A note from editors Ashley Crawley and Janet Reynolds:
We here at the Outlander Cast Blog are likely closing out 2016 in the same manner as you, our fellow Obsessenachs. Yes, we’ve made time to eat, drink and be merry with our family and friends for the holidays. We’ve also balanced out all that family togetherness by sneaking off for a bit of solitude to re-watch, re-read and re-obsess ourselves with Outlander episodes and books. But we’ve also been reflecting back on the year that was, and all that’s in store for 2017.
It’s been a truly exciting year at the OCB as we’ve enjoyed a sophomore season of our favorite show and weathered two Droughtlanders together (note to season 3 – get. here. already.). From cast and crew interviews and live episode blogs to thoughtful explorations of season 2 themes and first-person experiences from fan events – whew! We’ve been busy, verra busy indeed. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
But before old acquaintance – err… blog posts, that is – be forgot and never thought upon, we wanted to take another look at the more than 170 posts we brought to you in 2016. So, Janet and I did the impossible and asked the OCB staff to pick their favorite child – err… blog post, that is – and offer you their rationale on why. Their choices will have you re-visiting some of your all-time favorite posts or discovering new ones.
Now, enjoy this “best of the best” in the words of our writers…
Blake Larsen, Outlander Cast Host
Diana Gabaldon Offers Surprising Take on EW Cover and Blake Reacts
I loved this post because it was such a hot button topic, and I was soooooo nervous to publish it. Being a fan of Outlander the show, but not a completely devoted fan to Diana, I really was ready to CRUSH her if she gave a response that I thought would damage the show. But she really surprised me, and backed the scandalous cover up. It felt like everyone had an opinion, and a lot of those opinions were so far stuck up everyone’s collective butts that we couldn’t see the light of day. So, me, being the slight contrarian, I wanted everyone to calm down and look at it for what it was – just great publicity. But, I couldn’t resist calling people out for being sanctimonious “pearl clutchers” either.
Honestly, that cover was a stroke of genius. People actually talked about Outlander for the first time in a widely public setting. Even non fans. And, as a fan, if you felt the need to apologize for that, I really believe you were doing yourself and the show a disservice. Never mind the hypocrisy in action too. Because, as I noted: “None, that’s right, NONE of the Outlander fandom can promulgate the notion of Claire as an amazing, independent, fierce, idyllic model for all modern women (which, she is), and then persecute STARZ, EW, or Outlander for highlighting one of the MAIN characteristics of Claire that make her so exciting and different from other cardboard-cut-out female leads in Hollywood: her sexual power/prowess.” This post, for me, embodied all the great conversation we can have as a fandom.
To read more posts by Blake, go here.
Ashley Crawley, Editor-in-Chief
Here’s to You, Mrs. Fitz!
Celebrity crushes – we all have them, whether on the character or the actor who plays them. But you know what’s better than having an unabashed crush that won’t quit? Having that adoring crush and a forum on which to publicly tell the world, and the actor! Boom. Wait, wait… this isn’t headed where you think it’s headed. Yes, Sam is dreamy. How could he not be in all that kilted glory? Helloooo, knee porn. Nope. In season 1, my adoring eyes belonged to the heart and soul of Castle Leoch – Mrs. Fitz. Recognizing that she’s the latest and greatest in a [sometimes overdone] character archetype, I kicked off this post detailing my favorite Fitzy-like characters of TV shows past before offering my open love letter to Annette Badland and her wonderful portrayal of Mrs. Fitz. Writing the post and sharing it with you was joy enough… but then Annette joined Twitter and I was able to share it with her directly. Thus, joy on steroids. But why read about Annette as Mrs. Fitz when you hear it directly from Annette, in own words! Be sure to listen to the Outlander Cast interview with Annette in the latest episode of the #Gonelander Series.
To read more posts by Ashley, go here.
To read more posts by Janet, go here.
To read more posts by Kendra, go here.
Anne Gavin, News Editor & Senior Writer
“The Scotland Diaries – May 24-27 – Over the Sea to Skye”
It was ambitious to commit to blogging my travels in Scotland this past spring. I had no idea if I would have time, Wi-Fi or the wherewithal to document the trip. It turns out – I really needed to write this unbelievable experience down and share it. This Scotland Diary entry was the 6th of 7 diary entries through my two-plus week trip. It’s my favorite in many ways – not the least of which is I felt transported immediately before, during and after those days on Skye. The words just poured out of me and I was really, really REALLY happy then. It’s so hard to explain or put into words, but I tried… although not sure I completely captured the feeling. I spent my first week in Scotland traveling Jamie and Claire’s path. But, ironically, it was Skye that really made me fall deeply in love with Scotland and with that part of my Celtic heritage. It’s always been about the sea for me. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time near the sea when in Scotland and, in particular, those three days spent traveling the roads of Skye. Skye is spectacular and truly breathtaking, and I experienced all emotions there. I laughed, I cried, I was happy and I was sad. It was EVERYTHING to go there and be a part of that beautiful island for even just a moment in time. I hope you enjoy re-living my experience there and please check out the rest of my Scotland Diary entries. And, bonus – I am always available to answer Scotland travel inquiries!
To read more posts by Anne, go here.
Holly Richter-White, Senior Writer
Janet Reynolds, Anne Gavin and I had fun devising the categories and the nominees. I was forced (FORCED!) to re-watch Outlander episodes over and over, just to catch all the little details I had missed. While I still lament the lack of romantic scenes and emotional connection between Jamie and Claire, I came away with a whole new appreciation for the costumes, the set, the dialogue, and the nuances of the acting. Then as a total treat, I got to go live with Mary and Blake to announce them. Not bad for an introverted writer!
To read more posts by Holly, go here.
Denise Stewart, Senior Writer
Keeping Faith: A Nurse on the Loss of a Baby in Outlander
Writing for the Outlander Cast Blog has been a great adventure for me. I had never considered myself a writer, but the team told me to write what I know. That came to me in Episode 2.07, “Faith.” I knew I had to write about it, but wasn’t sure how. The loss of a child is not something I have ever had to endure personally, but being a caregiver of the most tiny of patients and their parents has allowed me the inside view of how painful it can be and how beautiful life is. This piece is near and dear to my heart.
To read more posts by Denise, go here.
Teddie Potter, Staff Writer
May I Speak Frankly?
Christmas is over, and the day to unwrap the 2017 Outlander calendar draws near. Before leaving this year behind us, I recall that Frank Randall’s October 2016 calendar page inspired a host of Outlander fan emotions. Love him or hate him, season 3 of Outlander on Starz promises to bring us more of Frank Randall, as the story of Voyager unfolds. Let’s not exit 2016 without one more chance to speak frankly…
To read more posts by Teddie, go here.
Nikki Gastineau, Staff Writer
Into the Darkness: Finding Personal Light through Outlander
To read more posts by Nikki, go here.
Jayne Coleman, Staff Writer
The Need To Belong: Jamie and Claire as Outsiders Looking In
What a year! December, in particular, has been an exciting month for me… my first posts were published on the Outlander Cast Blog! My series on “outsiders in Outlander” was the culmination of almost a quarter of a century love affair with Outlander, Claire and Jamie. I was thrilled to become a staff writer and even more so to see this first article of mine out in the public arena. It was also nerve-wracking waiting for comments – social media stage fright, if you will. So I was very thankful to receive positive comments and engagements with my work. These are the reasons why I rank this my favorite authored post of 2016. I hope those of you who haven’t read it will take the time to do so now.
To read more posts by Jayne, go here.
Anne Hawkinson, Staff Writer
The Role of a Staircase
The sensuous, curvaceous staircase in Jared’s Paris apartment had a role to play, along with the actors who interacted with that gorgeous set piece. We, the viewers, looked (up or down) upon the actors as they moved through the space. It provided a sense of dominance or submission – and interesting juxtapositions – without uttering a single word. The steps allowed us a long, leisurely look at Claire’s red dress – her skirt brushing each one as she descended, and it transformed into a stage as she presented herself to Jamie and Murtagh. Contrast that with the gorgeous filigree that supported the heavily pregnant, descending Claire and the barren emptiness Jamie ascended after being released from the Bastille. It was silent, stationary, and oh, so powerful.
To read more posts by Anne, go here.
Andrée Poppleton, Staff Writer
Behind the Scenes at the BAFTAs: Outlander Up Close and Personal
If you missed it, or to relive the fun, check out Naomi Booker’s story of all the action that day in this guest post she did for the Outlander Cast Blog. As a fellow New Glasgow Girl, it’s what made me realize I could be a part of that group and be part of the OCB Blog team. I’m looking forward to publishing my first posts for you in 2017!
A final note from the entire team:
Most importantly, we want to thank YOU for your loyal readership of the OCB throughout this past year. Like you, we are just fans who love (LOVE!) to gab about our shared obsession and greatly appreciate you nestling in our safe, humble corner of this giant Outlander universe to gab right along with us. We raise a glass and offer a cheers to you and yours for a very healthy and happy 2017!