OUTLANDER RETURNS

Apr 9, 2016 by

Outlander returns tonight–are ye ready?

Outlander returns to Starz

Season Two has Claire and Jamie Fraser journeying to Paris. They will engage in a desperate game of espionage and diplomacy in order to stop the 1745 Jacobite Rising.

Their goal is change history and save the Scottish Highlands from the brutal changes Claire knows will be imposed after the Scottish loss at Culloden.

One thing I need to clarify:  Outlander returns tonight, but not always to Scotland.

Unlike the first season, season two is not filmed mostly in Scotland. The exterior scenes and Paris scenes are filmed in Prague( a bee-you-tiful city), other spots in Europe, and even the south of England.  The scenery will still be spectacular, just not the beauty of Scotland.


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Outlander Fans In Fife 

Jun 7, 2015 by

Outlander fans go star spotting as filming takes place in Fife

 

Lead actors Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were on set in Dysart Harbour, which has been transformed to portray the French port of Le Havre during the 1740s.

 

Dressed in period costume Balfe, who plays time-travelling nurse Claire Randall, and Heughan, who plays Highlander Jamie Fraser, shot scenes for the second series.

 

Outlander, dubbed Scotland’s Game of Thrones, has a legion of fans in the US and Canada, but is only available on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK.

Sourced from :Outlander fans go star spotting as filming takes place in Fife – Fife / Local / News / The Courier

~Haven’t read the books yet? Click HERE to get any of Diana Gabaldon’s first four novels in the Outlander series.  The DVD set of Starz’ Outlander cable series, Season One, Part One, is available HERE.

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Outlander Christmas List

Dec 11, 2014 by

In the spirit of simplicity, I cut waaay back on my Outlander Christmas list this year. 

Poor Santa gets stressed out when he gets a big, greedy Outlander Christmas list, so I have requested just ONE item. 

Yes, I am that selfless.*

All I want for Christmas is James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.  Honestly, my attention span is short these days,

and April 2015 is too long to wait to catch a glimpse of our Scottish hero. What’s a poor Outlander fan to do?

 

Hmmm…maybe I need a bit more.  Can I add Dougal Mackenzie to my Outlander Christmas list, Santa?

That’s just TWO things.

 

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My Outlander Christmas list is the essence of simplicity: Jamie Fraser.

 


*And I am not, Elf boy.


Pretty sure about that.


OK, more like “cautiously optimistic.”

 

If you’ve been suffering from the effects of Droughtlander, too, click HERE and HERE to see a couple of the new trailers for the second half of Season One.

I know, it’s like getting a fun size Snickers when you want/need the original, full size candy bar.  We’ll all just have to hang tough through this bleak midwinter.

May I suggest taking up a hobby, like, oh, I don’t know–whisky tasting?

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Sam Heughan Is Anglo Fan Man of 2014

Dec 6, 2014 by

It’s now official–Sam Heughan is America’s favorite British man.   BBC America’s Anglophenia blog just held their fourth annual Anglo Fan Favorite Men’s tourney and Sam Heughan won kilts down over fellow Scotsman, David Tennant.

 

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Handsome Scottish hottie, Sam Heughan image

 

America successfully drove out the mighty British army more than two hundred years ago, but we can’t seem to resist those sexy Scottish men who reach our shores via films and television.

For example, when someone mentions James Bond, your first thought likely is of Sean Connery, the Scotsman who made that role come alive — Connery IS Bond.  Now, everyone’s favorite book boyfriend, 18th century Highland warrior James Fraser from Outlander, has been brought to life by Scottish actor Sam Heughan, and we must say:

we like him, we really, REALLY like him!

 

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Sam Heughan as James Fraser in Starz’ hit show, Outlander-image via Starz

 

With 32 contestants and more than three million votes cast, Sam Heughan ultimately defeated his closest rival, David Tennant, by a whopping 61% to 39%.    That is no small feat by relative newcomer Heughan in light of Tennant’s huge fan following from Doctor Who and Broadchurch.  Click HERE to read fan comments about the agony of being forced to choose between Sam Heughan and David Tennant:

“David Tennant is a stellar actor. But Sam IS Jamie. Can’t we have them both?”

Here’s a brief thank you from Sam Heughan–on location in Scotland– to all the fans whose votes propelled him to victory:

 

While Droughtlander will continue until April 4, 2015 (when the second half of Season One continues), Starz kind of feels our pain. On the fourth of each month until April, Starz will release a bit of previously unseen footage from the first 8 episodes.  Here is the most recent tidbit:

 

More videos are available on Youtube,  and the full 8 episodes can be seen on Starz On Demand.

To truly understand why fans are so passionate about Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser, first read Diana Gabaldon’s books, starting with Outlander, then watch (or re-watch) the tv episodes.   You can then make your own decision as to whether Sam Heughan has earned his title as Anglo Fan Favorite of the Year for 2014.

I vote AYE.

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The Glenfinnan Monument And The Unknown Highlander

Oct 20, 2014 by

The Glenfinnan Monument stands on the shore of Loch Shiel in the Scottish Highlands, near the town of Lochaber.

This 60 foot tall stone tower was erected in 1815 to honor Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his arrival at Glenfinnan (Gleann Fhionghain) in 1745.  It was in this remote Highland spot that Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his royal standard and began a war that would ultimately destroy a way of life for the Highland clans.

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The Glenfinnan Monument on the shore of Loch Shiel. Image by Bernard Blanc

 

On August 19, 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, grandson of exiled Stuart King,  James II of England, journeyed from France to Eriskay in the Western Isles of Scotland. His intent was to lead an army of French, Irish and Scottish soldiers into battle against the English, and place himself on the throne of Scotland and England.   Bonnie Prince Charlie, or The Young Pretender, as he is often called, traveled to the Scottish mainland in a small rowing boat, coming ashore at Loch nan Uamh, just west of Glenfinnan.   On arrival, he was met by a small number of MacDonald clansmen, but within several days more MacDonalds, Camerons, Macfies and MacDonnells arrived to join Charlie’s cause.
Once enough clan support arrived, Prince Charlie climbed the hill near Glenfinnan and raised his royal standard, announcing his claim to the Scottish and the English thrones in the name of his father James Stuart, known as the Old Pretender.

 

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Charles Edward Stuart, by Allan Ramsay, painted in Edinburgh in 1745


The Jacobite cause–and the way of life of the Highland clans– would end in defeat and tragedy just eight months later, at Culloden. The Prince fled after the defeat at Culloden, and was vigorously pursued by the Duke of Cumberland.   After being hidden by loyal supporters, Charles boarded a French frigate on the shores of Loch nan Uamh, close to where he had landed and raised his standard the previous year. He would never set foot on Scottish soil again.  The Prince’s Cairn (Càrn Prionnsa) now marks the spot  where Charles left Scotland, never to return.

 

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The Prince’s Cairn marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie left Scotland, never to return. Image by Colin Smith

 

  The Glenfinnan Monument was erected in 1815 as a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.   A wealthy descendant of a Jacobite paid for the monument and it was designed by famed Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham. The Glenfinnan Monument now is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

 

You might think the figure atop the monument is Prince Charles Edward Stuart, but you’d be wrong.

 The statue is that of an unknown Scottish Highlander in full kilt, an enduring memorial to the tragic results of the Rising of 1745.

This clever video gives you a bird’s eye view of beautiful Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument:

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Surviving the Outlander Drought

Oct 14, 2014 by

 The season of the Outlander drought is now upon us. 

The first 8 episodes of Starz’ Outlander have come and gone and Outlander’s second half is a tantalizing goody bag we can’t open until April 15, 2015.  What’s an Outlander fan to do? 

 

If you are a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books, you already know –generally–what will happen in Episodes 9-16.  Executive producer Ron Moore has shown he’s not afraid to stray from the sacred text of Diana’s book.  Can we all say “wedding ring debacle“?

If you haven’t read the books yet, however, waiting for the second half of Outlander may be even more frustrating for you.  Your cinematic Outlander world is still nascent, showing thrilling promise, but, suddenly you’re cut off from all contact with the mother world.

 

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The Outlander drought: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. As Claire well knows.

 

 Wandering in the desert may be good for the soul; it’s hell on an Outlander fan, though. 

If you’ve got Jones on the jukebox and Jamie on your mind, here’s a few suggestions to whet your appetite during the Outlander drought.

 

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The Outlander drought: desperate measures for desperate times.

 

Admittedly, for many fans, the worst part of the Outlander drought is the lack of Jamie Fraser, played so well by hunky Scotsman, Sam Heughan.   In fact, Sam’s medieval muscle was just featured in the October 2014 issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine.   So, I say use the Outlander drought downtime to enjoy the myriad of Jamie Fraser/ Sam Heughan pictures on the net.

Try to avoid licking the screen, though.

Why not watch some of the many fan-created videos on YouTube while you wait for the Outlander drought to end?

The Outlander fandom is creative, devoted and TALENTED!

 

 

Tashopolis’ above video is the segue to my next suggestion for surviving the Outlander drought:

  READ. THE. BOOKS.

Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling books are what gave birth to the world of Scottish history, brave Highlanders and romantic, time traveling adventure we know as Outlander.   As I’ve said many times before, Outlander is NOT just a romance novel for women–not that’s there anything wrong with that.  Romance is by far the bestselling genre in fiction, and has been wrongly tagged by some in the so called media elite as lonely-women-with-cats/middle-aged-moms-with-issues pulp unworthy of the “modern”, intelligent female.

Uhm, yeah—NO.

These eight (with a ninth on track) hefty tomes, most over 500 pages, have serious historical cred for men AND women intrigued by Scottish history and-SPOILER ALERT-18th century American history.   Bloody battles like Culloden, as well as 18th century weaponry, culture and daily life (not romantic topics) are all carefully detailed within the Outlander book series.

Keeping in mind that the novels are historical fiction, I think they do a damn fine job on the history side, too.  Gabaldon accurately and movingly (hence the millions of fans) tells the story of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and its devastating aftermath in the Scottish Highlands, a tragedy that echoes down the generations to many Americans whose ancestors fled their native land to escape the brutal reprisals imposed by the British.

My last, but by no means least, recommendation for surviving the Outlander drought is to go to Scotland.

  You may not have time or the means to get to Scotland before Outlander returns in April 2015, but you can start planning your trip.

Notice that I’m not saying you should consider going to Scotland or that you should think about taking a trip to Scotland.   I’m saying you MUST go to Scotland.  Make it happen– start saving your pennies,  win the lottery, find your own circle of standing stones–do whatever it takes to get yourself on a plane to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

 

Nothing short of seeing Scotland with your own eyes, your own heart, can truly convey the story of Outlander.

Scotland is the main character of both the books AND the television series, and unlike Jamie Fraser, it’s a character you can actually touch, explore, feel under your hands.   I can promise you this–once you go to Scotland,  you’ll find yourself caught up in a new,  yet ancient love story even more stirring than Outlander.

A bold statement maybe, but then again, I’ve been to Scotland.  I became part of the love story that is Scotland long before Jamie Fraser was even a twinkle in Diana’s eye.

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A Breath-taking Scottish Highlander

Sep 24, 2014 by

The Scottish Highlander has at last married his Sassenach lass in Starz’ cable series Outlander.

Episode 7 of the first season, aptly entitled “The Wedding” has come and gone, leaving Outlander fans eager for the mid-season finale.  While I do look forward to the action of the upcoming episodes, I increasingly find myself almost more eager to see the costumes.  The wedding dress designed by Terry Dresbach for Claire was truly exquisite, but the groom, James Fraser, was–as Diana Gabaldon describes in her novel– positively “breath-taking.”

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James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser–THE Scottish Highlander. Original image here.

Fair is fair–Claire was also stunningly attired in her intricate, beautiful wedding dress (not the same as the book wedding dress, though):

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Dressed to thrill a Scottish Highlander. Original image here.

Behind the scenes of the Outlander wedding episode:

 

There are many talented costume designers for big shows such as Game of Thrones, Once Upon A Time and Downton Abbey, but I hope wise Emmy voters will give a nod next year to Outlander’s costume designer, Terry Dresbach (producer Ron Moore’s wife). Click HERE to read her blog about designing Scottish Highlander costumes for the characters of Outlander.  

Terry Dresbach’s authentic and skilled costume designs do honor not only to Outlander, the book and cable series, but more importantly,

they honor the history and breath-taking beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

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