Droughtlander Survival Guide – Part 2

So you’ve rewatched Seasons 1 and 2, you have Skye Boat Song as your ring tone, Jamie as your screensaver and you’ve read all the books. What else can you do to get you through Droughtlander? I know it’s blasphemous but there ARE a few other watchable shows out there. Here are a few of my favouites:

White Queen (Stan)

Based on Phillippa Gregory’s books (The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter), this lush period piece starring Rebecca Ferguson and Max Irons is set during the War of the Roses where the Yorks and the Lancasters fight over who should be King. It’s based on factual history and the tells the story of three of the main female characters during the time. The leads are good looking, the story exciting and full of intrigue, there is love, sex, and even witchcraft!

Seasons – 1 (10 episodes)

Available on DVD


Poldark (ABC)

A reboot of the popular 1970s British series, we find Ross Poldark returning home to Cornwall after fighting in the American War of Independence to find his father dead, his estate in ruins and to top it all off his lady love is now engaged to his cousin! He decides to try to make ago of his father’s mining business and in the process employs the young tomboy Demelza as a kitchen maid after saving her from a beating. As time passes, Demelza developes in to a comely lass who finally manages to snag the hunky Ross’s attention. The main drawcard to this show is the very gorgeous Aiden Turner, he of Being Human, The Hobbit (Kili the dwarf) and Mortal Instruments: City of Bones fame. His bare chested scything scene was somewhat of a sensation when the show first aired. I’m getting a little flushed just thinking about it! Watch Season 1 now – Season 2 starts on ABC soon.

Seasons – 2

Season 1 available on DVD


Game of Thrones (Foxtel)

This is the show that paved the way for epic book adaptions such as Outlander, and to which they alas must always be compared. Based on George R R Martin’s Fire and Ice book series, which it has now outpaced (come on George, get your act together!), it is based on the War of the Roses (yes the very one covered in White Queen!) in mythical lands where rival families fight for the throne. There are so many storylines that very little can happen to one character in a whole series! It can be headspinning keeping them all straight, but it’s worth the attempt. Stand-outs among the characters are of course the delicious Kit Harington as Jon Snow, the superb Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the incestuous Jaime Lannister but really the entire cast is fantastic. Keep an eye out for Black Jack Randall himself – Tobias Menzies can be seen as Edmure Tully in Seasons 3 and 6.

Seasons – 6

Seasons 1-5 available on DVD; Season 6 in November


The Musketeers (BBC)

Another retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ classic, this time we have four gorgeous, musket and sword wielding men in leather, protecting the King and Queen from forces foreign and domestic, notably the evil Cardinal Richelieu played by Doctor Who himself Peter Capaldi. This is a modernish version, the music is awesome, there is romance, intrigue and action and fabulous British accents.

Seasons – 3 (ended)

Seasons 1 & 2 available on DVD


The Last Kingdom (Netflix)

Based on Bernard Cornwell’s series “The Saxon Stories”, it is the year 1872 and young Uhtred is captured by Danish Warlord Earl Ragnar and raised as part of his family alongside fellow captive Brida. As a man he finds himself torn between worlds, wanting to regain his ancestral land, but still feeling a Dane at heart. Uhtred’s temper and inability to respect the Christian religion has him constantly at odds with his King and others. There is love, sex, and violence aplenty. A second series is due to air in 2017.

Seasons – 1 (another to come)

Available on DVD


Vikings (Netflix)

This drama was filmed for the History Channel and tells the story of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, the notorious Norse hero known for his bloody invasions of England and France. Follow Ragnar, played by Australian actor Travis Fimmel, who seriously has the most amazing blue eyes (and you must google his earlier modeling shots for Calvin Klein gulp!) and his family thorugh the politics, intrigue and bloody battles you would expect from Vikings, and the friendships, enemies, family feuds, love and sex that make the show better than the average of it’s kind. Has been renewed for a fifth season for another 20 episodes.

Seasons – 4 (10 eps Seasons 1-3; 20 eps Season 4)

Seasons 1-3 Available on DVD


And a few more:

Downton Abbey (Netflix)

Ripper Street (Stan)

Indian Summers (BBC First)

Peaky Blinders (Netflix)





It’s been a month now, although it feels like a year, and it’s been rough.  Sundays just haven’t been the same with no Outlander to look forward to.  The weeks between are no longer filled with sneak peeks, stills from the show and exciting spoilers to indulge in or avoid.  This month our favourite stars are back at work on Season 3, but there are still a good eight months at least to wait until it returns to our screens.  So how do we fill our empty days?  Here are some ideas to start you off:


Season 1 is available on DVD, with Season 2 out in the next two months. Or, in Australia, Season 1 is on Netflix, and you can buy both seasons on iTunes.




Go back to the basics and find out more than the show can convey with Diana Gabaldon’s wonderful words! And no need to stop and one or two – there are eight novels telling the story of Jamie and Claire and their family, with a 9th being written now and the possibility of a 10th after that! In addition there are a number of side-novels, novellas and short stories.





The soundtracks are available thanks to the amazing Bear McCreary. Pop them onto your iPod or into your stereo for when you are driving around or doing the housework and you will be whisked back to the Highlands in no time!





Probably not the simplest way to cure your hankering for the Frasers, but I’m sure the show has you pining for the Highlands so why not head over for a little vacation? Many companies are now offering Outlander Tours taking you to all the scenes from the show. And you ever know, you might even catch them filming!!





If you like to while away hours on Facebook and Twitter, why not join a fan group? Sam’s fans call themselves Heughan’s Heughligans, Caitriona has the Caitriots. In Australia, I have made lifetime friends through Aussie Outlanders on Facebook. We not only share news, photos and off-topic conversations but get together in our local area for regular Gatherings. Check your own area for similar groups!




In celebration of the first week on set for our favourite show, lets see what the rumour mill has dredged up for Season 3 so far!

  1. Sam and Cait will be filming Season 3 in Boston!

It is possible that some of the scenes with Claire in Boston could be filmed in the US, but none of them are really “outdoor” scenes, and could be dealt with on the sound stage. Ron Moore has stated in an interview that there will be no scenes filmed in the US this season. Season 4 though? That’s a whole nutha thing!

Truth Meter: UNLIKELY


  1. Jamie and Claire Reunion will Not Be A Pleasant One

Taken from possible synopses of Season 3 episodes appearing online (guilty!), this is a sensationalist headline referring to actual events that happen during the season, but rest assured the reunion itself will be very happy! Or Outlander fans will be after Ron Moore & Co. with pitchforks!

Truth Meter: TWISTED


  1. The Casting Process Has Begun for Young Ian and grown up Lord John Grey

Executive Producer Maril Davis herself has confirmed this one, but considering that we would expect to see John in Episode 2, and Young Ian about 6 or 7, we would expect the casting to be well on the way. There are a lot of new faces in the first few episodes so I imagine the casting people will be working overtime!  They do have a basis for Lord John’s look already, with Oscar Kennedy having played the sixteen year old version in Season 2.

Truth Meter: DEFINITE

young lord john

  1. We Will See The Battle of Culloden in Season 3

Well this is a good one. The book “Voyager” begins in the immediate aftermath of Culloden and although there are a few flashbacks, the battle itself is not really covered. After all, we know what happened, do we really need to see it in all it’s heartbreaking, bloody glory? Of course TV is far different than a book and I believe that we will need to see SOME of it. We will need to see Jamie’s final showdown with Black Jack Randall, for example. And if other characters are to perish then we will need to see them, or their bodies at least. So this rumour could indeed be true.



  1. Claire Shots Filmed in Glasgow?

Rumours have surfaced suggesting filming has secretly begun in Glasgow at the now-closed Victoria Infirmary building in the city. The fact that Outlander is filming there appears to be factual, although it is more likely they were merely scouting and creating the sets ready for filming. What could they be filming? The obvious choice would be Claire’s flashbacks to being a surgeon in Boston.



  1. Claire and Jamie to Fight Over Lord John Grey

Book readers are well aware of the very special friendship that Jamie and John Grey develop over the years, and of the kiss. Although Claire likes John when she first meets him, any friendship is scarred by her discovery of his love for Jamie and their shared past. In future books, she never really gets over this rivalry she feels for John, despite the interesting twists and turns their own relationship goes through during the later books. Nevertheless, she and Jamie don’t fight in “Voyager” over John. Claire accepts Jamie’s explanation. They DO fight over Laoghaire and that’s where this rumour seems to originate. One report refers to “Jamie’s naughty activities during their time apart”. Jamie and Claire were separated for 20 years and as we book readers know, he didn’t get up to too much naughty business at all! If this turn out to be true it will be the writers’ invention and a lot of fans will NOT be happy!

Truth Meter: WE HOPE NOT!

 Jamie and Claire 3

  1. More Emmy Nominations Next Year Thanks to Game of Thrones’ Ineligibility?

With the announcement that the next season of Game of Thrones will not air until the US Summer 2017, came this headline. With Downton Abbey also now out of the mix, entertainment website Golderby believes Outlander could be in with a chance. It has noted however that out of the 23 nominations GoT received this year, there were none for Best Actress or Best Actor so their omission will probably not have an affect on Sam and Cait’s chances. They do state, however, that with Kit Harington and Peter Dinklage out of the race, it leaves a slot open that could be filled by Tobias Menzies. So is this likely to be true? Well Tobias had few scenes in Season 2 and that will continue in Season 3. Black Jack’s only probable scene will be his death, and that could be a big one. Frank will appear in Flashbacks to Claire’s life in the 50s and 60s. In the book these are few and far between, but the content is dramatic and no doubt Tobias will make a meal of them as he always does. Will these few scenes be enough to sway the voters that he is a Supporting Actor ,considering Kit Harington and Peter Dinklage appear in every episode of GoT? One category we could hope for is Best Drama Series and in the end, that is the one we would really like to get! In a recent interview, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht stated his belief that, in his experience with the inner workings of the Emmy voting system, it is not a level playing field and Outlander will never be recognised by Emmy voters. Let’s hope he’s wrong. But is Golderby right? We will have to wait and see.

Truth Meter: WE HOPE SO!

Emmy Poster

  1. That Persistent Rumour

Like all good shows featuring two romantic leads with amazing chemistry, Outlander has been the focus of dating rumours regarding it’s lead actors and they have resurfaced again this week. Sam, Caitriona and other members of the Outlander extended family have denied this repeatedly. A bit of speculation never hurt a show and it is a ploy that has been used by Hollywood since the silent movie days to create buzz and publicity. Obviously Sam and Cait are great friends, as they have said time and time again. Creating a show like Outlander, where they are isolated from the world for great chunks of time, playing a loving couple and explicit sex scenes, one would expect their level of trust and intimacy (in a friendship way) would be very strong. A lof of fans get very upset that this question should even be asked, as it is an invasion of privacy, but unfortunately actors know this going in since they are seeking success in their field, and this sort of speculation is par for the course. Both stars have always indulged in a bit of teasing at events, panels, red carpets and on Twitter, and both like to keep their private lives private. And co-workers DO date and actors DO pair up (Kit Harington and Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones; Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin of True Blood for example). Rumours are STILL abounding that Friends stars Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry, whose characters Monica and Chandler were married on the show, are now dating, years after the show ended. And why not? Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who were a couple on That Seventies Show, are now married and expecting their second baby! The problem with these particular rumours about Sam and Cait is it feeds into the fantasy of the group of sad individuals who spend their day searching for evidence and hassling the stars involved (and even their friends and romantic partners) in some crazed attempt to make their belief a reality. Sort of like the Outlander fan version of a religious extremist. This applies to both the group of crazies who believe there is a giant cover up and conspiracy, and Sam and Cait really are a couple, and to the so-called “truthers” (and I hate to use these ridiculous terms) who spend the same amount of time and intrusive tactics to prove them wrong. Twitter has become a cess-pit boiling over with this putrid sludge that does nothing except make the majority of us uncomfortable and sad for the actors and other Outlanders, and for our fandom in general. So now, even in the general fandom, even the light-hearted fan who ventures to innocently comment “they’d make such a beautiful couple” is now painted with the rabid “shipper” brush and the other fans then become over-protective and attack them. It has all become too embarrassing and although we are not the only fandom to suffer this fate, one would expect a show with a more mature fanbase would not have become so riddled with this cancer. In the end, it is a small (but very vocal) minority, and most of us just sit back and ignore it, shaking our head with a heavy sigh. Lets hope it doesn’t leech all the fun out of the fandom and our interactions with the stars.

Truth Meter: NON-ISSUE




My 13yo son, the Budding Spielberg, recently put me onto the new Netflix series, Stranger Things. With Droughtlander in full swing, the Olympics leeching all the good TV shows from our screens for a couple of weeks at least, and the US Fall programming still a month away at least, I thought I’d give it a try. I absolutely loved it, and down there vv are my ten reasons why (in no particular order).

If you haven’t watched it, proceed with caution as spoilers await ye.  Head straight to Netflix, do not pass go, do not collect any cash.  Then head back to check it out!


I was 20 in 1983 when the show was set and every outfit from the high-waisted crotch-squeezing jeans to the long skirts, cream tights, frilly blouses and sweaters were shudderingly familiar. I think I had these glasses. (Don’t tell anyone.)



Winona’s almost-mullet, Mike and Nancy’s Mother’s classic flip and Barb’s Lady Di-inspired do were all spectacularly outshone by Steve’s gravity defying coiffure. I was mesermised the whole time it was on a screen. I kept wanting to spit on my hand and flatten it down….



The soundtrack is awesome – the music on the radio, in the background– I am right back in my green Chrysler, windows wound down, my favourite mixtape in the tapedeck blaring in state-of-the-art Stereo! But the throbbing synthesized theme music is pure genius. I’d look up, surprised I was still in 2016…..  Sit back and chill out to The Clash, Jefferson Airplane and Toto on the Stranger Things playlist:



The creators used an old Stephen King novel mock up cover to choose their font and it works! This is exactly the sort of thing I would have read back then, and is reminiscent of movies and TV of the day.



Before her sticky fingers and blurry CCTV shoplifting videos, Winona was a quirky young actress and star of some of my favourite flicks – Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1990), Mermaids (1990), Edward Scissorhands (1991). Along with Matthew Modine, himself a popular face of the 80s and 90s, she adds retro cred to the show all on her own.


Winona Ryder (as Lydia Deetz)



Come on. Anyone who’s seen the Rob Reiner/Stephen King classic Stand By Me (1987) had to have jumped up and down a little when they saw this. Go Duffer Brothers!



As a Stephen King fan, the character of Eleven met all my geeky horror supernatural requirements. Awesomely played by 14 year old Millie Bobby Brown, whose three year acting career has been jam-packed with great performances, she owes a lot to her ancestors – Drew Barrymore in Firestarter, Sissy Spacek in Carrie.  In fact, all the kids are fantastic, so much so that apparently the characters were created around them.



Oh yeah, I’m seeing the Star Wars comparisons here and I love it!



Most awesome explanation of an alternate reality. As I am writing a novel with an parallel universe as we speak, I had a little bit of a nerdgasm.   And I just found out that I can get this on a t-shirt so as soon as I have finished this I’m going online shopping!



I love a success story and these guys were the AV nerds at school and now they are just super cool. Even Stephen King is a fan, and when he tweeted how much he loved the show, they almost cried! It was knocked back by 15-20 networks before they made a deal with Netflix. So there’s hope for everyone if they keep trying, even my little Speilberg.


I could add heaps more to this – Kids on Bikes (I mean who doesn’t like a movie about kids on bikes?  ET, The Goonies, Earth to Echo), the seriously most epic monster (already spawning spectacular fan art much to the Duffer Brothers’ delight!), the wall phone (ours was powder blue), the scene with little Holly at the wall, the wall/xmas lights ouija board…..

Stranger Things

So if you’re looking for some stellar entertainment and you have eight hours to spare, sit down with the family and enjoy Stranger Things, now streaming on Netflix.





As Droughtlander edges closer to the start of filming for Season 3, the rumours, speculation and downright sensationalism ramps up. Soon we will have the Behind The Scenes shots, casting announcements and other news but in the meantime, the mighty battle for website hits continues with some interesting headlines.

“Jamie May Kiss A Man”

“Jamie, Lord John Kissing Scene Teased in New Season”

“Jamie and Grey to share intimate kiss?”

Of course, this is not news to everyone who has read “Voyager”. I deliberately did NOT single out this moment in my Possible Synopses of Season 3 so far. It could appear in it’s chronological place, in Episode 3, or it could appear as it does in the book as a flashback after Claire finds out about Willie in Jamiaca.

I have noted that non-book readers (and perhaps a few readers who may have forgotten) have commented that this would never happen. Jamie would never kiss a man after what happened to him. It must be simple sensationalism. That, of course, is too simplistic a view.

The scene as written is poignant and emotional; a heartbroken father begging a friend to care for his son as if he was his own, offering the one thing he thinks John would want – his body – despite his history, his viscious rape at the hands of Black Jack Randall. But John, who loves Jamie deeply, is a man of honour and cares more for their friendship. He doesn’t want Jamie on those terms, and he declines. As a thank you, for both, Jamie gives him a beautiful kiss. Let’s see how it reads:

“I should be … grateful, then,” he said, “if you would stand as stepfather to – to my son.” He had likely never spoken the word aloud before, and the sound of it seemed to shock him. “I … would be obliged to you.” Jamie sounded as though his collar were too tight, though in fact his shirt was open at the throat. Grey looked curiously at him, and saw that his countenance was slowly turning a dark and painful red.

           “In return … If you want …I mean, I would be willing to … that is … “

            Grey suppressed the sudden desire to laugh. He laid a light hand on the big Scot’s arm, and saw Jamie brace himself not to flinch at the touch.

            “My dear Jamie,” he said, torn between laughter and exasperation. “Are you actually offering me your body in payment for my promise to look after Willie?”

            Fraser’s face was red to the roots of his hair.

            “Aye, I am, “ he snapped, tight-lipped. “D’ye want it, or no?”

            At this, Grey did laugh, in long gasping whoops, finally having to sit down on the grassy bank in order to recover himself.

            “Oh dear God,” he said at last, wiping his eyes. “That I should live to hear an offer like that!”

            Fraser stood above him, looking down, the morning light silhouetting him, lighting his hair in flames against the pale blue sky. Grey thought he could see a slight twitch of the wide mouth in the darkened face – humour, tempered with a profound relief.

            “Ye dinna want me, then?”

            Grey got to his feet, dusting the seat of his breeches. “I shall probably want you to the day I die,” he said matter-of-factly. “But tempted as I am –“ He shook his head, brushing wet grass from his hands.

            “Do you really think that I would demand – or accept – any payment for such a service? He asked. “Really, I should feel my honor most grossly insulted by that offer, save that I know the depth of feeling which prompted it.”

            “Aye, well,” Jamie muttered. “I didna mean to insult ye.”

            Grey was not sure at this point whether to laugh or cry. Instead, he reached a hand up and gently touched Jamie’s cheek, fading now to it’s normal pale bronze. More quietly, he said, “Besides you cannot give me what you do not have.”

            Grey felt, rather than saw, the slight relaxation of tension in the tall body facing him.

            “You shall have my friendship,” Jamie said softly, “if that has any value to ye.”

            “A very great value indeed.” The two men stood silent together for a moment, then Grey sighed and turned to look up at the sun. “It’s getting late. I suppose you will have a great many things to do today?”

            Jamie cleared his throat. “Aye, I have. I suppose I should be about my business.”

            “Yes, I suppose so.”

            Grey tugged down the points of his waistcoat, ready to go. But Jamie lingered awkwardly a moment, and then, as though suddenly making up his mind to it, stepped forward and bending down, cupped Grey’s face between his hands.

            Grey felt the big hands warm on the skin of his face, light and strong as the brush of an eagle’s feather, and then Jamie Fraser’s soft wide mouth touched his own. There was a fleeting impression of tenderness and strength held in check, the faint taste of ale and fresh-baked bread. Then it was gone, and John Grey stood blinking in the brilliant sun.

            “Oh,” he said.

            Jamie gave him a shy, crooked smile.

            “Aye, well,” he said. “I suppose I’m maybe not poisoned.” He turned then and disappeared into the screen of willows, leaving Lord John Grey alone by the mere.

Another incredible piece of writing from Diana Gabaldon. I can imagine Sam in this scene. He has the strength and sensitivity needed to make the scene both poignant and believable. I have no doubt that whomever is cast as John will be up to the challenge. The Casting so far has certainly been spot on, and John is a major character and even has the possibility for spin-offs. If you haven’t read them yet, this is the chronological order Diana recommends:

Lord John and the Hellfire Club* (a short story)

Lord John and the Private Matter (a novel)

Lord John and the Succubus* (a novella)

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (a novel)

Lord John and the Haunted Soldier* (a novella)

Lord John and the Custom of the Army (a novella)

The Scottish Prisoner (a novel, featuring Jamie Fraser)

Lord John and the Plague of Zombies (a novella)

*From a book-length collection “Lord John and the Hand of Devils”

Some of the books appear in anthologies and collections.

The full chronological order, including the Outlander novels, can be found on Diana’s website http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/chronology-of-the-outlander-series/

And so I think we can safely accept that the kiss will remain. It is a special moment, a dramatic moment, and important in the relationship between Jamie and John.

Until then, countdown to the casting announcement. As he appears in (to my reckoning) the second episode, we should hear shortly. Who will play Lord John Grey?




One thing that keeps coming up in reviews and comments about Outlander (especially from those who haven’t read the books) is that it is difficult to pigeonhole.  One week it seems like a romance, the next an adventure, then a farce, then a drama, then a fantasy.  It is often a criticism levelled at the show, inferring that it is inconsistent and the show doesn’t know who it is or where it is going.  Readers will tell you that is exactly why the books have become so successful. and that it DOES know who it is and where it’s going, but the reader, or viewer, doesn’t.  It is literally a story where you don’t know what could happen next, and that’s what keeps us all in it for the long haul.  So far in our Season 3 possible synopses, we have seen various time periods, drama, action, humour, romance, sex and adventure.  What more could you ask from a series?  What fantastic entertainment!  This episode continues the tradition with some rollicking sea travel, including storms and shipwrecks and plagues, Claire at her medical best, interesting new characters and some hilariously unexpected scenes.  Sit back and enjoy what possibly might be included in Episode 8.



On board the HMS Porpoise, Claire is working relentlessly to care for the men with typhoid, heartwrenching work as they die in numbers. She overhears a man named Tomkins telling the captain he recognized the tall red-headed man on the Artemis but he was cut off. She recognized his voice but can’t place him. Eventually she meets him and his burned face tells her he is the man who fired the print shop. He needs her medical help and in return she extracts his story.

One day she meets their esteemed passenger, the new Governor of Jamaica, Lord John Grey. They get along quite well, both unaware of their connection through Jamie.

She makes a plan with the goat woman to escape. Their first attempt fails but in a new plan, Claire jumps overboard as they near Santo Domingo. She comes ashore and makes her way through the mangroves. A big storm hits and when she awakes she meets Lawrence Stern, a naturalist, who it turns out knows Jamie. He takes her to the hacienda of Father Fogden, which he shares with his late wife’s mother and his beloved sheep. Over dinner Claire discovers a ship has washed up on the beach during the storm and they go to investigate.


They find the ship and crew, with Fergus in charge (the Captain having died in the storm), but no Jamie. Apparently he had swum from the Artemis to the Porpoise and had hidden on board, but of course Claire had already escaped!

On board the ship, Jamie is discovered and knocked out, waking on a beach surrounded by children. He asks them to take him to their mother’s tavern.

Meanwhile the crew work at repairing the Artemis. Claire and Marsali stay at the Hacienda while they wait. One day, they are at the beach where the ship is ready to be refloated, when a group of soldiers ride up. Fergus and Claire can’t believe it. The Capitan is Jamie!! They don’t give away his true identity and he enlists the help of his soldiers to help relaunch the Artemis then, when they are on board, the crew truss them up and place them in the hold, and he becomes Captain of the ship.

After Jamie cleans himself up (in the book there is an interesting sex-talk scene here), he finally gives in to Marsali’s pleas and Father Fogden marries she and Fergus in an hilarious ceremony on the beach, before they set sail once more in search of Ian.

They take on board ten tons of bat guano from Barbados to Jamaica, half the profit to belong to Fergus, as a partner (now Fergus Claudel Fraser since the wedding, a man needing to support his wife). Fergus brokered the deal for delivery to a planter named Mr Grey.

What will be changed?

I think the nursing scenes will be condensed but we will get the general gist of it. Some people have criticised the lack of medical scenes, but what reads as interesting in the book, doesn’t always translate well to the visiual. In the book we are in Claire’s head as she is thinking about a patient, wondering how to treat him, then the description of what herbs and techniques she uses. In the show, we see her doing these things and occasionally get a voiceover but it doesn’t have the same impact. Funnily enough, some people complain about gory or distasteful medical scenes, so I guess you can’t make everyone happy! .

What can be left out?

Some have suggested Lawrence Stern may be omitted, as he doesn’t serve any purpose in the plot. Claire could simply be discovered by Father Fogden himself, or stumble across his property on her own. The crewman’s wife who looks after the goats is also a character that could be omitted, as Claire could come up with the plan on her own and they could just leave out the first escape attempt.

What CAN’T be left out?

Meeting John Grey on board the Porpoise. Fergus and Marsali’s wedding.

What are we looking forward to most?

Personally, I look forward to Capitan Alessandro, one of the silliest but also one of my favourite scenes in the book.

Most anticipated dialogue:

“And we’ll see what sort of noise it is ye don’t make then, Sassenach.”

“Fraser. Fergus Claudel Fraser.” – Jamie, at Fergus’s wedding.

Tissue Rating:  ¼ box (for wiping tears of laughter)

Sexy Times Rating: * if there is some naughty talk!



Towards the end of Season 2, it began to dawn on some fans that in the books, Murtagh dies at Culloden, and panic set in. This resulted in a plethora of blogs, tweets and Facebook posts and the hashtag #SaveMurtagh. After all, the producers had already shown themselves willing to change the fates and storylines of some characters (RIP Angus, hello there Rupert!) and even introduced entire new ones (I’m looking at you Taran MacQuarrie!), so it wasn’t too far fetched, was it? This discussion spawned all manner of weird and wonderful theories. At first I looked upon these posts with fond amusement. But some of the ideas had me thinking. Could they? Would they?

Well, that’s gone by the by hasn’t it? I’m one of those annoying people who actually enjoys the small forays from the original storyline. As long as the characters and the main plot remains solid and constant (which in my opinion it definitely has), I’m all for scenes that show us what happens out of Claire’s narrow POV (which we are restricted to in the Book), or possible scenes that either MAY have occurred but were just not Written In The Book, or COULD have been, and only exist in this little alternate universe called TV Land. My recent attempt at breaking the book into episodes (see my previous posts for Episodes 1-6) have shown me that condensing, omitting and bridging are all necessary in order to create an episodic format that includes as much of the source material as possible. But resurrecting Murtagh? That is a Big Change! Purists are dead set against it simply because it is Not Done. But the reasons are much more complex and have to do with the loneliness, isolation and guilt that moulds Jamie after losing everything at Culloden, including his beloved Godfather.

And therein lays the rub. Book Murtagh is a major character, but an insubstantial one compared to the man created by the show writers and embodied by the wonderful Duncan Lacroix. Murtagh has been the mentor, protector and father-figure to Jamie, a friend and co-conspirator to Claire (not to mention song-and-dance partner!) and a deliverer of dry one-liners providing much appreciated comic relief. Television shows such as Outlander follow in the wake of the amazing Game of Thrones and we all know that no character is safe in that show, so we should not be surprised to see our favourites meet their doom in Outlander. We have said farewell to Angus, Colum, Dougal, the Duke of Sandringham and we even know poor Frank has passed away back over the stones there in 1968. So why not Murtagh? But what if there was another way…..

In the book, Jamie remembers that Murtagh has died at Culloden. It’s a bit sad, but there’s no great death scene. If the writers DO decide that Murtagh will go the way of his book-self, viewers will be expecting a heartbreaking death-in-battle scene to compensate them (do you hear that Maril, Matt, Ron and co.?). But if he survives? Firstly, Jamie can’t know it. His character arc must remain untainted. He must believe Murtagh is dead. So perhaps there is a battle scene, Murtagh appears dead, we all cry boxes of tissues, and then…..he isn’t dead. Later we discover that he was shuffled off to one of the many prisons the Jacobite prisoners were incarcerated in. And then, when Claire returns through the stones, we find that Jamie has been reunited with Murtagh, another lovely surprise for Claire along with Fergus, Ian and the rest. There was a theory where he was deported to the New World, as many were, and meets up with Jamie and Claire there, but that would mean we wouldn’t see Murtagh until at least Season 4 and I don’t think that would be at all acceptable!

There are a LOT of characters still to be met in the Outlander Series and one of those pops up in Season 3 – Duncan Innes. Duncan is the one-armed ex-Ardsmuir friend of Jamie’s who becomes his right hand man and is involved in some interesting storylines as time goes on (without giving away any real spoilers). The best of all the theories I have read suggested that Murtagh take over Duncan’s storyline. I love everything about this idea! For one, I find Murtagh a much more interesting and entertaining character than poor old Duncan and I like the thought of seeing Murtagh get involved in those storylines I can’t speak of (wink wink). It would also decrease the number of new characters that would need to be introduced to the show, new actors to be employed, new dynamics to be explored etc. It would negate the necessity for the writers to think up ways to include Murtagh so that he doesn’t end up just seeming extraneous, or have them create new and unnecessary storylines for him.

We do have one new clue. Apparently Duncan will be joining Sam and Caitriona for a “boot camp” prior to the start of Season 3. A boot camp seems a big investment for a character just about to die……

What do YOU think about Murtagh’s Season 3 fate?

Outlander Season 3 – Episode 7

This episode is the clear start of the second half of the season – the part that show runner Ronald D. Moore has been looking forward to!  It will be interesting to see where they will choose to film the seafaring scenes (there has been suggestions that they will use the ships from another Starz hit – Black Sails – from which this pic below is taken).  And so begins the tale of pirates, the British Navy, Jamie’s severe seasickness, and exotic foreign lands!



After arriving in Paris, Jared helps them find out what ship has abducted Young Ian – The Bruja – and where it is headed – the West Indies. He arranges for them to use one of his own ships, the Artemis, with Jamie going onboard as Supercargo. They try to discover who might have sent the Bruja to retrieve the treasure – could it have belonged to the Duke of Sandringham? They get everything they need for the trip, bumping into the Reverend Campbell once again. Mr Willoughby mentions the Reverend had been a client at the Brothel in Edinburgh. During disussions with Jared, Claire also discovers that Jamie became a Freemason in prison. Finally, Claire goes to say farewell to Faith’s grave, with Mother Hildegarde and Bouton.


They set sail and along the way collect some of Jamie’s men including Duncan Innes. At the last moment, Fergus finally arrives – with fifteen year old Marsali, Laoghaire’s daughter – and announces they are married! Marsali is very determined to come along so Jamie makes them promise that they will not consummate the handfasting until they can be properly married on arrival in the Indies.

The crossing begins and soon enough Jamie becomes very ill and Mr Willoughby uses acupuncture to help him. Meanwhile she busies herself as ship’s surgeon and bargaining with the cook to have the men fed well. After a couple of odd accidents, Jamie is convinced someone is trying to kill him and they try to find the culprit, who must be among his men.

Jamie and Claire talk about her life in the future and Brianna (Flashback – Claire writes a goodbye letter to Bree) and discuss how hard it is to abstain from making love on the ship.

The sailors throw a cask of rotting horsemeat overboard, sharks come, Mr Willoughby jumps overboard to save a pelican, Jamie jumps in to save him. Back in their cabin, Jamie strips off and they make love quickly before Duncan Innes returns to the cabin.

Mr Willoughby trains the pelican to catch fish and eventually tells his story

Juvenile brown pelican landing in water

Marsali asks Claire about having sex and babies and contraception.

A British Man-o-War, the HMS Porpoise, boards them. The captain asks if there is a surgeon on board as his crew is in a bad way. Claire thinks they have typhoid, which she is vaccinated against, and she volunteers to go to the ship, against Jamie’s wishes. She looks after the men and while doing so the ship heads off, leaving her on board and Jamie back on the Artemis.

What will be changed?

The arrival in Paris and their preparations are fairly involved, and is likely to be simplified for the show. For example, they may just leave directly from Le Havre with all passengers rather than picking up on the way. Will Jamie accompany Claire to Faith’s grave?

What can be left out?

There doesn’t seem a lot of necessity to have the pelican training scenes included, and would save finding a tame pelican! Although it comes up occasionally throughout the future books, Jamie’s Freemasonry may also be omitted, as could the mystery of who might be trying to kill him.

What CAN’T be left out?

Fergus and Marsali’s elopement. Claire’s farewell to Faith’s grave.

What are we looking forward to most?

Seasick Jamie perhaps? Seeing Mother Hildegarde again.

Most anticipated dialogue:

“I have noticed that time does not really exist for mothers with regard to their children.” – Mother Hildegarde to Claire.

Tissue Rating: ¼ box (Faith’s grave)

Sexy Times Rating: * (Seasick Jamie is not very sexy!)

Outlander Season 3 – Episode 6

Halfway through the season we have one of the most – well not so much anticipated as dreaded – scenes in Season 3.  An old antagonist returns in the most dramatic way, bringing startling news that has Claire second-guessing her decision to come back through the stones.  These scenes will have to be handled with care so that they don’t seem too melodramatic or comical – it’s a fine line all involved will need to walk here.  Nevertheless, I’m dying to see it!  The end of this episode heralds the start of a new direction for the season as Outlanders sets sail in pursuit of pirates!



Jamie and Claire take Young Ian back to Lallybroch where she meets Jenny again. Young Ian has to face his parent’s wrath for running away from home and Jamie is given the task of beating him. Because of his own part in it, Jamie gets Ian to return the favour. That night Jamie tells Claire about the treasure. In the morning they are making love when the door slams open and a young girl is standing there, soon followed by Laoghaire. Claire is furious, Jamie tries to explain and there is a big fight followed by violent sex, interrupted by Jenny who tells them to stop as the whole house can hear it. Jamie goes after Laoghaire and Claire leaves.


2 Days later Young Ian comes after her. Jamie needs her. Laoghaire shot him and he’s dying.

Claire tends to Jamie and gives him the antibiotics she has brought through the stones. He tells her how it came to be that he married Laoghaire. (Possible flashback to when he married Laoghaire, showing what a failure their marriage was). She meets all the Murray children and Fergus returns. Claire and Jenny have a discussion in the root cellar. Laoghaire’s brother, Hobart, comes with Ned Gowan to strike a deal regarding the marriage. They decide to go and get some of the treasure to pay off Laoghaire and Jamie wants to take Young Ian to swim to the rock. However disaster strikes when he reaches the treasure and is taken by pirates.


What will be changed?

I actually originally thought this would be two episodes, but in retrospect there isn’t as much as I thought. I think it will go this way: Scene 1: Jamie, Young Ian and Claire arrive back at Lallybroch where Young Ian is berated (no beating). Scene 2: The next morning Jamie tells Claire about the treasure, and then they begin making love, when Laoghaire and her daughter burst in and there is a scene. Scene 3: alone again Jamie and Claire fight, they begin having violent sex which is interrupted by Jenny, Jamie leaves to sort out Laoghaire and Claire leaves. Scene 4: voiceover will tell that Claire has been gone 2 days when Young Ian rides up and tells her Jamie has been shot. Scene 5 – Claire tends to Jamie, gives him antibiotics, they talk about why he married Laoghaire (possible flashback but may be left out for time). Scene 6: Hobart & Ned turn up and they make a deal. Scene 7: They tell Jenny they must go and get the treasure to pay Laoghaire and wish to take Ian. Scene 8: they are at the rocks, they send Ian in, he is swimming and a boat comes along and takes him. I think it should be a jam-packed episode but it will all fit in with a bit of condensing.

What can be left out?

Some of the discussions with the children and Jenny. The beatings. Her conversation with Jenny in the root cellar.

What CAN’T be left out?

Just about everything else, but definitely not Ian swimming to the rock and being abducted, and Laoghaire shooting Jamie (although we probably won’t actually see that).

What are we looking forward to most?

The return of Laoghaire.

Most anticipated dialogue:

“Daddy! Who is that woman?”

Tissue Rating: ¼ box for the Lallybroch return, and wiping away spittle from yelling at the screen when Laoghaire appears and the pirates take Ian.

Sexy Times Rating: *****+ (Put the kids to bed first!)

Outlander Season 3 – Episode 5

This is an interesting episode that begins with the aftermath of Claire and Jamie’s reunion, then evolves into a strange little farce where we are reacquainted with some old loved ones and meet some new in a series of comical scenes, and we learn what Jamie is up to these days.  If there was a storyline that could be excluded, the smuggling fiasco at Arbroath could be it, but we will have to wait and see!



They awaken in the morning and talk about Brianna, what she looks like. Claire inspects Jamie’s latest scars. Suddenly, Ian runs in, looking for Young Ian. It’s a bit of a shock to see Claire! Jamie goes with Ian to look for his son and Claire stays in bed. Another knock on the door – this time it’s Young Ian, who is embarrassed and leaves thinking she is a whore. Finally another knock heralds the arrival of Mr Willoughby. They talk and he tells her some of his story. She goes downstairs wrapped in her quilt as she has no clothes and breakfasts with the whores, where she hears about a serial killer known as “The Edinburgh Fiend”. A man walks in and embraces her – it is a grown up Fergus! After he has gone, a man enters and there is a confrontation during which Mr Willoughby shoots him.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Claire learns that Jamie and Fergus are involved in smuggling. They meet Sir Percival, who warns them against going North. Making up for lost time, they take a room in the tavern and after making love Jamie tells her how he became a printer. They go for an evening walk and discover the print shop on fire. Jamie runs into the burning building to save his precious press and then again to save Young Ian once they find out he is in there. Afterwards, Ian, who is drunk tells them his story including the fact that he thinks he killed the man who started the fire, a man who had been looking for Jamie. He sends his father away and Fergus takes him to the brothel to lose his virginity. In the morning, Claire heads to the apothecary shop where she meets the Reverend Campbell who enlists her help with his hysterical sister. Later, when Jamie goes to check on the print-shop (and perhaps find a body), Young Ian accompanies Claire to visit the Reverends sister. Margaret Campbell is catatonic. The maid mentions they are heading to the West Indies. She also tells Claire that Miss Campbell had been attacked by British Officers and left to die, which is how she ended up in such a state. Young Ian comes to fetch her and at the mention of Jamie’s name, Miss Campbell begans to scream hysterically. When she tells Jamie about her later, he thinks she might be the sweetheart of another soldier he knew at Culloden.

Finally they head to Arbroath to meet the smuggler ship, but they have been betrayed and it all goes to hell.


What will be changed?

There are some who feel Mr Willoughby can be left out altogether, but during this breakdown exercise I discovered he is wound throughout the plot and to remove him would be difficult and require giving certain of his scenes to other characters, and in the end it doesn’t save much time.  They may decide to leave the smuggling scene out completely, as it doesn’t add much to the overall storyline except who has betrayed Jamie and they could handle that another way, or it could just be condensed.

What can be left out?

The conversations with the whores and the search for a dress for Claire could be left out or condensed. They could possibly leave out the Edinburgh Fiend storyline (and therefore the Campbells) but it does remove some great dramatic scenes from later in the season, and I for one love that storyline!

What CAN’T be left out?

The Printing Press!

What are we looking forward to most?

Meeting Young Ian, and older Fergus!

Most anticipated dialogue:

“Well I’m no saint Sassenach, but I’m no a pimp either!” (among other gems!)

Tissue Rating: 1 Box (at least!)

Sexy Times Rating:  **** (for the post-coital discussions and possible further sex scene)