Sunday, October 4, 2015

The "extras" on the Season 1 Vol. 2 Collector's Edition

Here are my reactions to the "extras" and special features on the OUTLANDER Season 1 Volume 2 Blu-ray Collector's Edition.

*** S P O I L E R  W A R N I N G ***

There are SPOILERS below, for the deleted scenes and for the extra bits included in the extended edition of Episode 109, "The Reckoning".  Read at your own risk!

The packaging of the Volume 2 Blu-ray Collector's Edition is similar to Volume 1. The two volumes together look good as a matched set. I like the "lenticular" that changes from Black Jack Randall to Claire and Jamie.

Special Features (from Disk 2):

Diana Gabaldon Tours OUTLANDER

We have seen some of this before, but it was fun to see Diana's reaction to visiting "OutlanderWorld" for the first time.  I especially enjoyed her reaction to the armoury.  She was obviously having a lot of fun with the 18th century weaponry!

I liked Diana's comment about BJR's office ("He probably collects prehistoric artifacts"), because this is the sort of thing that only the author would know about him.

The level of detail in the prop department is amazing!

Cast and Crew Table Read

It was interesting to see all the actors in their normal clothes, just sitting around a big table, reading through the scripts. I was surprised to see what a big group it was!  Interesting, also, to see bits of dialogue in the original scripts that we know were changed or omitted in the final version.  (Murtagh's "He needs a woman, not a girl", for example, was changed in the filmed version to "He needs a woman, not a lassie.")

The cast and crew look like they're having a good time.

A Triangle in Time

I thoroughly enjoyed this segment -- all of it!  I love hearing the actors talk about their characters.  And I liked Diana Gabaldon's comment that Claire "really has no role in life [in 1945] except as Mrs. Randall".

I thought Cait's and Tobias's comments about Black Jack Randall were very interesting.  Tobias is exactly right when he says that "the aim [was] to break Jamie psychologically", and I think that came through very clearly, especially in Episode 116.

Weaving Authentic: Making the Fabrics of OUTLANDER 

It was interesting to see how the weaving of a tartan is done with modern machinery.  I think this segment went on a bit too long, though.

Gag Reel

This was a lot of fun!

Deleted Scenes (from Disk 2):

I think Ron Moore's introductory comments before each scene were helpful in providing some context and insight into the reasons why these scenes were deleted.

Episode 110 Deleted Scene

"I'm no stable-boy.  I'm the Laird of Lallybroch." Yes, and surely Claire should know that by this time, after all the time they spent on their wedding night talking about Jamie's family!

The scene was well-acted, but I didn't really care for it.

Episode 111 Deleted Scene #1

I have mixed feelings about this scene between Colum and Ned Gowan.  They play it very well, but the way the scene is written, it makes Colum out to be much more of a villain than in either the book or the final version of the TV episode.

I also think that this scene doesn't really work as the opening to the episode. I think it's much more effective to do it the way they did in the final version, with the focus entirely on Claire and Geillis's situation.

Episode 111 Deleted Scene #2

This second deleted scene with Colum and Ned is very well-written and well-acted, but I was distracted throughout by Ned's (apparently) broken nose.

I did like Ned's smile when he said, "She got away."

Episode 113 Deleted Scene #1

I was fascinated to see how they dealt with Ian's wooden leg.  I had been wondering how the special effects people would handle that.  The scene itself is really not necessary, though. It seems intended only to make the point that the father wasn't normally present during childbirth, and I think most viewers are intelligent enough to figure that out for themselves.

Episode 113 Deleted Scene #2

I was intrigued by Ian's comment that "My best days were spent soldiering", especially in view of what we know from the later books, about how he didn't want Young Ian to serve in the army.

Episode 114 Deleted Scene #1

I liked seeing the full scene of Jamie putting on his kilt, and I'm glad they were able to keep at least an abbreviated version of this scene in the final episode.

Episode 114 Deleted Scene #2

The scene with Claire and Murtagh is really wonderful, and I wish they'd left it in.

"If the lad is truly gone, I vow to protect you the rest of my life, just as I swore to Ellen to protect Jamie."  Wow.  What a terrific line!  I had tears in my eyes the first time I watched it.

Episode 109 Extended Edition (from Disk 1):

I love the final version of Episode 109 ("The Reckoning"), as shown on TV, and I was a little reluctant to watch this extended edition at first.  But I found that the extra scenes didn't affect my enjoyment of the episode at all.

It's interesting to see the alternate opening scene, but I like the final version, with Jamie's voice-over by the stream, much better.  "But there are conditions you'll have to heed" - what kind of way is that to lead into the episode?  It's not suspenseful at all, IMHO, and I'm glad they cut that bit.

I didn't care for the added scene with Jamie, Murtagh, Angus, and Rupert. Too much time wasted talking, when they're already inside Fort William, Claire is in danger, and every second counts.

I loved the extra bit at about 8:39 into the episode, where Jamie looks over the wall to see the courtyard and the whipping post below, and has a brief flashback to the flogging, interrupted when Claire screams. I thought that was very effective in illustrating what was going through his mind at that moment, and I wish they'd kept it in.

I liked Rupert's line on arrival at Castle Leoch, dripping with sarcasm as he says, looking around at the deserted courtyard, "It's good to be home, in the loving bosom of those that hold us dear."

"I prefer not to follow behind my wife."  "So walk faster."  I like this bit.

The little scene with Alec and Mrs. Fitz greeting Jamie is nice, but not necessary.

The extra scene with Jamie and Claire in the bedroom is well-acted, but kind of overkill, IMHO. We can see that Colum was furious; we don't need Jamie to spell it out for us.  And we already know that Claire's still mad at Jamie, so there's no need to belabor the point.  I actually didn't mind Jamie swearing at Claire in Gaelic.  (Apparently what he says is "sgaradh ort", which is something like "eff you".  Thanks to Mandy Tidwell for that translation!)  He's exasperated and clearly has no idea how to rectify the situation.

I liked the scene with Jamie and Murtagh in the kitchen very much!  I wish they'd kept it in.

"What's done is done, lad. It's what ye do next that matters."  Good line from Murtagh.

The extra scene with Colum and Jamie talking about clan politics was interesting, but I can see why they cut it.  There just wasn't time to include everything.

The scene with Geillis and Jamie came as a surprise to me, and I didn't care for the way she was flirting with him.  "You'd be amazed at what my concoctions can do to a body" seems clearly intended as foreshadowing of her poisoning of Arthur Duncan in Episode 110.

The fight between the clansman was dramatic, but not really necessary, so I can see why they cut it.  I did like the way Jamie put a stop to it, though.

The scene in the bedroom between Jamie and Claire contains a few extra lines, but they weren't particularly memorable and I can see why they were cut.

Overall, I enjoyed seeing the Extended Edition of this episode, but I still prefer the final version as shown on TV. My recap of Episode 109 is here if you're interested.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Help celebrate Caitriona's birthday on Oct. 4th!

Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire on the OUTLANDER TV series, will be celebrating her 36th birthday on Sunday, October 4th. Please join me and OUTLANDER fans worldwide in wishing her a very happy birthday!

If you're on Twitter, please tag your tweets on Sunday with #BalfeBDay. And if you're not on Twitter, there will still be plenty of ways to celebrate! Many OUTLANDER fan-sites and Facebook groups will be joining in the festivities.

If you wish, you can make a donation to Cait's favorite charity, World Child Cancer.

Here's my all-time favorite Claire scene from Season 1: the argument by the roadside in Episode 109, "The Reckoning". Caitriona absolutely nailed it, in my opinion.

Happy Birthday to an amazingly talented actress! We're incredibly lucky to have her as our Claire!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September poll results

Here are the results of the September poll, which asked the question, "Would you go through the stones, if you could?"
  • 35.60% - Of course, if Jamie Fraser was waiting for me!
  • 17.57% - Maybe for a short visit, but not to live there permanently.
  • 11.59% - Yes! I'd love to see the 18th century.
  • 8.24% - No. I like reading about it and/or watching it on TV, but I have no desire to time-travel myself.
  • 6.61% - Yes, but I'd have to bring some essential items with me.
  • 6.16% - No, I couldn't leave my family and friends here.
  • 3.71% - No, I wouldn't survive in an earlier time.
  • 2.81% - No, I'd miss the conveniences of modern life too much.
  • 1.90% - No, it took a lot of hard work to live in the 18th century.
  • 1.63% - I'm not sure.
  • 1.09% - I don't believe time-travel is possible.
  • 0.27% - No, it sounds too dangerous.
  • 2.81% - Other:
Here are the responses for "Other":
  • yes, I would love to travel in time.....
  • Not without my daughter
  • I'm 84 now...I might have if I were younger,too much adventure could kill me!
  • no, the fourteenth century is more my speed.
  • All of the above depending on my mood
  • I would have to be immune from injury, sickness and a sense of smell.
  • It's a fantasy myth. let's just leave it at that
  • Would love to interact with my Scottish ancestors
  • YES!!! point the way!
  • yes, but I would go to the future
  • I'd like to see it, but not actually be there!
  • I'd have loved it when I was younger... & either Jamie; or bring my own Jamie!
  • Only if I were a nurse or doctor and knew my natural remedies
  • Yes as long as I could safely return whenever I choose to return.
  • No at 70 plus I'm too old for serious travel
  • In a Heartbeat!
  • I could go for a few days visiting Claire & Jamie
  • The opportunity to change history is temtpting
  • Depends - backwards/forwards? Can you come back?
  • YES
  • Only if hubby came with me
  • I would go through the stones as long as I could come back when I wanted to.
  • i'd opt for the
  • All of the above "No" answers, combined, lol.
  • no, what will they do with deaf person?
  • I would go in the hopes of meeting an ancestor
  • No, being African-American my life would most likely be very unpleasant.
  • Maybe to just look around a bit but I'm attached t
  • Only if I could bring my daughter, and money.
  • No, I'd miss this blog too much!
  • I want to go visit my 3x grandpa. So many ?'s!
There were 1104 responses to this month's poll. Thanks very much to everyone who participated!

Please take a moment to vote in the October poll, which asks, "What do you think of the Lord John books and stories?" Thanks!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OUTLANDER Season 1 Vol. 2 Blu-ray/DVD is out!

The DVD and Blu-ray of the 2nd half of OUTLANDER Season 1 (covering episodes 109-116) is now available!

You can order from Amazon (DVD or Blu-ray), or look for it wherever DVDs are sold.

For more information about the contents of the Blu-ray and DVD, look here.

PLEASE NOTE: If you bought the Blu-ray Collector's Edition of OUTLANDER Season 1 Volume 1, there is a cardboard "place-holder" in the box that is intended for the second half of the season.  When you get your copy of the Volume 2 Blu-ray, simply remove the cardboard from the Collector's Edition box and insert Volume 2, so you'll have a complete set of Season 1 in one box.

NOTE IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE US: The links above are for the US version only. For the UK version, which contains all 16 episodes, look here.

I will be getting my copy later today, and I'll post my reactions to the "extras" and special features later this week.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Good news for UK fans!

Good news today for UK fans!  First of all, the Collector's Edition of OUTLANDER Season 1 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD!  (This is the complete Season 1, all 16 episodes.)

Here's the description of the Collector's Edition, from
A specially curated Deluxe Collector’s Edition will also be available for Outlander fans to own early on 28 September on DVD and Blu-ray. In addition to extensive special features, the Deluxe Collector’s Edition boasts exclusive packaging with a gold foiled slip case, five collectible art cards and a 64-page book with photographs, excerpts from the script and an introduction from author Diana Gabaldon."
Please note: the regular DVD/Blu-ray version will not be released until October 26, but the Collector's Edition is available now.

Also, is running a contest where UK fans can win a visit to the set of the OUTLANDER TV series! Contest ends Sunday, October 4th. Look here for the entry form and more information about the contest.

Please pass this information along to anyone you know in the UK who might be interested. Thanks!

Friday, September 25, 2015

OUTLANDER Soundtrack Vol. 2 is now available!

Volume 2 of the OUTLANDER Soundtrack, featuring music by Emmy-nominated composer Bear McCreary, is now available!

You can order from Amazon or iTunes. (Note to those of you outside the US: I have no information on international availability.)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Deleted scene from Episode 110

Here's an early peek at one of the deleted scenes on the OUTLANDER Season 1 Vol. 2 Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of

This scene comes from Episode 110, "By the Pricking of My Thumbs".








"I'm no stable-boy.  I'm the Laird of Lallybroch."  Yes, and surely Claire should know that by this time, after all the time they spent on their wedding night talking about Jamie's family!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the "extras" and deleted scenes when the Season 1 Volume 2 Blu-ray comes out on September 29!