Jamie’s Lips

I’m supposed to be writing about Lotte Verbeek because I think she deserves to have her status upped in the game, but as I was going through my screengrabs for the latest Official Outlander Trailer, I noticed something very enticing – Jamie’s lips.

In reality, of course, they’re Sam Heughan‘s lips but I prefer to keep the two men separate. Gasp! Jamie is Sam. Sam is Jamie. I know. I know. I agree with everyone that Sam Heughan has made Jamie his alternate persona. Maybe we can even say he’s taken over Jamie’s body and soul. That’s fine. I don’t want anyone throwing figurative eggs at me. I simply prefer to remain respectful of the actor thus I prefer to talk about Jamie behind Mr. Heughan’s back.

But I digress . . . What was my point? Oh, yeah – Jamie’s lips. They are much like Claire’s chin in that they seem to have a personality of their own. I can’t wait to see how much of a work out they get in each episode – whether he’s smiling, biting his lip (one of my personal favorites. Yours, too?), talking, yelling, kissing (le sigh), or letting Gaelic slip between them. I’m sure there’s a host of other things his lips can do (get your mind out of the gutter, dirty birdy), and we’ll have fun witnessing them every week. Until then, I’ve created a little gallery of Sam’s lips from the trailers and pictures released from Outlander Starz for your viewing pleasure. Just for fun, they’re in countdown order. Enjoy.

#30: Jamie’s You Can’t See How Determined I Am But Look At Her Chin Lips – Even Claire is backing away from them.

30 Jamie_not_there_lips

#29: Jamie’s This Is What I Look Like When I’m Working Lips – His lips take their job very seriously.

1 Jamie_horsey_lips

#28: Jamie’s Face Off Lips – Facing Colum and Dougal in Leoch Hall. His lips show no fear.

2 Jamie_serious_lips

#27: Jamie’s Warning Lips – Jamie’s lips are clearly worried about leaving Claire alone, wishing they could stay behind.

3 Jamie_warning_lips

#26: Jamie’s Charging Lips – “Tulach Àrd!” His lips get a workout, leading him into battle.

4 Jamie_charging_lips 4 Jamie_warrior_1 4 Jamie_warrior_2 4 Jamie_warrior_3

#25: Jamie’s I hear Trouble Lips – Pursed for action and ready to fight.

5 Jamie_hears_trouble_lips

#24: Jamie’s Fightin’ Lips – “Take that you damn English bastard!”

6 Jamie_fighting_lips

#23: Jamie’s I Hate Redcoats Lips – From the left side and the right, his lips are equal opportunity haters.

7 Jamie_hates_Redcoat_lips_L 7 Jamie_hates_Redcoat_lips_R

#22: Jamie’s Blurry Lips – Still looking good. They’re his lips.

8 Jamie_blurry_lips

#21: Jamie’s Take Your Bloody Hands Off My Sister, You English Pig Lips – Even outnumbered, his lips never back down.

8 Jamie_take_hands_off_lips_1 8 Jamie_take_hands_off_lips_2 8 Jamie_take_hands_off_lips_3

#20: Jamie’s I Am So Gonna Kill You Lips – “You just picked on the wrong Highlander, Black Jack.”

9 Jamie_gonna_kill_you_lips

#19: Jamie’s Please Don’t Hit My Perfect Lips Lips – Taking one for a lass. What a guy. His lips didn’t appreciate it though.

10 Jamie_not_in_mouth_lips

#18: Jamie’s Bloody Lips – Even blood doesn’t turn us away, right?

11 Jamie_bloody_lips

#17: Jamie’s I Really Do Not Want To Be Here Lips – The poor lad’s lips.

12 Jamie_don't_want_to_be_here_lips_1

#16: Jamie’s Reflection Lips – Telling Claire his tale of woe.

13 Jamie_reflecting_lips

#15: Jamie’s Talky Lips – English, French, Gaelic, Chinese . . . we could listen to him all day, aye?

14 Jamie_talking_lips_1 14 Jamie_talking_lips_2 14 Jamie_talking_lips_3

#14: Jamie’s Whisker Lips – Ah, can’t ye just feel those whiskers ticklin’?

14 Jamie_whisker_lips

#13: Jamie’s Trust Me Lips – You don’t have to tell me twice.

15 Jamie_trust_me_lips_1 15 Jamie_trust_me_lips_2

#12: Jamie’s You’re Coming With Me Lips – Okay.

16 Jamie_coming_with_me_lips

#11: Jamie’s Don’t Stop Lips – Um, she’s just supposed to change your bandage, lad, but we get what you’re wanting here.

17 Jamie_keep_going_lips

Ready for the Top Ten? Here we go.

#10: Jamie’s I Want to Kiss You So Bad Lips – “Hey, I’m already half-way naked, and you are in a shift . . .”

18 Jamie_wanna_kiss_lips

#9: Jamie’s Kissy Lips – Remember, I’m covering Laoghaire’s face NOT Nell Hudson.

Jamie_kissy_lips

#8: Jamie’s Flirty Lips – “Yeah, she digs us. It must be my lips.”

20 Jamie_flirty_lips

#7: Jamie’s I Want You & You Want Me, You Just Don’t Know It Yet Lips – Look how perfectly their lips line up together.

21 Jamie_want_you_lips

#6: Jamie’s I’m a Complicated Man Lips – “You don’t know the half of it, Sassenach.”

22 Jamie_complicated_lips

#5: Jamie’s He Said Sasseanch Lips – Is this the first time he says it with affection?

23 Jamie_Sassenach_lips_3 23 Jamie_Sassenach_lips_2 23 Jamie_Sassenach_lips_1

#4: Jamie’s I’m biting My Lip Because I Kind of Like Ye Lips – Uh huh.

25 Jamie_bitey_lips_225 Jamie_bitey_lips_1

#3: Jamie’s Don’t I Have The Cutest Smile? Lips – Answer: Why, yes you do.

26 Jamie_smiley_lips Jamie_takes_punishment

#2: Jamie’s This is What My Lips Will Look Like When I Kiss Ye, Sasseanch Lips – And we can’t wait!

27 Jamie_whistle_lips

#1: Jamie’s Hello, My Name is Sam Heughan, and I’ll Be Playing the Man of Your Dreams, Jamie Fraser lips – Thought I’d go with a classic for #1.

28 Jamie_I_am_lips

I hope you enjoyed my little countdown. Perhaps you agree – at least with most of them. No matter. Jamie’s lips are an institution now.

A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #101: SASSENACH

For more on the pre-show events, go to: A TRUE FAN’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE OUTLANDER RED CARPET PREMIERE

And now, onto the show . . . [I've included WARNING MARKERS  below for those who have and have not read the Outlander novel.]

Having seen several trailers and clips of the new Starz Original Series Outlander based on the novel by Diana Gabaldon, you may think you’re prepared for how good this show really is. Let me tell you – you are not. I could use words like amazing, marvelous, and wonderful, but those sound too generic. Let me think of another way to put it.

Rarely does a show break new ground like Outlander does. Certainly I’m part of a biased target audience, but that simply means my expectations were very, very high. Outlander delivered. From the moment you hear Claire’s opening monologue to her closing words, you will be riveted.

But how does it break new ground? you ask. Good question. Here’s my answer:

1. It’s a faithful and respectful adaptation. How many times have we fallen in love with a novel and its characters, only to be disappointed by the adapted version? The team who put this show together did it out of love for themselves, the author, and us. That’s a lot of people to please. Will every single fan be happy with it? Probably not. But don’t be too hard on that poor individual. She’ll come around . . . eventually.

2. Women in movies and television are stronger than ever. Claire Randall is no exception. I’d lay bets on her versus every other heroine out there. She’s smart, brave, capable, adaptable (there’s that word again), and graced with beauty to top it all off. This woman is a role model for young and old, male and female for that matter. I don’t know Caitriona Balfe and never will, but I hope she’s ready for the responsibility. I’d lay a bet on her, too.

WARNING: If you’ve never read the novel, I suggest you skip #3.

3. Men in movies and television are more flawed than ever, making them seem more realistic and relatable. James Fraser is no exception. Handsome, dashing, noble, strong, funny . . . I could go on, but you know how terrific he is. What makes him different? I won’t bring up the V-word because that’s too obvious. Let’s just say we don’t know of any other 18th Century Highland warriors on television with Jamie’s principles, manners, flair for languages, and acumen. Is Sam Heughan ready for the real onslaught of fans? I’ll lay bets he might try to hide behind Ms. Balfe and Tobias Menzies – the man who closes the trio on this perfect time-travel love triangle.  Which brings us to –

WARNING: If you’ve never read the novel, I STRONGLY suggest you skip #4.

4. No other other show weaves an adventure the way Outlander does. A married woman from one time period is trapped in another with her life in constant danger and her husband’s six-times great grandfather wanting to rape/brutalize/whip her so she is forced to marry another man she doesn’t love but is certainly attracted to such that it leads to her being accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death until her new husband rescues her, takes her back to the one place she’s been wanting to go but she decides to stay with him which leads to his being arrested and raped/brutalized/whipped nearly to death by her first husbands’ look alike. Nope. Can’t think of anything else out there with that kind of storyline.

5. Lastly, there’s the quality given and the care taken in bringing the above storyline to life. It’s true I’ve only seen episode #101. Call it a taste test. Call it a test drive. Call it what you want. I want the whole pie. I want the shiny new car with all the options. I am hooked again. And now that I’ve seen the first episode, I couldn’t resist creating a new poster for it. So to get things started, here it is:

#101_Sassenach_Poster_Alt

We all know music adds depth to a performance. It’s sometimes used to hide weak scenes – not the case here. Bear McCreary‘s score was composed by another “true fan” of the story and its characters. You can sense it in every note written – like each word written by Diana Gabaldon.

What a delight it was to hear him play for us live before the start of the show, accompanied by Paul Cartwright. He first played two ancient folk songs used in the series followed by Jamie & Claire’s Theme. Lastly, he performed the song for the opening credits, featuring Raya Yarbrough. Unfortunately, I filled my phone’s memory so the song is cut short by a few seconds. Luckily, Outlander Starz released the opening credits which you’ve probably already watched dozens of times. In any event, both videos are presented below. I recommend you watch them with a box of tissues at your side. 

WARNING: If you’ve never read the novel and/or do not want to read specifics of the show, you should STOP reading here.

If you felt something watching just the opening credits, magnify that by at least 1000 to get a sense of how magnificent the show is. Claire Randall’s (Caitriona Balfe) voice greets us from the start and continues throughout the episode but it never pulls us out of the story. It brings us closer.

Flashbacks to her war experience and her time with her Uncle Lamb add an edgier side to Claire than the woman introduced in the Outlander novel. I also found her to be even more alpha in nature – if such a thing is possible.

Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), on the other hand, is a much more sympathetic character than in the novel. I’d even go so far as to call him shy during the initial reunion with his wife. That pretty much goes away during the sex scenes. In voiceover, Claire admits to using sex as a tool to deal with everything difficult or awkward in their new life together.

Not that we need it, there is a lot of foreshadowing in this episode from Claire’s opening monologue to Mrs. Graham’s (Tracey Wilkinsontea and palm reading to Frank saying goodbye to Claire. It’s all good, especially for those lucky few who have no idea what is about to happen.

That is something which kept running through my mind as I watched this episode. I wondered what it would be like not to know what was going to happen. Would I like it more or less? I’ll never know, but I envy those folks who will watch this episode with a blank mind.

Being such a fan of the entire series of novels, I thought it would be difficult – if not impossible – to forget about Claire and Jamie’s unbreakable bond. But the way this story introduces the characters, I was very sad to see Claire and Frank separated. No offense to Ms. Gabaldon, I did not have that reaction in the book. I was swept away by the romantic adventure while reading it the first, second, third, etc. time, but I was never eager for her to get back to her own – especially after she fell completely head-over-heels in love with Jamie.

Bravo to Ron D. Moore‘s writing and John Dahl‘s directing of this first episode. It was all Claire and Frank – their reunion, their love, their agonizing separation (at least from her perspective).

The ghost scene. I did not watch the version leaked online because I wanted to see it in the context of the show. Am I glad I waited. For folks watching it in ignorant bliss, they have no idea who is standing under Claire’s window, watching her brush her hair with a snippy “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.” And the first time you read the book, you don’t know who it is.

For me, it was very emotional watching it and knowing. There’s an element of heartache and suspense. You want Him to turn around but then again –  you don’t.

Surprisingly, perhaps the most beautiful scene in the first episode is the “witches” dancing around the stones of Craigh na Dun. The music, choreography, photography, and editing could not have been more perfect. It was breathtaking.

Claire’s time travel through the stones was a tricky scene to handle. We all wondered if it would be laden with special effects or visual effects (at least from my perspective). I’ll admit, at first I didn’t entirely like how it was visualized. But now that I’ve had time to think about it, I realize how relatable and intelligent the choice was to do what they did. It’s one thing to write about chaos and quite another to show it.  Bravo again.

The scene of Claire’s arrival in the 18th Century has been the most promoted by the producers. Of course, it’s a major transition in the story, and it’s wonderfully done. The loud boom of the first shot made everyone in the theater jump, then Clair is on the run from the Redcoats. Finally, we come to that awkward moment, “Frank?”

Not that I didn’t like the scene between Claire and Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), I thought the book presented it as scarier, more menacing and longer. In the show, it feels a bit truncated. Go ahead and boo me if you want for saying anything remotely negative, but I feel how I feel. I wanted to be more frightened for Claire. I wanted more Black Jack Randall. Be careful what I wish for, right?

The big moment. We come to the scene in the stone cottage where Claire faces the large bear who turns out to be Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) and his band of merry Highlanders. Small squeals went up around the theater at the sight of Jamie (Sam Heughan) on a stool by the fireplace. The men speak Gaelic all around Claire, throwing her into even more confusion although she’s figured out by now she’s no longer in Kansas.

The language was fascinating to hear, naturally and fluently spoken by the actors. I wanted subtitles but at the same time I didn’t. I understand we are viewing this world through Claire’s eyes and must stay with her. It wouldn’t be right to know and understand more than her and would probably have taken me out of the story as well.

The scenes between Jamie and Claire were a testament to Mr. Heughan’s and Ms. Balfe’s acting abilities. We’ve come to know the public side of Sam and Caitriona through interviews and social media. They seem to be fun-loving and playful people with a fantastic camaraderie. I didn’t think about any of that while watching them on screen. They were simply Jamie and Claire .

I don’t want to ruin anything by giving away too much about the first episode – exactly what happens, where it ends, etc. So, I’ll stop here to make mention of the costumes, make up, and hair.

We’re not supposed to notice such things and usually only do when it’s poorly done. In Outlander, there’s a certain flawlessness represented in the 1940s – exactly how I picture it. While we don’t spend the entire episode there, we stay long enough to appreciate the dramatic shift from one time period to another. It’s not just a difference in look but attitude as well. And it shows. There’s no time for hygiene and daintiness for the MacKenzies or Claire.

 The network and producers know the “true fans” will keep watching and recruiting, but will the show attract non-Outlanders? I think it will. It’s exciting . . . fresh . . . beautiful . . .  suspenseful . . . stimulating . . . and different from everything else out there. Of course, I haven’t seen absolutely “everything” out there, but I’m confident in my statement. The stars aligned to make this show happen. Once the perfect casting choices were made, there was no stopping it.

Congratulations to all involved, especially Diana Gabaldon, Ron D. Moore, Maril Davis, Matt Roberts, John Dahl, Terry Dresbach, Bear McCreary, Jon Gary Steele (Production Designer), David Higgs (Director of Photography), Àdhamh Ó Broin (Outlander dialect consultant) and the entire cast and crew. Their hard work and dedication – blood, sweat and tears – show in this episode. I can’t wait for Episode #102: CASTLE LEOCH.

Things I didn’t like about Outlander:

You thought I was going to say “nothing,” didn’t you? Well, you would be wrong. Here’s my main complaint. It was too damn short! I think a 2 hour episode each week would be much better. Yes, I know it would cost more and take longer to shoot, produce, and pipe together. But a girl can dream . . .

Another thing I didn’t like about Outlander is that I couldn’t stop, rewind, pause or replay. Of course, that will be rectified once it actually airs, so I’ll forgive them that one.

And finally, what I most disliked about Outlander is . . . nothing. There. Are ye happy?

If that didn’t work, maybe this one minute clip from Episode #101 will! For anyone having trouble viewing it, here’s a so-so version:

For more on the pre-show events, go to: A TRUE FAN’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE OUTLANDER RED CARPET PREMIERE

A True Fan’s Perspective on the Outlander Red Carpet Premiere

For my review of the show, please go to A TRUE FAN’S REVIEW OF OUTLANDER EPISODE #101: SASSENACH.

If you’d like to see my new Episode #101 poster without going to my review, click HERE.

If you’d like to see a video of Bear McCreary’s live performance without going to my review, click  HERE.

Now, before anyone takes offense at my calling myself a “true fan” – let me explain. I am one of thousands of “true fans” of the Outlander series all surrounding a little book – comparatively speaking – by Diana Gabaldon. I have loved the enduring story of Jamie and Claire for a long time and the conception of the show since its announcement. My greatest admiration for the entire brouhaha is reserved for the woman Herself who brought this fandom together. It was her evening, and I hope she had a hellva good time.

The Red Carpet World Premiere of Episode #101: SASSENACH was screened at the historic Spreckles Theater in San Diego – it’s first time hosting a red carpet premiere of any kind. Walking into the theater, a row of kilted gentleman lined each side of the lobby entrance. I managed to get these clean shots after the fans had been cleared out for the stars entry – only wish I’d had a better camera.

Kilted entryway to the Spreckles Lobby.
Kilted entryway to the Spreckles Lobby.
Kilted entryway to the Spreckles Lobby.
Kilted entryway to the Spreckles Lobby.

Following is a picture of the two lovely greeters at the door beside whom I stationed myself. Everyone thought I was a greeter, too, in my MacKenzie tartan dress. As I did greet people as they came in, I guess I was.

Neither woman had heard of Outlander before snagging this gig, but Angela (on the left) has already downloaded the first novel. I’m sure she’ll get hooked. Of course, I did my part in fully informing them about the who, what, and where. And, yes, those are standing stones behind them guarding the theater.

Angela & Kelehala
Angela & Kelehala

One of the first to enter Spreckles was Ms. Gabaldon – looking beautiful “as herself.” She seemed to be in high spirits beside Ron D. Moore – looking dashing in his two-piece tartan kilt and vest – after finishing their plaid carpet interviews. They stopped to chat with a few Starz executives, accepting their applause and congratulations. Is that a Season 2 gleam I see in their eyes in the second picture? Fingers crossed.

Diana Gabaldon and Ron D. Moore entering Spreckle's Theater for the Red Carpet World Premiere Screening of SASSENACH, episode #101 of the New Starz Original OUTLANDER Series based on the novel.
Diana Gabaldon and Ron D. Moore entering Spreckle’s Theater for the Red Carpet World Premiere Screening of SASSENACH, episode #101 of the New Starz Original Series OUTLANDER – based on Ms. Gabaldon’s novel.
Diana Gabaldon and Ron D. Moore accepting congratulations at the Red Carpet World Premiere Screening of SASSENACH, episode #101 of the New Starz Original OUTLANDER Series based on the novel.
Diana Gabaldon and Ron D. Moore entering Spreckle’s Theater for the Red Carpet World Premiere Screening of SASSENACH, episode #101 of the New Starz Original Series OUTLANDER – based on Ms. Gabaldon’s novel.

After the show – thanks to my friend, Marisa –I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Karen Bailey, Senior Vice President of Original Programming at Starz Entertainment. A wonderfully friendly woman, I asked her when we would be put out of our misery with a Season 2 confirmation. She told me the soonest we can expect to hear any kind of official news is after the first two episodes have aired. Starz likes to have “a few under their belt,” she said, before making an announcement. So keep your eyes and ears open to the trades right after CASTLE LEOCH premieres on Starz August 16th and keep your fingers crossed! Just to be clear – in no way did she confirm or deny a Season 2.

After Ms. Gabaldon and Mr. Moore continued through to the lobby, Graham McTavish was next to enter the theater in a brisk hurry to get to his seat. However, he did stop long enough to give our birthday girl a kiss on the cheek. Way to go KBuddy!

Graham McTavish, starring as Dougal MacKenzie in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Graham McTavish, starring as Dougal MacKenzie in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Graham McTavish, starring as Dougal MacKenzie in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Graham McTavish, starring as Dougal MacKenzie in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.

The lovely and petite Lotte Verbeek entered next followed by the charmingly sexy – or is it, sexily charming? –  Tobias Menzies.

Lotte Verbeek, starring as Geillis Duncan in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Lotte Verbeek, starring as Geillis Duncan in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Tobias Menzies, starring as Frank Randall & Jonathan Wolverton Randall in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Tobias Menzies, starring as Frank Randall & Jonathan Wolverton Randall in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater.
Tobias Menzies, starring as Frank Randall & Jonathan Wolverton Randall in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater, looking quite happy.
Tobias Menzies, starring as Frank Randall & Jonathan Wolverton Randall in Outlander, enters the Spreckles Theater, looking quite happy.

And last, but certainly not least, to enter the theater were our talented stars of the series, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan – never far from each other’s sides. I’m including all my crappy photos simply because they show how happy and excited Ms. Balfe was as she danced through the doorway, smiled and said “Hi” to me and showed her glee at the rows of kilted men greeting her and Mr. Heughan.

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater. Cait  is having a great time.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater. Cait is having a great time.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater. Sam is happy to see his kilted brethren.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, starring as Claire Randall & James Fraser in Outlander, enter the Spreckles Theater. Sam is happy to see his kilted brethren.

While my photos are certainly not the best quality of the evening, I think they succeed in presenting the more candid side of each star, including the author and executive producer. They weren’t posing or thinking about answers to questions. With no bright lights shining in their faces, they were relaxed and each appeared genuinely happy to be present at this momentous event. Why wouldn’t they be?

Once the last of the stars entered the theater, I decided I’d better get inside. Almost everyone was already seated. Ms. Balfe and Mr. Heughan were being mildly mobbed in the lobby outside the theater doors  as I passed by – good–humored and good-natured as always.

Besides the entrance decorated with kilted men, the fans were entertained with 1940s music piped throughout the theater. Props and set pieces from the actual Outlander SetDec department were in the lobby outside the main theater.

Set pieces from Claire Randall's surgery in Castle Leoch. What's with the lavender?
Set pieces from Claire Randall’s surgery in Castle Leoch. What’s with the lavender? [Oops. That's not lavender. It's Heather! Thanks again, my baker friend Marisa.]
Set pieces from Claire Randall's surgery in Castle Leoch.
Set pieces from Claire Randall’s surgery in Castle Leoch.
Set pieces from Claire Randall's surgery in Castle Leoch.
Set pieces from Claire Randall’s surgery in Castle Leoch.
Vases from the shop window in Inverness during Claire's opening scene.
Vases from the shop window in Inverness during Claire’s opening scene.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) window shopping in Inverness.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) window shopping in Inverness.

Needless to say, I could not have been more excited to be a tiny part of the Outlander world. This premiere enabled me to meet several friends in the flesh – quite literally in a few cases. <ahem> One of them still owes me dinner.

I took my seat just before Mr. Heughan and Ms. Balfe entered the theater to a loud round of applause. The lights went down and the sound of bagpipes filled the air. For my review of the show, please go to A TRUE FAN’S REVIEW OF OUTLANDER EPISODE #101: SASSENACH.

One Day from Red Carpet Premiere & A New Jamie Trailer

The troops have been gathering in San Diego all week for ComicCom 2014 and the Red Carpet Premier of Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander! Love all the pix the fans have been sharing. And wouldn’t you know it, Outlander_Starz has decided to torture us one more time with another teaser trailer. It’s full of action and Jamie’s lips.

Hopefully, it’ll be available world-wide soon with high quality sound and resolution. Until then, you can watch the vid above and feast your eyes on my screen grabs below.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) making nice . . . for now.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) making nice . . . for now.
You just know Jamie (Sam Heughan) is already feeling "something" from the way he's looking at Claire (Caitriona Balfe) that way.
You just know Jamie (Sam Heughan) is already feeling “something” from the way he’s looking at Claire (Caitriona Balfe) that way.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) teases us with those lips of his.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) teases us with those lips of his.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) showing off. Men.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) showing off. Men.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) fights a Redcoat at Lallybroch.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) fights a Redcoat at Lallybroch.
Even bloody, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) is bloody handsome.
Even bloody, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) is bloody handsome.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) having a tender moment in the  stables.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) having a tender moment in the stables.
Jamie (Sam Heughan). Sigh. Swoon. Remember to breath, lasses.
Jamie (Sam Heughan). Sigh. Swoon. Remember to breath, lasses.

And last but not least, Awkward Moment #3:

#awkward_moment_3

What are you looking forward to most?

Sam Heughan, star of the upcoming Outlander series (as if you didn’t already know who he was) recently asked:

Several people answered “EVERYTHING.” Makes sense because it’s difficult to pick one thing. I thought of several answers, but whittled it down to this:

Of course, the question kept me thinking . . .

Dissatisfied with a 140 character answer, I thought I’d put a few more thoughts down. These are in no particular order.

I am most looking forward to Bear McCreary‘s musical score, having already heard snippets that gave me chills. I’ve always been a fan of bagpipes, especially accompanied by stings, be it the violin or guitar.

And being a fan of foreign tongues (keep your minds out of the gutter, ladies and gents), I am really looking forward to hearing the Gaelic dialogue. It’ll be a bit frustrating not knowing exactly what they’re saying, but I trust in Ron Moore and Diana Gabaldon that we’ll “get it.”

Am I looking forward to the moment Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is zapped back to the 18th Century? Of course, I am! I expect the music to sweep me away with her. And I can’t wait to see what the visual effects look like (of course).

If I were putting these in a particular order, I might have to put our first sight of Jamie in the cottage near the top. In the trailers, we’ve seen the shots of Jamie fighting the Redcoats at Lallybroch trying to protect Jenny. Don’t know if they will be our first glimpse of him, or if those scenes come later in a flashback when Jamie reveals his story to Claire at Leoch. I’m hoping that’s the case because I want the first reveal to match the book.

I shrank back into the shadows near the fireplace, hoping to avoid notice. The man called Murtagh had untied my hands before leading me here. Perhaps I could slip away while they were busy elsewhere. The men’s attention had shifted to a young man crouched on a stool in the corner. He had barely looked up through my interrogation, but kept his head bent, hand clutching the opposite shoulder, rocking slightly back and forth in pain.

Dougal gently pushed the clutching hand away. One of the men pulled back the young man’s plaid, revealing a dirt-smeared linen shirt blotched with blood. A small man with a thick mustache came up behind the lad with a single-bladed knife, and holding the shirt at the collar, slit it across the breast and down the sleeve, so that it fell away from the shoulder.

I gasped, as did several of the men. The shoulder had been wounded; there was a deep ragged furrow across the top, and blood was running freely down the young man’s breast. But more shocking was the shoulder joint itself. A dreadful hump rose on the side, and the arm hung at an impossible angle.

What an introduction to a character! We know he’s young but not what he looks like. He’s in pain, and we feel sorry for him – more than we do for Claire at the moment. Our eyes will be on his shoulder, not his face. Well, maybe some of you silly gooses will be looking at his chest.

What about Claire’s first meeting of Jonathan Randall, you say? Unfortunately, I’ve seen it – or part of it. I wish I had been stronger and avoided it like I avoided the Jamie ghost scene, but at least I learned my lesson, aye? Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing that scene in full context, including her “rescue” by the MacKenzies.

We’ve seen several stills and itty-bitty clips of the scene by the fireplace where Claire tends to Jamie’s wounds. Oh, how much do I want to see that scene in its full, uncut glory? About this much <holding hands as far apart as they will go>. The music. The mood. The steamy looks. The dreamy dialogue. I expect to hear a world-wide collective sigh.

Am I looking forward to the Jamie kissing Laoghaire scene? Sure, I am. Um, Jamie is kissing someone . . . Hello?

Speaking of kissing, Jamie gets beaten up a lot in this first book – see what I did there? I’m looking forward to every punch, kick, smack, whack, and whip he’s expected to give and receive. I’m an action-girl. No, I’m not going to enjoy it – unless he’s the one giving, but it’s all part of his personal growth, so . . .

No, I have not forgotten about The Wedding or the honeymoon. Who among us is not counting the days until we’ll need a drool cup by our chairs? Or sofa or bed – wherever you plan to watch it. Okay, I admit it. I’m more looking forward to the honeymoon than the wedding. There, I said it. I’m more into kissing scenes than lovey-dovey, fainting scenes. I want to see Claire take Jamie in hand – literally. I want to hear the famous lines:

“I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.”

Aren’t you just melting, thinking about it? I hope Outlander Starz doesn’t leak a single, solitary bit of that scene before it airs.

Moving on, I’ve always had a soft spot for men crying. I love the scene at the end of the movie, The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law after she leaves him at the cottage to return home. She changes her mind and runs back, calling his name when she enters. He comes out of the bedroom with tears running down his cheeks. It makes me laugh – as it’s supposed to – but it’s also touching. Why am I bringing this up? Because I’m thinking of the scene when Jamie takes Claire back to Craigh na Dun. He leaves her alone and goes down to the crofter’s cottage, expecting her to return to her own time. Of course, Claire decides to stay with him. Who wouldn’t? [Not including those in love with Tobias Menzies.]

He was in the front room, asleep on a narrow oak settle. He slept on his back, as he usually did, hands crossed on his stomach, mouth slightly open. The last rays of daylight from the window behind me limned his face like a metal mask; the silver tracks of dried tears glinted on golden skin, and the copper stubble of his beard gleamed dully.

I stood watching him for a moment, filled with an unutterable tenderness. Moving as quietly as I could, I lay down beside him on the narrow settle and nestled close. He turned to me in sleep as he so often did, gathering me spoon fashion against his chest and resting his cheek against my hair. Half-conscious, he reached to smooth my hair away from his nose; I felt the sudden jerk as he came awake to realize that I was there, and then we overbalanced and crashed together onto the floor, Jamie on top of me.

Yeah. Take a moment.

Okay. Also near the top of my list are the scenes that could have been in the book but weren’t. Luckily, Mr. Moore’s vision includes those scenes for our viewing pleasure. Being a huge fan of anything World War II related, I am salivating over the upcoming WWII parts. And then there’s “Poor Frank.” We get more Frank in the series than we did in the books, so yay! Can’t wait to see the flashbacks.

Most of you reading this have probably seen the tweets and perhaps my blog post – IAN’S KILT – campaigning for a picture of Ian Murray (Stephen Cree) in a kilt. So, put that near the top of my list, too. At this rate, I’ll have to number things as 1a, 1b, 1c, etc.

And although I said this list of things I’m “looking forward to most” was in no particular order, this last item can be listed as #2 after all the aboves.

Basically, it’s the entire ending – from Jamie’s short “exit” from the show while Jenny and Claire search for him to his recovery at the Abbey. I’ve read those chapters more than once, and they ALWAYS make my stomach harden – just like when I watch the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. Yes, I know it’s fiction, but terrible things are happening to a character I love, and it has the desired effect on my senses. Seeing it visualized is going to be horrifying and beautiful at the same time. I’m sure I will cry and wince, especially during the bone-setting scene.

I know I’ve left out lots of things to which you are looking forward. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll repeat Mr. Heughan’s question: What are you looking forward to most?

Looking ahead, per my original answer, I can honestly say I am most looking forward to Claire and Jamie’s reunion scene in the print shop. Voyager is unquestionably my favorite of the series [I'm partial to mature Jamie], and those scenes have always been my favorite. The build up of her return, walking through the streets of Edinburgh – not sure what to expect. The fainting, hugging, crying. The photographs of Brianna. More crying, melting, falling apart. Le big sigh.

Here’s hoping we’ll get to see it all. I know it’s difficult for actors to stick with the same part for too long. Only time will tell whether we greedy fans will get to see the entire series of novels realized.

Here’s one more thing I’m looking forward to most – watching the number of Golden Globes, SAG awards, and Emmys this show is going to win.

All Action & Steamy Outlander Trailers

Fridays in Outlander World are exciting, especially we are gifted with a new sneak peek. TWO new trailers were released today via Outlander Starz and Buzzfeed entertainment.

The short & steamy vid can be viewed here.

The All-Action vid is courtesy of BuzzFeed. What’s most exciting is the music from Bear McCreary – our first “official” listen to his marvelous score. The trailer follows below.

Perhaps my favorite stills from these new trailers are the transitions. The editors did a great job weaving the web between Claire’s past and her future. Here, she lines up perfectly between her two lovers.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) on a train platform superimposed over Claire with Jamie (Sam Heughan).
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) on a train platform superimposed over Claire with Jamie (Sam Heughan).

This powerful image superimposes Frank, in a lover’s embrace with Claire, over his ancestor – soon to be Claire’s most dangerous threat.

Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) hugs Claire, while his six-times great grandfather makes his way toward Lallybroch.
Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) hugs Claire, while his six-times great grandfather makes his way toward Lallybroch.

Before there was Jamie and Black Jack Randall, there was Frank. . .

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) on their second honeymoon to Inverness.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) heading to Inverness for their second honeymoon. First stop: Mrs. Baird’s Bed & Breakfast.

And what would Friday be without a new pic of James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser? I’d call it – Blahday.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) tells Claire, it doesn't matter where she comes from.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) tells Claire, it doesn’t matter where she comes from.

We can never get enough of Claire. Here she enters the MacKenzie den of wolves – otherwise known as Leoch Hall – for dinner.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) enters Leoch Hall with all eyes on her.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) enters Leoch Hall with all eyes on her.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) marches through the den wolves.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) marches through the den wolves.

Claire and Jamie’s transition has been a wonderful development to watch through the trailers. Here we see the beginnings of their lifelong  “friendship.”

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her chin are not happy to be in Jamie's (Sam Heughan) company. That will change soon!
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her chin are not happy to be in Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) company. That will change soon!

Lots of beautiful new shots to go with the scenes above. Here are a few singles for your viewing pleasure. As usual, I’ve added new pics from the trailers to the gallery on the right – labeled as SHORT TRAILER & BUZZFEED.

Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) wakes up in 18th Century Scotland.
Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) wakes up in 18th Century Scotland.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is taken captive by the MacKenzies shortly after her arrival in the 18th Century.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is taken captive by the MacKenzies shortly after her arrival in the 18th Century.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tends to Jamie's (Sam Heughan) wounds shortly after arriving at Leoch.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tends to Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) wounds shortly after arriving at Leoch.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) protects Claire (Caitriona Balfe) the night of The Gathering.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) protects Claire (Caitriona Balfe) the night of The Gathering.
An intriguing picture of Jamie (Sam Heughan) passing some fellow Scots? horrifyingly strung up.
An intriguing picture of Jamie (Sam Heughan) passing some fellow Scots? horrifyingly strung up.

Thought I’d save the best for last, the amazing picture of Jamie and Claire at Craigh na Dun after he rescues her from the witch trials.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) at Craigh na Dun to say goodbye.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) at Craigh na Dun to say goodbye.

Outlander Episode Summaries & Posters

The series premiere  of Outlander– based on the novel by Diana Gabaldon – is fast approaching in the US, Canada & Australia – BUT we still do NOT have a date for our friends in the UK and other countries across the globe. We continue to plead and campaign on their behalf, hoping the networks will answer our call soon.

The even faster approaching red carpet premiere in San Diego inspired me to have a little fun with all the beautiful photographs, trailers, and behind-the-scenes featurettes released by Outlander Starz over the past few months.

The following are my visions of posters for the first 8 episodes. I’ve attempted to be accurate with respect to the credits, but not all information for each block has yet been released. In other words, these are for ‘entertainment purposes only,’ especially where the summaries are concerned as I’ve expanded them with my own guesses based on the novel. Whether my summaries are correct, they definitely contain SPOILERS for those who have never read the novel.

Episode #101: Sassenach

Summary: WWII combat nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Randall) is on her second honeymoon in Inverness with her husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) when she is mysteriously transported from 1945 to 18th Century Scotland. Almost immediately upon arrival, she finds herself in danger – first running from a squad of trigger-happy Redcoats, then from her blood-thirsty husband’s six-time great grandfather. Next, she is kidnapped by a group of Highlanders led by Dougal MacKenzie (Graham MacTavish) and is taken to a cottage where where she meets an injured young man by the name of Jamie McTavish (Sam Heughan). Compelled by her duty to care for wounded warriors, Claire takes him under her charge during their journey to Castle Leoch. [And this is where we begin saying, "Poor Frank."]

#101_Sassenach_Poster

Episode #102: Castle Leoch

Summary: Now a guest of the MacKenzie clan, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is taken to meet the Laird, Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis), and confirms she has somehow traveled to 1743 Scotland. As suspicions about her strange appearance and manners grow, Claire befriends the equally mysterious Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), wife of the Cranesmuir procurator fiscal, Arthur Duncan. Her friendship with Jamie (Sam Heughan) also continues to develop, leaving her shocked to watch him take the punishment for Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) one evening in Leoch hall. Despite everyone’s suspicions, when the clan discover her medical skills, Claire’s status changes from ‘guest’ to prisoner. [And this is where we begin saying. "Watch out for that blond."]

#102_Castle_Leoch_Poster

Episode #103: The Way Out

Summary: With Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) assistance, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tends to an ill child. And during an evening’s entertainment, Jamie translates a bard’s tale about the wife of Balnain, giving Claire hope for her freedom and the return to her own time. As their friendship turns toward intimacy, Claire is surprised to find Jamie locked in Laoghaire MacKenzie’s (Nell Hudson) embrace. After several weeks of captivity, she makes the decision to use her medical skills to aid her escape from Castle Leoch.  ["Told ye to watch out for that blond."]

#103_The_Way_Out_Poster

Episode #104: The Gathering

Summary: As the Castle prepares for The MacKenzie Gathering, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) plots her escape. But after a dangerous encounter with a drunken Dougal MacKenzie (Graham MacTavish) and an unexpected run-in with Jamie (Sam Heughan) in the castle stables, her plans are dashed. Her foiled escape also has an undesirable result for Jamie who was attempting to avoid swearing an oath to Column MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) for fear of his life. [An action packed episode to be sure.]

#104_The_Gathering_Poster

Episode #105: Rent

Summary: Claire (Caitriona Balfejoins the MacKenzie rent-collecting trip, thinking she will never see Castle Leoch again. Her new plan is to slip away and return to Craigh na Dun given the first opportunity. While on the road, she learns more about the history of the MacKenzie clan and makes friends with Colum’s solicitor, Ned Gowan (Bill Paterson) – “a small, elderly man . . . born, bred, and educated in Edinburgh.” During a stop at a tavern one evening, Claire is horrified to watch Dougal (Graham MacTavish) use Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) scars to gain sympathy for the Jacobite cause. The incident reminds her that a defining moment in Scottish history is fast approaching. [And we're two episodes closer to the big night.]

#105_Rent_Poster

Episode #106: The Garrison Commander

Summary: Claire’s (Caitriona Balfeunexpected meeting with a British general turns tense when Captain Jonathan Randall (Tobias Menzies) arrives. Claire finds herself alone with Randall – a dangerous man determined to uncover her secrets. [Wouldn't this be a great episode to have flashbacks of Frank in comparison to Black Jack Randall?]

#106_The_Garrison_Comm_Poster

Episode #107: The Wedding

Summary: Dougal MacKenzie (Graham MacTavish) offers a solution to Captain Randall’s demand that Claire (Caitriona Balfe) be turned over to the English for questioning. He offers her the protection of the MacKenzie clan, but only if she marries the young James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan). [Sigh. Decisions. Decisions.] [Note: The picture of Claire in front of the chapel is my creation.]

#107_The_Wedding_Poster

Episode #108: Both Sides Now

Summary: This description is COMPLETELY fictitious because we’ve been given no information on episode 8 and can tell very little by the title. BUT because it’s the mid-season finale, I am guessing they’ll want to end it with a bang. SO this is my guess . . . Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) spend their honeymoon at an inn while Dougal MacKenzie (Graham MacTavish) continues collecting the rent. They grow closer, and she realizes she can no longer fight her attraction for him. [Am betting this is the episode where we meet Hugh Monro (Simon Meacock).] When Claire is left alone in a glade while Jamie goes off to meet with the man who may be able to clear his name, she makes the difficult decision to return to Craigh na Dun. Once again, her escape attempt fails – this time at the hands of Captain Jonathan Randall (Tobias Menzies). [We'll find out how far off I am – or not – in 9 weeks!]

#108_Both_Sides_Now_Poster

If you have a quirky sense of humor, you and I will get along just fine.

Outlander Musings

Two Sassenachs, a set of books and a television series....

DianaGabaldon.com

If you have a quirky sense of humor, you and I will get along just fine.

parmenionbooks

Reviewer and Collector of books

OUTLANDER Italy » La Serie Tv e I Libri di Diana Gabaldon

If you have a quirky sense of humor, you and I will get along just fine.

Outlander - La serie di Diana Gabaldon

If you have a quirky sense of humor, you and I will get along just fine.

Great Scot!

Cultural Musings of An Outlandish Nature

The Outlander Podcast

Chatting about All Things Outlander

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 112 other followers