THERE He Is!

 

king of men

Photo Credit: Starz (still from episode 209)

THERE he is—fierce, fair but don’t-fuck-with-me-or-mine James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser!

I was worried there for a little while, but in episode 209 Sam Heughan did a great job of capturing book-Jamie’s spirit.

Didn’t you just love the way he ‘handled’ Dougal; respectful yet stern, unwavering in his decisions?  And also how he held himself accountable to his men—even Dougal had to give him props for that…

It was classic book-Jamie.

I saw confidence, I saw strong will, I saw, finally, a LEADER not a follower! I’ve so been waiting for that!

This is a turning point for Jamie, it’s the beginning of his evolution into the ‘King of Men’ persona he is so widely known and loved for (among book fans anyway).

I can’t wait to see what’s next! Je Suis Prest!

 

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Where is Badass-Jamie?

Jamie looking at Claire

Gif Credit: fuckyeahjamieandclaire.tumblr.com

Let me be clear: I love the tv series!

While I do still prefer the books, I thoroughly enjoy the show—including the liberties taken with characters & story lines (Angus, Rupert, need I say more?)

But it saddens me, as an Outlander fan, that the non-book readers have not experienced the painful yet satisfying sexual-healing of the ‘Stinging Nettle’ scene (which has a correlating recipe from Outlander Kitchen w/an excerpt of that scene by the way), or the more pronounced (yet subtle) badass-ness of Jamie in general.

Take this scene for example. A no-nonsense display of chivalry by Jamie in defending Claire’s honor to Simon Jr (who is hardly spineless, as he was portrayed in the show):

Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 40:

(Young Simon Fraser, to Claire) “I’d heard of ye, you know,” he said. “You’ve a bit of fame through the Highlands, Mistress.”

“Oh really? How nice.” I tugged inconspicuously; in response, his hand tightened around mine in a grip that was nearly painful.”

“Oh aye. I’ve heard you’re verra popular with the men of your husband’s command,” he said, smiling so hard his eyes narrowed to dark-brown slits. “They call ye neo-geimnidh meala, I hear. That means ‘Mistress honeylips,’ ” he translated, seeing my look of bewilderment at the unfamiliar Gaelic.

“Why, thank you…” I began, but got no more than the first words out before Jamie’s fist crashed into Simon Junior’s jaw and sent his half-uncle reeling into a piecrust table, scattering sweetmeats and serving spoons across the polished slates with a terrific clatter.

He dressed like a gentleman, but he had a brawler’s instincts. Young simon rolled up onto his knees, fists clenched, and froze there. Jamie stood over him, fists doubled but loose, his stillness more menacing than open threat.

“No,” he said evenly, “she doesna have much Gaelic. And now that ye’ve proved it to everyone’s satisfaction, ye’ll kindly apologize to my wife, before I kick your teeth down your throat.”

I know that they changed Simon Jr’s & Laoghaire’s storyline to make a different upcoming storyline more palatable, and that the rest of this season and the beginning of next are what ultimately shape Jamie’s ‘King of Men’ reputation, but I miss his subtle humor, his understated confidence.

They nailed that in the very first episode, 101, when Jamie is preventing Claire from escaping by threatening to throw her over his injured shoulder, lol …

It can’t be easy to translate Diana Gabaldon’s work into another medium; that’s akin to messing with perfection.

In the books, I feel like Jamie’s tougher, a little more rough around the edges. That’s no criticism of Sam Heughan or Production, mind you, they absolutely are doing JAMMF & Outlander justice. Perhaps it’s just the way it translates to script…

(But seriously, isn’t Jamie defending Claire’s honor in such an ‘alpha male’ way a turn-on, lol?)

Outlander Fandom 12 Step Program (It’s Not What You Think)

I didna write the following—“Jennifer McDonald” did. It’s verra clever and has been making the rounds on Facebook. I’m sharing it with permission from “Shelley Pilette.”

This is not a 12 step to recovery. I’m sorry to say that there is no turning back from the fandom. You read the books, fell in love, and now you are hooked. There is only one thing left to do…Embrace it.

Here is a list of twelve self-affirming steps. When it gets to be too much, then repeat this mantra: “I am not alone,” for you truly aren’t. Just look around. Any one of your girlfriends will be there to nod in agreement and support your fan-girl tendencies.

Step One: Honesty.

Let’s be honest. You read Outlander and fell in love with James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. Yes you did. Don’t deny it. It’s okay. Remember you are not alone. As you kept reading the books you fantasized. It’s okay we all did. It’s all about honesty here. Then Starz decided to give you a face and name for your Jamie. Now you honestly can’t get enough. It’s obsessing, but it’s okay. Honesty , remember? You honestly aren’t alone.

Step Two: Hope.

For years many who came before you hoped that these books would be recognized for the brilliant piece of literature that they are. They hoped that one day the stories would turn into a reality. In a sense they have. Now we hope that we are not disappointed. We wake up daily with hope that another image or another tidbit will be available. Maintain your hope. It will see you through even in the darkest of days.

Step Three: Faith.

We have faith in Diana Gabaldon as an author. We know she will give the reader what they want. Now transfer that faith to the screenwriters, producers, and actors. Have faith that all will be done and our beloved Outlander will be as beautiful on screen as it is in words.

Step Four: Courage.

Have courage to speak out. Speak your love of Outlander. Say it loud and proud for all to hear. Think of Claire and her courage. As women we have that within all of us. A little bit of Claire Randall Fraser is within us.

Step Five: Integrity.

Pray for the screenwriters and producers to maintain the integrity of the story. Never say a mean word about any fellow Outlander. Maintain your integrity even when you want to contradict or argue a point. Do it with integrity. For all have fallen in love and passion sometimes rules the heart. Maintain your integrity, even when you have “Flat Jamie” and you want to re-enact scenes from the novels. Remember he is a proud Scotsman and you are a lady (mhmph).

Step Six: Willingness.

We must be willing to share. There is only one Jamie and millions of fans. We will all be willing to share images, share articles, and share Flat Jamie (when he is created).

Step Seven: Humility.

We will present ourselves with humility. Some of us are new to the Outlander fandom while others have been dedicated loyalists since its inception over 20 years ago. It does not matter. Once you have had your “Come to Jamie” moment then time doesn’t matter. One cannot measure the depth of another’s love and loyalty; although I give Shelly Pilette all the credit for being the first person I ever met that truly sold this book to others. She does it with such humility that we should all aspire to do the same.

Step Eight: Self-discipline.

Who are you kidding? You have no self-discipline or else you wouldn’t need this intervention. There is no self-discipline when a certain Scottish Ginger is in the picture. If you can maintain some semblance of self-discipline then you truly should be sainted. We will crown you St. Claire of the Order of JAMMF.

Step Nine: Love for others.

Yes, love all members of the Outlander fandom. They love what you love so there must be an ounce of symbiosis amongst us all. Love for Jamie, Love for Claire, Love for Ian, Love for Fergus, Love for all the characters that we cherish. And above all Love for Diana Gabaldon who had that story in her mind that she put on paper to share with world. God bless her.

Step Ten: Perseverance.

Yes, June seems such a long way away, but never fear. If you keep the faith and maintain the path, your prize will be waiting for you. Persevere.

Step Eleven: Spiritual Awareness.

Repeat after me “I believe in Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall Fraser. I believe in Diana Gabaldon. I believe that the story transcends all others and leaves me with all these Feels.”

Step Twelve: Service.

We will serve in the pinning, face booking and tweeting of all things Outlander. We will serve our fellow man or woman in equipping them with what they need to be involved in the fandom.

Now Raise you right hand and repeat after me: “I (state your name) am an active follower of the Outlander fandom. Although some may look at me as if I have lost my mind, I will stand by my devotion to all things Outlander. Jamie Fraser, although not real (but close enough through Sam) has my undying love. I will embrace the fandom and accept all who wish to enter. I am not alone, I am normal, and I embrace it.” ~ Jennifer McDonald (1/11/14)

Outlanderfan.com’s Interview with Himself (the First One), Allan Scott Douglas.

Allan Scott Douglas & Diana Gabaldon at the Lord Provost of Aberdeen's Civic Reception to conclude Tartan Day, 2011.

Allan Scott Douglas & Diana Gabaldon at the Lord Provost of Aberdeen’s Civic Reception to conclude Tartan Day, 2011.

By now we have all accepted Sam Heughan as our beloved JAMMF, but did you ken that he wasna the first?

It’s true—there was another ‘official’  Jamie Fraser, years before Sam:

When I was in Edinburgh in 2009, I made the acquaintance of a lovely man named Mike Gibb. Mike’s a lyricist and playwright, and having fallen in love with OUTLANDER, asked me whether I might approve his writing a song-cycle of the story: a series of 14-15 songs, telling the high points of the story, which might later form the libretto for a stage production.

Mike and his friends, composer Kevin Walsh, did a couple of demo songs for me, which I found entirely charming, and they went ahead with the project. I’m enchanted with the results. ~ Diana Gabaldon, 2010/Outlanderthemusical.com

And so a musical was born:

(Listen to Outlander the Musical song samples or purchase the CD here – it’s also available on iTunes)

Well, being obsessed with all things Outlander, naturally I ordered the CD as soon as soon as I found out about it, let alone as fast as my fingers could type! And it was then that I learned that the role of Jamie Fraser was sung by Allan Scott Douglas, an actor/singer and native Scot.

From his bio on Outlander the Musical’s website:

…Allan is absolutely delighted to have joined the Outlander universe and hopes he can live up to the expectations and fluttering hearts that Jamie’s words have set over the years – if all else fails, he is at least a 6’4″ redhead who regularly wears a kilt and whose nose is slightly too long…so at least he’s got that part of Jamie covered!

I thought it would be nice to get Allan’s perspective on his experience with Outlander/JAMMF,  as well as get to know the non-Outlander side of him (he’s been keeping busy, whether working on projects in Egypt, Turkey, or home in bonny Scotland…

jenny new haircutThanks to Outlander the Musical, you have the distinct honor of being the original “Jamie Fraser” in a production setting; knowing what you know now about the popularity/success of the series, would you have portrayed him any differently if you had the chance?

ASD preferred picWhen I first got the part of Jamie in Outlander The Musical, everything happened very quickly.

We were in the studio recording barely a couple of weeks after my audition. I am incredibly proud of the finished product and I truly believe we did the story and characters justice. However, if there was anything I would’ve done differently I guess it would’ve been to have had a bit more time to research the whole Outlander universe.

I felt I had a good understanding of Jamie and where he was in his journey in each of the songs in the musical—what I didn’t know though was just how massive the Outlander series really was and how incredibly fanatical it’s readers are.

It’s been an amazing journey for me but, for the first few months, I was genuinely shocked at just how many people suddenly knew who I was and had such strong opinions (both good and bad) on me as Jamie.

(He’s not kidding about Outlander readers being fanatical, and having strong opinions regarding him as Jamie; by and large he has been well received by Outlander fans, though he has had his (un)fair share of criticism.

I recall a specific instance last year when, on Herself’s Facebook wall, some incredibly rude and insensitive comments were made about his physical appearance, respective to his resemblance to Jamie. Mass bickering ensued and the whole debacle left many of us in the Outlander community with a bad taste in our mouths.

But Allan took it all in stride. Check out his classy response:

“It’s just as well I’m a polite and even-tempered chap really, isn’t it? I COULD go through the images of each person who has posted mindless negativity and dissect everything that is wrong with their appearance and throw out random character assassinations purely on that basis—but thankfully, my mother raised me better than that.”)

ASD preferred picOther than that, I kinda wish I known I was going to be portraying Jamie far enough in advance not to dye my hair purple a few weeks before my audition and therefore having to sport what was basically a crew cut for the concert performances and photo shoots…

Here is Allan as Jamie with ‘The Crew Cut:’

(Photo credit: Outlanderthemusical.com) Here is Allan as Jamie with the 'crew cut'

(Photo credit: Outlanderthemusical.com)

Here is what Allan’s hair is capable of, lol:

ASD singing in kilt

Photo credit: Allan Scott Douglas/fan page on Facebook

His answer to this next question really took me by surprise—not what I was expecting him to say at all.

jenny new haircutWho is your favorite character in the Outlander series? What do you think are their best and worst personality traits?

ASD preferred picThis might be highly controversial but the character I find the most fascinating is actually none other than “Black Jack” Jonathan Randall. I’m not sure how easy it would be to pick a “best personality trait” but he is definitely a character that intrigues me every time he appears.

As a reader, I find everything about him incredibly uncomfortable but I’ve always been the sort of person who is deeply fascinated by slightly deranged/damaged individuals. Without such an incredibly well written anti-hero, Jamie probably wouldn’t have captured everyone’s heart quite so readily.

I guess, at heart, I’m just the nerdy kid who roots for the bad guy…

jenny new haircutHave you ever portrayed a deranged/damaged character?  (Gene Simmons doesn’t count lol)

ASD preferred picWow, that’s an awesome question!

I once did a short film in which I played a Hitman who was sent to kill someone for cheating on his girlfriend; just when the Hitman was about to pull the trigger, he suddenly broke down in floods of tears…and it transpired that, just that very evening, his own girlfriend had thrown him a ‘surprise’ birthday party, but as soon as she had jumped out from the dark to surprise him, his killer instincts had set in and he shot her in the head before realising what was going on.

That was one truly messed up mindset to try to get into to shoot a movie…

I also once played a psychotically deranged Glasgow gangster who constantly got into blazing rows with his brother…despite the fact that his brother had been dead for 10 years! Now THAT was a lot of fun…

jenny new haircutWow, those are two interesting characters! Were they both Scottish? Don’t you have something of a talent for different dialects around the UK?

ASD preferred picYeah, both of those particular characters were Scottish (perhaps Scottish characters just have a more naturally deranged disposition…) but I do love working in other accents too.

In the play Laquearia, I played the Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett and really enjoyed finding what little video and audio recordings there are of him and tried to give a faithful performance of him both physically and vocally.

Challenges like that are what make this business so fascinating and (when you get it right) rewarding for me.

His dedication and humility are refreshing; it’s wonderful that he truly enjoys what he does for a living because we the audience reap the benefits. Specifically I was thrilled to learn of another, separate connection to the Outlander Universe…

July 2013 was a monumental month for Outlander fans, in more ways than one. First, when it was leaked that Sam Heughan was cast as Jamie; Allan Tweeted this:

He’s a class act, that Allan! And, he had some good news of his own to share (from his Facebook wall, July 3rd):

Well, now that all the contracts and various legal forms have come through (and since Diana herself has already mentioned it on Twitter), I think I’m safe to now officially announce that I am delighted to have been chosen to read Diana’s short story “Virgins” for Random House Audiobooks.
“Virgins” is one of 21 stories which have been selected for inclusion in an upcoming anthology called “Dangerous Women”—which is being put together by none other than Mr. George R.R. Martin, of ‘Game Of Thrones’ fame!! The anthology and it’s audiobook version are due for release in December. To say I am excited would be something of an understatement! This is an anthology featuring work by some of the world’s finest sci-fi and fantasy novelists and will feature a host of very well-known actors lending their voices to the audio versions—along with little old me!
Even more humbling was the fact that a prominent Game Of Thrones actor was offered to Diana to read “Virgins” but she felt I was better suited and Random House have bent over backwards to get me on board! Still a few logistical issue to iron out but I’m hoping to get the recording done by early September. Thank you all so much for all your support—I remain utterly bemused that so many people have taken an interest in my career but I appreciate every single one of you and hope there are many more exciting announcements to share with you all in the future…

You KNOW I couldn’t wait to ask him about THAT!

jenny new haircutWhat was your experience like working on Virgins?

ASD preferred picWorking on Virgins, for it’s inclusion in the “Dangerous Women,” anthology being compiled by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, was a truly amazing experience! Hooking up, via Skype, with the director Fred in LA was incredible and the whole process was just so much fun!

It was also very interesting for me personally having to read as Ian, as well Jamie, as Ian was a character I hadn’t had any experience of up to that point.

I really can’t wait for everyone to hear the finished product and just hope I can live up to the very high standards Davina Porter sets with the main Outlander audiobooks.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Well we can’t wait to hear it too! Diana Gabaldon said on her Facebook wall today that “Dangerous Women” anthology will be released on December 3rd, so hopefully the audio version will be available at the same time. I think I’ll have to buy both, just to hear Allan’s narration! What about you?

Follow Allan on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/AllanScottDouglasFans

Follow Allan on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/AlScottDouglas

BONUS: From Allan’s Facebook page (a snippet of his narration skills,which are verra nice I might add):

Howdy folks! Here’s a wee 90 second free preview of the radio drama adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling story “The Black Cat” which I recorded earlier this year. The full version is available for just $1.99 on iTunes. Something to tide you all over until ‘Virgins’ is realised… 🙂

 https://soundcloud.com/dmrutherford/the-black-cat-preview

It’s Official – Starz Has Ordered 16 Episodes of Outlander!

je suis prest

June 1st, 2013

SO—this morning during the breakfast conference at North American Publishing Expo NYC , Diana Gabaldon said Starz has officially signed on to make the Outlander series; she signed the contract last night! She said they’ve ordered 16 episodes (one season), filming will take place in Scotland, is expected to begin sometime in September and she speculated it would be ready to air in April 2014- That’s less than a year!!!

Just saw this:

I’ve learned that Starz has given a series order to Outlander, a drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. I hear the project, from Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore and Sony Pictures TV, has received a 16-episode order, with production slated to begin in October in Scotland where the books are set. I hear Gabaldon let the news of the greenlight slip at Book Expo America 2013. The news comes a month after Outlander opened a writers room, with Moore hiring four scribes to work with him — Toni Graphia, Matt Roberts, Ira Behr and Anne Kenney. This marks Sony’s first series for Starz. ~ Nellie Andreeva, deadline.com

Can you IMAGINE the casting call? An entire room full of potential JAMMFs— yes please!

(FYI: I keep an updated page of the latest progress here: https://outlanderfan.com/outlander-movieminiseries-news/)