It’s time for our annual Outlander Year in Review, a list of the Outlander Cast staff’s favorite 2018 blog posts. Did your favorite make the cut?
A note from editors Ashley Crawley and Janet Reynolds:
It’s hard to believe another Outlander year has passed and that we are looking ahead to seasons 5 AND 6 (and who knows after that? All fingers crossed).
Before we say hello to 2019 (and a Season 5!), we wanted to take a focused look at the 100 or so posts we brought you this year. Our staff did the impossible and picked their favorite — whether it was one they wrote or just one they loved read. 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 talented staff…
Blake Larsen, Co-founder
Why Outlander Isn’t The Same With Ira Steven Behr
I love everything about television and film — how it’s written, how it’s developed, shot, produced, and even all the business mechanics of bringing it to the screen. But I think I mainly love it because I admire people who are more talented in this one aspect of making film than I am in anything I will ever do in my own life. It’s such an incredible quality to have — the uncanny ability to evoke real world emotion from a fictional universe. Enter Ira Steven Behr, a writer, producer, and Ron D. Moore’s right hand man on Outlander in seasons 1 and 2. This piece is a deep analysis in why I think Outlander sorely misses his extreme talent on many levels. Whether it is how he could easily translate RDM’s words to paper, running the writers’ room, not being married to the books, or even his writing of fun relationships and embracing the darker side in Outlander’s story. To explore why Behr is so good, I analyze how he uses simple writing tools in specific scenes to make BJR an ACTUAL viable character, why any story worth telling needs a good antagonist, and how his departure may have affected the quality of Outlander for the future.
To read more posts by Blake, go here.
Ashley Crawley, Editor-in-chief
13 Work Excuses Outlander Season 3 Taught Me
Outlander isn’t what I’d call sophomoric, light-hearted fare. Not a week goes by that I don’t experience a rollercoaster of emotion so intense I fear the blood may never return to my head or I might not walk straight for days. But dig deep within this dynamic drama and you’ll find some hidden gems compliments of the talented writers that help to take the edge off the emotional thrill ride. Now, clearly they weren’t intending for their unicorn words to take on a double life baked in snark, but snark is my most fluent language. Because isn’t finding comedy or levity in the serious parts of life what makes it more bearable? For me it is, at least, and that’s why I threw together this list of Outlander-isms that are perfectly applicable as excuses to toss around when the work day drones on and you’ve grown tired of your old standby ones. If you haven’t tried any of these yet, 2019 gives you a fresh opportunity to do so. Besides, I do hear Richmond’s nice this time of year.
To read more posts by Ashley, go here.
Janet Reynolds, Associate Editor
Why I Reread and Reread (and Reread) Outlander
While I am an fan extraordinaire of the Outlander TV show (just ask my family for starters), my heart beats most for the books. I have reread (and listened to them) four times and counting and absolutely know as surely as I am typing these words that I will start the series from the beginning again this year so that it’s all fresh in my mind when Diana Gabaldon releases book nine, Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone, later in 2019 thankthegoodlord!!!
I loved writing this piece because it helped me better understand why I love to reread this series so much and why each rereading remains so delicious and enlightening.
To read more posts by Janet, go here.
The Scotland Diaries, Part 2: Visiting Scotland’s Outer Hebrides and More
A trip that literally changed my life. Exploring the beauty of the islands and the western and northern boundaries of Scotland, I discovered the true meaning of home and experienced a profound sense of happiness that I had never felt before. I rolled the dice of life and love and pushed my own personal boundaries despite trepidation and fear of the unknown. The results of taking those chances and the experiences described in this blog post turned my world upside down and I have never looked back. My favorite and most personal post of 2018.
To read more posts by Anne, go here.
Outlander Sanctuaries: The Sacred Spaces of James Fraser
I love this opportunity to reflect on the Outlander year that was. It’s always difficult to pick a favorite post of the year because, while each post means something different to me, they all mean a great deal. This sanctuary post was born of a genuine admiration for the Print Shop set created by Jon Gary Steele that evolved into a contemplation of all the physical and spiritual spaces that provided shelter for Jamie in the first three seasons of Outlander. My love of Outlander is fed by the constant comparisons that I make between the books and show and real life. Please consider this a shameless plug for my Outlander Life Lessons posts (here and here). This post was no exception. As I thought about Jamie’s sacred spaces, my mind flooded with memories of people and places that have sheltered me throughout my own life. And just as Claire is Jamie’s true sanctuary, there is a love that I call my own who seems to have been my sanctuary since before we met. His arms feel like home and that home is all I need. I’ve never watched a TV show or read books that have reflected back to me so many of my own thoughts and feelings and compelled me to write about them. I am thankful for the Outlander year that was and the Outlander year that is yet to come. May it continue to inspire us all.
To read more posts by Nikki, go here.
How They Made it: Drinking Colum’s Rhenish in the Great Hall
How They Made It: Recreating Mrs. Graham’s Shortbread
I’ve had a lot of fun writing for Outlander Cast this year, and choosing a favorite post is like choosing your favorite child….I love the experience for each one. Since I need to pick one, over-achiever that I am, I’ve picked two — one where I made shortbread by comparing brands of butter (aka the Great Butter Bake-Off Battle) and one when I hosted a Rhenish wine tasting. Both posts were fun to research and execute (and so tasty, too!), and I loved the reader engagement that followed. Wishing everyone a Happy Hogmanay and a happy, healthy 2019!
To read more posts by Tammy, go here.
Seeing Outlander: Behind the Scenes
For my favorite post I have to pick Andree Poppleton’s series, Seeing Outlander, her behind-the-scenes posts for Outlander Season 4. Andree spent a year in Scotland all because of her love of Outlander. Being on the writing team, we were able to experience some of her activity as she followed the cast and crew through all kinds of weather and terrain to capture these very special moments for all of us to enjoy. Each week is such a treasure to see how things were filmed. We also get to see exclusive pictures that she was able to capture but did not share until the respective episodes aired on STARZ. Be sure to check out her whole series of posts for all of the episodes from Outlander Season 4.
To read more posts by Denise, go here.
Outlander Conventions: How to pick the right one for you
It was the year of Outlander conventions, with all the controversy and excitement that follows everything related to the show. I enjoyed putting this article together because I was able to draw on the knowledge of several of my amazing Outlander friends and share their photographs and experiences, as well as some of my own. I hope it helps someone dipping their toes into the convention world.
Outlander Sanctuaries: The Sacred Spaces of James Fraser.
It has been an amazing end of the year since I have joined the Outlander Cast team. It is hard to believe that I have gone a whole year since I have learned about the world of Outlander. It feels like it’s been at least five years! Since then, I have fully immersed myself in the Outlander culture and there is no way I’m going to be the same. You could say I’ve gone down my own rabbit hole — the Outlander Wonderland. My favorite of this year’s Outlander Cast blog posts is Jamie’s Sanctuaries by Nikki. This has been a real year of settling for me. For four years my husband and I have been living in homes that are not ours since selling our first home together. Like Jamie and Claire, my soul had not been able to rest until now and I am finally able to put my signature touches to my sanctuary. Upon reading this post, I was surprised to realize how many sanctuaries Jamie has actually had — Lallybroch, the cave, the print shop, Claire and now with Outlander Season 4, Fraser’s Ridge. Fraser’s Ridge is finally his own sanctuary and one the both of them can create together. It really resonated with me and I can truly say I know how Jamie must have felt to finally have a physical place to call home and his with Claire. He can put his feet up and truly be himself. He can finally truly rest and let his soul be.
Why I Applaud Outlander’s Use of “America the Beautiful”
As a non-American, I had absolutely no idea of the significance of this song, and wondered what all the fuss was about. Nikki’s posts are always deep and meaningful with a wonderful personal perspective and a fair dash of wicked humour and this one was really fascinating, as well as educational for me.
To read more posts by Andrée, go here.
What I love most about this post is that it resonated with quite a few other Obsessenachs. I really appreciated those who took the time to share their similar experience and those who disagreed as well. My all-time fave post remains Janet’s “You Know You’re an Obsessenach When” as it connected me with all of you and gave me courage to take my first tentative creative step. Someone (you know who you are) once said to me that when you meet a fellow Obsessenach, you have an immediate connection. So glad I’ve had the chance to connect with so many of you and I hope to meet more of you in 2019! Happy New Year!!
To read more posts by Karen, go here.
In Defense of Brianna Randall Fraser
My first piece as a member of the Outlander Cast team is my favorite. I could not be happier to see people’s minds about Sophie and Bree change with each episode of this season! It was great to see others defend Bree and share their thoughts on this wonderful character. Writing this piece was a lot of fun, and I’m excited for what’s to come not only with Bree but with my future members of the Outlander Cast Clan team
Outlander Conventions: How to pick the right one for you
This was one of my favorites from the past year and maybe I’m biased because author Lisa Perkis is a lovely friend of mine. But this year was the year of “Outlander” for me and when you spend time and money on going to Outlander conventions and events, I realized quickly that it was a necessity for me to meet and engage with people who know what they are doing. Enter Lisa Perkis! I was with her along with Lisa Margulies and Crafty Christine at the Outlander Convention in Las Vegas and then again with these lovely ladies along with more fantastic women, Donna Antaramian, Rachel Dillon and Mitzi Roadcap at SDCC 2018. Being a newbie, I don’t think I could have maneuvered these gatherings without the expertise of veterans! Knowing what to expect and how to get around prior to walking in the door to both of these events, totally enhanced my overall experience and made me feel like I had made good use of my time and got the most out of my money. The icing on the cake was actually meeting my virtual friends in IRL. These ladies are gems. And it was all because Herself thought she might try to write a book.
The Scotland Diaries: Scottish Isles Part 1—The Inner Hebrides
Trying to pick a favorite blog post is like picking your favorite child. Everyone that writes for this blog is exceptional. But since I must pick one, it would have to Anne Gavin’s pieces on her trip to Scotland. Since I have been to Scotland once, both of Anne’s pieces from this year’s travels make me want to just pack my bags, rent a car and just drive around Scotland for months. Anne, please can I just come and carry your luggage? You plan the greatest trips!
A final note from the entire team: Most importantly, we want to thank YOU for your loyal readership (and listener-ship, via the podcast) 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 2019!
Do you have a favorite Outlander Cast blog post that didn’t make it into the mix? If so, share in the comments. The more reading options we have during #Droughtlander, the better!
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