This was really cool. I am always in awe that I can attend events like this (exclusive!). In October I attended a panel with author Diana Gabaldon and producer Ronald D. Moore that was sponsored by Starz.
There was red carpet, which I didn’t get to see, and an abundance of fans who gathered in the large 92nd St. Y theater for a screening and Q & A with the cast. Tobias Menzies, Sam Heughan, and Caitriona Balfe, plus Diana and Ron were all in attendance.
The first episode of Outlander did not disappoint. It’s a very faithful adaptation to the original source material. There was about 30 minutes of exposition with Frank and Claire, which was quite intriguing, including two sex scenes (ahem, ahem). I enjoyed it because I knew it was necessary to build the stark contrast to the time in which Claire travels back. Meeting Jamie “MacKenzie” was great. There IS chemistry. That was one of my main concerns, having never seen Sam or Cait act. The episode covers Claire going through the standing stones (including a brilliantly crafted Druid ceremony scene that was absolutely beautiful), and up until Jamie, Claire, Dougal, and company arrive at Castle Leoch.
There were two scenes that I don’t believe were in the book, but did enhance the story; a flashback scene of Claire treating a wounded soldier during WWII right before the end of the war is declared, and a sex scene with Frank and Claire in the abandoned 1940’s Castle Leoch. I’ll admit that the beginning was a bit slow, which worried me as far as being able to hook new fans, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised at everything that I saw. It’s worth the watch! The whole tone of the show really made a huge difference with every scene, the music was appropriate, the costumes were extraordinary, and everything just fell into place. Any complaints at this point from die-hard fans would be misleading.
After the screening, there was a Q&A which was hilarious. The moderator asked questions that made for organic conversation. A lot of the stories are things I’ve heard at previous panels, but I’m pretty sure that the cast has not talked about sex scenes or their “modesty patches” before!
After everything a small crowd gathered outside to get a glimpse of the actors leaving the theater. Sam Heughan was so close to me!! (Fangirl moment!) His smile is perfection!
This was a great night! When Starz releases the first episode on streaming this Sunday, August 2nd, you can bet I’ll be watching it over and over until the new episode. I can’t wait for the rest of the season (and series)!
UPDATE: Starz has put the episode on YouTube so we can watch it in all it’s sexy highlander glory! Upon re-watching the episode, I can sense all the nuances that come with the first half of the episode. Most noticeably the coloring. It all seems sort of dream-like, as if it’s in Claire’s memories. As soon as she’s through the stones the colors are so bright and vivid, like that’s the real world. Another point during the first half, it heavily foreshadows everything that is about to happen, yet I know that there’s still so much for new fans to see. Watch!!