Here's what we know right now about the upcoming OUTLANDER TV series on STARZ. (Last updated July 26, 2014)
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PRESS RELEASES
Diana Gabaldon announced on June 1, 2013, that a contract has been signed for 16 episodes (one season), to air on the STARZ cable channel. (You can see a video of the announcement here. The part where Diana talks about the TV series is about 1:03:00 into the video.)
The series began filming in Scotland on October 7, 2013.
According to executive produce Moore, “The idea would be to do a season a book."
Here's the STARZ press release from June 25, 2013, quoted in its entirety on Diana Gabaldon's blog. I particularly liked these comments:
“We are thrilled to be bringing ‘Outlander’ to Starz next year,” said Chris Albrecht, CEO of Starz. “Diana has created an incredibly compelling heroine, thrust into a very complex world, not to mention, time. The books weave a fascinating tapestry of history, spirituality, love and honor, not to mention plenty of time travel, sex and warfare. With Diana’s stories guiding us and Ron’s mastery, we hope to bring Claire and Jamie to life for the millions of fans the world over.”WHAT IS STARZ?
Moore added, “I’m very excited to have the opportunity to bring these books to life. Diana’s created a rich and textured world filled with intriguing characters, and I believe that Starz is the perfect home for her story. I think we’ll make something that the millions of fans of these books will enjoy and recognize as ‘Outlander.’”
STARZ is a pay-TV channel, like HBO or Showtime. If you live in the US and you do not have access to STARZ, ask your local cable or satellite provider.
Episodes are shown without commercials on STARZ. Each episode will probably be about 50 minutes long.
If STARZ is not available where you live, or you don't want to pay to watch the show, it's possible that you may be able to access the episodes online after they are broadcast. I have no details yet on how that will work.
OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE
Here's the opening title sequence, featuring "The Skye Boat Song".
AVAILABILITY OF THE SERIES OUTSIDE THE US
(Last updated February 11, 2014)
The series will air on Showcase in Canada. Look here for the official announcement.
The series will air on Foxtel's SoHo channel in Australia. Here's the announcement.
Diana Gabaldon commented on Compuserve on November 9, 2013:
The way that it works is that Sony corporation actually _owns_ the property. Starz is _producing_ it (i.e., actually _making_ the show) and in return gets the exclusive right to show it on their network--but only in the US. Sony then makes deals (obviously as many as they can) with distributors and networks in other geographical territories, one by one.I have no information yet about the availability of the TV series outside the US, Canada, and Australia. Keep watching this page for further announcements.
PREMIERE DATES AND BROADCAST SCHEDULE (last updated June 25, 2014)
The world premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series took place on July 25, 2014, at Comic Con in San Diego.
The series will premiere on STARZ in the US on Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 9pm ET/PT.
The series will premiere on Showcase in Canada on Sunday, August 24, 2014.
The series will premiere on Foxtel's SoHo Channel in Australia on Thursday, August 14, 2014.
I have NO INFORMATION about the premiere dates for any other countries.
Netflix and DVDs
A lot of people have been asking whether the series will be available on Netflix or similar services, for people who don't have access to STARZ. We don't know the answer to that yet, but I will update this page as soon as I hear anything!
As for whether the series will eventually come out on DVD...here's Diana Gabaldon's response:
Hey…do you know _any_ popular TV series that _doesn’t_ come out on DVD?Again, as soon as I hear anything about the DVD release, I'll post it here.
CASTING (updated 4/10/2014)
Jamie Fraser will be played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan. Look here for details, including Diana Gabaldon's in-depth comments about Sam Heughan. And here is the press release announcing his selection.
Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser will be played by Irish actress Caitriona Balfe. (Her name is pronounced "Ka-TREE-na Balf".)
Tobias Menzies will be playing the dual roles of Frank Randall and Jonathan (Black Jack) Randall.
Stephen Walters will play Angus Mhor.
Annette Badland will play Mrs. FitzGibbons.
Graham McTavish will play Dougal MacKenzie.
Gary Lewis will play Colum MacKenzie.
Roderick Gilkison will play young Hamish MacKenzie.
Lotte Verbeek will play Geillis Duncan.
James Fleet will play the Rev. Wakefield.
Laura Donnelly will play Jenny Fraser Murray.
Steven Cree will play Ian Murray.
Nell Hudson will play Laoghaire.
Grant O'Rourke will play Rupert.
Kathryn Howden will play Mrs. Baird.
Tracey Wilkinson will play Mrs. Graham.
Liam Carney will play Auld Alec, Leoch's Master of Horse.
Aislin McGuckin will play Colum's wife, Letitia.
Prentis Hancock will play Uncle Lamb.
Simon Callow will play the Duke of Sandringham.
Diana Gabaldon says she is NOT involved in casting for the TV series. Meaning, she doesn't choose the actors, but Ron Moore and the production people do ask her what she thinks. And she is clearly delighted by the casting choices so far!
Ron Moore announced on January 11, 2014, that Bear McCreary will be composing the score for the OUTLANDER TV series. You can follow Bear McCreary on Twitter here.
TV TIE-IN PAPERBACK
A special TV-series tie-in paperback edition of OUTLANDER was published in the US on July 1, 2014. Look here and here for more information.
EPISODE TITLES (updated 7/14/2014)
Here are the titles of the first 8 episodes of Season 1. (There will be 16 episodes in all.) The first 8 episodes will be shown in the US from August 9th - Sept. 27th, and the remaining 8 episodes will be shown in early 2015. I will post more information as soon as it becomes available.
FIRST OFFICIAL TRAILER
Here's the trailer for the OUTLANDER TV series that was unveiled at a fan event on January 11, 2014, in Los Angeles. I think it's fantastic!
DIANA GABALDON'S ROLE
Diana Gabaldon will NOT be involved in the casting, script-writing, or the day-to-day production of the series.
I am NOT writing this show. I am not CASTING this show. I do not have CONTROL over this show. (I do have input, and the production people are very kind about asking my opinion on things. This does not mean they have a legal obligation to take it. <wry g>)Look here for the full explanation in her own words. It's definitely worth reading!
Diana posted this comment on Compuserve on June 26, 2013:
Ron and Maril (his executive assistant) are Very Cool. They came out to my house--back before the deal was signed, when it was just in development--and spent two _days_ talking to me about the characters, the storylines, the stories that weren't in the books <g>, and telling me some of his ideas regarding the adaptation--which I thought were great. We got on fine, and I don't think the series could be in better hands. (This is not to say that nothing will go wrong; as Ron made clear, he could always be over-ruled on this, that, or the other by Starz. But we'll hope for the best.)Diana visited the set in February 2014 to see the filming, and she even made a cameo appearance! For her reaction, look here.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
The official website for the OUTLANDER TV series contains photos, videos, and much more!
Here's the OUTLANDER STARZ page on Facebook. And here is the OUTLANDER STARZ Instagram page.
If you're on Twitter, you can follow @Outlander_Starz for the latest updates. Sam Heughan (@Heughan) and Caitriona Balfe (@CaitrionaMBalfe) are also on Twitter, as are some of the other members of the cast and production team, like Ron Moore (@RonDMoore) and Maril Davis (@TallShipProds).
Here's the TV series page on Diana Gabaldon's official website, which is a great place to start if you're trying to catch up on the latest news.
FAN SITES (updated 9/17/2013 7:48 am)
Here are a few fan sites related to the OUTLANDER TV series. If you know of any more that you'd like to see added to this list, let me know.
Heughligans.com - a site devoted to all things related to Sam Heughan
Caitriots.com - a site devoted to all things related to Caitriona Balfe
OUTLANDER TV Series Wiki - this site will eventually include an episode guide, information about all the cast members, and more!
OUTLANDER TV News - a blog where you can find the latest news and information about the TV series.
NOTE FROM RON MOORE
Ron Moore, the show's executive producer, posted this comment on Facebook on June 25, 2013:
Exciting news today with the official announcement that Outlander is picked up for a 16 episode first season and I'm sure many of you are balancing your excitement with worry about how faithful we'll be to the original material. Let me tell you right from the start that we're fans of the books and our first priority is to be as true to the characters and the story that Diana Gabaldon has given us as we can. Put simply, our goal is to realize Outlander, not reinvent it.DIANA GABALDON AND RON MOORE AT NYCC
Here's a very interesting video of the Diana Gabaldon/Ron Moore fan event at NY Comic Con that took place on October 12, 2013. (I was invited to this event, but couldn't manage a trip to NYC on such short notice.)
Those of you outside the US may not be able to view it, but if you can, I would really encourage you to watch the whole thing. It's terrific! Near the end of the video, they show a collection of "concept art" from the TV series. These drawings are available here if you want to get a closer look at them.
More information to come later! I will keep this page updated as we learn more.