Monthly Archives: June 2019

Tim Downie is Back With a Quack as Governor Tryon

21-outlander.w700.h700We’ve all been wondering if our second evil annoying villain of season 4 of Outlander will make a return. Well, considering he has asked for Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) to muster men to form a militia and hunt down the outlaw Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix), he had better stick his head in.

This week Tim Downie posted that he was heading to Glasgow, which is the major Scottish city near Wardpark Studios where Outlander is headquartered. Later in the week, Tim posted his annoyance at fowl creatures not allowing him to say his lines. He did not mention Balfe or Heughan. Rather, a resounding interruption of quacks during lines.IMG_3010

We are assuming that Outlander is filming the Gathering on Mount Helicon Hillsborough Riots scenes and the mustering of men for militias to aid Governor Tryon. This means this usually like-able fiend actor will have us truly annoyed. He’s good at that.

Tim is very busy and has just finished production and getting ready for the film version of Horrible Histories to premier. Yes, the series is available on Brit Box since many countries have really bad history bits and comedians like Downie must populate them. He has also starred in the UK version of Drunk History. He has also been in several really silly productions such as The Upstart Crow, which is now available on Amazon Prime.

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Horrible Histories

Outlander Characters Season 5: Edmund Fanning

imagesAnother upcoming character due to reappear  for Season 5 is Edmund Fanning. We first met Mr. Fanning (Samuel Collings) in season 4 episode 8, Wilmington. Fanning was the unfortunate man who Jamie jabbed as a diversion to distract at the theatre and warn Murtagh of Governor Tryon’s plot to capture him at the taxes raid. What was a hernia was operated on by Claire in front of the theater crowd with the assistance of the vain Governor Tryon. Earlier in the episode, we hear of Fanning’s dealings with the regulator mob and his taking a casket of drink to appease them, and injuring himself.

In the book The Fiery Cross during The Gathering at Mount Helicon, we learn the details of the Governor’s declaration about hunting The Regulators, and Jamie’s mustering of men that he must do to keep Fraser’s Ridge. This is in response to the Hillsborough riots.

Just who was Edmund Fanning that he would become such a close associate and protégé of Governor Tryon? Quite simply, through the office, he helped collect Poll Tax money for the Governors’ new Palace. Fanning was a graduate of Yale College in 1757 and studied law there. He had further studies at Kings College, Harvard College, Dartmouth, and Oxford University. He settled in Hillsborough, North Carolina and became an administrator for several posts he held there. He then became a clerk of the Superior Court in Orange County. He then attained the role of Associate Justice when the residing Judge, Moore, publicly spoke against the new Stamp Act. Moore was later reinstated.

The North Carolina Regulators blamed Fanning for political corruption, embezzlement, and the abuse of collecting excessive taxation. The Regulators demanded written accounts of how the Governor’s new palace in New Bern was being funded (Poll Tax). At the courthouse, Regulators served on the jury and the trial began on September 1, 1768. The trial was presided over by Judge Fanning was charged along with Francis Nash of extorting money from residents of Hillsborough. He was found guilty of embezzling money (along with Francis Nash) but was fined only one penny per charge.

Later Herman Husband confronted Fanning and challenged his Whig alliance. A Mob of regulators assaulted Fanning and torched his home.

Samuel Collins plays Edmund Fanning and has just finished shooting episodes 5.1 and 5.2 of Outlander Season 5. We assume that one if not both of these episodes cover the trial and The Regulator Riots.

Catching up with Colin McFarlane

Catching upimages.jpg with Colin McFarlane, the well built man who plays Ulysses in Outlander season 4. Not only is he tall and quite built, but he fills out every inch of his frame to fill his roles. Theres been no BTS yet on McFarlane filming for season 5 of the hit show yet, and we have been keeping an eye on his Twitter feed for any hints.

Ulysses as a character was not going to be an easy task. Aunt Jocasta’s right hand man, the one who guides her in every aspect of running River Run, a huge and profitable plantation in North Carolina. A man with great fortitude and presence, Ulysses is the real man behind the running of River Run. Spoilers, if the writers keep up with the books, theres some really interesting bits about his background and upcoming reveals.  Keep a look out, it may just rock your boat.

Colin has been busy since season 4 filming stopped. He has been doing voice acting for an animated feature, The Queen’s Corgi. A film Crawl a horror flick in production involving alligators, produced by Sam Raimi, to be released in July 2019. Currently he is filming in Legado en los huesos. Not to meantion his video games work for Castlevania and Lego Marvel Superheros 2. Ans on stage, he’s swept the floor with Pinter 5 and 6. 


Update! Colin posted this week that he was going back in for Season 5 filming in Glasgow. So we get to se Ulysses this coming season. Now, for book readers, we are in great anticipation of what will happen in season 6 or 7 if we get it. We’ll see what happens.


Laura Donnelly Commands The Red Carpet at The Tony’s

IMG_2960Fans of Jenny (Janet) Fraser, Jamie Fraser’s sister, we a bit disappointed in season 4 when the long awaited Lallybroch scene where Jenny and Ian meet Brianna Randall for the first time after she travels through the stones, wash missing Jenny. That’s because Laura Donnelly, the actress who had played the gutsy and forthright Jenny Fraser, was busy on a very personal project, staring in the play The Ferryman on both London and New York stages. Donnelly was nominated as Best Leading Actress of the 2019 Tony Awards.

The play was written by Jez Butterworth, Donnelly’s partner. Donnelly plays Caitlin Carney, whose husband has been missing for 10 years. The story was inspired by her uncle’s “disappearance” at the hands of the IRA on New Year’s Day in 1981. The play has garnered acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, with performances in the East and West End of London stages, and then New York. The play won Best Play at the Tony Awards. And Laura killed it on the red carpet in a gown flowing gown by Marchesa in rich plum.

Will Jenny surface again in season 5 or 6 of Outlander? Book readers know that Jenny does eventually make the trip to the new world, breaking her record of never leaving Lallybroch. Hopefully we will get to see her in Lallybroch in the coming seasons as it is a fan favorite local.

The Ferryman continues with new cast at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in New York.


Duncan Lacroix and Snap Chat Shenanigans


Who wears it better, Berry or Lacroix?

Fans of actor Duncan Lacroix woke to some shenanigans on his Instagram account today. Duncan has discovered filters on Snap Chat. And we now see his not so secret desires, or musings. A grand salute to the ten year old in us all. Looks like maybe he has a man crush on David Berry.


Included: Two shots of the feminine side of Lacroix and Berry, as well as two baby shots. Look out!

Don’t walk across intersections while on Snap Chat, just a hint.




For those of you who wondered, yes, Murtagh was born with that beard. 

Matthew B. Roberts Talks About Season 5 and 4 Book Adaptations


Matthew B. Roberts

Recently Matthew B. Roberts, executive producer and show runner for Outlander, teased about season 5 storylines. It appears that the show’s writers are just as daunted by the size of the books as we readers are. “The Fiery Cross”, book 5 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, is rather thick at 979 pages, and getting it down to a mear 12 episodes from the customary 16 we were spoiled with in season 1.

Some major considerations were:

Season 4. Laura Donnelly (Jenny Murray) was not available to film do to oth commitments with her play, “The Ferryman”, then in London and traveling to a New York stage. The scene in which Brianna (Sophie Skelton) travels back through the stones and ends up at Lallybroch ended up being hastily rewritten with lodging with Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) and Joanie. Brianna eventually fights her way to Lallybroch and Ian (Stephen Cree), and eventually gets rerouted to the new world on a boat.

That Rock And it’s Hard Place

Roberts went on to discuss that Murtagh’s (Duncan Lacroix) character died at Culloden in Drums of Autumn, but was saved in the series and became the vehicle of conscience for both Jamie and Claire through the Court of Versailles to his reuniting with them in Wilmington. For season 5, Murtagh’s involvement with the Regulators puts Jamie in the unenviable position of having to hunt down his beloved godfather. The rock being the land grant. This storyline all has to be blended in with the rest of the large tome of TFC and shrunk into 12 episodes. There will be some losses to some fan favorites.

Then there is fleshing out Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna’s storyline, one that has some fans thrilled and others non-plussed. How to build these two out in a sympathetic line when season 4 left many fans annoyed at their behavior. Can they smooth things out with two 20th century young people who are not adapting to the 18th century so well. There’s a much anticipated wedding afoot at a gathering at Mount Helicon. However, with Outlander, this will all start well and no doubt go awry.

Matt discusses many adaptation considerations, including the challenges of crunching down TFC into 12 episodes for season 5. Here’s hoping that maybe Outlander will lengthen the episodes like Game of Thrones did over the last few seasons, maybe we’ll still see some classic moments from the next book as well, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”. They have only been approved for seasons 5 and 6 so far. We’re hoping they will to the end of the book series.

To  catch up with Matt and read about all the adaptations and considerations for season 5, read this article. Follow him on Instagram as he does some amazing photography and has great BTS shots of previous seasons.

Follow Matt on Twitter @TheMattBRoberts, and Instagram matthew_b_roberts

Article Matthew B. Roberts on Jamie’s Rock and a Hard Place


Outlander Season 5: Will This Be Murtagh’s Last Stand?

season4MurtaghJamie.jpgIt is with heavy dread and trepidation if you will, that we consider the fact that it may be the final season for one of our favorite Outlander characters. Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser as a character has been living on borrowed time. He should have died at Culloden. He survived Ardsmuir and was shipped to the Colonies. Does the man have nine lives?Spoilers ahead.

In season 4 episode 05 Savages, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Murtagh were reunited. It was one of the most anticipated moments since the #SaveMurtagh campaigns of Season 2 and 3 began, and Duncan Lacroix‘s loyal, forthright, blunt, and darkly decisive character Murtagh, was saved from his fate on the battle field of Culloden. Audiences jumped higher, filled Twitter live feeds with insane glee and whoops, more so than when he first turned up in Ardsmuir Prison in season 3.  A brief return tease only to be shipped off to the American Colonies for 12 years of indentured servitude. When Young Ian (John Bell) comes across Murtagh as a blacksmith in Wilmington, NC while they desperately search for takers to settle Governor Tryon’s land grant, he has an encounter with a jaded smithy. He and Jamie discover after heartfelt, teary eyed reunion that Murtagh, as per usual, is in the thick of it. They soon learn he is involved in The Regulators cause, and is one of their leaders. To find one so loved again, and in such danger is a common thread in Outlander’s Universe. You should be used to it by now.

Murtagh is a leader of men, taking up a cause that echoes Dougal MacKenzie’s money gathering for the Jacobite cause, a cause that is just as doomed. When Jamie and Ian remark on his being their leader, Murtagh informs them that there is no one leader, but many. There are factions of the cause, and they are growing in numbers. He explains the cause is about fairness in excessive taxation. He also informs Jamie that two of the members are set to petition their demands, in writing. Note: They are trying to be taken seriously and be heard. Jamie cautions Murtagh throughout the episode, his concerns being that Murtagh will be sent to prison, or worse. In the colonies, hanging is swift justice. Jamie only just found him again.

Looking at the storyline coming up for the new season, it may be heading for an end for our beloved Godfather. The Regulator’s story runs deep in The Fiery Cross, book five in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It is the main conflict for Jamie and Claire as Claire’s foreknowledge of the War of Independence tells them that they will be on the losing side if they take up the order to muster against the Regulators. The conflict is not the only one plaguing them, Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) will resurface. While Jamie’s militia will help put down the rebellion, being in support of the crown means they will possibly lose when the bigger conflict arises, and they may lose the lands regardless. Deeper than that, Jamie’s reluctance to be involved, putting his family and land to the front, will drive he and Murtagh farther apart. Can Jamie bring the men of Fraser’s Ridge to fight against The Regulators, many of whom are Scotsmen that fought and survived Culloden and the following clearances after the battle? And if they stamp out the Regulators, what will happen with the build up to the War of Independence? Will they in turn be seen as Loyalists, as Claire points out, and forfeit lands when the Patriots win?

Spoiler Alert, again.

Things That Could Happen in Season 5

Depending on how long they want to drag out the Regulator Uprising, or War of the Regulation, concludes in 1771 in the Battle of Alamance. The Regulators do not win. Several men are hung and the others left to swear loyalty. Shades of Culloden. Murtagh is in the thick of it as an organizer and leader. Could Murtagh be captured again, and this time truly head for the noose? We’re already shaking. The writers have taken great care to take Murtagh’s character away and bring him back in to the story line at just the right time to pull heart strings. Will they break hearts this time? Could Murtagh escape, find a way to fake his death? Live to fight another day? Recent previews of filming show actor Duncan Lacroix in fully brown hair again. Was this an attempt at disguise, or a flashback in time? We want Murtagh to continue on and fight by Jamie’s side when the American War for Independence sets off in Boston.

How will the militia forming and fighting affect those on Fraser’s Ridge? Jamie asks Roger to be his right hand in the mustering of militia and finding those willing to put down the rebellion. It will later backfire. In the book, The Fiery Cross, the Battle of Alamance is won by Governor Tryon. It ends with several Regulators being hung. Unfortunately, one of the people hung is Roger MacKenzie, after being falsely identified as a Regulator by his distant relation William Buccleigh MacKenzie. Will Murtagh make a sacrifice, knowing that Roger is Brianna’s husband and what it will do to her if she loses him?

What if Murtagh fakes his death? Can he escape to another state, or make it as far as the colony of New York and find the cairns and stones that Roger found? Would he be able to go through? We have not seen him anywhere near the Craigh Na Dun stones. We don’t know if he can hear the buzz or feel the pull, it’s possible he has time travel abilities in his blood. I don’t know about you, but I could see him coming through the stones and standing in New York in 1972 as a finale ending. I really hope so.

What are your Murtagh hashtags for the coming season? #MurtaghLivesOn

Murtagh’s on Borrowed Time Article

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