Outlander Season 5 Update #1 – preparing for filming

(first  posted at outlandercast in March 2019)
Even though #Droughtlander has set in, we can still enjoy some of Outlandish goings-on. Here are a few little somethings to tide us over — with a little help from my friends.

While Outlander fans everywhere were anxiously awaiting the announcement that Outlander Season 5 has finally started filming, keen fans on the ground in Scotland took to scouting around to see what’s afoot.

At Fraser’s Ridge, Claire and Jamie’s Outlander Season 4 cabin got an outer coating to face the rigors of the Scottish winter. But now, the covers are off and the cabin looks ready again to be used as a location.

outlander updates, fraser's ridge in Outlander season 5
First a framework was built to cover the cabin …. and then it was completely hidden in a ‘winter coat’.

outlander updates, getting fraser's ridge ready for outlander season 5

outlander updates, getting fraser's ridge ready for outlander season 5
As of last weekend, the covers are off and the cabin is ready for action.

outlander updates, getting fraser's ridge ready for outlander season 5

At “Wilmington” new building works have taken place, and the town has been expanded. Looks as if they will have a couple of new streets and buildings to use for different townscapes in Outlander Season 5.

outlander updates, getting wilmington ready for outlander season 5

Also, River Run was looking pretty sparse on a frosty winter morning compared to her summer look.

outlander updates, getting river run ready for outlander season 5

outlander updates, getting river run ready for outlander season 5

No intel on the location of the Big House yet. The suspense!

A New Outlander Tour Site to Add to Your Scotland Itinerary

Hunterston House in Ayrshire is now open for tours. You might remember that I visited there some time ago and wrote a post about it. At that stage tours were not available and I made special arrangements with the owner. But now, you can arrange private tours for a minimum of 4 people at a very reasonable £20 per person.

Sam Thomson of Edinburgh Tour Guides went there recently and shared these pictures.

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house
Wee Roger hoping for a biscuit in the library of Hunterston House aka the Rev. Wakefield’s house.

Diana Gabaldon in Scotland

By now everyone knows that Diana Gabaldon has been gallivanting around Scotland basking in the glory of receiving a Thistle Award from Visit Scotland, the Scottish Tourism authority. The “Outlander Effect” is going strong. While it was a thing before the TV show started, it has blossomed and burgeoned with the advent of Outlander, the TV series. Tourism to Outlanderfilming sites is flourishing, with a corresponding impact on the Scottish economy.

outlander update, Diana Gabaldon on winning Thistle Award

The award presented to Diana was a spectacular work of art. For those who haven’t seen, it here it is, commissioned by Visit Scotland and created by Scottish book sculptor, Thomas Wightman.

outlander updates, thistle award by Thomas Wightman

outlander update, thistle award by thomas wightman

While in Scotland Diana held an intimate gathering at Hopetoun House– one of those very well known Outlander locations. Hopetoun House is a stately home on a magnificent estate which includes Midhope Castle (Lallybroch) and is very close to Blackness Castle (Fort William). Hopetoun House has been used in seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Outlander. The temporary home of the Duke of Sandringham, Jamie’s swordfight with the MacDonalds on the lawn, the stables area of Helwater where Geneva propostioned/blackmailed Jamie, and various outdoor scenes have been shot on the grounds.

outlander updates, hopetoun house and Diana Gabaldon event

outlander updates, hopetoun house and Diana Gabaldon event
Claire goes head to head with the Duke
outlander updates, hopetoun house and Diana Gabaldon event, Jamie and Murtagh brush past the MacDonalds on the rear steps of Hopetoun House
Jamie and Murtagh brush past the MacDonalds on the rear steps of Hopetoun House
outlander update, jamie and willie in the stables at the rear of Hopetoun House
Jamie and Willie in the stables area at the rear of Hopetoun House

The evening with Diana Gabaldon was hosted by James Crawford broadcaster and chair of Publishing Scotland. The event was held in the very room where Claire, Jamie and Murtagh had their conversations/confrontations with the Duke of Sandringham. Angela Gourlay of Parkhead House and Sam Thomson of Edinburgh Tour Guides snapped up their tickets (which sold like the proverbial hotcakes) early, and here they are meeting Diana Gabaldon with their respective husbands.

outlander updates, diana gabaldon with fans at Thistle award

outlander updates, diana gabaldon with fans at Thistle award

Superfan Graham Malcolm was on the spot too, and snapped these videos of the event where, among other things, Diana shares a bit about where she’s up to with “The Bees” — squeee! That’s gonna help a lot with the woes of #Droughtlander. Graham and his twin bother Stewart are well known in the Outlander world for their tireless efforts to help fans get autographs and other Outlander memorabilia.

Diana Gabaldon on the Final Frenzy for Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone:

Diana Gabaldon on the question about keeping somebody alive who should’ve been killed off!:

Diana Gabaldon on casting Outlander:

Diana Gabaldon on the writing for Outlander:

Thanks to Graham Malcolm, Matthew Fairley, Morag Wright, Angela Gourlay, Sam Thomson and Papa Bob for their contributions to OutlanderUpdates

Such a well deserved award for Diana Gabaldon, who created this world which has us all hooked. 

 

Continue Reading

Outlander Retrospective – Behind the Scenes in Episode 411, ‘If Not For Hope’

(First posted at outlandercast January 2019)
If Not For Hope’ showed us the beginnings of the search for Roger, and the trials and tribulations of Brianna trying not to get married at River Run. Lord John to the rescue, though! Lovely to see David Berry back on our screens again as well more scenes in Wilmington with Murtagh and Fergus plotting the demise of Mr. Bonnet.

Intrepid local fan Matthew Fairley has shared some pictures with me from his recent forays to “River Run” and “Wilmington.” Interesting to see that the blue screens have been removed at River Run – perhaps because of the harsh winter weather?

outlander episode 411

outlander episode 411

Wilmington is interesting because it’s actually just the facade of buildings and an intersection of two ‘streets’. They must use all sorts of different angles and perspectives in filming to give us the impression of a bustling township.

outlander episode 411

outlander episode 411

Looks like they also store some of the Indian dwellings there.

outlander episode 411

I was very happy to spot the clothing our travelling threesome were wearing in part one of ‘Where’s Roger.’  The scene where Ian asks the Cherokee to interpret the necklace/talisman that he got from the Mohawk in exchange for Roger – that clothing let me know that this was a day my friend, Morag, and I were there for the filming at Cumbernauld Glen, near Glasgow and very close to the Outlander studios. It was also the day we met the keen young fan/photographer Matthew Fairley, who has since shared so many of his great pictures with me for you to see.

When we arrived, the animals were awaiting their cue, and Morag got up close and personal with Rollo (she has a way with dogs).

outlander episode 411

outlander episode 411

It was a beautiful, very warm and sunny day (slightly un-Scottish) and there were lots of fans about to catch a bit of the action.

At Cumbernauld Glen, the action takes place down near the river and the spectators are kept at a good distance. You can catch glimpses
of the action, but its mostly about meeting the actors when they come up for air on a break.

outlander episode 411

Chloe Christina Toye captured some of the wonderful details of the costumes as the actors were on break.

outlander episode 411

And, as usual they were happy to stop and chat, jump in on selfies and sign autographs.

It was such a lovely day, everyone was cheerful and it was altogether a really pleasurable experience. And did I mention it was also my lucky day? Only a few weeks before I was leaving Scotland and I was hoping to get my book signed by Sam Heughan. BOOM! That happened, plus a wee picture with Ms Balfe. Smiles all round for me.

We see Roger arriving at the Mohawk Village at the end of the show, and coming in for yet more physical punishment. The catch cry and hashtag of choice lately seems to be #PoorRoger. These scenes were filmed at Faskally Wood near the beautiful highlands village of Pitlochry. This was a tricky location for spectators. It was not possible to see any of the filming, which was deep in the woods. The day we went there, we skirted around the action and caught a couple of glimpses.

Other fans were fortunate to go there on days before the filming and got lots of interesting pictures inside the village.

Matthew went there, as so did Susanne Evans and Pauline Duncan. She runs the Northlands B & B at Pitlochry, a handy place to stay maybe while you‘re on some Oultandish expeditions? I’ll save the more detailed pictures for next week in “Providence,” when no doubt we will go deeper into Roger’s ordeal at the hands of the Mohawk #PoorRoger.

Finally, here is a fabulous behind-the-scenes video of Roger’s arrival at the village from Steadicam and Camera operator Michael Carstensen, shared on Instagram:

Thanks again to my contributors this week: Chloe Christina Toye, Matthew Fairley, Susanne Evans, Morag Wrightand Pauline Duncan.  See you next week in Providence!

 

 

Continue Reading

Outlander Retrospective – Behind the Scenes in Outlander Episode 409, ‘The Birds and the Bees’

(First posted at outlandercast January 2019)
How fabulous was Outlander Episode 409,  ‘The Birds and the Bees’?  The answer is very, with surely very little room for complaint from fans who are sensitive to the differences between the books and the show. So much of the episode was straight from the book, albeit condensed for time. It was both moving and heartwarming as well as disturbingly malevolent and violent — the usual Outlander roller coaster.

Who wasn’t alternately weeping and smiling crazily during all the meetings and reunions? And Sam Heughan must surely win some awards for his amazing performance as the adoring and fierce father. Not only is Brianna his flesh and blood but she is also his heart and soul — (eyes begin to leak)

In terms of #BTS action for me to bring you, all the locations were familiar to us already, except for the whisky production line. What a wonderful little factory they have created there. That might be at one of a few of their beautiful outdoor locations, but it is a place that must’ve been filmed very quietly because we saw no fan pics of this place come out at the time.

All the marvellous interiors — the Inn, Bree and Lizzie’s bedroom, etc. — are studio stages created by Jon Gary Steele and his team. It can never be said enough how important these are to transport us right to that time and place with their details and creation of the appropriate mood. Same for the outdoor townscape of Wilmington. The only thing missing there apparently are some public privies. Some poor folk are forced to relieve themselves in a less than agreeable boot-splashing manner down in the back alleys.

And Kathryn Elliott of LaughOutlander, adds her uniquely funny spin on that! 

seeing outlander, filming outlander season 4, behind the scenes filming outlander episode 409

seeing outlander, filming outlander season 4, behind the scenes filming outlander episode 409

seeing outlander, filming outlander season 4, behind the scenes filming outlander episode 409

seeing outlander, filming outlander season 4, behind the scenes filming outlander episode 409
Images of “Wilmington’ from Steadicam operator Mike Carstensen on Instagram

As I’ve mentioned before, that “town” is built in a compound, making it hard to see any action, but Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton did make their way to the perimeter one day where Gillian White snapped this picture. Awww, father and daughter united (sob, smile, #allthefeels)

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4
Da and Bree came over to greet a couple of hardy fans during a break in filming

The trip up river to Cross Creek on the Sally-Anne was less dramatic this time. No killings, thank goodness. Again, these scenes were shot in the car park of the studio, with Lizzie making google eyes at Ian … or maybe Rollo? Local fan Carol Murray just happened by the studio the day they were filming these scenes in the car park.

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4
Rollo mooching around doggie-style during a break

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

The outdoor shots so far are mostly winter scenes, and some of these locations look so very different in different seasons. Thought you might like to see a couple of pictures of domestic life at Fraser’s Ridge when the trees have their leaves.

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

Here is also a close-up of the shelter where Bree and Lizzie sleep. And, where oh where do Murtagh and Ian sleep? And when will the hard core builders get around to upgrading the guest accommodation? That sure does look like a leaky roof!

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4

seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4
Sam Heughan came out to greet a couple of fans at Frasers Ridge one day
seeing outlander, outlander episode 409, behind the scenes filming outlander season 4
Some of the detail of Ian’s coat, from a film shoot at Cumbernauld Glen

Next week’s episode is promising to be a heart stopper. What will become of poor Roger? Sometimes I wish I hadn’t read the books (multiple times!) and really didn’t know what will become of him. But I still wait with bated breath for each new episode to see how it will unfold on our screens. And if it heads where I think it will head, I have some great #BTS pics for next week. So, see you after ‘The Deep Heart’s Core’. Even the title sends shivers down my spine.

Thanks this week to Gillian White, Matthew Fairley and Carol Murray for their pictures. And thanks to Outlander Starz for the featured image.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading