Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Getting ready for the wedding!

Jamie and Claire's wedding is coming up soon! Are you going to do anything special to celebrate the occasion?

Note the #OutlanderWedding hashtag at the bottom. Wouldn't it be great to see it trending? We're planning another Twitter campaign on Saturday, using that hashtag.  Details to come soon!

Monday, September 15, 2014

OUTLANDER is coming to Ireland!

OUTLANDER is coming to Ireland!

The OUTLANDER TV series will be shown on RTÉ 2 in the Republic of Ireland.  I don't have the exact premiere date, but their new programming starts the week of September 22.  Look here for details.

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

For more information about the OUTLANDER TV series, including a list of countries that will be showing the series, see my FAQ page here.

NOTE TO UK FANS: We still have no news about when OUTLANDER might be available in the UK. I promise I'll post here as soon as I hear anything!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 106 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "The Garrison Commander".


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









I liked the drums at the very beginning, and the close-up look at the officer's coat.

The scenery as they ride to Brockton is just gorgeous!

"It felt liberating to be looked upon with respect" - I like that. Interesting point, that Dougal is the "outlander" here, surrounded by the enemy.

I really enjoyed watching Brig. Gen. Thomas, played by John Heffernan.  He's a good actor, and his role is very effective in illustrating how the English felt about the Scots.  Interesting contrast between Dougal, who sees the general as his equal, and the general, who refers to Dougal as a "creature"; plainly he thinks all Scots are such barbarians that they are not really human beings at all.

"If only you behaved like the loyal British subjects you're supposed to be" - it's very hard to hear this without thinking of the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, of course.

"You pull that needle and we'll see who pricks who" -- good line!  Despite being vastly outnumbered, Dougal is not intimidated in the slightest.

"You do know how to order men about." "Aye, she does that." - another good line.

I liked the harpsichord music during the dinner scene. Very appropriate.

So BJR just barges in without even knocking?  No wonder the general was annoyed!  I love the way BJR and Claire stare at each other.

The story of Private McGreavey was chilling. "Give ye your head in your hands to play with" is a phrase we've heard more than once in the books, but obviously it's more than just a figure of speech!

I like that window with the round panes very much. <g>

The amputation scene was suitably graphic, bloody and horrifying. <shudder>  But I was glad that a surgeon showed up in time to perform the actual amputation. (Claire is, after all, not yet a doctor.)  This was an effective way to get rid of the general and the rest of the English officers.

The shaving scene was terrific! <g> I liked the brief flashback; fascinating that Frank had that very razor in his possession.  And the bit where BJR holds the razor to his aide's throat was scary. I felt sorry for the young man. Can you imagine working for BJR??

"Lord Thomas is an utter arse." - good line

"There are no Beauchamps in Oxfordshire" - nearly halfway through the episode, and finally we're back to the book! (This is not a complaint, btw, just an observation.)  Interesting that they don't subtitle the French bits, although I had enough French in high school that I had no trouble understanding what they were saying.

"What was your maiden name?" made me laugh, a bit nervously.

For someone with a "glass face", Claire does a pretty good job of making up that story about an "affair of the heart".  Unfortunately, it's clear he doesn't believe a syllable of it.  I love BJR's reaction, as though listening to her lies is giving him a headache.

I really didn't expect the bit with the drawing.  The notorious Black Jack Randall, an artist?  It gives him a little more of a human side, IMHO.

"I would not believe you if you told me that night is dark and day is bright." - good line!

Claire referring to Jamie as "a poor Highlander boy" took me aback a little, until I realized that she has no idea, yet, that Jamie is a laird.

The sight of Jamie's fresh scars made me gasp. And when BJR poked him -- owwwww!

"I prefer to work on a blank canvas. It makes one more able to mark the progress of the damage inflicted." - this is really chilling, especially the matter-of-fact way he says it.

I liked that it was BJR telling the story of the flogging, rather than Dougal. It's far more immediate and personal, somehow, seeing it through his POV.  When he said, "It made my stomach flutter and my legs shake", I thought, "and your cock stiffen, too, no doubt. You sick bastard, may you rot in hell!" (Jamie may have found a way to forgive BJR. I don't think I ever will. For Wentworth OR for this.)

I watched most of the flogging through my fingers <g>, but I didn't really look away.  It's a VERY intense scene, as well it should be.

I liked the way Jamie's feet slipped in the blood. Just after that, we get a good look at Brian Fraser (standing behind Dougal on the left in this photo, wearing a leather jacket). Some people have said they're surprised that Brian didn't show more emotion, watching his son being flogged. I disagree. I think Brian shares Jamie's habit of putting on an expressionless mask to hide strong emotions. It absolutely doesn't mean he's not feeling anything; quite the contrary! (And I'm not surprised that we didn't actually see Brian collapse during the flogging. We're seeing this from BJR's point of view, and he was in no condition to notice the bystanders by that point, even if one of them fell to the ground almost dead.)

"That boy and I, we were creating a masterpiece. An exquisite, bloody masterpiece. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." - this is a terrific bit of writing, and reveals a lot about BJR's true character.

And after hearing all this, after seeing Jamie's scars for herself, Claire still has hope for BJR's soul??  ("It is not too late to win back your humanity", etc.)  She seems so innocent, naive, seeing only what she wants to see.

That blow took me by surprise, even though of course I knew it had to be coming.  I think I was caught off guard because what came just before it wasn't in the book. I love Claire's reaction, lying on the floor gasping for air and looking totally shocked. "Kick her!" was a great addition to the scene.

Dougal to the rescue, thank God! <g>

The scene at St. Ninian's Spring was just perfect.  I love the way Claire says, "I am NOT a spy!"  And her reaction to the idea of marrying Jamie was very well done.

In the next scene, I like the way the close-up of Claire reading the marriage contract shows the gold wedding ring very clearly.  A subtle reminder of Frank, but effective.

The final scene with Jamie is terrific.  He seems shy, even a bit nervous, but with an air of suppressed excitement (or maybe I am projecting my own reactions onto Jamie <g>). The "Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin" exchange was just perfect. <g>  And I love the way Claire stalks back through the crowd of men, bottle in hand.

I loved this episode! Well-written, VERY well-acted (Tobias Menzies was just mesmerizing as BJR!!), and riveting throughout.  Can't wait for the wedding next week!

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"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"

Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 107!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Easton Press special edition of OUTLANDER!

Easton Press is offering a special leather-bound hardcover edition of OUTLANDER, signed by Diana Gabaldon!

Very cool! I just wish the site included a photo of the actual book, not just the page with Diana's photo and signature on it, so we can see what the cover looks like.  Personally I wouldn't pay $89 for a book, even a "fine leather-bound" edition of OUTLANDER, without at least a chance to see what I'd be getting.  (But that's just me. <g>)

I have no further details. I don't know how long this special edition will be available, how many copies were printed, or whether they will ship outside the US.  But I will update this post if I find out more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

OUTLANDER on Pinterest!

The OUTLANDER TV series now has an official Pinterest page, including stills from the TV series and photos of some of the objects, plants, and animals featured on the show.

I have been collecting OUTLANDER-related content on Pinterest for about 2 1/2 years, and I have almost 1500 pins, on a variety of different OUTLANDER-related topics.  I thought the rest of you might like to see my collection.

Click on the image below to go to my main Pinterest page.

Follow Me on Pinterest

I have 15 different OUTLANDER-related boards at the moment:

Outlandish Observations - this is where I put pictures relating to me, my blog, Diana Gabaldon's books, and OUTLANDER fandom in general.

OUTLANDER: Historical Figures
OUTLANDER: Standing Stones
OUTLANDER: Men in Kilts
OUTLANDER: Gemstones
OUTLANDER: Food and Drink
OUTLANDER: Medicine and Surgery
18th Century Clothing
Scotland Pictures
From my Zazzle Store!

You will find the vast majority of the photos from my Friday Fun Facts and other blog posts on these boards.  I add new content almost every week, so please come back from time to time to see what's new.

Feel free to look around and repin any of these photos for yourselves.  Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Episode 105: "Rent" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 105 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Rent".


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









Interesting opening shot with the horses' hooves.  And what a breathtaking view of the scenery to open the episode!  I like Claire's coat, too -- very striking.

I had never heard the John Donne poem before, but it's appropriate.
ABSENCE, hear thou my protestation    
    Against thy strength,    
    Distance and length:    
Do what thou canst for alteration,    
    For hearts of truest mettle
    Absence doth join and Time doth settle.
Bill Patterson seems perfectly cast as Ned Gowan. He's totally convincing, and I liked him immediately.  I didn't expect the asthma, but I laughed at the (inadvertent, I'm sure!) connection to Hal's problems in MOHB. I was half-expecting Claire to prescribe joint-fir boiled in coffee. <g>

I really enjoyed the "Maid Gaed to the Mill" song, which I included in my Friday Fun Facts in April 2013. There's a video of the song here if you're interested.

You can really feel Claire's loneliness and isolation. But I love Jamie's comment, "Maybe Angus hates ye. He hates everyone." And the way Jamie smiles at her makes me melt! <g>

I love the details of the rent-collecting, the crofts, the livestock, the tenants (both the way they look and how they are dressed), etc. Seeing how the ordinary people lived really makes the 18th century come alive before my eyes, in a way that the scenes in the castle did not, and I think it's fascinating.

The wool-waulking scene is terrific! I like the fact that all the women's faces, especially the older ones, look like they've had hard lives with plenty of hard work, in contrast to Claire with her perfect skin.

Angus really surprised me in the scene where he drags Claire out of the wool-waulking, since we've only seen him as comic relief up to this point. He's becoming a more realistic, fully-fleshed-out character, and I think that's good. "She's slippery as an eel" -- good line!  I also liked the way Claire reacted in this scene, untying the goat, etc.  I think it's very much in character, even though it's not in the book.

Watching this episode the first time, I didn't realize the young man (later identifiied as Jeremy Foster) was an Englishman until I saw the red coat.  But it definitely explains the clansmen's hostility toward him!

When Dougal ripped Jamie's shirt the first time, I actually yelled at the TV, "Hey, cut that out!!" I felt awful for Jamie, and you can tell Claire does, too.

"I'm not bloody doing it. The lad can wear rags from now on." Cold as ice, and Jamie's reaction is just as I always imagined from the book.

I love watching Dougal in this episode, btw. He's just mesmerizing, more so even than Jamie. <g>

I liked the "black pudding" scene - good to see Claire with her hair loose once in a while, and this exchange between Ned and Claire is great:

"It's a pity they don't allow women to practice law."
"Not yet."
"It'll be a few centuries before that happens."
"Only two."

Again, the scenery is just magnificent!

"Would I have to reconcile myself to live the rest of my life among strangers, two hundred years in the past?"  As much as I feel for what she's going through, part of me is saying, "Oh, it's not that bad, you'll see!" LOL.

Notice that the instant "The Watch" is mentioned, Jamie takes off, without a word to anyone.

Claire: "I don't sit with thieves."
Angus: "I will not be judged by an English whore!"

I like how Jamie comes to her defense here, towering over Angus, and making him back down without ever raising his voice or laying a finger on Angus. Just the implied threat is enough.

"Todger" is a new word to me. <g>

I liked the exchange between Claire and Jamie here:

"Angus can kiss my English arse!"
"You're not to judge things ye don't understand." (But she does, constantly; she can't help it.)

I like the stone building in the next village very much. And the bit with Torcall was very good, showing that Dougal does have some humanity after all.

"Christ, I'd die in my blood...." - it's good that we're back to the book, if only briefly.

I like the flashback scene with Frank and the Reverend. Claire's recitation of the historical facts made me laugh -- she has a good memory!  Interesting use of the series theme music here, a vivid reminder of the original lyrics of that song, which are all about the aftermath of Culloden.

I was really disappointed that the first part of the scene with Jamie and Dougal is so hard to hear! I wanted very much to see that, but I could barely make out what they were saying. How are viewers who don't know the book supposed to understand what's going on there if they can't hear what the characters are saying?

It got much easier to hear toward the end (the close-up shots are very good) but I really didn't like the fact that they changed the bit about kicking trees from the way it's done in the book. In the book, Claire's saying, "You need to hit something", and more important, Jamie actually taking her advice and finding it sound <g>, is a small step in the evolution of their relationship. It's missing here, and I think that's a shame.

Also, the way they've changed the timing of this scene from the book means that Claire's line, "He'll do that again" makes no sense in context.  Of course they both know Dougal will do it again! He's done it a few times already by the time we see them here.

On the bright side, I just love the look that passes between Jamie and Claire when he says, "As ye ken well."

More gorgeous scenery.  The tourist industry in Scotland is going to get a huge boost from this episode, I think. <g>

The scene with the executed men was chilling. I wonder if that's historically accurate?

I liked Dougal's speech in the next scene, angry and defiant, even if I don't understand a word he's saying. <g>

And all of a sudden, we're back to the book! <g>  The scene with Jamie and Claire in the room at the inn is exactly as I've always pictured it, except that I can't figure out why Claire is still fully dressed, rather than in her shift. Wasn't she asleep when she heard the door creaking?  (This is a minor point.)

Sam absolutely NAILED Jamie's trademark "one side of his mouth quirked up in a half-smile" expression. <g>  I love it!

I liked the scene with Ned and Claire. "Fighting hearts don't stand a chance against cannons" - good line.

Interesting that it's Angus who starts the fight. In the earlier scene with Jamie and Claire by the campfire, he's the one calling Claire a whore, and now he ends up defending her honor against the very same insult. Very clever bit of writing there, and it works in the context of the TV series, where the focus is mainly on Claire's situation, but I think something important has been lost by the way it's portrayed here.

In the book, the big fight scene in the tavern is started when Jamie finally has had enough and fights back against the insults of the villagers -- and his victory in that fight both earns the respect of the others AND puts an immediate stop to Dougal's using him that way.  In the TV-series version of the scene, Jamie isn't even present during the fight (having excused himself early on to go tend the horses).  So we don't see Jamie standing up for himself or putting an end to Dougal's public humiliation of him.

On the one hand, I can understand this: Jamie has been through so much (physically) already in the series that showing him being beat up for the third time in 5 episodes might be just too much for TV viewers to take.

On the other hand, since we never get to see Jamie standing up for himself, fighting back, the impression you get is that Jamie will put up with this treatment from Dougal forever.  That makes him look weaker and less confident than the Jamie we know from the book, and I didn't care for it.

I did like the fact that after the fight, Claire seems more relaxed, and even teases Rupert a bit. That bit was hilarious! <g>

The views of Culloden were very sobering.  I like the way they used the flashback to have Frank give the viewers the historical background.

The Clan MacKenzie stone made me smile.  Yes, it's in the books (Roger mentions it in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER), but when I visited Culloden in 2012, I made a point of asking our tour guide if there was a MacKenzie stone somewhere, and he said no.  So just keep in mind that the one we see here in this scene is fictional.

That got me thinking: if there is a MacKenzie clan stone at Culloden, who is buried under it?  Dougal?  As far as we know, there were no other MacKenzie fatalities at Culloden, right?  (Just speculation, but it's interesting to think about.)

Interesting that the rest of the clansmen are willing to trust Claire a bit more now, give her more freedom of movement, but Dougal obviously still doesn't trust her at all.  Maybe less now than he ever has.

I didn't expect the arrival of the English soldiers at all.  Hope Jamie managed to hide before they spotted him!

"Tell me, Madam, are you here by your own choice?"  Wow, talk about a cliffhanger! <g>

Overall, I thought this episode was quite enjoyable, and whoever called it a "love letter to Scotland" is absolutely right.

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"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"

Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 106!

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

UPDATE 9/7/2014 7:22 pm: The series will be available in Spain on a service of Telefónica de España, very similar to Netflix, before the end of 2014. See the announcement here.

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