Category Archives: Uncategorized

Outlander Season 5 Bridge of Allan Night Shoot May 6, 2019

IMG_2905

@Stewart9395 Duncan Lacroix arrives 

Great catches by both @Stewart9395 and Outlandish Journeys, one of the tour groups listed on our Outlander Tours page, of some BTS pictures and video on the late afternoon setup and evening shoot for the show’s season 5 first block of shooting in Bridge of Allen, just north of Stirling. The filming took place in the quarry by the golf course, in Mine Woods.

Filming was with Duncan Lacroix (Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser) and the Regulators extras.

I want to thank both Stewart and Outlandish Journeys for taking the time and patience to wait and film, and as always, not film the filming process. If you are lucky and stumble upon filming in your travels, we appreciate it if you do the same. Let’s give everyone the creative space they need.

Video on Outlander Journeys. Check them out at the link below. Give them a like and subscribe.

Video filmed by Outlandish Journeys on May 6, 2019. https://www.outlandishjourneys.com/

Photography by @Stewart9395

And some Regulators.

Outlander Cast Hiking Ben Lui

IMG_2855Instagram accounts for Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, and Duncan Lacroix lit up the day before Easter. The cast members along with David Berry and past crew members went hiking Ben Lui in Scotland. Although not tall enough for Munro status, the hike still commanded great views of higher climbs still, and fabulous green valleys. Duncan appears to be the camera person for most shots, then finally gives us a selfie.

Here’s hoping that Duncan didn’t pitch David off a cliff, since his musings on ditching Berry somewhere as Murtagh and LJG don’t quite see eye to eye on things. Healthy rivalries aside, it looks like all had a fabulous hike and made room for chocolate eggs. Or knowing all of them, a bit of whiskey.

Then there was the Easter egg hunt at Barry Waldo and Jon Gary Steele’s place, in which Lacroix does a chocolate egg stuff his face much like in Cool Hand Luke routine. Somehow he lived to tell the tale, and is hopefully filming today.

 

Bursting the Murcasta Bubble

410jocasta

Yes, spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good romance. It’s just you see Murtagh’s a favorite of mine, a very special character that’s had a lot of grief in his life, a survivor. One we know would not be content to just live after all the hardships, well the easy life won’t do for him. He’s feisty to the end. Many were so quick to jump to the pairing of two unlikely characters, the fandom’s big fantasy of many fans on Murtagh taking the place of Duncan Innes came to life. He was a Drums of Autumn and Fiery Cross book character, who eventually weds Jocasta to secure River Run against marauding neighboring landowning and non-landowning suitors . You see, Jocasta in the series has been pretty tame so far. She’s smoldering under the surface. However her machinations and control aspect, as a MacKenzie, have barely begun to surface. It’s a tale of survival by wits and how else can a woman retain power in the man’s world of the 18th Century?

So why am I taking the angle here, it’s certainly  not the popular one? I just don’t see that they have a future, really. Can Outlander handle another power couple? I mean I am rooting for a change up on Jocasta, maybe Murtagh can change her so, get her to see the truth. When you are in a healthy relationship, growing together is one thing, having to make someone change, or trying to make them change, doesn’t always bode well. Murky waters ahead for sure.

Believe it or not, there were those of us cringing when this coupling happened. Many of us book readers know a different Jocasta. Granted, very few things from the books have been in this season, or at least not the way they went in the book Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. To be fair, you have to give screen Jocasta a chance. But I believe we really haven’t seen her true self. It’s true that Ron Moore warned at New York Comic Con 2018 that the books will be there in essence, some books may be split, some mixed in timelines, and characters changed. So here’s my take on why I see Murcasta heading for sweet disaster:

411phaedrajocasta

River Run

Jocasta Cameron, played by Maria Kennedy Doyle to perfection, has been mistress of River Run for many years, and relies heavily on Ulysses, her slave, to run the plantation. Indeed, you come to find that really it is he who runs the plantation, and quite a bit more. She has been fending off many influential men herself since her forth husband died. She may be almost totally blind, however her other senses are very, very sharp, and she runs things like a fist of iron through Ulysses. She has avoided several offers of marriage herself, as she knows that the suitors are after River Run. When Jaimie and Claire turn up, she finally has a solution: her nephew can help her run the place, thus she makes him her heir. She tries to control another pawn piece. It’s a game to keep control, especially when she has lost her sight and her youth. Claire picks up on her manipulations to control Jamie, and when Jamie and Claire make the decision to take up Governor Tryon’s sign-in-blood offer for land, Jocasta tells her she is doing her nephew a disservice by persuading him to leave River Run. Because, she has to blame someone, Jamie cannot make a decision for himself. Claire, in her usually stand up fashion, tells it like it is. Really, Jamie is his own man, and wants his own land and opportunities on his terms. Unfortunately he makes a deal with a devil to do it. However, he can chose his devil. Really, we don’t like that Jocasta tried to come in between Jamie and Claire.

download-1

The Heir

In the book storyline, and in the series, we see Jocasta latch on to the next best thing for some control over River Run’s future, the saving of Brianna’s reputation, and perhaps naming a new heir. She spends a great deal of effort to try and secure a wealthy influential neighbor for Brianna’s and child’s security, which really is about the family saving face. And well, having a familial ally to help her just is another card in her game. Brianna’s resistance and quick thinking finds a temporary ally in Lord John Grey. By keeping up appearances and having a beneficial betrothal, and well, having a Lord in the family with property does just as well, Jocasta has made quite a coup. Jocasta, being a busy body and manipulating others in such a way, really doesn’t score high on the redeemable qualities. In the book. Ever a MacKenzie. Is Jocasta redeemable?

img_2462

Which Brings Us To Murtagh

So, many of you will be rewatching Season 4, probably already have, and certainly rewatch the finale Episode 413 Man of Worth, again, if anything just to watch and hear the Murtagh and Jocasta dialog. Some funny things have niggled at me, as I like to look at storylines from all angles. Murtagh, played intrepidly by Duncan Lacroix, was an indentured man for 14 years, then stayed on as smithy in a small town a few days up river from River Run. Now, Jocasta, who has her pulse on everything going on from the coastal waters to the mountains and beyond, did not know that a “Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser” was in the vicinity? Someone she knew from the old days, someone she had a little crush from the side on because he was in actually in love with her sister? Or did she know full well, and didn’t want to tarnish her reputation and estate with such acknowledgement? Indeed in the Murtagh and Jo tête-à-tête, where many short heated accusations occurred from their past, I was waiting for her to slip up that she knew where he was and had not contacted him because he was the trouble maker he was. This could still turn up in an outtake. Of course, when the sparks flew with two old adversaries, the reality set in that Jo did like him, and was just too proud to do anything about it, or knew that her families’ many machinations to get her married and allied for their gain, would stand in the way. Remember, the man we all love has never had more than two sticks to rub together, except when he ran the smithy. Sadly we know that what little he had gained with his smithy, he has had to forfeit because he is fighting in a just cause.

When Murtagh shows up after his jail escape, Jo is tells him to fill up and be on his way. She does give him a whiskey and the conversation turns. Of course, not one to back down from a fight or pointing out injustice, Murtagh sets right in with tearing apart her perfect River Run life. He tries to reason with her, point out that others have lost all they had, she of course goes on about how others had made something out of themselves. He brings up he did not come there by choice, but he did make something, and the over taxation was strangling him and others. He had been and seen the same cruelty play out in the past. It happened to many a Highlander up to Culloden, and the subsequent crushing of the Scottish people after that forced many of them out of Scotland. It would continue as long as The Government exploited the king’s subjects. Of course, when the two pair up, and somehow she conceals him at River Run, while there have been search parties for weeks, we are wondering how she managed that. Jamie and Claire notice the relationship it in the mad dash to get Murtagh out to the slave quarters to hide. They are not sure about this new development either.

img_2456

Future Twists

More spoilers ahead. Turn back now. If you think Jocasta hasn’t lead her own interesting life, there’s a few mysteries about her that end up coming to light in subsequent books. You then start seeing her more robust self, the woman she was before she lost most of her sight. She has survived several husbands. She has her own uprising story to tell, and subsequent fleeing to the colonies.

Her right hand man has been Ulysses. He has run everything for her for years and has been closer to her than you think. Is he willing to just step aside for another man? Or will Jocasta have to wed again for convenience sake, since she can’t openly do so with Murtagh, a wanted man? Or, will the wily pair contrive an existence of Jo hiding and running guns through her plantation to help Murtagh’s cause, while keeping up appearances? Would Ulysses ultimately manipulate this himself?

Then there is the conflict with Jamie and Murtagh having to be on opposing sides now that Governor Tryon has declared war on the Regulator Uprising. Murtagh will be conflicted, Jamie will be conflicted. Jamie will have to make it look like he is keeping the Regulators in check, and hunt his Godfather. This means separation for the couple. Will there be coded letters and messages? Will Jocasta decide to stick to her old ways and not endanger her lifestyle? Or will she by the end of season 5, break from it all and follow Murtagh and live in hiding. Will Murtagh allow that sacrifice?

img_2102Ultimately, I hope that Jocasta can change, she can come around a little to the reasoning of Murtagh, that she can actually see ahead despite her physical limitations, that owning slaves is wrong, and that over taxation is cruel. That she should meet the man she loves at least half way. That the rebelliousness that had her flee Scotland to seek a better life, could include a full, real life. However that would be too easy, and perhaps will be a long hard lesson for her. It will certainly add some spice and make sparks fly in the coming season.

Then there’s that other Duncan Innes plot twist book readers know about. Hmmm, that could twist things up a bit.

I’m digging out my Season 1 part one DVD set. I have been a fan of Murtagh from the beginning, and Jocasta better live up to that man’s love. Let’s hope she proves it in Season 5.

411Murtaghsacrifice

Outlander 405: A Savage Reunion

Finally, andownload-6 episode that harkens back to some season one and two drama, turmoil, strife, danger and that warm glowing feeling. After a season of bumpy starts and some very rapid fire storytelling, we get a very meaty episode with the dark realities of the colony of North Carolina, how hard it will really be to tame such wilderness, and all the human ugliness that can be told. While episode 402 Do No Harm was a shocker, Savages gets into the real meat of the dangers of colonial life. Even if the Frasers have been lucky enough to find a Scottish community for a backbone, and as they find in this episode, that doesn’t always suit. This episode was fantastic on many levels, and mainly because the backbone of the savages theme was that in reality, those that think they are civilized are not far removed from being a savage by more than a hairs breath, if that. This episode had the balance of action and extreme situations, along with the heartfelt homecoming of relationships rekindled. If you haven’t watched the episode, as always, spoilers alert.

1971

In this episode, we have a short interlude with the Roger and Brianna storyline. Roger wearily and doggedly returns to Inverness and makes a visit to Mrs. Baird’s B&B, looking for Brianna. Miss Baird tells him that she left a few days back, and when he asks if she left anything, after telling him no, changes her mind and produces a very short letter to him. The instructions had been to mail it to him a year after she left.

Roger reads the letter with dread, and yes Brianna does still care for him, but she must leave to warn her mother about the fire and try to change history. Of course none of these characters has learned about changing history, that it often cannot be done, and there can be dire consequences if a timeline is broken. Brianna is a stubborn one. However with ten years time before the burning of the house on the ridge, perhaps she can warn her mother and they can make preparations. Roger is already heartbroken and the full impact of what has happened hits him. Not only has he lost her, in his own country, but now she is 200 years in the past. And how far behind her is he?

1768

Claire’s growing friendship with the healer and Shaman Adawehi (Tantoo Cardinal) becomes more evident as we open in the 18th c. timeframe with the two women sharing an intimate creekside moment. The foreshadowing of the scene alone is sublime. Water is life. And there is sharing. The wise woman teaches Claire about local plants and herbs for healing, and begins to share the Cherokee language with Claire. Finally Claire has met a mentor, someone she can truly learn from. She asks Claire if she has children. Claire shares her love for Brianna.

Claire later prepares to leave to help a German family, The Mullers, the daughter about download-3to deliver a child. The child comes and everything is a success, and they even name the baby for Clara, the German Claire. Things seem well and we see a proud German father, Gerhard, who shares all his hopes and concerns for family with Claire. Then there is an incident at the creek, where the Cherokee tribe come to water their horses. In a misunderstanding, Gerhard (Urs Rechn) insists on thinking that  the Indians steal the water and threatens to shoot them. The proud Tawodi (Will Strongheart) states that the water belongs to no one, it is for all to share. A standoff ensues and Claire places herself between a bunch of angry men. She somewhat successfully talks both sides down, Outlander-Episode-405-Preview-_-STARZ-Google-Chrome-11_25_2018-7_49_07-PM-7-768x432however the superstitious Gerhard takes the blessings of Tawodi for the creek water as a curse. Claire again has to talk the German back down. The incident bodes ill of the representation of the water and water rights ideals of the white settlers and the cultural beliefs of the native people and foreshadows what will become an ongoing problem between the newcomers and the tribal concerns in the colonies.

Jamie and Ian make for the Scottish settlement, Willem Creek, to look for settlers for Fraser’s Ridge, with high hopes that anyone would be glad of a 100 acres land granted, that would not be taxed until the land became fertile and able to support itself as a farm. Good intentions do not always go well in the colonies as the men head to a local town to recruit from the Scottish settlers and townsfolk. After an unsuccessful meeting or two, Jamie tries the brother in arms approach, one English prisoner to another with a man called Brian. He is informed of the over taxation in the name of the Governor Tryon and the corrupt sheriffs that have driven the men to quit their farms. They are loath to start again, and have their hard work and toil lost to the sheriffs.

download-1Finally Jamie and Ian give up, and when they are about to leave, our every calamitous Young Ian, has a bridle bit break. Jamie sends him to the blacksmith, and behold we here a favorite voice from the past as we get the back view of a man at the forge. Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser turns from the forge and greets Young Ian who is begging for help. Ian of course has no clue who is standing before him, and begins haggling with a man who will never back down at a price for a service. Ian leaves the smithy and meets up with Jamie, his bargaining talents smashed. Jamie is enraged that all their money IMG_1896 2has been spent to fix a bit, and storms back to confront the smithy. In a scene that recalls the Print Shop Scene in season 3, where Claire and Jamie reunite in intensity, Murtagh with his back turned again hears Jamies demands and the voice hits him like a chord of notes. The emotion that rolls on the man is amazing, and Duncan Lacroix knows how to tug the pathos cord. He turns and looks at Jamie, thanks God, and Jamie takes a few moments to realize with the ever whitening hair and subtle age changes in face and countenance, that his lost Godfather is standing before him. As Ian says, the Old Coot. Bad choice of words, lad. Sam Heughan counters with emotional rolling of his own. The men rejoice and serious man hugs commence. Jamie introduces Murtagh and Ian is excited as he has heard about all the adventures the two men have shared in the past.

IMG_1890The men share a pint or two at the public house and Murtagh tells his story of indentured years and being apprenticed to the blacksmith. Jamie tells a very over joyous Murtagh that Claire came back to him after 20 years and is still in disbelief about it, and that he has a daughter.

Murtagh refuses and invitation to come to Fraser’s Ridge, and is annoyed with Jamie over taking the land grant from Tryon. He invites them to a meeting that night and says all will be made clear. At the meeting, Murtagh reveals himself to be a Regulator, the very men that Governor had warned about, and admitted his sheriffs may have been taking advantage of the people. Where else would Murtagh be, if not in the thick political rebellion. Jamie is about to get an earful of the other side of the story. Murtagh gives a speech, filled with pointed sarcasm, another thing Lacroix can sink his teeth in. He places a choice before Jamie. Murtagh has had enough of being treated unfairly by the British. He will pay what is due, not a penny more or less.  Murtagh makes a key statement about the backbone of the future problems which give rise to rebellion in the colonies, the ten years leading up to the American Revolutionary War. All anyone wants isIMG_1895 fair representation. Again, Jamie refuses to stay with Murtagh and join with him. He has a wife and Young Ian to consider. Jamie states he will not join, nor will he hinder their cause. After the meeting, he and Young Ian (John Bell) return to Frasers Ridge without Murtagh.

Claire spends the days after the birthing of the Muller’s grand daughter working the farm and of course pinning for Jamie. Rollo has kept he company and a disturbance happens and Claire lifts the musket she has  kept at the ready for days to protect herself. A local German pastor knocks on the door and is in fear of her safety, the Mullers have lost the daughter, grand daughter and son to The Measel. Claire is in disbelief as all had been well. Some time later Herr Muller appears and after he talks his way in, he is mad and insane with grief, fears that Claire is ill, and proceeds to tell her his story. Claire tries to use 20th century reason and explain illness, that the sickness was not a curse. He hands Claire a bundled fabric parcel, that she takes for the grand daughter’s doll. Muller tells her he has taken care of the witch of the Indian tribe while she unwraps in horror what the package contains.

Claire promptly and in her usual anger filled justice fashion, turns him out. The continuing tragedy unfolds as Muller returns to his homestead and the Indians take revenge.

This episode was the culmination of mysteries and fears that would continue to build in the colonies. The writers and actors succeed in telling us a very brutal reality that is to come, and at the same time show us some hope and compassion that people can have when living in extreme conditions. Murtagh’s changes his mind and does leave the town and turns up on Fraser’s Ridge, whistling “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, to get Claire’s attention. We get that embrace of hope at the end of a long and tumultuous episode. While fans very fervently hope that Murtagh will stay on the Ridge, with story arcs and Murtagh’s chance to live after having everything taken from him in Scotland, he will take a chance and make a change, fight for what he believes. Murtagh has more of a story to tell. There will be plenty of conflicts with Jamie and the Governor’s land grant, chances and turns the character will take in rebellion and the lead up to the War of the Regulators. We hope that the natives, who are no more savages than those that threaten them, will continue to build trust with the people of Fraser’s Ridge and that coexistence can continue. But this is the American Colonies, a place of great hardship and the conflict of those that were before, and those that came after.

As we see in the closing of the episode, young Brianna, who symbolizes hope for the future, approaches the standing stones at Crag na dun and steps through. There is always the future and a chance for our characters to carve out a life in the colonies of King George in North America.

And yes, I really want Murtagh’s great coat very badly. Don’t you?

Interviews and Articles

Killer Duncan Article on Vulture

Duncan Lacroix Interview on Vanity Fair

TV Insider

Duncan Lacroix Interview on Reunion S 4 Episode 5 Savages

Matt B. Roberts on Bringing Murtagh Back Variety Magazine

IMG_1893

Airing on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 8PM EST 5PM PST in the US on Starz®, show then airs on Amazon Prime UK on December 3, 2018. In Canada on the W Network.

All Images ©2018 Starz® LLC

Outlander Behind the Scenes

If you haven’t visited this site by Starz® for the Outlander Series, you should. It’s filled with great behind the scenes insight. Warning, some of the photos of the costumes you cannot take your eyes off of. Not to mention all the great set design details. Staring with this seasons 401 America the Beautiful, check out Claire’s medicine box and Rollo.

Outlander Community

d132ddc8c22dd872da2393af4b40667e42bd3bc4_ols4_402_102417_02354.jpg

 

Outlander Episode 401: America is a Dark Beauty

e5fabd4c-ae7c-4e92-8d2c-097481311e2a.jpg

When last we saw Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe), they were wrecked on a beach after a hurricane. Their landing in America a bedraggled mess. However, they were alive. They had survived.

In the season 4 premiere of America the Beautiful opener we are shown two circles, a Neolithic stone circle with natives attending and dancing in it, and then a hangman’s noose.

We come across our heroes a month after the shipwreck, entering North Carolina to sort through what to do next. Ian (John Bell), Marsali (Lauren Lyle) , Fergus (Cesar Domboy), and Lesley (Keith Fleming) survived the shipwreck. One other survived the wreck, however Gavin Hayes (James Allenby-Kirk) managed to get himself arrested and is heading for the gallows. The episode is a shaky, a bad beginning for arrival in the Americas. It is not all roses for many who come to her shores. The Frasers and their extended family are about to find out how bad. America has great beauty in her forests and streams, but some of the people can be quite ugly.

There is loss this season, and we start out with losing another set of friends. Hayes’s hanging leaves poor Lesley bereft of his friend. After the hanging when the Frasers are gathered to sort through what has happened and how to bury their friend, Leslie brings up that there has been no proper lament. In Scotland, a lament is called a Cumhadh or Coronach. It is an elegy composed for a friend or celebrated person. The table breaks into a lament, lead by Lesley. They then agree to bury Hayes under the cover of darkness in hallowed ground.

Gavin (Gabhainn) Hayes Coronach

Eisd ris! Eisd ris! Dh’fhàg thu, Gabhainn, sinn fo bhròn! Eisd ris! Eisd ris! ‘S truagh nach eil thu fhathast glè òg. Eisd ris! Eisd ris! Dh’fhàg thu, Gabhainn, sinn fo bhròn! Eisd ris! Eisd ris! ‘S truagh nach eil thu fhathast glè òg!

While setting to bury Hayes’s body, Ian and Jamie have a conversation about what happened to Young Ian in Jamaica at the hands of The Bakra, Geillis Duncan(Lotte Verbeek). Ian tells quite passionately his fears after she made him do despicable things. Jamie consoles him and tells him there is a difference in the physical act of pleasure being forced upon him, and true feeling. When they are going to get the body, they find they have an unwelcome guest, Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) in the wagon. Bonnet was due to be hung with Hayes but had escaped. Then went  about ingratiating himself on the Frasers party, even talking them into helping a friend of their late friend get away from the checkpoints set up to catch him.

Claire and Jamie end up spending the night in the woods to not catch suspicion. And that usually means an intimate moment before returning to the others. A deep conversation about what they truly mean to each other ensues. Jamie says to Claire, “After I die, my soul will still be yours. Nothing is lost, Sassenach, only changed.” This statement reminds us quite well a mystery from the first season. Many non book readers kept asking who the spirit was of the Highlander that Frank caught looking up at Claire in Inverness. It was Jamies ghost. You may wonder how that spirit could travel in time when we know that Jamie is not a time traveller. This statement of love is a strong bond. Jamie will always look out for Claire.

The Frasers find they must sell one of the rubies they took from Geillis, they need funding to feed and clothe everyone. Jamie does not wish to appear shabby in front of his Aunt Jocasta Cameron (Marie Kennedy Doyle). Claire wears the ruby set to attract the attention of a buyer. All goes well in selling the piece, and then Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) makes Jamie and offer of land in exchange for loyalty to the Crown, and to help keep an eye on the back country. Claire and Jamie discuss this new possibility, of staying in America, and what does it mean to have this land and gather settlers. He would be expected to stop any rising in the back  country.

The Frasers decide to stay in America, but have not decided on taking the offer of the Governor just yet. They make plans for taking a barge up the river to Aunt Jocasta’s plantation, River Run. Just when things seem so idyllic, disaster comes in the form of Stephen Bonnet and his river pirates. A massive struggle is joined and Claire is in the process of defending herself and Lesley comes to her aid, only to be killed and Bonnet attacks Claire and tries to take her two wedding rings from her, the gold ring from Frank, and the pewter ring from Jaimie. In the struggle Claire swallows the rings,  however Bonnet manhandles her and regains the ring that Jamie gave her. He takes the ring and leaves. This is a departure from the book, Drums of Autumn, where the ring that was taken was Frank’s ring that had engraving on it. This became very important in the storyline later. I’m very curious to see why they changed this detail, as the pewter ring would not really fetch a price. Of course Bonnet also had all of their gemstones as well.

Catch the next episode, 402 Do No Harm on November 11, 8pm EST, and on the Starz® App at Midnight. UK and Ireland viewers on Amazon UK Monday November 12.