Thursday, July 27, 2017

E online interviews Outlander, SDCC

Outlander Stars Apologize for the Droughtlander and Tease the New Dynamics of Season 3
For full article

"Outlander" Stars Talk New Season 3 Characters

In the words of Caitriona Balfe, "The Droughtlander is real."
Outlander has been away for far too long at this point, but season three will finally be here in just under two months. Thanks to the fact that we were there for their surprise premiere screening at Comic-Con, we can tell you—it's worth the wait. But we're not the only ones who can tell you that.

"It's been a while, and we're sorry to the fans that it took so long, but you know, we put a lot of care and effort into our show and it just takes us a while to film it," Balfe tells us.

"I think they've survived," Sam Heughan adds. "At least we hope they have, there's still people there."

"Hopefully they're still around, they're still alive, and they're going to be ready to watch it on September 10th," says Balfe. (Trust us—they are.)

After two seasons of serious romance between Claire (Balfe) and Jamie (Heughan), season three takes us on a new journey into new time periods, after Claire goes back through the stones to her own time and her other husband.

"For me, I was filming a lot with Tobias and Sophie, so it was great. Didn't miss him at all," Balfe jokes about filming away from Heughan.

"They tried to keep us apart at all times," Heughan adds. "We have some great stories, great episodes of the two characters, sort of following through their lives without each other, and then eventually when they do reunite, I think no one's going to be disappointed."

The beginning of season three finds Claire and Frank (Tobias Menzies) dealing with her return and the impending arrival of Claire and Jamie's daughter, who Frank has agreed to raise as his own. It's a different Frank and a different facet of Menzies than we've seen through much of the series so far.

"We start of in Boston with Frank and Claire, so we get to sort of see a bit of all that, and it was really nice to revisit actually," Menzies says. "Great to be back with Cait. She gets a little feisty, she throws some stuff, we have a few fights. I think we put some really good stuff together. We sort of see them kind of trying to make life work, even the woman whose heart is elsewhere."

Outlander Season 3's Trailer Has Finally Arrived! Get Your First Look at Claire &...

Of course, we've seen Menzies, Heughan, and Balfe on screen for two whole seasons now, but we've only had one episode to get to know Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin, who join the cast full time later this season but seem to have had no trouble fitting in.

"It is a very sort of family feel crew and cast," Skelton tells us. "Although, to be fair, we kind of came in toward the end of the season, and these guys are ready to drop and we're there all fresh-faced and energy. They've been traipsing through the mud and rain for months, so I think they were probably ready to push us in the mud as like an initiation to Outlander. But everyone was great."

"It was nice to have some enthusiasm come in at the end of season two, because, you know, you get to the end and you're flagging a little, so it was good," Balfe adds.

As for when we'll actually see Skelton and Rankin on the show again, we...won't?

"Oh I'm not back on it," Rankin jokes. "I was supposed to be, but they vetoed it."
"He's just here for the free food," says Balfe.
Outlander finally returns—including Skelton and Rankin, eventually—Sunday, September 10 on Starz.

Friday, July 7, 2017

We have our Outlander panel for Comic-Con 2017

Tobias Menzies, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan will all be on the Outlander panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. The announcement came as the date, July 21, and ballroom, 20, were also finally released.

EW's announcement that Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin will accompany the main cast at San Diego Comic-Con is quite the surprise! The show runner Ron D Moore and Maril Davis will also be in attendance, along with Diana Gabaldon of course.

For the direct link:

EW Mag
@Lynette Rice

It’s official, Outlander nation — the hit Starz drama is coming to Comic-Con this month in San Diego!

Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and Caitriona Balfe (Claire Fraser) will headline an all-star Outlander panel planned for 5 p.m. July 21 in Ballroom 20. Also joining the pair on the dais in the San Diego Convention Center are Tobias Menzies (Black Jack Randall/Frank Randall); Sophie Skelton (Brianna Randall); Richard Rankin (Roger Wakefield); executive producer Ronald D. Moore, executive producer Maril Davis and author Diana Gabaldon.

To help shepherd the discussion about season 3, Starz has recruited actress/dancer and major fan Jenna Dewan Tatum to serve as moderator.

Fans will have multiple chances to get their Outlander fix at Comic-Con. Starz has scheduled an autograph signing session with the cast in its booth, No. 4029, on July 22. (Time is TBA for now). Folks who visit the Starz booth on Thursday and Friday can enter a raffle for a chance to win a spot at the Saturday signing.

We will add fan photos and updates here as the promotional information comes in...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

“Serving Milord and Milady: a butler’s life” An interview with Robbie McIntosh by your Aussie Blogging Lass

OutlanderHomepage Originals By Susie Brown 

No matter where their adventures take them, Jamie and Claire Fraser seem to have the good fortune of having by their side companions who will do anything to see them safe. Chief amongst these loyal men and women is, of course, Jamie’s godfather, Murtagh. But during season 2 in France, viewers met another man who became just as devoted to his Lord and Lady. Magnus, the butler of Jared Fraser’s household, was involved in some of the most dramatic and emotional scenes in season 2, including the duel between Jamie and Black Jack, Claire’s miscarriage and finally, her emotional return without Jamie by her side. So what was it like to portray this ‘Murtagh of France’? Actor Robbie McIntosh kindly agreed to chat to us about his character - as well as his career before and after Outlander. 

It was, perhaps, destiny that Robbie was cast in the role of Magnus. France has been a significant part of his life for many years and indeed, was even instrumental in his choice of career. 

“I was born and raised in Glasgow and then spent my adolescence in Livingston, which sits half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. When I finished school, I went to Edinburgh University to study French,” Robbie explained. “Whilst studying, I fell in love with two things that I’ve never lost my passion for – French language and the movies. When I finished my degree I then spent a year in New York studying filmmaking at Columbia University and, during that time, realised that I liked being in front of the camera just as much as I liked being behind it!

On returning to Europe I started teaching translation at the Sorbonne in Paris. A few of my colleagues and I set up a theatre group for the students to help them develop their English through acting. We booked theatres, printed tickets, directed performances and put on shows that were hugely successful. I realised that this was the world I was meant for and so I quit Paris, returned to Scotland and started my career as an actor.

Since then, I have had the great good fortune to appear in such classics of Scottish TV as the crime drama ‘Taggart’ and I continue to make my own work, doing lots of theatre, commercials, voice overs and all the other things that go into making a career as an actor.”

With such a knowledge of the French language, it is somewhat ironic that the character of Magnus didn’t have a lot of dialogue. But this was not something that bothered Robbie. 

“The amazing thing about my role as Magnus was that it combined the two greatest parts of my personality – acting and a love of French,” he said. “It was an incredible experience to bring those two things together in Outlander.” 

When we made reference to Magnus’s part in the pivotal duel and miscarriage scenes, Robbie was quick to express his thanks for the praise he has received since the episodes aired, as well as to bestow his own praise on the other people involved in their creation. 

“I have received so many kind comments about those scenes and I am most humbled by them,” he said. “In acting, all I really want to do is to connect with the viewers on an emotionally truthful level and to help drive the different layers of the drama along.”

But did that truth come at a personal cost? Surely it must have been emotionally draining to perform those scenes? 

“The duel scene was actually enormous fun to shoot, as there was lots of horse and carriage urgency, swashbuckling and disaster, which made such a change from the very formal nature of my presence in the apartment,” Robbie said. “Also, don’t forget, it was Magnus who had told Murtagh where they could duel without being caught, so I felt responsible for the calamity that was befalling Jamie and (oh my goodness) poor Claire.

With regard to filming Claire’s homecoming from hospital, the mood on the set (which is normally the most upbeat and industrious place you could ever hope for) took on a much quieter and sombre tone for the afternoon. Most of the actors involved in the scene stayed away from each other between takes and kept themselves to themselves. I remember spending the day just thinking about what Claire had gone through and allowing the feelings to sit just below the surface until we shot the scene. The role of our director, Metin Hüseyin, cannot be underestimated in creating the mood and refining the performances that day. Nor can the talent of the one and only Ms Balfe be overlooked! As I mentioned, I had done a lot of prep work for the scene but – truly – when Cait stepped out of the carriage and looked at me, I just fell apart anyway. She is a powerful human being and her life force as an actor is awesome.

Behind it all, I need to acknowledge the writer of the episode, Toni Graphia. She had mentioned to me that she was going to give Magnus something special for his final scene. I couldn’t quite believe that it would be so very moving, though.”

Robbie continued his praise of everyone on the Outlander team, as he shared some memories of his time on set. We wondered if there were any funny or poignant moments that stood out, and whether or not he was given a “Magnus memento”.

Every person on the Outlander set is knocking it out of the park every day,” Robbie enthused. “From the writers and producers through to the casting team, technicians, costume and wardrobe people, location scouts and managers, camera crew and ADs - not to mention the explosion of talent all over the screen – it is where great people do their best work. That’s why the show is so successful.

In terms of funny moments, there are so many! It is hard to be in a room with Sam and Cait for long before you find yourself laughing uncontrollably, and when things go wrong during a take it is hilarious. As for poignant moments, I think my final scene was a special moment I will always keep close to my heart.

In terms of mementos, the only things I’ve kept are fond memories and good friendships.”

Despite his love of both France and Scotland, if given the chance to travel through the stones himself, Robbie would choose a totally different location.

“I’d travel to ancient Greece to eat fresh figs,” he said,  “whilst watching classical tragedies in sunlit amphitheatres!”

Robbie’s time on Outlander may have come to an end, but it seems he has taken a butler’s ability to multitask away with him! 

“I’m busy, busy, busy!” he said, when we asked what was coming up next. “I have a number of films in various stages of completion and a new TV project that, for the moment, I am required to keep to myself. I’m also working on a two-hander play which I hope to present in the fall.”

With a final nod to his humble alter-ego, Robbie’s parting words were to the Outlander fandom. 

“Thank you so much for interviewing me,” he said, “and a special thank you for the kindness and generosity shown by all those wonderful Outlander fans worldwide!”

And now it’s our turn to thank Robbie, for his own generosity in sharing his time and his stories with us.

This interview was conducted by Susie Brown, a teacher-librarian and writer who lives in Australia. Whenever she watches episode 7, it is always the scene between Magnus and Claire that makes her cry. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

“Being The Good Guy” - an interview with Laurence Dobiesz by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Any Outlander fan can tell you that there are three important Randall men in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. In the Starz TV adaptation, two of these men - the notorious Black Jack of the 18th century and Claire’s 20th century husband, Frank - are portrayed by the one actor, Tobias Menzies. But what of the third Randall, Black Jack’s younger brother, Alex? Although the total opposite to his brother in personality, Alex is the spitting image of him physically - a fact that initially had fans wondering if Tobias Menzies would end up playing all 3 roles. This idea was quickly dismissed by Outlander producers, but when publicity photos of Alex Randall started to appear, many fans commented on the uncanny physical similarities between Menzies and the newly cast Laurence Dobiesz. From photographs alone, the family connection between the two men was totally believable. So what was it like to bring the kind-hearted Randall brother to life? Luckily for us here at Outlander Homepage, Laurence Dobiesz agreed to chat to us about the process. 

By Outlander Homepage Originals, Susie Brown

It seems that acting has always been in Laurence’s blood.

“Acting kind of chose me,” he explained. “From a very early age I was an incorrigible show off, the shortest guy at nursery school with the loudest voice! My first role was as Oliver in the West End production of Oliver. It’s still the best fun I’ve had as an actor for sure.”

Jumping forward in time to his Outlander audition, Laurence was definitely given a memorable introduction to his intended character’s family history. 

“I hadn’t seen the show before I got the audition, so I watched a couple of episodes to prepare,” he explained. “They just happened to be the ‘whipping’ episode and the ‘prison’ episode - so I was pretty scarred after that!”

Fortunately, Laurence wasn’t deterred from joining the Randall family, and once cast, quickly set about creating his character! We wondered if there was any collaboration with Tobias Menzies when it came to displaying common mannerisms between the brothers. 

“As it happened, my mannerisms - in terms of vocal and physical things - were close enough to Tobias’ that I didn’t have to worry too much about that, “ Laurence said. “So I just concentrated on creating Alex as his own character. After all, Jack and Alex are not twins and are very, very different…”

One of these differences was the health of the two men. While Jack displayed the ability to survive a stampede of wild beasts at the end of season 1, Alex’s health deteriorated with each appearance in season 2. Surely this brought its own challenges? 

“ It was definitely demanding during those final scenes,” Laurence agreed. “However that’s the stuff you want to do as an actor, so the slightly sore throat was well worth it.”

When asked for a favourite scene, Laurence found it hard to pick just one.  

“Being in a heavy scene with the likes of Cat, Tobias and Rosie was a joy,” he said. “Is joy the right word? Maybe a demanding, sore joy!” 

The major characters of Black Jack, Jamie and Claire are well established by the time Alex  Randall appears on screen. We wondered what it was like to join the set as the ‘new kid on the block’.

“The Outlander set is run like a tight (tall) ship,” Laurence explained, “but unlike many sets I’ve been on, they manage to keep it fun and friendly. As a new character on the show or as a less seasoned actor, this is such a relief as it makes you feel at home right away. My stint on the show was fairly short, but the camaraderie and the little world they’ve created at the studio made me feel part of a family, and that fuzzy feeling still remains.”

So did he take anything else home with him, other than these fuzzy feelings? 

“ I’d like to say I kept a memento from set,” Laurence replied,  “but all I managed to pilfer were a set of curtain ties that matched mine at home. What can I say, I’m a badass!”

If given the opportunity to do a bit of time travel himself, it turns out that Laurence wouldn’t venture too far into the past. 

“I would travel to 1970s Liverpool,” he said, “so that I could watch the Liverpool team of the time at Anfield - and across Europe! They were good days for the Reds!” 

Finally, we asked Laurence what is coming up next in his career. 

“I have been busy writing a few things,” he replied, “ including a sports comedy screenplay and a TV sitcom which I’m writing with my wife. Acting-wise, I’m about to record my first radio drama for the BBC. And then of course, I’ll return as the cockney music hall star ‘Randy’ Randall, the great great grandson of Alex, in Outlander Season Four. (OK, one of the above isn’t true....”)

We’d like to thank Laurence for chatting with us and look forward to his next collaborations, whether factual or fictional! 

This interview was conducted by Susie Brown, a teacher-librarian and children’s writer who lives in Australia. Personally, she’d love to see the character of ‘Randy’ Randall - and wonders what his music hall act would be!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Scottish Sun says Diana Gabaldon has a heart of gold!

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon helps raise thousands for Scotland’s terminally ill in visit to Highlands gift shop

The 65-year-old put The Old School Beauly on the map during a special book singing where 400 fans flocked to see her.

The Scottish Sun 
By Mary McCool

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KIND-HEARTED Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has helped raise thousands for terminally ill Scots during a visit to a Highlands gift shop.

The 65-year-old wordsmith put The Old School Beauly shop in Beauly, Inverness on the map during a special book signing where 400 fans from around the world flocked to see her.

The author signed copies of her books

The village is one of the settings for her books, which tell the story of World War II nurse who is transported back to Scotland in 1743 and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite risings.

The small business, while sells clothing, accessories and gifts, expected no more than 40 people to attend the event.

But owners William and Helen Crawford were “overwhelmed” when people travelled from all over the world to meet the beloved author.

Ticket sales for the event helped raise £2,000 which will be donated to Highland Hospice – a charity providing care for people living with an advancing, life shortening illness and their families in the north of Scotland.

Diana also honoured staff by cutting the ribbon for the opening of their new books and stationary section.

Diana cut the ribbon on the new book shop

Fans queued in their droves outside the shop to meet the author – who is consultant on the TV adaptation of the Outlander saga.

After the event, a post on the shop’s Facebook page read: “This was a stand out day for us in Beauly.

“Kind thanks to Diana Gabaldon for opening our new Book and Stationery Department, for entertaining us with her beguiling and word-tastic Talk, for signing so many books and helping us raise over £2,000 for Highland Hospice.

“Thanks also to the many hundreds who came and enjoyed this special day.”

Owner William Crawford told the Scottish Sun: “It’s a really important charity and we’re just delighted.

“We thought at most 40 people would come but to have ticket sales of £2000 plus a signed copy of her book which we’ll raffle at auction for charity is really good.
“We’ve had interest from people all over the world and we loved to have Diana in our tiny village in the Highlands.

“She’s such a lovely person – it’s so good she’s helping people.”

Helen and William Crawford with the beloved author

This week Diana revealed that Scots actor Sam Heughan went from feeling like a rock star to rock bottom — when a boat scene left him sick.

The author has recently returned from South Africa, where the Scots actor is making the third series of the hit historical fantasy drama.

She also sent fans into a flurry after tweeting about her arrival in Scotland.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Caitriona in Ghana Part 2

The people behind Caits Caraids 2017 are launching their new campaign!  At @CaitsCaraids on twitter!

To tweet your support and donate:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Inside the world of Outlander

Outlander named best book adaptation

Outlander’ named TV’s best book adaptation — Sorry, ‘Game of Thrones’!

Marcus James Dixon
By The GoldDerby

For the full article

Starz and HBO

In our showdown poll last week that asked our readers to name TV’s best book adaptation, “Outlander” fans came out in droves to vote for their favorite romance/time travel series. The Starz hit drama earned a whopping 92% of the vote, compared to only 8% for runner-up “Game of Thrones.” Do you agree with the results of our poll? Be sure to sound off down in the comments section.

Both series are currently in the midst of ridiculously long hiatuses, with “Outlander” returning in September and “GoT” coming back July 16. But thanks in part to the fact that they began decades ago in book form, the television programs have extremely passionate fan bases that are willing to wait out the droughts.

Based on Dina Gabaldon‘s book series, the upcoming season of “Outlander” will be based on the third novel “Voyager.” See the Top 11 “Outlander” Season 3 spoilers. And “Game of Thrones” is adapted from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” five-book series by George R. R. Martin. The fantasy show has now surpassed the novels, but two more books are forthcoming from Martin, which we hope are published sooner rather than later.

When it comes to awards shows, the Emmys have made their choice clear. After six seasons, “Game of Thrones” is now the most awarded show in Emmy history with 38 trophies including Best Drama Series in 2015 and 2016. “Outlander,” on the other hand, is the reigning champ at the People’s Choice Awards with four victories including Favorite TV Show.

Predict the Emmy nominees now; change them until July 13

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.