Starz put together a wonderful event on Saturday the 12th while Diana Gabaldon and Ron Moore were in New York City already for Comic Con. All their efforts showed an incredible respect and appreciate of the fans that shocked many of those present. The event was larger than I had anticipated it would be, but the venue was gorgeous, they served a free buffet-style lunch to all present with high quality food and free drinks, and gave away free t-shirts (not of cheap quality either) and a small copy of ‘Outlander’ for each guest signed by both Diana Gabaldon and Ron Moore. I, for one, am surprised and impressed with how Starz has handled this project so far. They deserve a great deal of applause for all they’ve done so far and I am reassured that they will do this project justice for the sake of the fans.
As for the Q&A portion of the event, some of the information was the same as was covered in the panel from Friday night at Comic Con, so I will only include new information that was presented. Please check out my previous post about the NYCC panel for other new and exciting news, as well.
Friday night at the panel, Ron talked about how the people at Starz read the book and came back to him, saying for him to make the show for the fans and trust that those who haven’t read the book will also like the show. The man that Ron was referring to happened to be the one introducing them at Saturday’s event. He revealed to the fans that Ron gave him a copy of the book which he read – wait for it – overnight! This was received with much cheering from the fans.
John Dahl is responsible for directing the first two episodes, which they are currently working on, and will then be split into the two separate episodes.
Ron reassured fans that we may see the audition tapes that Diana keeps referring to as special features on the dvds of the show. One of the fans asked him if there will be subtitles for when the characters are speaking in languages other than English, but he informed us that there will not since the book is not set up with translations, either.
Expanding on what he said Friday evening about starting with the book when writing the scripts, Ron said they even paid someone to transcribe all the dialogue from the book onto cards they could put on their storyboard to ensure that as much of the original language of the book is used as possible.
Diana then revealed, to everyone’s surprise, that she has yet to meet Sam. Ron spoke at length about why he liked the book as much as he did, specifically how he liked that he couldn’t predict it. The moment that most caught him off guard was *spoiler alert* shortly after Jamie and Claire were married and he tells her to remain in the little wooded area while they go to handle other business. She then realizes that she is near Craigh na Dune and takes off towards it, intent on returning home to Frank if she can. He said that it was a ‘bold’ and ‘interesting move’.
Something I thought particularly interesting was Diana talking about the first scene she wrote for the book, which was actually the part where *spoiler alert* Jamie’s sister explains to him what it is like to be pregnant. She said she was on a message board one evening and that a gentleman on there was arguing with her about what pregnancy feels like for a woman and that she posted this scene on the forum for him to read in order to educate him. She said that others read it, as well, and immediately asked her for more. She told the fans that she has been thrilled from the very first time someone read her work. In fact, she said that she likes it better when with a small group of readers so she can hear specifics from them on their reactions to her work and discuss it with them. She also said that doing the research for her books is not the most difficult part of writing, but rather figuring out how to describe what it is she has researched. What was also interesting was how she talked about her emotional reaction to her own work. She said that she does not cry when reading her work, but that it does happen when she first writes those parts. Whenever she receives the first copy of her newest book in print, she sits down and reads it through, and then reads it several more times during the book tour. She joked about flipping through the pages and smelling that new-book smell. 🙂
As for all the fans calling for Diana to have a cameo, Ron graciously offered her one if she wants it. I can’t say that Diana’s expression was favorable towards that idea, though. Don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t happen, guys.
All of those working on the show have been encouraged by Ron to read the book, and the actors have been given ‘homework’ to prepare them for their parts. Those working on the show are taking ‘enormous’ efforts to make sure that the final product is as authentic as possible, down to the little details, even. This is greatly the result of Ron’s push as the show runner. It was also revealed that all the parts for the first season have been cast and that we should be receiving further news on casting soon.
Diana offered a couple more insights into her writing process, as well. It surprised me to hear that she doesn’t plan out her books ahead of time, but rather just sits down and writes. It is interesting for me to hear the different methods authors use in writing their books, which is just as diverse as the way directors put together their films/shows, I’m sure. I was also trilled to hear that the inspiration for this series was actually an episode of ‘Dr. Who’ where The Doctor picks up a young Scottish man from the past. She decided to write this book as practice, not realizing it would go beyond that. She started with the character of Jamie and that of Claire developed as she wrote. She recalled specifically a scene where Claire walks into the small house and encounters Dougal for the first time. Claire’s response to his questioning did not fit with the period at all and, try as she might, she could not get Claire to speak as the rest of the Scots around her. Diana stopped fighting and accepted that she would have to figure out how Claire got there later, which is how the element of time travel was introduced to the book. So, according to Diana, it is Claire’s fault that there is time travel in the books. 😀
One fan in particular was concerned that a situation similar to that on ‘Game of Thrones’ might occur where the series progresses faster than the books are being written. “I write a lot faster than George does,” she replied, the fans erupting in laughter at that. Let’s hope that is the case, but either way, there is more than enough material for the show at the time being and she’ll have quite a few years to write more books while they are working through the earlier ones.
Ron and Diana could not think of anything in particular that is going to be missing from the show, yet, though Ron admitted that the scene with the cows running through the prison is absolutely on his mind right now, in relation to how he will get this in the show.
When asked how they would do themselves if they fell through a stone circle into the past, Diana replied that she was a field ecologist before and feels she would do very well if it happened. Ron, however, was of a different opinion as to his own chances if that happened.
As was mentioned Friday at the panel, the story is being told entirely from Claire’s perspective, as the ‘Outlander’ book is set up. This means that information from ‘Exile’ will not be seen, at least not yet.
When asked how graphic the show would be (in relation to violence, gore, and sex), Ron vehemently replied, “Well you read the book!”. Since this is a premium show channel, I think we can expect it to be just as graphic as they want it to be. Diana’s face sure lit up during the discussion about the graphic nature of the books and show, though it seemed to be more excitement about the fighting and blood than the sex.
At this point, the only other country that has purchased rights to distribute the show is Canada, which will run the show on ‘Showcase’. The others are not known, yet.
Ron said that they are currently working on writing the beating scene and that they have up through episode 9 written so far. He then clarified that episodes 7 through 10 are in the works right now, in regards to the scripts.
So, now that I have divulged all the new and exciting information I could, here are some photos I was able to snag, though I’m sure with the number of cameras going yesterday, you will likely have already seen many of these. (Clicking on the picture will give you the full-size version).
This is a conceptual drawing (as they all are) of a courtyard of Castle Leoch.
This is Claire’s clinic of sorts at Castle Leoch.
And this is obviously the stable at Castle Leoch.
Both above and below are conceptual drawings of Lallybroch. Ron mentioned Friday at the panel that the current building has no floors and they would need to build those before the interior scenes. What this means is that the conflict they are going to show early on between Jamie and Black Jack Randall will take place in the courtyard in front of the house, rather than inside since that will need to be filmed much earlier than the other interior scenes.
And in the distance of the drawing below, you can see Jamie and Claire, close together in the Scottish highlands.
And then, just for fun, here is me with Ron after everyone had finished with lunch on the roof of the ‘hotel’:
With Diana, where I mentioned this website and she said that she is aware of it and that Sarah and I do a very good job 😀 (though I have to say Sarah more than myself since she is far more experienced and talented with all this)
And we saw the back of this t-shirt on twitter the other day, and it ended up being the one they gave to all the fans on the way out the door. I, of course, immediately had to go change before the next panel I was set to attend. Great conversation starter 😀
I hope you all enjoyed reading this flood of information on Outlander, between Friday’s panel and yesterday’s special event. I especially want to thank all of our followers, particularly those who have been so encouraging through twitter while I was in New York. It was a very long weekend, but all of you more than made it worth the effort (and the money)! Love you all!!! And tell all your friends about this very exciting show, though I’m sure you already are. 🙂
Source: Outlander TV News