days, including interviews with Sam and Cait and articles in various print and online sources. I'm not even going to try to keep up with it all! But if you're interested in that sort of thing, I would suggest following @OutlanderTVNews and @Heughligans on Twitter for the latest updates.

I will certainly watch the live stream of Tuesday's panel discussion (those are always entertaining!), but otherwise I plan to take it easy as much as possible in the next few days, resting up in advance of the "Great Thread Explosion of 2016" (aka the Season 2 episode discussions) on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, which is going to take up an immense amount of my time and energy over the next several months.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Have you tried to get others to read the OUTLANDER books or watch the TV series?



Diana Gabaldon often says that these are "word-of-mouth books, because they're too weird to describe to anybody."   This month's poll asks the question, "Have you tried to get other people to read the OUTLANDER books or watch the TV series?" Please take a moment to vote.

I got my sister addicted to the books a few years ago, and I certainly have done my bit as an "OUTLANDER ambassador", helping to spread the word about the series in all its various forms. Here I am in 2010, on my first visit to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in NC, with a handmade OUTLANDER sign.



What about the rest of you? If you've had some success with getting people hooked on OUTLANDER (books, TV show, or both), please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page, and tell us about it.

March poll results

Here are the results of the March poll, which asked the question, "What are you doing to pass the time while we wait for the OUTLANDER TV series to resume?"
  • 23.97% - Reading (or re-reading) Diana Gabaldon's books.
  • 7.08% - Watching Season 1 episodes again.
  • 7.08% - Devouring any information I can find (trailers, photos, interviews, etc.) about the TV series.
  • 6.86% - Listening to the OUTLANDER audiobooks.
  • 4.14% - Reading books by other authors.
  • 2.94% - Following various OUTLANDER fan-sites, including Outlandish Observations.
  • 2.4% - Trying to get other people to read the books or watch the TV series.
  • 1.31% - Pursuing other hobbies or interests not related to OUTLANDER.
  • 0.98% - Hanging out on Diana Gabaldon's Facebook page or Compuserve.
  • 0.98% - Focusing on family, work, or other commitments.
  • 37.91% - All of the above.
  • 0.65% - I'm not interested in the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 3.7% - Other
Here are the responses for "Other":
  • Participating in Sam Heughan's My Peak Challenge.
  • finding Diana and Sam, etc on you tube in panel discussions
  • Watching season 1 episodes and re-reading Dragonfly in Amber
  • Preparing for an Outlander Marathon at my home Sat
  • Not all but most of the things listed
  • 1st and 2nd
  • buying outlander jewellery
  • Writing
  • Waztching the shippers and the antis fight
  • 1,2,3,4,6,7,8
  • Re-Reading, Re-Viewing, Re-cruiting new enthusiast
  • Just watched season one for the first time. And about to start re-reading them.
  • Dragonfly in Amber seminar with The Scot and the Sassanach!
  • Attending NYC Tartan Day Parade with Outlanders Un
  • read all 8 books 3 times
  • Most of the above except audiobooks and Facebook and trying to get others to rea
  • Lookiing @ info on OUTLANDER and reading books by other authors.
  • nothing
  • Listening to Podcasts about Outlaner
  • Attending NYC Tartan Week 2016
  • 1,3,4,5
  • the frist four items - constantly
  • 8(knitting Scottish pieces-wristwarmers, shawl)
  • Most of the above.
  • DVD,CD's,Podcasts,Books (5th x) twitter
  • My Peak Challenge
  • wathcing, listening, re-reading, info, fan sites.
  • Going to Tarten day parade!
  • Various of the above
  • All of the above, except those last 2 that speak of other interests!
  • I've been Outlander coloring and listening to the CDs. And dreaming.of April.
  • Catching up on work so I have time for S2 releases
  • Attending NYC Tartan Parade w/Outlanders United
  • Poldark :-)
There were 918 responses to this month's poll. Thanks very much to everyone who participated! Please take a moment to vote in the April poll, which is all about getting other people to read the OUTLANDER books and/or watch the TV series.