"In Case You Missed It": Outlander News Round-Up -- #Droughtlander Edition #2

Written by: Anne Gavin


I wake up some days and think, when will it end?  Can I endure?  When will it stop, the wanting you?  It’s interminable.  I don’t entirely understand this level of torture.  I mean – are we not just all devoted fans looking for the good (mostly!) in this enterprise known as “Outlander?”  All we want is a reasonable amount of time to pass before we see our story back on the air and in all its glory.  We try to be good.  We vote online for awards for our Outlander crew until our fingers bleed.  We open our wallet continually to purchase trading cards, t-shirts, multiple copies of Season 2 DVDs, tickets to fan events and replay the latest season’s soundtrack until we literally can sing the Skye Boat Song in an almost perfect French accent.  Yet, here we are.  Still deep, deep, deep into the #Droughtlander with no real end in sight.  Instead, we must content ourselves with snippets of fan goat food dribbled into our trough. We wait in our pen... for any morsel to come our way.

So, with that, we will try our best at the Outlander Cast Blog to help you stave your hunger by catching you up on the ALL the goat food and offer you our semi-regular Outlander News Roundup  – just in case you missed anything!  And, if you know it all, then just re-read it and weep or take solace in knowing that perhaps we are just that much closer to the misery that is #Droughtlander coming to an end...

And the Award Goes to...

We were already headed into the new year anticipating the results of the People's Choice Awards, set for Jan. 18. Like I said, we'll take anything.  As if that wasn't enough, just this week we learned that Caitriona Balfe received her second Golden Globes nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama.  Now that's some news! Go Cait! Not only do we have the potential of a win to look forward to on Sunday, Jan. 8, but also fun speculation on what our gorgeous leading lady will strut down the red carpet wearing! Her "hubby" shared our excitement...


Lest we exit 2016 without a couple more wins under the show's belt, this week Outlander won "Most Bingeworthy Show" at the Critics Choice Awards. And, not to be outdone, author Diana Gabaldon was nominated for a Women’s Image Network award for the episode she penned for season 2, “Vengeance is Mine.” A real honor!

Speaking of honors, BAFTA Scotland handed out its annual awards for its 2016 superlatives in Film and Television Arts in early November.  Fans waited in chilly temperatures on the streets of Glasgow for their favorite Outlander stars to step out on the Red Carpet.  And, millions of fans around the world tuned in online to a temperamental LiveStream of the Red Carpet and the ceremony.  Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Duncan Lacroix, Gary Lewis, Steven Cree, Ron Moore and Maril Davis were all in attendance to watch Caitriona Balfe win for Best Television Actress.  HUGE milestone for Caitriona who, most know, had never been on a television set before her first day on Outlander.  A very well deserved honor for Cait and a pride-inducing moment for Outlander fans everywhere!

Unfortunately, Sam Heughan lost his BAFTA category to Douglas Henshall, who won for “Shetland” and who also portrayed a minor but memorable character in Outlander season 2 – Taran MacQuarrie.   Our collective hearts broke just a little when Sam didn’t win, but as usual he was gracious in his praise for his "wifey," Caitriona.  No question that Outlander made its mark on these prestigious awards and fans around the world rejoiced.


Events, Events, Events!

There have been a few notable and much-discussed events since our last update.  Diana Gabaldon made a splash at the Entertainment Weekly PopFest in Los Angeles in October. She answered all sorts of mostly-book-questions from an eager group of fans and made a little news when she revealed that she thought everyone will be *very happy* with the “Print Shop” scene in season 3. Our Outlander Cast Blog guest blogger neatly captured some of the moments from Diana’s appearance.

And, while technically this wasn’t an “event” it certainly rocked the fandom’s world when yet another new Barbour video showed up surreptitiously one morning on Twitter.  Sam’s turn as the Global Brand Ambassador for Barbour clothing has no doubt been a boon to sales, but also to Sam’s fans who seem to delight in the easy-going videos showing him sauntering through a forest – axe at the ready, adorable dogs at his feet – to chop down what we all believe is the Christmas tree he will bring home to each of us.  Sigh!  I say again, whomever the Barbour marketing person was who came up with the Sam Ambassador idea was a flipping genius.  And, there is more on the way!  Sam will soon announce the introduction of his “Barbour Capsule” collection and I will expect every_single_ piece of it to SELL OUT!  Again, I say, “Well done, Barbour!"


Lastly, there was a GIANT fan convention earlier this month in the United States – in Iowa, to be exact. The “Thru the Stones” Convention brought hundreds of fans from multiple countries to the Quad Cities area in Iowa to celebrate all things Outlander.  Costume contests, trivia contests, seminars and classes plus appearances by Outlander Costumer Terry Dresbach, and cast member Grant O’Rourke (Rupert) all took place over 3 glorious days.  Outlander Cast Host Mary Larsen attended and was able to interview both Grant and Terry.  Stay tuned for more on that VERY soon. Terry spoke mostly about how Outlander has taught her about how special "fandoms" truly are – how Ron always "got" fans and fandoms and she hasn't until now.  I am so glad Terry enjoyed herself and was able to see and feel "the love" of this fandom – minus a few bad apples on social media!




Casting Updates

Let’s hear it for a *new* generation of Outlander characters!  Casting Director Suzanne Smith and the production team remain on point when it comes to casting beloved characters for the new season and beyond.  Since our last news round-up, several of our story's youngsters have been cast, including John Bell as Young Ian and the ladies of Helwater Estate, the Dunsany sisters – Hannah James as Geneva and Tanya Reynolds as Isobel.  They are all fresh-faced actors who, for the most part, fit the bill for some of the hi-jinks to come in season 2.  And, some online clues provided by cherubic Romann Berrux, our young Fergus in season 2, indicate that he and his grown-up version – French actor Cesar Domboy – already filmed some crucial scenes.  More on this in the Filming Clues section below, but it does appear there has been some out-of-order filming to accommodate actors’ schedules.

And, where Grown Fergus goes also goes youthful and impetuous Marsali.  Lauren Lyle was tapped for the role for her acting talent, but there is no question that the incredible resemblance to the thing-that-won’t-go-away, a.k.a. Laoghaire, is startling.  A favorite parlor game amongst the Outlander Cast Blog writers, however, is whether Laoghaire will be “aged” appropriately and fit her physical description in Voyager.  We certainly hope so.  Book readers, you’ll get where we are going with this!  But, regardless, Lauren Lyle looks like perfect casting.  No doubt she will give our suave young Frenchman a run for his money!


Another crucial casting was Claire’s good friend from Boston, Joe Abernathy.  Wil Johnson will play Claire’s loyal medical colleague and confidante before Claire makes a fateful decision that changes everything.  And, then there is maybe one of the Outlander series’ most beloved characters in later books – Lord John Grey.  Canadian-born actor David Berry was chosen to portray the tortured English Captain who takes a special interest in our main man, Jamie Fraser.  Talent oozes from Berry, who has an impressive list of acting credits, including another period piece – the critically acclaimed Australian TV show, A Place to Call Home.  Some filming has already taken place with David and, we assume, Sam Heughan at an interesting castle on Scotland’s West Coast – Dunure Castle, and also at Craigmillar Castle.


In addition, word spread quite quickly after the BAFTA Awards in Scotland last month that grown-up Wee Jamie Murray had been cast. Our not-so-discreet cast member Steven Cree, the elder Ian Murray, spilled the beans – as he is known to do from time to time – to the New Glasgow Girls, who were staked out at BAFTA’s after-party.  Oh, Steven!  You remain Starz' biggest PR nightmare!   We will see British actor Conor McCary as Jamie Murray at Lallybroch in season 3!


Twitter Shenanigans

Ah, Twitter. The fandom, and especially our Outlander stars, have completely embraced this method of communication.  For the most part, this has been a VERY positive thing for all of us suffering through #Droughtlander.  It’s provided amazing real-time access to our stars who have generously offered up time for Twitter Q&As and daily engagement.  It’s been a great way to “get to know them” to the extent we ever will, and has provided them a platform to engage positively about the show, the filming schedule and various charitable causes they feel strongly about.

Ms. Caitriona Balfe kept up her promise to do a Twitter Q&A after she reached 200,000 followers in October!  I was amazed that Caitriona spent almost 90 minutes answering A LOT of questions from the Twitterverse.  She was warm, gracious, forthcoming and so appreciative of the FANS!  Which is amazing... and hard to fathom that a woman in the midst of filming 15 hours a day spent so much time with fans.  Any *bad stuff* that happens on Twitter goes away when our stars can spend time with fans like this.  Some of my favorite Cait moments from her Twitter chat are included in this Outlander Cast Blog post.  Not to be outdone, Mr. Heughan also reached a Twitter milestone and put on his own Twitter Q&A earlier this month.  The convo was almost immediately infiltrated by one, Steven Cree, as well as Sam’s ubiquitous driver, Davie Stewart.  Definite chuckles all around.


Not to be outdone, Duncan Lacroix did an impromptu Q&A in October, which I believe, is a first for him!  Sweet, humble man.  He confirmed he will appear in a few episodes of season 3 but with little- to-no details provided except when asked if he would give three words about his experience while filming the first two episodes of Season 3.  Duncan said, "sad, poignant and connection."  AWWWWW!  Get the tissues ready, Murtagh lovers!


Duncan also took the challenge from Graham “The Beast” McTavish to participate in the “22 Day Push Up Challenge” to bring awareness to Combat Stress and PTSD.  We’ve been treated to daily Twitter videos of both Duncan and the amazing Graham (and his impressive biceps, legs, etc.) fulfilling the daily challenge in multiple ways.  Who knew there were so many ways to do push-ups! A wonderful use of Twitter for both our lads and amazing to see so much of Duncan, who has been traditionally low-key with regard to appearances and fan interaction.  More Duncan, please!

A video posted by Graham (@grahammctavish) on


For those not following Steven Cree on Twitter, don’t deny yourself anymore and FOLLOW!  Steven must have entirely too much time on his hands – as I suppose is sometimes  the case with actors – as he’s been regularly entertaining us with “Heughan Talks.” I can’t really describe these Twitter theatrics other than to say it involves some sort of likeness of Sam, a Michael Jackson doll and Steven narrating – usually in an odd accent. You really need to catch up on these.

 
Filming Clues

Our last and very important “news item” to catch you up on is probably the one we care most about. And, that is  – “What about filming?”

Here is what we know.  They began filming in mid-to-late August with the Battle of Culloden.  Lots of bloody photos of Sam as Jamie floating around as well as what seemed like thousands of extras asked to participate in the “battle.”  Then there were the many fan photos snapped of a very pregnant looking Claire/Caitriona and Frank/Tobias Menzies on the streets of Glasgow’s West End.  The West End was transformed to look like Boston, down to the street signs “dressed” with the Boston-appropriate street names.  In the past two weeks, we have also seen some “Boston” fan photos of Sophie Skelton and Rik Rankin, our Brianna and Roger, filming.  Hmmmmm?


Besides Culloden, we have seen very little of Sam Heughan on location and in character so far. Which to me indicates many of his scenes are being filmed on set at the Cumbernauld studios – behind closed doors, so to speak.  We do know some filming was done at Midhope Castle (Lallybroch) as well as at some locations along Scotland’s west coast in the past few months.  And, we do know that filming blocks 1 and 2 (total of 4 episodes) have been filmed.

Recently, Caitriona Balfe talked to Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly Radio and confirmed that there has been some out-of-order filming and that she and Sam filmed episode 8 together, but otherwise have been filming separately.  Caitriona’s big news during this interview was that she was poised to start filming episodes 6 and 7 WITH  Sam.  Although Caitriona didn’t confirm, all indications would point to the “Reunion” being part of this block of episodes.  But, what I want to know is, what happened to episode 5?  So confusing!

Matt Roberts, as usual, has been busy posting some gorgeous shots of Scotland, in general, and many Outlander related photos. And, Matt does love to stir the pot, especially when he posted a provocative photo of a script for the print shop scene on Twitter.  Yes, it was dissected, digested and spat out in the comments to his post. Comments such as  “Wait, why is Jamie ENTERING the Print Shop – he’s already there...waaaaaah”  Gosh, I just love Outlander fans.  They can agitate enough for all of us and, therefore, I don’t have to!


And, then just this week, there was controversy galore all over social media when Diana Gabaldon posted a “response” to the charge that a scene in Voyager  and, presumably, in season 3, was actually about "Jamie the rapist."  I am NOT going to link Diana’s response here.  If you want to see it, go to her Facebook page.  But, this set off the fandom like nobody’s business.  Some sanity was brought to the proceedings, however, when just this week, Outlander Producer Maril Davis made this interesting comment in a short Twitter Q&A when asked about Diana’s explanation.  Thanks for always keeping it real, Maril!


Lastly, I can’t put together a News Roundup without mentioning the release of the season 2 Blu-ray Collectors’ edition and the many interesting, and not-without-controversy, deleted scenes contained herein.  We also got a gag reel, the AMAZING season 2 soundtrack, a kick-butt Entertainment Weekly  cover and –  to top it off – both Sam and Tobias Menzies were listed as part of Glamour Magazine’s  2016 “100 Hottest Men” list.

Now, that I think about it – there actually has been  a lot of news since the start of filming in August. I know I like to complain, but at the end of the day, my Outlander glass is always half full... truly!  Until next time, Obsessenachs!


What are your thoughts on the casting news?  Favorite new characters/actors?  Any news or announcement you are hoping will come SOON?

6 comments

  1. Great article Anne - comprehensive, funny and interesting. I really enjoyed it. Jayne

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    1. Jayne Coleman -- Thanks. Whatever we can do to stay amused and bemused during #Droughtlander!

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  2. Thanks for the awesome recap, Anne. I'm sending a virtual toast with my Outlander wine. :)

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    Replies
    1. Karen Rutledge -- Thank you. Toasts and/or wine/whisky always appreciated!

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  3. WOW Anne this post has been worth waiting for!

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