20150312_203500On March 12, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending a PaleyFest panel for one of my favorite new shows of the 2014-2015 season: Outlander, which has been on hiatus since September. As moderator Kristin dos Santos said, we’ve survived the Droughtlander.

The audience first watched ‘The Reckoning’, the first post-hiatus episode, which will premiere on April 4th on Starz. While I can’t talk about specifics of the episode, I can say that it was a strong episode which will undoubtedly prompt some interesting discussions among fans, and that it was worth the wait. You can watch some video of the Outlander panel, as well as other panels HERE . (They will also stream some of the panels live, so check it out).

Here some highlights from the panel, or things I learned:

  1. The cast started out by playing “Never Have I Ever”. Sam Heughan (Jamie) didn’t understand how to play. (He still might not understand how to play…)
  1. Sadly, no Frank in the second half of the season, but he will appear in Season 2.
  1. Author Diana Gabaldon’s favorite thing that is in the series but not in the book was Rupert and Angus as the comedic relief duo. One of the things she fought to have included was Jamie’s line to Claire, “You need not be scared of me. Nor anyone else here. So long as I’m with you,” which was filmed, but initially cut. Luckily they put it back in.
  1. Tobias Menzies (Frank/Black Jack Randall) joked that if he had known what was in store for his characters before starting, he wouldn’t have joined the show. He discussed the challenges of playing two wildly different characters. He wanted a subtle difference between their characterizations. He said he trusted in the production (set, costumes, etc.) to help, and focused on serving the scene and the story.
  1. Caitriona Balfe was asked to play “Kill, Marry, Screw”, and had to pick from any of the Outlander men. She would kill Father Bain, screw Jamie, and marry good old solid, reliable…Black Jack. (It was Menzies’s suggestion).
  1. Speaking of Black Jack, if the actors could play any other role on the show for a day, Balfe, Heughan, and Menzies all chose Black Jack. If showrunner Ronald D. Moore could work on any other TV show for a day, he would work on Vikings. (Also, based on the audience reaction to his answer, there’s a lot of fan cross over between the two shows, which makes perfect sense).
  1. Gabaldon knows how the time travel in the book/show work, but her characters (and therefore the audience) don’t. They still have to work it out.
  1. Moore made a conscious decision to have ‘The Wedding’ written and directed by a woman. (And yes, random audience member, they were paid as much as a man!) While the episode was lauded as a feminist approach to sex on TV, Moore’s aim was to create something honest and authentic. He quipped that it was ironic that “when you do something truthful, it becomes the female point of view”.
  1. Moore is discussing getting his podcasts added to the complete Season 1 DVD as commentary. The first half of Season 1 is out on DVD, and the complete Season 1 DVD is due out closer to the holiday season.
  1. Filming for Season 2 is already underway!