Category Archives: Tim Downie

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

In Outlander, All Roads Lead to Wilmington

IMG_1959 2All roads lead to Wilmington in this episode, as a large crossroads town and serving capitol for the Governor of the colony, it is a great meeting place for many of our characters as their storylines cross paths. In episode 408 Wilmington, we see many dangers arise, and reunions met, and emotions that run the gamut. Now, remember back in Outlander Season 2 in Paris, the insane intrigue and plotting to stop the Battle of Culloden? It looks like the Frasers are going down a similar path, only this time they are eventually going to meet a revolution. Hang on to your seats, there’s a lot going on here.

Prelude 1769

In an episode filled with reunion, connections and intrigue, we start off with the across time reunion of Roger (Rik Rankin) and Brianna( Sophie Skelton). Roger makes it to Wilmington, North Carolina, and is fervently asking anyone in town that we meets if they have seen Brianna. He carries the nearly worn out portrait of himself and Bree that was done at the Scottish games two hundred years in the future. It reflects his beleaguered self, the worn out man seeking a woman he loves who didn’t just go away, passed back in time to do so. The life of a traveler is one fraught with danger and many trials. He turns to ask Fergus Fraser (Cesar Domboy), after leaving his place of employment at the printers, if he has seen the woman in the picture, and Fergus says no.

As Fergus continues on, he heads home to Marsali and their young wriggling son, IMG_1976Germaine. A surprise is in store, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are in town at the request of Governor Tryon. Claire is spending time with grandchild and discussing the Governor’s real agenda, to check up on the Fraser’s and test Jamie’s loyalties. For 10 thousand Acres is at stake.

 

IMG_1984Marsali (Lauren Lyle), in a rare moment, confides in Claire how much motherhood has changed her. She feels she would do anything to protect her child, take a knife to her belly even. We see the tension that was once between Claire and Marsali has melted into a kinship of understanding, that Claire is not the evil witch Marsali was led to believe, and that the two women are family and have to support one another. We also see that Claire feels the loss of Brianna while handling baby Germaine.

Surgery as Subterfuge

download-2That evening Jamie and Claire attend the play at the Governor’s firm request and meet Mr. Fanning, who among other things, is the magistrate of the lands that encompass Fraser’s Ridge and surrounding areas. They are told the story of the man trying to placate some of the insurgents the previous spring, by bringing them a cask of rum drink after a recent outcry of taxation woes. He indicates to them that he had injured himself in the process. Other characters pop up and we are introduced to the first historical figure, Colonel George Washington and his wife Martha. Claire of course makes a historical faux pas about cherry trees. She later tells Jamie who he really is, and will be in the future.IMG_1975

Governor Tryon (Tim Downey), takes Jamie, Mr. Fanning and Col. Washington further into confidence while gauging his support against the insurgents, who he states should have no right to call themselves Regulators. Jamie finds out that the Governor knows that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is one of the leaders and must find a way to escape the play to warn him after the Governor let’s slip that his men have gone to surprise the raid on the tax collector’s carriage. Tryon has a planted man in the insurgent’s camp, and knows of their movements.

JPEG image-9D3880A4E461-1In true Outlander fashion, a diversion must be made to allow Jamie to escape unnoticed, and one conveniently arises when Mr. Fanning goes into convulsions of pain from his injury, after Jamie conveniently aggravates the area, which Claire had suspected was a hernia. A table is laid clear and Claire performs surgery, cleverly diverting Governor Tryon in the process of performing the surgery by demanding his help. Jamie exits and finds that Col. Washington is leaving early and receives a ride in his coach to get into town under the guise of getting his wife’s medical bag, and sets off to warn Murtagh. He comes back before he is noticed missing, thanks due to some superb surgery by Claire, all done with efficient purpose, and not a drop of blood on the immaculate ivory dress.

The play’s the thing, and the intrigue involved was classic Outlander and hails back to IMG_1974season 2 in Paris with Kings, Princes, and an evil Compte. This time Claire and Jamie are battling a greedy Governor and people in power, like Fanning the magistrate with his hands in both pots. The colonies have become infused with backwater politicking. In order to survive, Jamie and Claire must appear to be in the Governor’s favor, yet let Murtagh know he’s in danger. The scene was played out with great finesse and aplomb by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, as their characters performed a ballet around Tryon and the other guests. How long they will be able to keep up this game, is not known. In Paris it nearly cost them their marriage, and they lost a child in all the strain their plots caused Claire during pregnancy. The stakes are very high again, with a large land grant, getting settlers, and appearing to help keep the peace will prove to be very difficult, and make for at least another season’s storytelling.

Regulator Action

Murtagh408Murtagh Fitzgibbons has done a great many things in his life. He’s been a cattle rustler, soldier, prisoner, indentured man, and blacksmith. And yes, when in Paris twenty years before, he acted as highwayman at Jamie’s direction, to steal the Comte’s and Prince Charlie’s wine shipment to foil the gaining of money to further the cause of fighting in Scotland. Now, as a leader of the Regulators movement, Murtagh is making his own plots and intrigue. His men are at the ready. His purpose to take back the tax monies taken from them. After surveying the road and thinking, Murtagh joins his men and they lie in wait, when the action is about to happen, Fergus comes crashing in and identifies himself as Fergus, and that M’Lord has asked him to worn them. Murtagh recognizes him and they call the raid off just in time. Fergus waits until the others leave, warning Murtagh that MurtaghFergus408there is a traitor in his camp. Murtagh is glad to be reunited with Fergus, however asks why his Godson could not deliver the message himself? Murtagh is incensed that Jamie did not come, growing impatient with Jamie’s neutrality declaration.

Laying the Blame

Later with Governor Tryon and Jamie in the carriage, Tryon bemoans his plans being thwarted and states someone must have warned them. The only people he told were with him in the carriage, except for Fanning who of course was being operated on. Another gentleman points out that Col. Washington had left, and Jamie helps going along with it most have been him. Tryon makes the annoyed statement to, “Never trust a Virginian!’ and that “Washington’s day will come!”. A very prophetic statement. And how will Jamie keep his involvement in going along with this pointing a finger, not bite back later?

The Fasted Hand

IMG_1971Roger is disappointed and well beat with searching for Brianna over two hundred years time and the dangers of sea crossing. There is nothing like finally getting to where she should be located, and not finding her. While sitting in the tavern of Brianna’s Inn, he has a frustration moment and gets up to leave, and then he hears her voice, booking passage up the river to River Run. They reunite and a slight tustle begins again, for their courtship will ever be a rocky one. Lizzie, Brianna’s maid, witnesses as Roger drags Brianna outside and they have another lover’s quarrel. In the street they agree to move to a shed that happens to have a bit of a fireplace and storage room. They declare their love and Roger brings up the old Scottish tradition of Handfasting, to become promised as husband and wife for a year and a day. They perform the ritual in front of the fire and have their wedding night.

In conversation after coupling, Roger let’s slip the fact that he had read the same obituary that Brianna had regarding her parent’s death. In true Brianna fashion, she takes exception when she discovers that Roger knew of the fire that would kill her parents, had read the same article, and did not warn her.

Roger again fails in becoming the parental figure, argues that it would have been dangerous and careless, he had wanted to protect her from the pain. The conversation goes from bad to worse, accusations of Roger controlling what Brianna thinks and does, and Roger rounding with he should perhaps treat her more like a wife and control her more, things would work out better. They come to a head with Brianna telling Roger he should just go. Roger with after traveling 200 years to find her and the dangers of her being on her own. Brianna states that she and Lizzie were doing just fine.

Sadly, Brianna has just set herself up. The 18th century is a very dangerous place for a woman to be alone in. After going from complete happiness, to utter betrayal with her lover, she is devastated, in shock. After Roger leaves, she stumbles back to the inn, where things become much worse. Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is drinking and gambling in the tavern downstairs and is flashing about her mother’s wedding ring. Brianna recognizes the ring and tries to buy it off him, and get any information she can about her mother. Bad judgement, and filled with anxiety and desperation about Claire, she follows him to another room, right into his trap. What follows is a terrible blow, a day that started with finding her love, the loss of him, and then becoming a victim to a sociopathic man. The rape scene is off camera with the effect being that you hear everything, but the camera stays on the tavern room with everyone in Bonnet’s crew continuing on as they acknowledge, and yet ignore the scene going on next door. A very beaten Brianna is allowed to take her mother’s ring, as payment for services, and she slowly, painfully goes back upstairs to her rooms with Lizzie.

Remember, Lizzie saw her mistress leave with the man, Roger, and come back hurt. Will Lizzie report the incident? And to whom.

Outlander Producers on the Difficulties of Dealing with Sensitivities With Sexual Violence

Season 4 has a great deal in common with season 2, with the plots and intrigues very close to the previous spying and intelligence gathering that Claire, Jamie, Murtagh and Fergus did to sabotage Prince Charles’ battle plans in Scotland. You would think they had learned the first time. The Frasers are falling into the troubles that are prelude to a war, the over taxation of the colonists is just one. As Claire has already brought up, there’s a revolution in 6 years time. War may seem far off, however, it will come to the backcountry and slowly begin to boil.  How can they place themselves out of harm’s way, how to keep Fraser’s Ridge a sanctuary from war.

Tainted Warnings

JPEG image-4D2E75B6D40E-1After the foiled carriage raid, Murtagh is annoyed that Jamie himself could not come and warn him, but is glad of the warning and reuniting with Fergus. We see another seed of the growing conflict between Godfather and Godson, as Murtagh questions Jamie’s loyalties. Perhaps he is becoming old and jaded, and who can blame him? He doesn’t trust the situation with the Governor, even though having Jamie appear close will help him to get information, which is what he had asked Jamie to do, and was refused. Jamie declared he would not help or hinder, that there was too much at stake. Murtagh feels betrayed, and if you remember back to a scene in a courtyard in Paris, when Jamie finally told Murtagh what they were trying to do in Paris, Jamie got quite the punch from his Godfather. Murtagh takes exception to not being trusted or included. Losing Murtagh again would devastate Jamie, he is the last of his clansmen. Do we think that Fergus will become involved with the Regulators, we know he wanted to fight so badly at Culloden. Murtagh will not like how Fergus lost his hand. JPEG image-FE5AAAA94E8E-1

Brianna and Roger

Sophie Skelton has another fine performance in a truly brutal scene. After telling the man she loves to leave, again, Brianna lands in the worst possible situation, becoming the victim of a sociopath. Skelton’s performance in the aftermath of the rape by Bonnet shows her growth as a performer over the last 2 seasons. The Hand Fasting and perceived betrayal, and consequential rape of Brianna at Bonnet’s Hands was on par with a Game of Thrones story line in it’s brutality. Rik Rankin is taking to heart playing a very stubborn man and his much outdated sense of love, but in some ways you cannot blame him. He is right about the dangers in the colonies, he is a historian, he knew what could happen. And Twitter was on fire with how Roger should have stayed! However, he will need to find some way to have more modern concepts of love while being in the 18th century, or he loses Brianna forever. We’ll see what happens next time on Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees, only 5 more episodes to go.

Rik Rankin on The Wilmington Clash at SyFy.com Video

Watch Outlander Saturdays with the Starz ®App and at 8PM EST on Starz®. Amazon Prime in the UK on Mondays, W Network in Canada on Sundays.

All images ©2018 Starz® LLC

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“Is there a message you wish to give me, lass?”

 

 

Outlander Episode 408: Wilmington Previews

Murtagh’s in a whole lot of trouble. This weeks previews and photos show him hip deep in intrigue. Claire and Jamie are deep in plots and subterfuge again attending a play, and trying to find out how much the Governor knows about the Regulator activities. Governor Tryon confides in Jamie about his knowledge of the insurgent’s leader, Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix) and we get another reunion glimpse.

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Brianna and Roger make port, and Roger meets Fergus. Eventually  he meets up with Brianna, however Brianna will unfortunately encounter Stephen Bonnet. Something you should never do, is make Murtagh angry. Guess who is foolish enough to do that?

Roger and Bree’s reunion Fun Preview Article Entertainment Weekly

 

 

You can watch these episodes at midnight on Saturdays with the Starz ®App and at 8PM EST on Starz®. Amazon Prime in the UK on Mondays.

 

Outlander S4 404 Common Ground is Not so Common

download-9I have been dragging heels on writing this review because the week has been a week, and well I was wrapping my head around another book diversion, that I think actually worked out rather well. Many people have been debating it all week.

As the episode Common Ground unfolds, we are on the Ridge with the Fraser’s and Ian making a stake at a claim, with dangerous results. We are back in the aftermath of Roger and Brianna having a break off after Brianna rejected Rogers wedding proposal.

Roger (Richard Rankin) is back in Oxford and Inverness, and while cleaning up some more of the ever growing boxes, Fiona shows him an article that the Reverend Wakefield had on a James Fraser of Fraser’s Ridge dying in a fire. This brings up that the Reverend must have been doing some research on Jamie Fraser as Frank Randall’s request, remember the letter Frank was writing when Claire went into labor in season 3? In the books, we also have an incident where Claire finds the tombstone of Jamie Fraser in Scotland, part of what drives her to keep Jamie from returning to Scotland during the next few books, her fear of his death. Fiona tells Roger he should warn Brianna(Sophie Skelton), and let’s on she has already known about Claire going back. She kens what her Gran told her, and suspected as much. Fiona becomes a great ally in the book Drums of Autumn and aids Roger in his quest to find Brianna. You guessed it, after calling and finding that Brianna has gone to Scotland, he concludes that she must have gone to the stones at Crag Na Dun and plans to go back in time. Now he must find her. In the books, we know that the fire festivals play a key role in when traveling time is best for the stones. However the series doesn’t seem to be following this much, just that the traveler must have a precious gem on their person for traveling. We’ll see in the next episode, 405: Savages.

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Back in the 18th c., the Frasers are in Wilmington getting the land grant drawn up by Governor Tryon, who makes comments about savages in the vicinity, and if Jamie wants to leave the Missus with them while he stakes out his claim. There is a remark about that it is said there is not much difference between a Highlander and a savage, that Jamie handles in typical Jamie aplomb. Claire will not be left behind, much to the chagrin of young Marsali (Lauren Lyle), who of course did not care for Claire because of her mother Laoghaire, but has grown to trust her and the fact she is a healer, while Marsali is expecting her first child and wants someone around to help with the birth. Claire comforts where she can, but is determined to get to the Ridge.Outlander-Episode-405-Preview-_-STARZ-Google-Chrome-11_25_2018-7_49_07-PM-7-768x432

The settling of the first Fraser’s on the Ridge is hindered by confrontations with the Indian tribe, who in the series are presented as Cherokee, not Mohawk or Tuscarora. Boundry stakes are pulled up, and a mysterious pile of animal dung is found. Claire discusses the North American bear and how dangerous they can be, however the should be hibernating. John Quicy Myres comes to the Frasers aid and tried to negotiate some truce between the Frasers and the tribe. The Frasers are woken in the night by bizarre noises and unsettled horses and Clarence braying. One horse comes back severely injured by what Clair identifies as a bear mark. On his way back, John Quincy Myers is attacked by a bear, and makes his way back to Claire who is trying to save him from his wounds. Jamie takes off with a gun to confront the bear.

All this time we see the chanting of the tribe in a ritualistic dance mimicking bear movements. It is not clear if they are foretelling the events as the unfold, or wishing the event to take place. Are they using a bear to rid themselves of the settlers? In departure from the book, Jamie does indeed do battle with a bear, however the bear is a manlike creature. We later learn after Jamie does battle with the demented man-bear, and brings the dead man to the Indians, that the man had been banished from the tribe and had gone mad, taken on the guise of tskili yona, and that they had wanted him to move on. Jamie still get’s the moniker “Bear Killer”, and a modicum of respect from the tribe. Jamie now has something he can build upon to find common ground with the neighbors.

Sam Heughan on Bear Fight

The changes do work in this episode, and for whatever reason, JQM is operated on by Claire for a bear wound and not the famous scene fans were waiting for back in River Run. It does not mean that such an operation will not happen in the series, it may happen later. There is also another character I could see the writers deciding to do that one on. And he’s in the credits for 405: Savages. Get out your hankies.

Airing on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 8PM EST 5PM PST in the US on Starz®, at Midnight Drop on December 2 for the Starz App ( 9PM PST Dec 1 ). The show then airs on Amazon Prime UK on December 3, 2018. In Canada on the W Network.

All Images ©2018 Starz® LLC

Shaun Vlog on The Bear Episode

Last Blocks of Season Four Outlander Cast

boyd

by J. Canning

As always, Spoilers Alerts. If you have not read the book series, I will keep it to a minimum.

Doyle

This week we got the welcomed announcement that the final blocks of season 4 have had new casting announcements. Some familiar faces and up and coming actors are in the mix.

Scottish actor Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings) will be taking on the role of Gerald Forbes, a lawyer for Jocasta Cameron, Jamie’s aunt. Maria Kennedy Doyle (Orphan Black, Downton Abbey) has taken on the role of the strong, Scottish woman who is the last remaining MacKenzie sibling, her brothers being Colum and Dougal. Her sister, Helen, was Jamie’s mother. The role will be a complicated one and Maria will master it, and no doubt be a force for Claire to recon with. Forbes will be asked to change Jocasta’s will to reflect a new heir.

DownieTim Downie (The King’s Speech, Upstart Crow), is set to play Governor William Tryon, a historical character involved in the War of Regulation prior to the American Revolution. He is the acting Governor of the North Carolina colony, a military man.

Caitlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caitlyn O’Ryan will play Lizzie Wymess, who becomes Brianna Randall’s traveling companion. Her father is forced to sell himself into indenturement.

Simona Brown will join the cast as Gayle, Brianna Randal’s college roommate.

And the pivotal role of Phaedre, Jocasta’s body slave will be played by Natalie Simpson (Ennui, Royal Shakespeare Company). As body slave, she knows intimately Jocasta’s secrets, and book readers will know there are many. She and Ulysses, played by Colin McFarlane(Commuter) are the backbone of the River Run household. Ulysses is the slave that was purchased to have a care for Jocasta by her husband.Simpson

Season four is based on the book Drums of Autumn, by Diana Gabaldon. The book centers on Jamie and Claire Frasers arrival and settlement in the American colonies. If you haven’t started reading your summer books, start with this one. We await the season and are walking in the sands of Droughtlander again, sigh.

Find the actors on:

Doyle 

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0448204/

Downie

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0236071/