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Outlander Action in Glasgow – the day I traveled back in time to the 1940s

Written by: Andrée Poppleton

It was 8:30 am on a crisp and sunny September morning in Glasgow. And there I was, at an Outlander film shoot. I could scarcely believe that all my planning, and a fair measure of good luck, had brought me here. I’d arrived in Scotland from Australia only two weeks before, and by now I was right into the swing of it, immersed in everything Scottish and yes, I could even understand the Glasgow accent! Handling the currency was another matter, but that’s a particular problem of mine.

I reflected back on my first two weeks, spent in the northern parts of Scotland. I had walked the Scottish Highlands, experiencing those landscapes that had me enthralled. I’d spent a week at the Findhorn Foundation, and visited the Outer Hebrides. At Findhorn, I spent a very engaging and open-minded week with people from all over the world – many of whom it turned out, shared my Outlander passions. But my northern Outlander experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a real live circle of standing stones, now would it? And by week three, I was ready for the real launch of my Outlandish adventures...

Outlander on Break - Rounding up the Cast and Crew's Holiday

Written by: Anne Gavin

Do you remember in elementary school when you returned from a blissful couple of weeks of freedom from homework assignments, annoying teachers and the daily academic routine to find your school chums buzzing loudly in the hallway about what they did over winter break? Commonplace were conversations about new toys received at Christmas or the hours spent playing Atari Pong (dating myself!), trips to Grandma’s house and/or the family ski cabin or beach house. Then there were those really annoying kids who havered on about their trip to Disneyland where they rode every ride (5 times) whilst simultaneously becoming besties with Mickey and Minnie. I can say now that my winter breaks are decidedly boring compared to days-of-auld. But, given how hard our Outlander Crew works, I am happy to report that they made the best use of their seldom-free time over the holidays.

For most of the month of December, the cast and crew were working 6-day weeks. These are long, 12-15 hour days in the bone-chilling cold and wet of Scotland. Just a day or so before Christmas, the cast and crew took off for a well-deserved two-week winter break! So, what did they do? Where did they go? We have some clues... and we even threw in a few #Gonelanders for good measure, just because we remain ever devoted!  Read all about it after the jump...

Stylist for the Day – What Outlander's Caitriona Balfe Could Wear to the Golden Globes…

Written by: Anne Gavin

Editor's note: 

This weekend, amidst the parchedness of #Droughtlander, we will be granted a tiny drop of relief. No, it's not a trailer (note to Starz: come out with it already!).  No, it's not anything related to Outlander  season 3 whatsoever.  It is, however, an opportunity to see our stunning and oh-so-talented leading lady, Caitriona Balfe, in the global spotlight! It's the Golden Globes... otherwise known as the film industry's pre-party for the Oscars and the television industry's after-party from the Emmys... and it's airing LIVE this Sunday at 8pm EST on NBC!

This is Cait's second nomination in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama category, and her star power and persona as a woman of fashion has only grown since last year. It's left us pondering what one-of-a-kind frock Cait might don for her strut down the red carpet. But before you squeak out a feminist cry about how she's a real artist who should be asked questions about her performance and worldly issues rather than those about her fashion choices, take a breath.  We know, and we agree.  And so does Cait, who told the world as much in an interview with Vanity Fair  titled, "This Sunday, Caitriona Balfe Would Like You to Ask Her About Something Other Than Her Dress." Noted, Cait. NOTED. We won't ask you... we'll just ask each other!

So even if glitzy awards shows aren't your thing, indulge with us in the frivolous fun of playing stylist for a day.  Our very own Anne Gavin wrote the below post for last year's Golden Globes and we thought you'd enjoy a second serving of it ahead of this year's show. Enjoy!

What Outlander's Jamie Gives Claire: Roots and Wings

Written by: Karen K. Rutledge

Depending on the moment, our Outlander hero Jamie Fraser has been called many things — outlaw by those on both sides of the Jacobite cause, laird by the tenants he so lovingly serves, and, by Claire, the love of my life. Here in the 21st Century, many of us — including the writers of the Outlander TV show — simply call him King of Men.

But what is it, exactly, that makes him so special? Why do both readers and TV-show fans (me!) adore Jamie with such ardor and passion?

Maybe it's the way he easily transitions between his worlds, from a courtly gentleman dressed in his jacket and breeches, to a manly man rocking that kilt while galloping across the countryside trying to save Scotland and all he holds dear.

Could it be because he's a whisperer of fish, fowl, horse and lass, paying attention to every little thing about Claire, making him possibly the first feminist of Scotland? Is it because he claims Claire as his love of a lifetime? 

Frankly, it's all those things that make fans call Jamie sexy, gorgeous and perfect, and make him THE love women secretly long for (well, some not so secretly). Yet, there's still more — he gives Claire everything she needs.

Quick question — are you with me?

Getting to Know #Outlander's Annette Badland: 10 Questions

Written by: Blake Larsen

Mary and I recently had the pleasure of speaking with actor Annette Badland (Mrs. Fitz) on Outlander Cast for our Christmas Special. Our episode with Annette is the second installment of a new series for the podcast and Outlander Cast Blog we're calling "Gonelander" — a celebration of all the actors and characters from Outlander who we fell in love with but who won't be part of the story in Voyager and beyond. You can find the audio interview here.

But as we've done in the past, we wanted to bring you an exclusive to the blog exploring 10 personal questions with Annette that were not included the original interview. Read on to find out more about Annette Badland the person, including her favorite show, guilty pleasure, celebrity crush, and much more.

How “My Peak Challenge” Became Sam Heughan’s “Field of Dreams”

Written by Holly Richter-White
Peaker: 2016/2017

"People will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it....

Because, if you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true."

That quote was from Field of Dreams, but it could have just as easily been talking about Sam Heughan's My Peak Challenge. In 2016, its first year, MPC gained a whopping 3300+ members. And it seems as if for this year (2017), that number could double!

Year in Review: Our Writers' Favorite Outlander Posts of 2016

Written by: The Outlander Cast Blog Team

A note from editors Ashley Crawley and Janet Reynolds:

We here at the Outlander Cast Blog are likely closing out 2016 in the same manner as you, our fellow Obsessenachs.  Yes, we've made time to eat, drink and be merry with our family and friends for the holidays. We've also balanced out all that family togetherness by sneaking off for a bit of solitude to re-watch, re-read and re-obsess ourselves with Outlander episodes and books. But we've also been reflecting back on the year that was, and all that's in store for 2017.

It's been a truly exciting year at the OCB as we've enjoyed a sophomore season of our favorite show and weathered two Droughtlanders together (note to season 3 – get. here. already.). From cast and crew interviews and live episode blogs to thoughtful explorations of season 2 themes and first-person experiences from fan events – whew! We've been busy, verra busy indeed. And we wouldn't have it any other way!

But before old acquaintance – err... blog posts, that is – be forgot and never thought upon, we wanted to take another look at the more than 170 posts we brought to you in 2016.  So, Janet and I did the impossible and asked the OCB staff to pick their favorite child – err... blog post, that is – and offer you their rationale on why. Their choices will have you re-visiting some of your all-time favorite posts or discovering new ones.

Now, enjoy this "best of the best" in the words of our writers...

Blake Larsen, Outlander Cast Host
Diana Gabaldon Offers Surprising Take on EW Cover and Blake Reacts

I loved this post because it was such a hot button topic, and I was soooooo nervous to publish it. Being a fan of Outlander  the show, but not a completely devoted fan to Diana, I really was ready to CRUSH her if she gave a response that I thought would damage the show.  But she really surprised me, and backed the scandalous cover up.  It felt like everyone had an opinion, and a lot of those opinions were so far stuck up everyone's collective butts that we couldn't see the light of day.  So, me, being the slight contrarian, I wanted everyone to calm down and look at it for what it was – just great publicity.  But, I couldn't resist calling people out for being sanctimonious "pearl clutchers" either.

Honestly, that cover was  a stroke of genius.  People actually talked about Outlander for the first time in a widely public setting.  Even non fans.  And, as a fan, if you felt the need to apologize for that, I really believe you were doing yourself and the show a disservice.  Never mind the hypocrisy in action too.  Because, as I noted: "None, that's right, NONE of the Outlander fandom can promulgate the notion of Claire as an amazing, independent, fierce, idyllic model for all modern women (which, she is), and then persecute STARZ, EW, or Outlander for highlighting one of the MAIN characteristics of Claire that make her so exciting and different from other cardboard-cut-out female leads in Hollywood: her sexual power/prowess."  This post, for me, embodied all the great conversation we can have as a fandom.

To read more posts by Blake, go here

Ashley Crawley, Editor-in-Chief
Here's to You, Mrs. Fitz!

Celebrity crushes – we all have them, whether on the character or the actor who plays them. But you know what's better than having an unabashed crush that won't quit? Having that adoring crush and  a forum on which to publicly tell the world, and the actor! Boom.  Wait, wait... this isn't headed where you think it's headed.  Yes, Sam is dreamy. How could he not be in all that kilted glory? Helloooo, knee porn.  Nope.  In season 1, my adoring eyes belonged to the heart and soul of Castle Leoch – Mrs. Fitz.  Recognizing that she's the latest and greatest in a [sometimes overdone] character archetype, I kicked off this post detailing my favorite Fitzy-like characters of TV shows past before offering my open love letter to Annette Badland and her wonderful portrayal of Mrs. Fitz. Writing the post and sharing it with you was joy enough... but then Annette joined Twitter and I was able to share it with her directly.  Thus, joy on steroids.  But why read about Annette as Mrs. Fitz when you hear it directly from Annette, in own words! Be sure to listen to the Outlander Cast interview with Annette in the latest episode of the #Gonelander Series.

To read more posts by Ashley, go here

Janet Reynolds, Associate Editor 

At the risk of becoming the (un)official OCB sex blogger (remember lady porn?) or having people think I'm Susie One-Note about Outlander,  this was my favorite post for 2016. Two main reasons: I thought it was one of my better written pieces and, since I'm a writer, that matters to me. The second, and more important reason, is that the post got people talking about a topic that I think is very important in this Outlander universe — the role of intimacy in sex, and sex in intimacy, and how a couple who are no longer newlyweds are/can be sexual and intimate, and why that matters — all of it exhibited through our favorite couple, Jamie and Claire. Or at least it could be if season 2 had not fallen off track from the book in this one area. Fingers crossed for season 3, am I right?

To read more posts by Janet, go here

Kendra Spring-Klasek, Head Writer & Clan Gathering Chief

This was my most thoroughly researched piece to date. I've long been bothered by both the spanking scene and our collective response to it. The common response: "That's just the way things were." But was it really? And even so, does it matter? Isn't character King? To top it off, this piece represents the pinnacle of collaboration between myself and Blake Larsen, both alike in cynicism, in the fair Highlands, where we lay our scene, where civil hands make civil bums unclean. So, crush a cup of wine and join me for the long haul — onegaishimasu!

To read more posts by Kendra, go here.

Anne Gavin, News Editor & Senior Writer 
“The Scotland Diaries – May 24-27 – Over the Sea to Skye”

It was ambitious to commit to blogging my travels in Scotland this past spring. I had no idea if I would have time, Wi-Fi or the wherewithal to document the trip. It turns out – I really needed  to write this unbelievable experience down and share it. This Scotland Diary entry was the 6th of 7 diary entries through my two-plus week trip. It’s my favorite in many ways – not the least of which is I felt transported immediately before, during and after those days on Skye. The words just poured out of me and I was really, really REALLY  happy then. It’s so hard to explain or put into words, but I tried... although not sure I completely captured the feeling. I spent my first week in Scotland traveling Jamie and Claire’s path. But, ironically, it was Skye that really made me fall deeply in love with Scotland and with that part of my Celtic heritage. It’s always been about the sea for me. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time near the sea when in Scotland and, in particular, those three days spent traveling the roads of Skye. Skye is spectacular and truly breathtaking, and I experienced all emotions there. I laughed, I cried, I was happy and I was sad. It was EVERYTHING to go there and be a part of that beautiful island for even just a moment in time. I hope you enjoy re-living my experience there and please check out the rest of my Scotland Diary entries. And, bonus – I am always available to answer Scotland travel inquiries!

To read more posts by Anne, go here

Holly Richter-White, Senior Writer
The Casties

Janet Reynolds, Anne Gavin and I had fun devising the categories and the nominees.  I was forced (FORCED!) to re-watch Outlander  episodes over and over, just to catch all the little details I had missed. While I still lament the lack of romantic scenes and emotional connection between Jamie and Claire, I came away with a whole new appreciation for the costumes, the set, the dialogue, and the nuances of the acting. Then as a total treat, I got to go live with Mary and Blake to announce them. Not bad for an introverted writer!

To read more posts by Holly, go here

Denise Stewart, Senior Writer
Keeping Faith: A Nurse on the Loss of a Baby in Outlander

Writing for the Outlander Cast Blog has been a great adventure for me.  I had never considered myself a writer, but the team told me to write what I know.  That came to me in Episode 2.07, "Faith." I knew I had to write about it, but wasn't sure how.  The loss of a child is not something I have ever had to endure personally, but being a caregiver of the most tiny of patients and their parents has allowed me the inside view of how painful it can be and how beautiful life is.  This piece is near and dear to my heart.

To read more posts by Denise, go here

Teddie Potter, Staff Writer
May I Speak Frankly?

Christmas is over, and the day to unwrap the 2017 Outlander calendar draws near. Before leaving this year behind us, I recall that Frank Randall's October 2016 calendar page inspired a host of Outlander fan emotions. Love him or hate him, season 3 of Outlander on Starz promises to bring us more of Frank Randall, as the story of Voyager  unfolds. Let's not exit 2016 without one more chance to speak frankly...

To read more posts by Teddie, go here

Nikki Gastineau, Staff Writer 
Into the Darkness: Finding Personal Light through Outlander

There are several reasons that this is my favorite, but I'll go with the top two. It dealt with the topics of brokenness, healing, and redemption, which are themes ever-present in both my life and the Outlander  series. While I'm not especially fond of the breaking process, I'm amazed at the beauty that often awaits on the other side of it. This post was about discovering that beauty and how life-changing it has been. The second reason this post is my favorite is because it gave me the opporunity to interact with other fans. I connected with lots of new folks on Twitter and I've really enjoyed reading all of their Outlander-inspired tweets and memes. The one with Murtagh as Secret Santa makes me laugh every time I see it!

To read more posts by Nikki, go here

Jayne Coleman, Staff Writer
The Need To Belong: Jamie and Claire as Outsiders Looking In

What a year! December, in particular, has been an exciting month for me... my first posts were published on the Outlander Cast Blog! My series on "outsiders in Outlander" was the culmination of almost a quarter of a century love affair with Outlander, Claire and Jamie. I was thrilled to become a staff writer and even more so to see this first article of mine out in the public arena. It was also nerve-wracking waiting for comments – social media stage fright, if you will. So I was very thankful to receive positive comments and engagements with my work. These are the reasons why I rank this my favorite authored post of 2016. I hope those of you who haven’t read it will take the time to do so now.

To read more posts by Jayne, go here

Anne Hawkinson, Staff Writer
The Role of a Staircase
The sensuous, curvaceous staircase in Jared’s Paris apartment had a role to play, along with the actors who interacted with that gorgeous set piece. We, the viewers, looked (up or down) upon the actors as they moved through the space. It provided a sense of dominance or submission – and interesting juxtapositions – without uttering a single word. The steps allowed us a long, leisurely look at Claire’s red dress – her skirt brushing each one as she descended, and it transformed into a stage as she presented herself to Jamie and Murtagh. Contrast that with the gorgeous filigree that supported the heavily pregnant, descending Claire and the barren emptiness Jamie ascended after being released from the Bastille. It was silent, stationary, and oh, so powerful.

To read more posts by Anne, go here

Karen Rutledge, Staff Writer

2017 will kick off with a bang for me – my first published post for the Outlander Cast Blog will go live in the first week. But it was my fellow staff writers who, in 2016, inspired me to take the leap from obsessed fan to obsessed fan with a vehicle to write about said obsession! 

When I read this post by Janet Reynolds, I knew I'd found my Clan. Hardly anyone I knew was watching Outlander,  and even those who were didn't seem to "appreciate" it as we do. Thank you to Ms. Gabaldon for creating this epic saga, to the cast and crew for bringing the characters to life, and to all of you Obsessenachs around the world! Cheers to our  Clan in 2016!

Remember all the excitement when the Scottish BAFTA awards night was held in Glasgow in November? Outlander fans were filled with anticipation, because the show was nominated in three categories: Best TV Drama, Best Actor in a TV Drama, and Best Actress in a TV drama. When the nominations were announced, the New Glasgow Girls swung in to action and planned to attend the event and get as much Outlander fan action as they possibly could. Of course the thrills were tempered with disappointment. While Caitriona Balfe won the award for best actress (so well deserved), both the show and Sam Heughan, unfortunately, missed out.

If you missed it, or to relive the fun, check out Naomi Booker's story of all the action that day in this guest post she did for the Outlander Cast Blog.  As a fellow New Glasgow Girl, it's what made me realize I could be a part of that group and  be part of the OCB Blog team.  I'm looking forward to publishing my first posts for you in 2017!

A final note from the entire team: 

Most importantly, we want to thank YOU for your loyal readership of the OCB throughout this past year. Like you, we are just fans who love (LOVE!) to gab about our shared obsession and greatly appreciate you nestling in our safe, humble corner of this giant Outlander universe to gab right along with us.  We raise a glass and offer a cheers to you and yours for a very healthy and happy 2017!

Cheers, Obsessenachs! 

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