Ready to cry? Outlander's Matt B. Roberts on the print shop & more!

Written by: Janet Reynolds

Let's be frank: The Outlander Twitterverse can be a dangerous place for cast and crew to enter. While predominantly a forum for happy sharing and announcements and fan love, it periodically swirls into a toxic soup of some fairly strange behavior where people forget that if you wouldn't say it to the person's face, then maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't type it either.

Given the inability to gauge on any given day exactly which fans you're dealing with and how they might actually respond to something you type, I remain amazed and appreciative that Outlander folks still jump in to the Twitter feed on a fairly regular basis. We had two recent brave souls: Caitriona Balfe, who celebrated reaching 200,000 Twitter followers with a one-hour #AskCait Twitterfest, and a few days before that, writer extraordinaire and co-executive producer Matt B. Roberts. In case you missed it, here, without further delay, are 10 things we learned from Roberts' tweets about Season 3.

1. He's writing two episodes and co-writing one with Toni Graphia. This is good news indeed. Among the six episodes he's written for the show, he's the author of what I think is the best episode from Season 1, "The Reckoning," and the finale of Season 2, "Dragonfly in Amber." (He did also write "The Search" in Season 1 but, hey, everyone has a bad day.) That he's working with Graphia bodes well, too. They co-wrote "Dragonfly in Amber," and she was responsible for, among other episodes, "The Devil's Mark" in Season 1, another mighty fine episode.

From The Reckoning, in case you needed to be reminded of this episode's general awesomeness. 

2. Roberts' favorite Season 3 scene so far involves the print shop. While Roberts didn't actually tweet it was the print shop scene when asked to name his fave scene, he did write, "I won't put that into PRINT." Clever, Matt, clever. If you're a TV-only Outlander fan — and really, I have to ask why? If you ever read anything (as you're doing right now, for instance), you should pick up the books — you've heard enough references to the print shop online to be thinking, Hmmm, that seems like it's a big deal. Everyone seems to be obsessing about it.


Deep breaths, Janet, deep breaths.

Later a fan asked how much this scene would make us cry and Roberts responded, "I'm not sure...but there might not be enough tissue in the world."

Let's just say that I was glad to hear, given Roberts' writing past and his admission he's writing two/three episodes, that the print shop is on his radar. And I, for one, am hoping he's on the writing team that creates this scene.

3. He uses a +Leica Camera and Sony A7ril. I don't know anything about cameras, but I do know this: Roberts is one mighty fine photographer. If you're not following him on Twitter for his photos alone, you are missing something.

Sadly, the behind-the-scenes coffee table edition is not in the cards, according to his Tweet Fest; Starz owns anything related to the show. He could do Scottish landscape images but that's about it. Also, this tweet tidbit: Roberts turns to photography when he's feeling stressed and overworked.

4. He can't speak Gaelic. But really, who can?

5. Season 3 has female directors in the mix. Roberts wouldn't say who but let's just note that Anna Foerster directed "To Ransom a Man's Soul," "Wentworth Prison," "Both Sides Now," and "The Wedding" in Season 1. Now we all need to join in a moment of collective prayer: Please let Foerster be directing the print shop scene, please let Foerster be directing the print shop scene, please let Foerster be directing the print shop scene.

Um, yeah, "The Wedding"

6. Roberts' favorite interior sets so far are the Great Hall and the Star Chamber. The only one I would add is Master Raymond's Apothecary Shop. Not since Diagon Alley have I wanted to visit a fictional creation more.

7. It takes about a month to write an episode.

8. Roberts just finished binge watching Catastrophe and Stranger Things. This is just further proof of his good taste in TV, IMHO. Catastrophe is one of the funniest shows I've seen in a long time and — bonus points — features none other than Tobias Menzies in a very funny gynecologist role.

9. Roberts' writing tics: He drinks chai and chews on Daneson toothpicks when he writes. Because I know you want to know, I looked up these toothpicks. They're made from white birch and include flavors that range from cinnamint to bourbon to lemon. Who knew?

10.His advice to aspiring writers: "Read — a lot — of everything — a lot."

And, finally, bringing this full circle, the most challenging part of bringing these book adaptations to life on the screen? "The most challenging thing is bringing to life what 26 million people have imagined 26 million different ways."

As usual — perfectly said, Mr. Roberts, perfectly said.

Can Season 3 get here soon enough? What scenes are you looking forward to the most?
Share in the comments and help all of us make it through another interminable #Droughtlander!


  1. Janet Reynolds - Excellent article!! I enjoy your writing style and candor. Please keep 'em coming!

  2. Awaiting Season 3's print shop scene is keeping me on the edge. BTW I am a first time reader of your blog ! Great !

    1. Welcome to The Queen! :) Glad you found us and yes I am a wreck over the print shop scene....Repeat that prayer daily so we all get our hopes realized!

  3. Loved your post Janet,very hopeful that they'll do the printshop scene justice,if not I'll be devastated its one of the MOST important scenes in the storyline!

    1. Zsuzsip----yes, yes and YES!!!! They really have to get it right, especially since I suspect they will do some other amendments/focuses before that reunion that some fans won't like (too much Frank and Claire with potentially the wrong focus; making too much of Jamie and Leghair). They can redeem it all though by doing the print scene correctly and getting back to Jamie and Claire as the center of this story.....all fingers crossed!

  4. I only recently have found this blog. Fantastic articles and engaging writing. I want to sit and watch tv with you and eat chocolate covered bacon and MST3000 episodes.. Anyway, love your place!

  5. Glad you found the blog and are enjoying it Zouli Pious. Thanks for reading!

  6. oh you of little faith! the wedding was so beautiffully written and acted/directed I believe the reunion will give us what we want. Jamie stunning us again with his incredible love for Claire, and visa versa. The moments before she opens the door might overlap two episodes, it's what I would do, we will get our full appreciation for the written words that have fed us. I just believe it in my soul! Maril Davis flew to Scotland a week ago, I am sure she'd rather not have done so unless it was important. What is more important than the print shop scene? Nothing. Have faith in our writers, directors, producers and for goodness sake, who would suffer more than our favorite fictional characters if they brought a faulty script to the table? Faith, faith, faith! How long until Season 3 begins?

  7. I love the way you connect the dots like roberts' comment about not putting it in PRINT.*** Spoilers***For S 3 a few more scenes strike me like Jamie serving Geneva because we need to know William came from an "honorable" coupling or as honorable as possible under the circumstances of the manipulative Geneva factor, then when he leaves hellwater & asks Lord John to keep an eye on William, awww... the list goes on, I'm starting to see how hard it is to narrow down the tv adaptation. Claire meeting Lord J on the boat.... Mr willouby training the pelican to fish- low odds on that I suspect. C & J making love in the clean guest room in Georgia, geillis in that creepy cave.people please chime in.

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