Monday, July 30, 2018

New Season 4 trailer! (SPOILERS)

At long last, here's a brand-new OUTLANDER Season 4 trailer!

There are SPOILERS in this trailer if you haven't read DRUMS OF AUTUMN (Book 4 of the OUTLANDER series).

I think it looks great, very intriguing, promising plenty of action and suspense. I liked seeing Otter-Tooth's skull.

Season 4 premieres in November and I can't wait!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Finished the series...again!

I finished listening to the audiobook of Diana Gabaldon's WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD last night, wrapping up my latest "re-listen" of the OUTLANDER series.

This is approximately my 20th time through the OUTLANDER books since November 2006.  I mostly listen to the audiobooks rather than reading print or e-book editions, because the audio versions force you to really slow down and pay attention to the details. I pick up new little details on every re-listen.  And besides, Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator! She does a terrific job with all the voices and accents.

It takes me a long time to get through the whole series, but this last re-listen took much longer than usual.  Looking through my iTunes library, I see that I started listening to OUTLANDER on August 4, 2016, so it's taken me almost exactly two years.

I took a long break from late August-November 2016 (my dad passed away in September of that year), and again in the fall of 2017 while Season 3 was in progress, but otherwise I maintained my habit of listening for 30 minutes to an hour most days.

In between the Big Books, I also listened to THE SCOTTISH PRISONER and all of the stories in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.

That's at least 400 hours of listening, spread over two years.

I will probably take another break from the audiobooks before I start over again with OUTLANDER. I always need some time to decompress after I finish the series.

What about the rest of you?  Any other audiobook-addicts or compulsive re-readers of the OUTLANDER books out there?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Costume designer Terry Dresbach is leaving OUTLANDER after Season 4

OUTLANDER's costume designer, Terry Dresbach, announced on Twitter today that Season 4 will be her last on the show.

Her replacement has not yet been announced, but...

I'm sorry to hear this, but Terry's health and well-being come first. Life is just too damn short to kill yourself making a TV show, no matter how dedicated you are!

UPDATE 7/16/2018 6:01 am: Here's Diana Gabaldon's reaction to the news, on Facebook.

UPDATE 7/19/2018 7:50 am: And here is Terry's response to the fans. Definitely worth reading!

Many thanks to Terry for her hard work and dedication! She will definitely be missed.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Emmy nomination!

Congratulations to OUTLANDER's costume designer, Terry Dresbach, and her team for their Emmy nomination in the category of "Outstanding Period Costumes", for Episode 305, "Freedom & Whisky".

Terry does a wonderful job with the costumes and I'm glad to see her recognized for her efforts.

So, why did they choose this particular episode?  I suspect it was because this was the episode that introduced Claire's "batsuit", the multi-layered outfit that she wore, in one form or another, for the rest of the season.

I thought the "batsuit" was a very clever idea, even if Claire seemed to magically put it together overnight. On re-watching Season 3, it's interesting to watch the way that costume evolves, changes, and eventually disintegrates, over the course of Claire's adventures -- first in Edinburgh, then on the Artemis, the Porpoise, and in the Caribbean. By the time Jamie and Claire wash up on that Georgia beach at the end of Episode 313, there's almost nothing of the original costume left.

Congratulations, Terry! I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the costumes in Season 4.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

BBC Alba tells the story of OUTLANDER (in Gaelic!)

My friend Cathy MacGregor sent me the link to this very interesting hour-long video from BBC Alba that tells the story of OUTLANDER, in Gaelic! (With English subtitles, of course.)  It's fascinating to hear the rhythms and sounds of the Gaelic language, even if you don't understand most of the words.

If you're in the UK, use this link instead.

The program, filmed in 2016, features interviews with Diana Gabaldon, herbalist Claire MacKay, the Earl of Cromartie (current chief of Clan MacKenzie), and others, discussing the history, customs, and folklore of the period -- everything from changelings to witch-trials to the infamous Black Watch. And there are lots of gorgeous views of Scottish scenery!

At about 48 minutes into the video, Diana Gabaldon talks about walking battlefields. "Most of them are not haunted. One is." And then she visibly starts to choke up, saying she can't talk about it or she'll cry.

I thought this program was very well done and I would definitely recommend it to OUTLANDER fans!

UPDATE 7/12/2018 12:34 pm: If you're having problems with the video, all I can tell you is that it worked for me in the US. Some people have reported that the link goes to a porn site, but that didn't happen for me. If you're having issues like that, I'm sorry to hear it!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Last day of filming for OUTLANDER Season 4!

It's the last day of filming for OUTLANDER Season 4!

Here's a tweet from Executive Producer Maril Davis:

It's been a long nine months since filming began on October 9, 2017, but they finally did it!

CONGRATULATIONS to Sam, Caitriona, and the entire cast and crew of OUTLANDER! Thanks very much for your hard work and dedication! Enjoy the well-deserved break, and we'll look forward to seeing Season 4 starting in November!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

REPOST: "1776", the Musical

Wishing all of you in the U.S. a very happy Fourth of July!

As I do every year, I'm taking this opportunity to put in a plug for my favorite Revolutionary War movie: "1776", which is a musical about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

If you've never seen "1776", I highly recommend it. It came out in 1972 (based on the Broadway musical of the same name) and I think I've seen it almost every year since I was nine or so. That tradition continues to this day; my family always watches it on DVD every July 4th, and we will do so again this year.

Diana Gabaldon likes it, too; I've heard her describe it as "hilarious, moving, and very singable". I asked her specifically about the costumes, because I'm fascinated by the details of the 18th century clothing in this movie, and she said they're pretty accurate.

Evidently Matt Roberts, executive producer and one of the writers on the OUTLANDER TV series, is also a "1776" fan. If you've seen Episode 303 ("All Debts Paid"), you may recall Frank's line in the breakfast scene near the beginning of this episode about "Tudors, Stuarts, and Plantagenets". Matt has said that he added that line as a deliberate homage to the very similar phrase used by John Dickinson in "1776".

Here are a couple of my favorite songs from the movie:

1) "The Egg" - Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson choose America's national bird.

2) "Sit Down, John" - This is the movie's opening number.

If you're a fan of "1776", what's your favorite song?  Mine is the one where they argue about who's going to write the Declaration of Independence.

You can get "1776" via Amazon. If you're in the US, it will be shown on TCM at 10:15pm today, July 4th.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June poll results

Here are the results of the June poll, which asked the question, "How did you discover the OUTLANDER books?"

There were 686 responses to this month's poll. Thanks very much to everyone who participated!
  • 29.88% - I started reading the books as a result of watching, or hearing about, the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 26.53% - A friend or family member recommended the books to me.
  • 21.57% - I stumbled across them while browsing in a bookstore or library.
  • 5.25% - A friend or family member gave me a copy of OUTLANDER, saying, "Read this, you'll love it!"
  • 2.62% - I read a review in a newspaper, magazine, or online.
  • 1.60% - Someone on Facebook, Goodreads, or another online site recommended them.
  • 1.46% - Someone at my book club mentioned them.
  • 1.46% - I haven't yet read any of Diana Gabaldon's books, but I've watched the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 1.17% - A librarian or bookstore employee recommended them.
  • 0.87% - I saw OUTLANDER on a "Recommended for You" list on Amazon or elsewhere online.
  • 7.58% - Other
I didn't vote in the poll myself, but I fall into the third category above.  I found OUTLANDER completely by accident, browsing in Barnes & Noble in 2006. The full story of how I found OUTLANDER is here.

I think it's interesting to see how the percentage of people who found the OUTLANDER books as a result of the TV series has been increasing, as the show has become more popular. Here are the results from polls I've done in 2015-2018 where I included that as an option. (Click on the image for a bigger view.)

If you're one of those people who found Diana Gabaldon's books as a result of watching the TV series, or hearing about it, I'd like to hear from you!  Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Please take a moment to vote in the July poll, which asks, "What do you think of the Lord John books and stories?"