Entertainment Weekly hosted the Outlander Season 3 NYC premiere. An Outlander Cast Street Squad member takes us there virtually.
Editors’ note: From time to time guest contributors help us expand our Outlander coverage by being our Fan on the Street for different events. This post was written by Angela Hickey, who was a member of our Outlander Cast Street Squad at the recent Outlander Season 3 NYC premiere.
My Outlander fandom—also known as “my crazy obsession” by family and friends—has brought yet another “first time” adventure to my life—the Outlander Season 3 NYC Premiere. A 49 year-old woman can’t say that about too many things. Life becomes so routine.
Since becoming an Outlander fan, its vines have wrapped through my life so completely and taken root in my soul. Outlander has become part of my identity, touching my real life with its spirit of adventure. I admit it now. (I used to deny, deflect and defend when friends or family would tell me, “you are too crazy about Outlander.” But now? I dinna bother. I am too far gone to really care. I swim in my Outlander pool, and they can either jump on in, or deal with an occasional splash or two.)
Outlander brought many “first time” experiences to my life. First “girlfriend trip.” First time seeing New Orleans. First 5K. First Midsummer’s Day Celebration. First “Tall Ships Celebration”.. I even “Learned to Pickle Like Claire on the Ridge” … not that I will ever do it.. but if I travelled to the 18th century and had to.. I could! I have taken three trips to NY for Outlander-related events. I screamed “Tulach Ard!” with Gary Lewis, took silly poses with Nell Hudson and got a wee bit close and personal with Richard Rankin (highlight of the night for my table)! I even boldly asked Stephen Walters to send a video message to my husband, who was so upset “his favorite character died” – AND HE DID! Now I can add “Attending a Red Carpet Premiere” and “Meeting Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe” to my list of virgin experiences. AMAZING! Talk about excitement and adventure! It will be verra difficult to top.
So, how did this amazing opportunity come my way? It was an Outlandish miracle. When I heard EW was hosting this event, I was super excited. Then I found out only 130 pairs of tickets would be given out in an online mad grab, and depression fell on my heart. I cursed my country farmhouse in South Jersey, its decrepit wiring and terrible internet connection. (Slow is an understatement.) I honestly thought I had no chance. Those city slickers out there with their fiber optic cable would crush my rickety satellite connection, leaving me in their dust as soon as an opening allowed another registration to sneak in. I hoped I would have better speed using phone data, but that was a verra wee flicker of hope indeed.
Meanwhile, Waverly Wickes Ford, a friend and member of our Outlander Cast Facebook group, was in a similar boat. So we made a wee pact. We would double our chances by making other our “plus one.” Somehow, after 10 minutes, the portal opened, and I swear I heard a bagpipe play as a wee Scottish angel got its wings. I landed on the registration page and after much confusion, we were on our way!
As plans quickly came together, I volunteered to serve on the Outlander Street Squad to cover the event for our members. I offered to work on Facebook and blog coverage (following the lead of my good friend Lisa Cole Perkis, who did such a terrific job in that post for San Diego Comic-Con). Facebook Live was another “first” for me (as many of you may have noticed) ? I also organized a “gathering” of our squad for lunch, booked the hotel… then it hit me .. “JHRC! This is real!”
As we discussed transportation plans, Waverly stepped up with a brilliant idea. After finding out that Sam would be appearing on Live with Kelly and Ryan that morning, Waverly said, “What would you think about leaving around 6:00 a.m. to try and see Sam leaving the show?” My brain quickly calculates this to mean getting up at 4:00 a.m. minimum (a horror for my night owl body clock), then running in high gear up to and through the night event. But I learned my lesson last year, never to hesitate when Waverly makes daring suggestions. I missed my chance to meet Sam at his Barbour event and said then, “Never again!”
All I can say is … BLESS HER PERSISTENT, DARING HEART! After plowing through obstacles of bully bus drivers and missing hotel reservations (both of which felt like clouds of doom), we found ourselves waiting outside the show at 8:45 a.m., waiting for Sam to appear like the sun. While in line, we met another clan member and new friend, Bobbi Tadwalt, from Denver. Our anticipation built as we chatted the hour away, hoping for the best. Then he strolled through the garage door, dazzling us all with that smile, rewarding all our efforts with gracious attention. He passed over some of the non-fan brokers that tried to push their way through, and he spent most of his limited time signing autographs and taking pics with his “real” fans.
He was so wonderful and sweet. Words can’t really express the thrill I felt. I tried in my Facebook Live post after, and you can see the shine in my eyes. Waverly’s hands were shaking, and the three of us had smiles plastered on our faces for the rest of the day. This was just the first step in an AMAZING day!
I absolutely love how the common bond of Outlander transforms strangers into family. This phenomena was evident all day, especially among our team. We turned a three-hour event into a 24-hour “Clan Gathering.” Next, we met up with the Street Squad and friends for lunch at the Playwright Celtic Pub. Many of us were meeting for the first time, but it didn’t feel that way at all! We bonded with joy and anticipation for the exciting night to come. We toasted the end of Droughtlander and shared many laughs and theories about Seasons 3 and 4. Then back to the hotel to transform our look and “commence with the evening’s entertainment.”
As I said, this was a first for me, so I didn’t know what to expect. I spoke to a few “veterans” who told me their experience, but also said the previous events were run by STARZ not EW. I expected chaos, to be honest, since we all had experienced stress with registration and also with the purchase of the magazine cover collection. However, the event flowed well with smooth check in and doors opening on time. I knew many fans there from several groups and previous events. Again, it felt more like a Clan Gathering, rather than strangers coming together. The family feel filled the night with warmth, joy and friendship. We started with a cocktail reception featuring appetizers, wine and a Red Carpet area. In Outlander Cast terms, I would give it a 4.8 Kilt rating!
As the cocktail reception filled, the Red Carpet area started getting mobbed with press, cameras and fans. Our own Janet Reynolds and Ashley Crawley joined the media entourage. Just before Sam and Cait entered, we noticed theater doors opening and people straggling through them. We had a decision to make. Option A: fight the crowd to see the red carpet excitement, but end up in the back of the theater when everyone shifted there… or Option B: miss Sam and Cait’s entrance and get our seats now. We chose option B. Good choice. We ended up 5th row, dead center. (The first three rows were reserved). Incredible seats.
Several clan members and close friends from NJ had the same thought seated all around us. We had a great time chatting in the theater and taking pics while fun filming facts flashed on the screen.
Here are a few:
• 2000 Letters were made for the print shop. Capital letters are stored at the top of the rack and small letters at the bottom—thus the phrases “upper” and “lower” case.
• Sam Heughan accidentally whacked Tobias Menzies in the face when shooting the battle scenes.
• Two print presses were commissioned to be made by Alan May with the advice of Martin Andrews of Reading University as exact replicas of the original Benjamin Franklin printing press. . They are museum quality and Sam Heughan was trained how to operate the printing press.
Once the Red Carpet media time ended, people settled in their seats and the premiere began, starting with a lengthy recap trailer of Seasons 1 and 2. Then the first strains of “Skye Boat Song” played and the audience erupted in cheers! SO exciting! You could feel the energy. I will give some of my “vague” impressions of the episode (and season) at the end of this article with a spoiler warning, in case you are one of those people avoiding promo and reviews.
Following the premiere (as if that wasn’t enough), EW’s Lynette Rice led a 45-minute panel with Sam and Caitriona, who were greeted with tremendous applause after a fantastic episode. One of our Street Squad team members, Lisa Holton, asked an excellent question which went somewhat viral, since EW published an entire article based on it!
And I should also add our “media team” Janet Reynolds and Ashley Crawley asked two verra riveting questions of our stars, giving a real glimpse to their souls. These interviews also went viral. Sam’s second answer truly touched my heart. OUR TEAM ROCKED! .. So proud of everyone!
As we exited the theater, we received a Jamie and Claire collector cover of EW. We snapped pics like stars on the red carpet, riding a natural high. Then, I discovered Sam and Caitriona were outside doing autographs and pics. I had no idea that was happening, and they were leaving as we exited the building. However, I lucked out again, getting a pic with beautiful Caitriona on her way out!
We couldn’t let the night end, so we all headed to a local open air pub to celebrate this fabulous night together… Slainte!
Below I will give a few thoughts on the premiere (nothing super spoilery that hasn’t been revealed in promos) and the vibe I have for the season ahead … If you don’t want to read .. PLEASE STOP. I hope you enjoyed my Facebook posts and story. I canna wait to share this amazing season ahead with you all!
LAST WARNING ..
OK .. here we go..
The Musical Score. I don’t know about you, but I hoped for information from Bear McCreary about this season’s score. We heard about every other aspect, but nothing on the score. Last season, there was a bit of publicity about the music.. how he researched French music and altered the intro etc. So I took special note. The opening does have a musical shift, not as dramatic as France, but definitely there. A wee bit more modern maybe, less bagpipes. I enjoyed it. The score throughout the entire episode was OUTSTANDING! Bear, as usual, is genius.
The Battle. So much has been said that this was “added” for the fans because it “wasn’t in the book” .. I am an avid book fan and have read them all multiple times. I guess so many snippets about Culloden have been revealed over the series in fragments, that I felt it stayed true to the books, even though you don’t see it in this part of Voyager. So, if you are a book fan, I think you will be fulfilled and not feel “surprised” by anything. There is one choice they made that I was not a fan of, but I will talk to you on it after the episode airs.
Claire, misogyny and feminism. If you saw the new promo piece released called “Claire’s Journey,” you will see they really attack this idea in Claire’s life. I noticed it already as a predominant theme. For what it is worth, I loved the Claire and Frank sections of the episode. Great writing and acting by all three stars!
Frank’s charm. I loved the portrayal of Frank in the episode. The book does describe him as charming, And we see some of his charm and humor on display for the first time really. Maybe he is trying to win her heart again by turning it up, reminding her why she loved him before. I thought it was a great choice. It creates more struggle and sadness all around. But those fans out there that want to hate Frank all the time, probably won’t like it.
Artistry.. The visuals .. as always .. OUTSTANDING!
I hope everyone enjoys the episode as much as I did. Cheers to the end of Droughtlander!
Have you ever been to an Outlander event? Have you met people and done things you would never have done otherwise thanks to Outlander? We’d like to hear your stories!