‘Outlander’ Panel At San Diego Comic Con 2017

There are a few things that happen after San Diego Comic Con that are very real, some people will have contracted the “Con Crud” with sniffles, coughing, and just general ‘yuck’ that comes from a body in contact with millions of other bodies, lack of proper food and proper sleep. There will be the “Con Blues” that everything is all over after a year of planning, and then there is the “Con Rebound” the excitement of all the fun, new, exciting, things coming from all the companies that were present. The company that has us most excited for the Fall of 2017? STARZ!

This year Starz brought back ‘Outlander’ to San Diego, and what a return it was with a full replica of A. Malcolm’s print shop as the booth on the floor (more to come on that later), a one and a half hour panel, and an autograph signing session with the cast and crew. The highlight of all of this for attendees being the showing of Season 3 Episode 1 during the panel portion of the weekend. Sarah and I were both in attendance and over the next few days will be bringing details of everything ‘Outlander’ that we were able to take in and see. This post however will be all about the panel.

It was announced a few weeks before the start of Comic Con that the ‘Outlander’ panel would be being held at 5pm in Ballroom 20 on Friday evening. Ballroom 20 is the second largest room at the venue and holds 4,500 people. Even with the large capacity and it being the last main panel of the day, there were many fans that were worried they wouldn’t be able to make it into the room. This created what I am referring to as “Clan Camplander” there were people that decided to camp out the night before, so they got into what is referred to as the “Everything Else” line at Comic Con because it it literally the line for everything that is not Hall H (the largest room of the venue) on THURSDAY night! They slept outside all night and then when the doors opened on Friday morning between 8:30-9:00am they moved inside to line up in the line dedicated to just Ballroom 20. Once the doors opened to the room they were able to move in for the day and watch all the panels that took place. I don’t know all of the panels that took place beforehand because I was not in “Clan Camplander”, I woke up and met my group that would be rotating shifts for Hall H, had breakfast, and went to the main convention floor for a while, I even ran into and chatted with Beth and Karen from That’s Normal. This is when I walked around and saw all the various ‘Outlander’ merchandise vendors were offering. I will be writing a more detailed post on what was available on the floor. I then headed towards the Starz booth to meet with the Marketing Director since I was not in town for Preview Night. We discussed the booth, props on hand that were flown in, and the dedication of many of the fans. After standing for a bit and watching all the excitement at the booth, the printing press men working their magic, and gawking at THE bell. I finished looking at the booths I was interested in (most had capped lines so I didn’t even really get up close), grabbed a snack, and stopped by the second of the day Diana Gabaldon signing in the Sails pavilion which only had only two people in line. I have never seen a signing where Diana had a break to sit without a sharpie or pen in her hand. After saying hello I made my way towards Ballroom 20.


When I got to Ballroom 20 a panel was just finishing up so I had to wait for the doors to open but when they did I was able to walk up and sit in the fourth row, there were many empty seats especially if you were sitting solo. I made my way to a group of my friends and noticed almost all of the packed first 5 or 6 rows were ‘Outlander’ fans many in costumes and themed or tartan shirts. The first panel up for me was EW’s Brave New Warriors and Starz’ Ricky Whittle (American Gods), and Richard Rankin (Outlander) were two of the panelist. It was moderated by Lynette Rice who is a self proclaimed ‘Outlander’ fan and co-hosts a Sirius/XM show called ‘Outlander LIVE’. This was one of the most entertaining panels of the weekend, if anyone still questioned their thoughts on Richard Rankin his showmanship, humor, and exuberance had to win even the toughest critic over. Richard and Ricky had great banter and it was just so much fun. As of writing this the full panel hasn’t been released but here is the reaction to the question, ‘How would you react if you saw a fan with a tattoo of your face on them”?


While the EW Brave New Warriors panel was happening inside the rest of the cast were doing interviews and hopping around to locations outside of the convention center.

A couple of panels were set between Brave New Warriors and ‘Outlander’ one of the shows I am now looking forward to is, Marvels ‘Gifted’. This is the great thing about SDCC you sometimes find new television, movies, or books to enjoy in the process.  Soon enough it was time for ‘Outlander’ the crowd went wild before the lights had even finished dimming and the only security of the day was in place between the crowd and stage. I did stand up to grab a quick look towards the back and there were plenty of open seats I would say the room was about three quarters full and I saw a lot of Batman and Harley Quinn costumes towards the back waiting for the animated series that would be shown after. So no camping out was needed, it was indeed a walk in situation.

Jenna Dewan Tatum another self proclaimed ‘Outlander’ fan was the upbeat moderator for the panel. On the panel were Ron D. Moore, Maril Davis, Diana Gabaldon, Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, Tobias Menzies, Sam Heughan, and Caitriona Balfe. Jenna did a segment called “Truth or Dance” and it wasn’t my personal favorite but many seemed to enjoy it.


One thing that really stuck out to me was the interest in Tobias, Tobias had a LOT of questions come his way and I am in no way complaining, I thought it was nice considering in the past at events I feel like Tobias is more quiet and reserved with others taking the lead to answer, so it was nice to hear replies from him. A surprise appearance was made by Graham McTavish who finished his ‘Preacher’ panel in Hall H and was the only one that truly seemed to be in the spirit for Truth or Dance, he has some moves. Graham also brought out a glass of whisky that Sam and Caitriona were quick to grab a hold of (I don’t blame them).


Richard entertained the audience with his “American” accents, and Sophie said after auditioning twice she had to screen test with Richard as well as Cait. Both Richard and Sophie had read the books and Sophie after watching Season 1 numerous times even tried to imitate some of Jamie and Claire’s mannerisms. Sam shared what it was like to be on the flight to SDCC with a lady who was watching Season 1 on the plane in front of him.


The grand finale was when they were saying closing remarks and said they would be showing the Season 3 trailer again. (Special shout out to the lady sitting behind me that noticed it had only been half an hour and was already viciously screaming at the stage that it wasn’t fair the panel was over and being cut short) In fact it was a surprise screening of the first episode of Season 3 “The Battle Joined”. Don’t worry no spoilers here, our thoughts and spoiler free review will be coming shortly. As the credits ran everyone seemed to move in a state of slow motion, either from being in those tiny seats all day or because they didn’t really want the amazingness of the last hour and a half to end. I know for me I was content and so very happy, then I picked up my bags and headed for the marina. I had a ‘Vikings’ event to get to.

For those of you that were there were you part of “Clan Campout”? What time did you get to the room? What was your favorite part of the panel? For those that were unable to make it to SDCC this year and have yet to see the panel it is attached below in its entirety.


Source: Starz, Outlander TV News