Season 2 Projected Start Date…

Photo credit: Inquisitor.com

Photo credit: Inquisitor.com

Ron Tweeted yesterday that Season 2 should premiere sometime in March/April 2016.

(Mayhap to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden?).

See the full Twitter convo here: http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2015/09/outlander-ron-moores-impromptu-twitter-qas/#.VfYbHrSJnFI

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#PocketJamie Could Win Starz a Shorty Award for ‘Best Use of a Hashtag on Twitter.’

PocketJamie Template, from starzoutlander.tumblr.com

“#PocketJamie,” from starzoutlander.tumblr.com

“The Shorty Awards (also known as the Shorties) are the equivalent of the Oscar in the Social Media world.”  ~ shortyawards.com

Did you know that Outlander has the most engaged fan base in advance of a premiere in Starz history?

As you can imagine, that’s marketing gold to the powers that be. In fact, Starz’ Digital Marketing team has been working very hard to make us, the fans, feel like we’re ‘part of the ride,’ hoping it will motivate us to spread the news that the books are coming to life (as if we needed any coercion lol).

They hosted the fan event in NYC in October 2013, and LA in January 2014.  We had behind the scenes glimpses of video/sketches & artist renderings/Q&A with Ron Moore, Diana Gabaldon, AND the lucky attendees in LA also got to interact with Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe!

LA is where the #PocketJamie campaign was born:

The #PocketJamie campaign was designed as a digital extension of a fan event we held in Los Angeles. Attendees were given their very own #PocketJamie and challenged to take photos of him and upload them to Twitter. This activation will last over 2 months and will culminate in the #PocketJamie awards to be “held” in March.

Campaign Objectives 

• Support our Outlander super fans and give them exciting, compelling content
• Encourage fans to participate in the #PocketJamie experience and activate others to do the same
• Bring a piece of the Outlander fan event to those who could not attend by giving #PocketJamie away on Twitter and encouraging everyone to participate.

The fun isn’t over yet.

Later this month, we will announce the #PocketJamie awards. Categories like “Most Creative #PocketJamie photo” “Farthest Traveled #PocketJamie” and “Best Supporting Appearance with #PocketJamie” will be announced. Fans will submit their photos for each category by tweeting them to @Outlander_Starz and including the #PocketJamie hashtag. Winners will be selected and announced at the #PocketJamie Awards, a live Twitter chat with the @Outlander_Starz handle. Each winner will receive a prize autographed by Outlander’s stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. ~ Starz Digital Team, as seen on industry.shortyawards.com

So, do you feel like Starz has made you feel as though you’ve been ‘part of the ride?’ I can honestly say that I do…

And for those participating in the #PocketJamie contest, good luck & have fun! I can’t wait to see the entries, lol. 
A Pocket Jamie a day keeps the redcoats away, ken?

A Pocket Jamie a day keeps the redcoats away, ken?

It’s Official: Sam Heughan IS Jamie Fraser!

Photo: April Steele

Photo: April Steele

The speculation is over!

Diana confirmed it via CompuServe:

Well, now…according to the Official Language that was suggested to me yesterday when they told me to go ahead and post the news that Scottish actor Sam Heughan has been chosen to play Jamie Fraser in the new Starz cable-TV series  (it’s not a movie, it’s not a mini-series, it’s regular series television, but on a subscription channel)……

“I can’t confirm if the contracts are signed and he is officially Jamie Fraser but I can say Sam Heughan did audition. He was and is my top choice!”

This was after the Starz_channel Twitter account sent out a cheery little tweet yesterday urging people to “Follow @Heughan, who is to play Jamie Fraser on the new Outlander series!”

Which kind of caused Mass Consternation <cough>, to put it mildly, among all the PR people who had been planning press releases and controlled rollouts, etc.

Enough people saw that tweet–during the half-hour or so it was up –that the news was spreading like hair-oil on a sofa, so Ron Moore told me to go ahead and let the cat all the way out of the bag, via Facebook and Twitter.  (When I looked a moment ago, there had been 350,000 views of the original posting, and about the same (collectively) for the three followups.) ~ Diana Gabaldon

So, it shouldn’t be overlong before we find out who will play Claire to Sam’s Jamie, ken?

Sam Heughan: Jamie Fraser or What?

Yesterday Starz tweeted that “Sam Heughan” had been offered the role of Jamie Fraser, and as you can imagine, the news spread like wildfire throughout the Outlander community—then they took down the tweet and have been mum since.

What’s up with that?

Rumor has it that someone jumped the gun, and either the role had not been offered or Sam had not accepted; it was still in the negotiation-stage. Here’s what we know about Sam so far:

He’s Scottish, 6’3″, 33 yrs old and an impressive actor. Check out this clip reel:

Diana added her two cents when the news first broke:

Well, you know…_carpe diem_. <g>

I can’t confirm that the contracts are signed and Sam Heughan is officially Jamie Fraser….but I _can_ say that he auditioned–and I saw the tapes. He was and is totally MY top choice! ~ Diana Gabaldon

Then, photos of Sam started being passed around. Here are a few from a Sam Heughan fan page on facebook:

He's got Jamie's body, strong but not beefy.

He’s got Jamie’s body, strong but not beefy.

He's got Jamie's facial expression- I can just hear him saying, "You're no verra sensible Sassenach, but I like ye fine."

He’s got Jamie’s facial expression—I can just hear him saying, “You’re no verra sensible Sassenach, but I like ye fine.”

Looks like he's good with horses too, a *must* for Jamie's character.

Looks like he’s good with horses too, a *must* for Jamie’s character.

Remember, nothing is official yet, but it seems pretty likely at this point that Sam will be Jamie. Herself  had A LOT more to say about it this morning:

A few thoughts. <cough>Do you,  um, _know_ what it is that an actor does?
No, really.   Do you?  They do what I do—they make magic happen.  They do it with their faces and bodies, while I do it with words, but it’s essentially the same t…hing.   They create something that wasn’t there before.
Granted, sometimes it helps if you have the rough physical outline for a particular role.   MOST of a physical resemblance, though, is really not necessary, and for two reasons:1) Physical appearance is _very_ mutable.  Hair and eye color are so simple to change that I’m amazed _anyone_ is carrying on about what color Mr. Heughan’s hair _is_.  (For the record, he’s blond.  Like any other actor, hedyes his hair as needed.  It’s dark in these photos; it could bered within half an hour.)2) Much more importantly—beyond very basic things like height and general build, physical aspects are just not that important, provided that an actor can _act_.As one of the producers said  to me—anent the auditioning process—“We were hoping that somebody would just walk in and _be_ Jamie.”

OK. Now, I got the word about Sam Heughan (it’s pronounced HEW-en, btw, in case you were wondering.  He’s Scottish, and it may well originally have been a Gaelic name)  while I was driving to Santa Fe with my husband; they thought they’d found Jamie and were sending me the audition videos a little later.  Well, naturally, I spent the next hour Googling “Sam Heughan” on my iPhone.

Now—I think this point may just possibly have escaped a few thousand of you, so let me restate it:  Jamie is TWENTY-TWO in OUTLANDER, and a virgin.  And as the producers do understand and respect the story very much, they wanted a guy who could believably _be_ a twenty-two-year-old virgin.  (Yes, I know half of you are thinking of him as he is in the later books and thus “see” him in his 50’s.   That doesn’t mean the producers should cast someone in his late 40’s and ask him to play a 22-year-old virgin.  Am I right?  Yes, I am.  Now that _that’s_ settled…)

So I’m lookin’ at some of Sam’s photos and sayin’ to my husband, “Yeah, I buy him as a virgin…but I think Claire’s going to get done for statutory rape!”  You know, a bit apprehensive.  He’s quite big, but a very chiseled face that makes him look a good bit younger than he is, at least in stills.

(Husband approved of the stills from “First Light,” btw (where Sam is playing a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain)—“He looks good beat up,” he said.  “A good thing for playing Jamie.”  )

So anyway…we get to Santa Fe, let the dogs out, air the house, go have dinner…  And _then_, I sit down at my computer, in a lather of trepidation and excitement, to watch the audition tapes.

First five seconds, I’m interested—he looks totally different than he did in _any_ of the stills—and five seconds later, Sam Heughan’s GONE, and so am I.  It’s Jamie Fraser, right _there_ in front of me, moving, talking.  One of the biggest thrills ever.

And that’s what actors do.  Good ones.  They can “be” someone else, totally.

Now, I saw him do two scenes:  the confrontation between Jamie and Dougal, after Dougal exposes Jamie’s back in a tavern.  Ferocious, explosive, a glimpse of the warrior.   And he…freakin’ _exploded_.

And then…the scene in which Jamie explains to Claire exactly why he intends to punish her for disobeying his orders to stay hidden, thus nearly getting them all killed.

OK. This is arguably _the_ most controversial scene in all the books.  And I’m not about to go into the scene itself—not the point here.  The point is that that’s one heck of a complex scene, emotionally, and _could_ be read/performed in a lot of different ways.  Now, I happen to _know_   exactly how Jamie acted and spoke during that scene…and that’s…exactly what Sam _did_.   Thoughtfulness, intimacy, fair-mindedness, annoyance, firmness—and quite a lot of humor.  One of Jamie’s hallmarks is the ability to be threatening and funny at the same time—and Sam pulled that off.

So, yeah.  I’ve watched those videos a couple dozen times, just to be sure I wasn’t imagining things.  I wasn’t. <g>

Now, fwiw—the necessary physical aspects are all there.  Sam’s big—my head would hit about the middle of his chest (he’s only an inch shorter than my husband)—and _very_ well-built, in terms of what Jamie actually looks like.   Tall, lean (not burly), rangy (not bulgy)*, broad-shouldered, muscular (but a _young_ muscular.  Young athletes look way different from gnarly middle-aged ones).   Face…chiseled, striking—but looks different in every single role.

And the bottom line is simply this:  He showed up and he _was_ Jamie.

*(You know something?  I don’t really _care_ if you, personally, have been imagining Chris Hemsworth as Jamie.  You’re wrong; he doesn’t look like that at all. ) ~ Diana Gabaldon

Well, if Diana Gabaldon thinks he’s perfect, that’s good enough for me.  Fingers crossed for you Sam!