Monday, September 1, 2014

OUTLANDER is coming to Latin America!

Great news for OUTLANDER fans in Latin America!

The OUTLANDER TV series will premiere on September 20 (Saturday) on MovieCityPlay (online), and September 28 (Sunday) at 10PM on the MovieCity channel on TV.

The announcement was posted today on MovieCity's Facebook page.  Click on the image above for a bigger view.

According to the MovieCity website, the service is available in the following countries:

Costa Rica
El Salvador
Dominican Republic

Please note: we are still waiting for news about OUTLANDER in Spain and Brazil, but I will post here if I hear anything.

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, see my FAQ page here.

Poll results

Here are the results of the August poll, which asked the question, "Would you go through the stones, if you could?"
  • 34.31% - Of course, if Jamie Fraser was waiting for me!
  • 19.51% - Maybe for a short visit, but not to live there permanently.
  • 13.38% - Yes! I'd love to see the 18th century.
  • 8.01% - Yes, but I'd have to bring some essential items with me.
  • 5.61% - No. I like reading about it, but I have no desire to time-travel myself.
  • 5.51% - No, I couldn't leave my family and friends here.
  • 3.35% - No, I'd miss the conveniences of modern life too much.
  • 3.30% - No, I wouldn't survive in an earlier time.
  • 1.93% - No, it took a lot of hard work to live in the 18th century.
  • 1.70% - I'm not sure.
  • 0.85% - I don't believe time-travel is possible.
  • 0.28% - No, it sounds too dangerous.
  • 2.26% - Other
Here are the responses for "Other":
  • Yes if I could bring my family and soap and herb guide
  • I'm much too assertive to be able to blend in an earlier time !
  • Yes, if a return trip was possible.
  • yes--i'd love to see my fathers home and my heritage. my father was James Fraser
  • I am far too accustomed to AC and indoor plumbing; I'd never make it.
  • no, times were rough for black folk, we're barely making it in 2014!
  • Only if I could go forward!
  • Yes, but only if I can go to American 1890's
  • Yes, but only if I could bring a friend!
  • I would love to but am on medication I can not live without.
  • scotland fascinates me
  • No. My love is here. :>)
  • No, what would they do with a deaf person?
  • Yes, but I'd prefer if my husband could travel in time with me.
  • No being burnt at the stake does not thrill me
  • I would if I could go back and forth easily
  • no. I am finally going to be a grandmother and don't want to miss the baby!
  • Only if my son could go with me!
  • Yes but I'd have to bring my glasses.
  • Is young Ian on the other side?
  • If I were 40 yrs younger, I'd be bullet - proof. So yes, I'd go.
  • No, due to my astigmatisim/nearsightedness, I would not be able to see anything.
  • I'd go, but I wouldn't survive!
  • yes, bringing medicines with me, and only if I could come back1
  • Only if I could take all my Outlander books with me
  • yes, no hesitation
  • Yes to meet Jamie and Claire and come right back.
  • if all my family could come
  • medication I need to survive wasn't available back then...
  • I'm black, wish I could but it'd be a terrible idea.
  • I am to old for that period of time.
  • If I get to choose when.
  • can i take my dentist?
  • Yes, if my kidney transplant would continue without the meds:(
  • I am too old for all that adventure and horse riding!
  • I'd love to, but I really consider 65 too old for that kind of change
  • Only if I were Claire
  • Only If I could choose the time period and go back & forth at will without harm
  • Only in my mind when reading about it, I am when and where I belong.
  • I'd like to, I'd be burned as a witch to outspoken
  • Only if my husband was there waiting for me !
  • I'll go wherever I'm needed.
  • YES! But I would bring my family. All 3 of my men would fit in just fine!
  • Absolutey - If my kids were grown!
  • Yes, but 1890 in America!
  • Yes, if I could visit each of the periods I love and come back each time.
  • Yes - if I was sure I could get back.
  • If my husband was on the other side.
There were 2122 responses to this poll. Thanks very much to everyone who participated!

Please take a moment to vote in the September poll, which is all about visiting Scotland.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Diana Gabaldon's cameo appearance

When Diana Gabaldon visited the set of the OUTLANDER TV series in February, she got a tour of the production facilities. Now we can see a bit of it for ourselves in this video.

Here's a brief video of Diana talking about her experience on the set.  SPOILER WARNING: If you don't want to see the actual scenes from Episode 104 in which Diana appears, don't watch this video!

Note to people outside the US, I have no idea if these videos will work for you or not.

Here are Diana Gabaldon and Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore, as they appeared in Episode 104.  I think their costumes are just gorgeous! (By the way, Diana says that she was the one who came up with her character's name, Iona MacTavish.)

Some of you may recall that Diana posted a detailed two-part account of her visit to the set in February, including what it was like to film her cameo appearance.  It's definitely worth reading, especially now that many of us have seen Episode 104 ("The Gathering"), in which she appears.

Episode 104: "The Gathering" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 104 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "The Gathering".


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









I love the mist rising from the ground in the opening scene.  You can almost feel the cool, damp air of the Highlands -- very evocative!  Very tense moment to open with, and I was riveted from the beginning.

Angus's "Something catch your eye there, lass?" made me laugh out loud. Priceless! <g>

I liked seeing the kids. Other than Hamish, there are no children mentioned at Leoch in the book, but it makes sense that Claire would have encountered them.  (Love their costumes!) I like the fact that Claire is so focused on escaping, and making detailed plans for exactly how she's going to do it, leaving her ribbon on a tree, etc. The point here is that she's intelligent and resourceful, and not just sitting around waiting for someone to rescue her.

Fascinating to see the encampment -- I love all the little details of 18th-century life, the cooking utensils, the clothing, etc.  I saw at least one woman wearing an arisaid.

Rupert and Angus crack me up. "It's all your w@nking gives ye that much speed of hand." (Angus, to Rupert)

"Uncle Lamb had taught me to ride, during the years we lived in Ireland" -- this detail is not in the book but I think it works very well, as "insurance" in case Cait's accent starts sounding too overtly Irish at some point in a future episode. It's plausible, and a good idea, IMHO.

About the 1940's music. I think it would have been fine if it had been played much softer, just barely audible, so it would be clearer that it's only Claire hearing this in her head.  I thought the music itself was OK, but it was much too loud.

I liked the whole scene between Claire and Geillis.  "I can assure you, I've never been unfaithful to my husband" - not YET, anyway! <g>  Using valerian as a sedative was a good idea, and asking Geillis to bring the port is more proof that Claire has thought her plans through, in detail.

I liked that Mrs. Fitz found Claire a suitable gown for the oath-taking. That's not in the book, but it works very well here. They have rearranged some of the order of events from the book, but it all WORKS, it's plausible, and it increases the dramatic tension on Claire's part considerably, so I'm happy with the changes.

I love Ron Moore's costume! The embroidery on the coat is just gorgeous!  And he looks very handsome and dignified. <g>

I just LOVED Diana's cameo!! Beautifully done! The gown is gorgeous, as is that hairdo. And I loved the interaction between Iona and Mrs. Fitz.

"I see you have the place looking brrrrrright as a new pin."
"Oh, that lovely dress again. You wore it so well to the last Gathering."

I think Iona is a bit of a snob, and Mrs. Fitz's line is the perfect comeback. <g>

Colum looks very different -- younger, more dignified -- with his hair tied back.

Iona shushing Murtagh made me burst out laughing.

I liked Colum's speech -- both the content and the delivery were just right. <g>

I watched the oath-taking absolutely mesmerized, hardly even blinking through the whole thing.  What a spectacle!  It was very close to the way I've always imagined it.  The quaich they used looked suitably ancient, which I was glad to see.  And I think it makes sense for Murtagh to be up in the gallery explaining things to Claire, even if that's not the way it's done in the book.  It's plausible -- Murtagh is, after all, a Fraser, not a MacKenzie, and he'd want to be out of the way during the oath-taking.

I love Claire's gown. Gorgeous!

"Can ye see fit to stay, at least until I bag a lass for the evening?" - This line of Angus's made me giggle.  And the bit about the port ("It's a sedative." "Is that Spanish?") was hilarious.

So Laoghaire wants "a potion that would open a lad's heart to a lassie" - good luck with that one!  Claire's horse-dung potion and the Wizard of Oz reference ("there's no place like love") were just priceless. LOL.

The scene with Dougal and the others in the corridor was very well done.  Again, the changes from the book were very effective and I have no complaints about the way this was handled.  I really didn't expect her to bash him in the head with the chair, but it works very well, reinforcing the idea that Claire is not a woman to be messed with. Ever. <g>

I liked the scene in the stable with Jamie.  "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!". "No, Sassenach, just me." LOL!  I didn't expect Claire to take offense at being called a Sassenach, but I thought this was an effective way to remind the viewers what the word means.  And Jamie did apologize right away. <g>

I loved the way Jamie laughs when he hears what happened to Dougal. "I hope ye left a good mark so he'll remember his error in judgment" -- good line.

I flinched at the sight of Jamie's scarred back.

"How's your head?" "Fine. My sister Jenny says it's harder than an iron pot." - good line.

I love the way Jamie looks right at the camera when he says "Je suis prest".

Murtagh's explanation of Jamie's situation was really effective.  Here's a slightly more detailed explanation from Diana on Compuserve a couple of years ago.

As Jamie prepares to take the oath, the hall goes completely silent.  I liked that. Not easy, with such a large crowd!  I missed Colum's reply to Jamie from the book, but I love the way he smiles at Jamie as he hands him the quaich.

I liked the look that passed between the MacKenzie brothers afterward.  Also Murtagh's "I'm gettin' too old for this" -- my first thought was, just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet! <g>

The tynchal was handled very well.  There were more boars than I expected.  Wonder if any of them were real, or were they all CGI?

"Score one for the pig. Maybe next time you'll think about going fishing." - good line

One minute Claire's alone in the woods with the boar lying dead at her feet --you can see she's absolutely terrified, almost gibbering -- and the next minute, faced with a medical emergency, you can almost literally see her nurse's training kicking in, as she becomes calm, level-headed, confident. I thought that was fascinating to watch.

Geordie's wounds were suitably bloody and gruesome, especially the belly wound. <shudder>  I thought the whole death scene was done very well, very much as it is in the book.  I liked that they used this bit from OUTLANDER Chapter 10:
A better death, perhaps, was what Dougal was giving him--to die cleanly under the sky, his heart’s blood staining the same leaves, dyed by the blood of the beast that killed him.
That's such an evocative bit of writing. I wonder if hearing bits like this in the TV show might encourage people to read the book for themselves?

I liked the added bits with Claire and Dougal comforting Geordie as he lay dying. Very powerful and affecting.

The shinty game was a lot of fun.  Good way to illustrate the conflict between Dougal and Jamie.  I liked the look on Jamie's face when he finally knocked Dougal down -- "Ye taught me well."

The final scene with Dougal and Claire is very good. "Mrs. Fitz would have you sit for a portrait, if it was up to her" -- good line.

And I liked seeing the men ride out at dawn the next morning. Good place to end this episode!

I think this might be my favorite episode so far.  It's highly entertaining, full of dramatic tension, but there's a lot of humor as well, and the costumes and details of 18th century life are utterly fascinating, at least to me.  And Diana's cameo was just wonderful!!

I hope you enjoyed this recap.  You can see my comments on the previous episodes here:

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"

Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 105!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Outlandish Observations is 6 years old!

Six years ago today, I started Outlandish Observations!

I had two goals in mind when I started this blog. The first was simply to learn about blogging. The second was to create a central repository for news and information for OUTLANDER fans, a place where people could go to find answers to commonly asked questions, links to other OUTLANDER-related sites, and the latest information on Diana Gabaldon's new and upcoming releases.

To say that this blog has succeeded far beyond my wildest imaginings is a severe understatement! In the beginning, I never expected anyone to visit my site except a few dozen of my friends from the Compuserve Books and Writers Community and LOL.  I didn't talk about it on Compuserve for the first couple of years, because I was very reluctant to draw attention to it where Diana Gabaldon could see -- which seems silly in retrospect, but it's true.  Suffice it to say that I did get over that shyness, eventually. <g>

I was delighted to see Outlandish Observations, and my Friday Fun Facts, mentioned in the Acknowledgements to WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD:

The FFF have been on hiatus for a few months -- I've just been much too busy! -- but I do intend eventually to put together some all-new FFF posts focusing on WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD. (Maybe later this fall, after the craziness surrounding the TV series subsides a bit.)

Since the premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series, daily traffic on my site has gone way, way up! I've had three times more visitors this month than a year ago, as you can see from the chart below. (The blue represents unique visits, and the green is page views.)

Special thanks to all of my followers on the Outlandish Observations Facebook page! Last year at this time I had 4,195 followers on Facebook. Today that number is 5,455, an increase of 30%! I'm amazed and delighted that so many new people have found my site in recent months. Welcome, and I hope you take some time to look around and see what else is available here.

Outlandish Observations was one of the first successful OUTLANDER-related blogs. These days there are dozens and dozens of fan-sites, Facebook groups, and so on. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned! <g> I'm proud to be a part of such a thriving, creative, and enthusiastic worldwide community of fans, united in our passion for these books and characters and this amazing story Diana Gabaldon has created.

No question about it, this is a very exciting time for OUTLANDER fans everywhere! It's quite a challenge to keep up with everything that's going on these days, and I hope you're finding this site helpful.

Many, many thanks to all of you who've visited Outlandish Observations over the past six years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you've come along for the ride.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update on the TV series

A few quick updates on the OUTLANDER TV series:

1) OUTLANDER is continuing to do very well in the ratings on STARZ.  According to this site, more than 1 million viewers watched the premiere of Episode 103, "The Way Out", and the series is quickly becoming "appointment viewing" on Saturday nights.

2) New Zealand gets OUTLANDER starting August 28! The series will be shown on a new service called LightboxTV. For more information, look here and here.

PLEASE NOTE:  As I understand it, OUTLANDER episodes 101 - 103 should be available immediately on LightboxTV when the service launches on Thursday, and episode 104 will be available on Sunday.

3) Many of you will recall that Diana Gabaldon visited the set of OUTLANDER in February, 2014, and spent several days filming a cameo appearance on the show.  That scene will be in the upcoming Episode 104, "The Gathering", premiering in the US on August 30.  Diana says her part is very brief ("blink and you'll miss it", or words to that effect), but still, it will be fun to see her acting debut!

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, see my FAQ page here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

OUTLANDER podcasts now on iTunes!

I just found out that Ron Moore's OUTLANDER podcasts are now on iTunes:

This appears to be the permanent iTunes site for all of the STARZ OUTLANDER podcasts.  You can download and listen to the podcasts for Episode 101 ("Sassenach") and Episode 102 ("Castle Leoch").  The podcast for Episode 103 is not yet available for everyone; I'm told some people can access it on iTunes, but I haven't been able to do so yet.

If you don't have iTunes or you have trouble getting to the podcasts that way, try this:

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested.  Thanks!