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August 2016

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http://www.cumbernauld-news.co.uk/news/local-news/cumbernauld-stars-in-the-battle-of-culloden-1-4214398

Cumbernauld stars in the Battle of Culloden

11:54Saturday 27 August 2016 0

 

Hundreds of film extras kitted out as Jacobites and redcoats have staged an epic rerun of the bloody 1746 Battle of Culloden in a field at Greengairs.

The gory encounter is a climactic scene in the latest series of hit fantasy-history drama Outlander, and main star Sam Heughan – broadsword in hand – was in the thick of the mock fight along with the rest of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s tartan army. Clouds of fake gunsmoke could be seen drifting across the make-believe field of slaughter – just a short distance from the heart of Cumbernauld.

The “battle”, filmed last week, was the latest success for Cumbernauld as a prospective national film studio centre, building on the reputation the town has already achieved from the filming of the first series of Outlander. Whereas before it was argued that the film base in a disused local factory was ideal as a central point for outside location shots in places including Blackness Castle and Doune the latest series has proved that countryside just minutes from the heart of the new town can be portrayed as – for example – a windswept moor in 18th century rural Inverness-shire. The real battlefield on Drumossie Moor is a war grave, and visitor attraction, and completely unsuitable for filming.

Cumbernauld’s evolving role as a successful film studio centre is taking place amid ongoing controversy about where a national film base should be sited. For several years rival plans have jockeyed for position while studio chiefs have complained about a claimed lack of action from the Scottish Government. Cumbernauld has repeatedly been touted as an ideal location for the national base, underpinned by the runaway success of Outlander at home and abroad – despite not being screened in the UK. But discussions on whether a private-public scheme based in Cumbernauld should be adopted have dragged on for more than two years.

Meanwhile other plans for studios have surfaced in Edinburgh and Dundee. Then in March both NLC and the Scottish Government confirmed that a private investor wants to expand with a new 30,000 square foot premises on-site. At 50 meters high, the building would be able to accommodate towering sets, lighting rigs and other heavy-duty apparatus. The site’s existing owners had been working on the project with the Film Studio Delivery Group from the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. Meanwhile last week’s Cumbernauld version of Culloden isn’t the first time a supposedly unlikely Scottish location has been used for a “battle”. In the 1980’s movie Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life a farm in Kippen, Stirlingshire, was used for a comedy sketch based on the 1879 Battle of Rorkes Drift – with the Campsie Hills standing in for the hills of Zululand.

 

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Title: Not in Scotland Anymore

Written by: Ira Steven Behr

Directed by: Metin Huseyin

Approximately, every two weeks, OLA will be publishing an episode-based Recap on Steroids (ROS) for Season 2.  These ROS will incorporate an OLA writers’ opinion on the episode woven in with information from both the official Starz podcasts hosted by Showrunner Ronald D. Moore along with comments from the official episode script including things changed or edited for television. OLA editorial comments in the ROS recognize and respect the experience of those associated with the show even though we may respectfully disagree at times with their thought process or assumptions.  We hope you enjoy these recaps as they take many hours to prepare and create!

Red Dress (source: Starz)

The podcast was hosted by Showrunner Ronald D. Moore (RDM) with guest Terry Dresbach, who is currently nominated for an Emmy for Outlander Season 2 costume design.

The title card for this episode showed the dressing of French noblewoman, Louise De Rohan.  Terry noted that this dress was the most complicated dress of the entire series.

Before I get into the recap, I will note that this episode was one of my least favorite of the season.  It was interesting to go through the podcast and script with that in mind as certain comments or notations helped me to understand why I didn’t like it as much as so many of the other episodes.  Then again, even a less than satisfying episode of Outlander is still better than most anything on TV.

The episode opens with Jamie and Claire making love.  Immediately you notice a few things; Jamie’s back has no scars, his hand is not mangled and he and Claire are happy.  However, all of that becomes an actual nightmare when Claire’s face morphs into Black Jack Randall’s and Jamie repeatedly stabs him with his dirk until they are both covered in thick, dark red blood.  Jamie wakes up in full sweat from the nightmare.

I really liked the notation in the script that said “in the 3AM of Jamie Fraser’s soul, Black Jack Randall lives on.”  It described the entire scene perfectly.

RDM noted that this was an unusual opening for two reasons.  First, they almost always open with exterior shots and in this case you went from Jamie’s head to their bedroom to the exterior shot.  In addition, writer Ira Steven Behr felt it was important to remind the audience that Jamie was still dealing with his Wentworth rape.  (It’s interesting to hear more about this opening as the writer took credit for it in the writer’s notes as did RDM but Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe said they felt it was important for Jamie and Claire not to resume their sex life as if nothing had happened.)

The second difference for this scene as a show opener is that the original opening for the script called for Claire to be massaging oil into Jamie’s hand to help heal it then ask if Jamie can make love to her finally.  The lovemaking turned violent nightmare happened after that.  I am glad they made the change as the original opening had weak dialogue and did not seem at all to be things Claire would say.

<As a side note, this makes me once again wish for one of the extras on the Season 2 DVD to be a camera in the writer’s room.  I’d love to see the creative process.>

RDM asked Terry Dresbach if the outfits would have been Jared’s to loan to Jamie and she said no, he would have had them made.  She also noted that Sam is 3 sizes bigger than the actor who played Jared.    She said Claire would have gone to a dressmaker as there was no such thing as clothes off the rack in those days.  She discussed her inspiration for dressing Claire as 1940’s Christian Dior (who used the 18th century as inspiration) and the fact that as a modern woman of the 1940’s, Claire would have dressed a bit like a fish out of water.  This is the first time in her 18th century life that she is in charge of her own clothes so she would have dressed in an acceptable yet different way.  The first outfit, is the famous CD Bar suit.  I recommend visiting the YouTube video of Terry giving a summary of the Season 2 costume strategy (note it also contains a great discussion of set design as well).

What I found most interesting is that Terry always has a strategy in both her overall approach and almost a running dialogue in her head as to why an outfit was chosen by the character.  It is clear to me that costume design is a whole lot more than fabrics and buttons.   Every 18th century costume you see from people walking the streets of Paris to the dozens at the party for King Louis were dressed by her team.  They have to get on set at 3 AM on days where there are a lot of extras to dress.

The exterior Paris shots in this episode were filmed in Prague months after the interior shots were done in Scotland so kudos to the cast for making it feel seamless.

Claire sets out to visit an apothecary to help Jamie sleep better and avoid nightmares.  Master Raymond’s apothecary shop was something that Terry and set designer Jon Gary Steele were most excited about.  It was typical for an apothecary of its day including the stuffed crocodile.  The script notes that the sign outside says Raymond, the Herb Seller.  Raymond’s coat is Terry’s favorite and is worth a closer look.  It is embroidered with alchemy and diseases/cures.  For example, look for the large yellow eye on the front that is meant to represent yellow fever.   Terry notes that it was also important that Master Raymond’s assistant (Delphine) was dressed as a middle class person and not a servant.  In the script, Raymond and Claire discuss Louise and both agree that she is outgoing and interesting, yet very shallow

.Raymond and Claire (Source: Starz)

Costume choices for Jamie and Murtagh were meant to be simple yet represent their status.  Terry notes Sam was dedicated to wearing the kilt during parts of Paris so when they did dress him in pants, he still had to maintain the heroic look.   There were many discussions about the bandage for his left hand.  Terry calls it the “sexiest bandage ever made” and the writers discussed its importance and Sam gave input on flexibility.  It was felt that it served multiple purposes; some practical and some emotional.  Terry said Jamie might be embarrassed at his mangled hand so the bandage hid it to avoid questions yet was flesh colored as well.  The writers felt it would also mean Sam would not have to remember to hold his fingers stiff if the bandage was on, yet if you look at scenes throughout Season 2, Sam always remembers.

The sword practice between Murtagh and Jamie shows that Murtagh will give Jamie no sympathy just as Jamie would expect.  It also slips in the little fact that dueling is outlawed in Paris, something we will sadly find out in greater detail later in the season.

The beautiful gray dress Claire wears back at the house when Jamie receives word from Jared that Prince Charles will receive him is one of my favorites and I believe we see it again in 207.  The sash/chain she wears was one often worn by women of the house and contained anything from a sewing kit to smelling salts.

Jamie informs Claire that they will meet the prince at a brothel and that gets an eyebrow raise from Claire as it would from most wives.  Many fans noted that Sam’s hair looked different throughout this scene and it was clear that some of it was filmed at the end of the season when they go back in and do “pick-ups” or retakes.

Jamie and Murtagh meet up at the brothel where Prince Charles holds court.  RDM and Terry discussed how brothels in 18th century Paris are not the bawdy whorehouses that you typically see portrayed in American westerns.  Women working in these brothels were often well bred and were expected to be able to have an intelligent conversation in addition to their other “talents”.    The scene with the women waving/selling dildos was originally discussed as just more bawdy stage act.  RDM loved that scene while Terry did not and I would agree with her.  I think that’s one of the times you can tell both the writer and editor were guys.

It is in this scene that we first meet Bonnie Prince Charlie (BPC).  Terry discussed his costume versus the others and since he is of English birth but brought up in Italy, so she felt he had a little Versace in him.  This meant he got the salmon colored coat, one that would not look good on a very tall redhead.   Andrew Gower (BPC) did a very good job in this role throughout season 2 and I would agree with RDM that he played it so that you could believe he was inspiring to men yet at the same time very annoying and not quite up to the task.  Terry said she loves Andrew and that he is really very good looking but managed to make you believe he was this big goof.   <As an aside, Andrew sings and you can find some short videos of him out there as well.>

Ira wrote the first “Mark me” as a way for BPC to note when he was saying something important.  Andrew picked up on that and would often insert his own Mark Me into his scripts.  This, of course, became the Outlander Season 2 drinking game on Saturday nights.

I loved the non-verbals in the first scene with Jamie, Murtagh and BPC.  It’s quite amazing to think that this man who was the cause of the wiping out of Scottish culture had actually never stepped foot in Scotland.  Murtagh’s expression was that he wasna buying what BPC was selling and Jamie had an oh crap look on his face.  The important part of this scene was that Jamie was honest with him about what was really going on in Scotland in order to try to dissuade him from the rebellion.  Jamie felt that he had to try the honorable way first, before he started working to betray the prince’s trust.  Just diving into the betrayal would have gone against JAMMF character.Jamie Murtagh BPC Brothel

(Source: Starz)

Meanwhile, Claire is having an interesting time of her own.  She is at the home of her new friend Louise de Rohan, a free-spirited yet simple minded French noblewoman.  Louise is going through the new fad of waxing.  RDM noted that they did not want her naked in this scene so Terry made a robe that covered her up yet gave glimpses of sexiness.  (I thought the actress, Claire Sermonne,  used the robe beautifully as a prop.)  Claire’s dress was again 1940’s inspired and somewhat like a masculine suit.  Women of that era took over many men’s jobs while they were fighting the Second World War and so a more masculine style of dress influenced fashion.)

Louise has a bikini wax and tells Claire it is a new way of turning men on.  Claire is desperate to help Jamie through his difficulties in bed and decides to give it a try.   Later that night in their bedroom, she shows him what she’s done.   Jamie almost gets there but not quite.  Sam and Cait play this very sensual  and the “you’re honeypot is bare” brings a smile as Jamie is both intrigued and aroused.   For a while, Claire thought her plan succeeded until BJR breaks through.

A discussion in the writer’s room changed this from the sensual time in the book to one that would be a problem.   They felt it was important to keep that intimacy separate for a little longer since intimacy is so important to Jamie and Claire, but Jamie is not ready.  Terry asked RDM how he deals with people (i.e. book readers) who are upset about changes like that.  He explained that in a book, the author can talk directly to you but that’s not possible in TV.  (I don’t think that quite answered the question!)   I think RDM can get a little defensive when fans push back but at the same time he must get that a lot and it is a big, unenviable challenge to adapt a very popular piece of literature.  For the most part, I liked some of the small changes made this year to the story itself.

Probably the most anticipated scene of episode 202 has to do with the red dress with the neckline down to there that Claire has made to attend King Louis’ party (thanks to Louise’s connections).   I loved the shade of red and especially the killer shoes Terry designed but I found it to be so wide as to look silly. She looked like she had a 2 x 4 in the back.  Terry noted that the red earrings (and all her earrings in fact) came from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sam and Cait (and Duncan) played this scene very well with probably my favorite line being “Christ Sassenach, first your honeypot, now this” in sotto voice to show Jamie’s great sense of humor.   The brilliant shade of red stands out in the crowd as the Frasers make their entrance.  Jamie runs into his former love interest (Annalise) and once again the non verbals in the scene are the best.  Jamie looks like he wants to crawl under the table, Claire is playing both the slightly threatened wife and yet the confident wife teasing Jamie while Murtagh looks on in pure bemusement.  That part of the scene was great.  However, I hated Claire’s hair-styling here.  I thought it made her look old, which is crazy since Caitriona looks younger than her actual years.  The contrast was even starker as a clean-shaven Sam with his hair pulled back looks like the mid-20’s Jamie that he is as did the actress playing Annalise.  It left me with a love/hate feeling for that scene.

The party was filmed in Wilton Palace in England and the bridge outside of the palace has been used in a previous filming of Pride and Prejudice.  (Unfortunately, they did not note which version!)

Annalise’s connections get Jamie (and at Claire’s insistence, Murtagh) to meet the king.  Unfortunately, meet the King means attending his bathroom duties.  Executive Producer Anne Kenney loved this scene but I did not (and neither did Terry).  It was only 2.5 minutes but felt like 10.  Both RDM and Terry loved Lionel Lingeler as King Louis and I thought he did a great job throughout the season as well.  But this scene was quite unnecessary, IMO.

One of their favorite secondary characters was the Monsieur Duverney, the Minister of Finance.  RDM loved the actor (Marc Duret) and said he brought a lot of small interesting things to the part.  Terry notes the contrast between the rather plainly dressed men of Scotland to the French nobleman.  They gave him an extended part by attempting to seduce Claire on the bridge to be able to tie him back to later plots.  RDM felt it was better television to hear the splash after Jamie tosses him over the bridge than to see it.  Marc Duret came up with the idea of trying to dry his long wig by the fire and then putting on the silly thing when the King arrived.  A nice comedic choice, I agree.

The arrival of King Louis in all his splendor along with his mistress in her Janet Jackson-esque swan nipple rings was an important scene (he makes note of Claire) and unnecessary in that we had to see these nipple rings at least three times as Murtagh drools.  RDM loved the multiple side shots of this and Terry did not.   (Editorial comment: Maybe Ron should stop thinking like a guy and start thinking about what his mostly female audience would like.)  Terry cracked me up in her discussion of designing the swan nipple rings at her table while her kids asked her what she was doing and she casually answered “designing nipple rings”.

The initial script had one of the French women asking Murtagh what a Scotsman wears under his kilt and Murtagh obliges to show her.  This was cut but I wonder if it will make the DVD.  It was not in the final script so they may not have filmed it.

Claire has the shock of the night times two when she first runs into the smarmy Duke of Sandringham.  Murtagh is NOT happy but Jamie must remind him that to draw your sword when the king is present means death.  Sandringham takes great pleasure in introducing Claire to his secretary, the younger brother of Jack Randall.  Alex Randall not only looks like BJR but he proceeds to tell Claire that his brother is very much alive.   Claire does not know how Jamie will take this news as he has already been struggling mightily with the aftermath of Wentworth.   The fireworks over the palace resemble the fireworks in her head as she struggles to decide her next steps. In the meantime, Sandringham slithers away but not before giving her a “gotcha” smirk.

RDM notes that Simon Galloway has such fun playing Sandringham (and it shows).  Terry commented that although his dress was fancier than the Scots, it was still subdued compared to the French. They also discussed the resemblance of the actor playing Alex Randall to Tobias Menzies.  RDM said that there had been some discussion as to whether Tobias should play Alex but he felt that was too much.  It also did not make as much sense as they changed the story in the book from Claire actually thinking Alex was Jack to one of more straightforward introduction.  (Personally, casting Tobias would have been a small shark jump moment.)

The episode ends with the audience wondering if/how/when Claire should tell Jamie that Black Jack is alive and if this will put Jamie over the edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Outlander -

It was not too long ago that we first heard the glorious news: “Outlander” season 3 is in production! We may not know much in terms of a defined premiere date or guest stars just yet, but filming is underway and you can at least rest assured that the voyage to complete Voyager in in process.

Yet, with this series in particular you are certainly seeing more challenges than you would elsewhere for a show at this point in the run. You’ve got time jumps to deal with (Jamie and Claire won’t be the same age when the series returns that they are in the photo above), and you’ve also got to take on some further challenges in terms of locations with a story that changes place so often. These are things that executive producer Ronald D. Moore detailed further to the Radio Times below. (Obviously, there’s some spoilers ahead, the most minor of ones, for those who have not read the books.)

“I don’t think I’m giving too much away, but the story of season 3 will start in Scotland. Then there’s a sea voyage involved in the 18th century, an extended journey across the Atlantic, and then the story goes to Jamaica and the Caribbean and ending up in the New World … [It’s] exciting creatively, but really hard in terms of production. Normally by the third and fourth season of a show it’s basically a machine – this is the police station, this is an apartment, this is the bridge of the Enterprise – you’re familiar with using those sets. But with this it’s like you’re doing a whole new series every year.”

While we’ve heard already about the possible challenges that come could with being “at sea” or moving to other parts of the world, we’d never thought about it in relation to how many other shows operate and the advantages that come with it (despite the production costs and all the scouts necessarily). Look at it like this: A sitcom largely works within the same studio for its entire run, while a medical drama like “Grey’s Anatomy” has a mock hospital to move around in. While there are some familiar sets on “Outlander” here and there, these actors will continue to be moved around to new surroundings. For them, that could create an exciting sort of freshness — and of course for us as a viewer, it provides further visual treats. There is joy to be found in the unknown.

If you missed it, head over here to see our article about the first day of filming, complete with a few assorted comments from the cast and crew! Meanwhile, sign up over here to book some other TV news on everything we cover via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Starz.)

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There isn’t a single aspect of this episode that is not wonderful.  In fact, for many fans it is the most highly anticipated and memorable event in the Outlander universe.

Conditions

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This is a favorite scene because we see how serious Jamie is about the marriage contract.  Before he agrees, he consults Murtagh, saying he intends to be wed but once and asking him what he thinks about Claire and whether his mother would approve.  Murtagh assures Jamie that she “will do,” and that her smile is as sweet as Jamie’s mother’s smile.  (”Still waters run deep, ye ken?)

After having received Murtagh’s approval, he agrees to marry Claire in order to keep her out of the clutches of Black Jack Randall.  However, the fact that he takes it so seriously and gives Dougal conditions for the marriage tells us that there is more to his decision.  Jamie’s conditions will insure that the ceremony will be as special as possible for both of them under the current circumstances.  He demands the ceremony be held in a church before a priest and that Claire have a ring and a proper wedding dress.  Jamie is always thinking about Claire.  This is why he is the King of Men.  Every woman needs a Jamie.

A Blood Oath is Made

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The visuals in this episode are most pleasing (ahem..), but the the significance of the Gaelic Wedding Vow should not be diminished. If Claire had been aware of its significance, she may have refused to do it at the time because she saw the marriage as a temporary resolution of her problem and had every intention of getting back to the stones.

The magic in this story (especially the books) is sometimes subtle, but it is potent, and the Gaelic Wedding Vow that Claire and Jamie take is essentially a blood oath.  Blood is a powerful symbolism, and sometimes even has mystical powers.  The blood oath makes use of this to make a commitment that can’t be broken.

Blood spilling is a potent force in the working of magic, and in some mythologies certain types of blood are deemed more powerful than others.  Some consider the blood of royalty, the blood of a special line (Fraser, the Fraser Prophesy), the caster’s own blood (Jamie and Claire), and virgin’s blood (Jamie) to be most powerful.

In many ways their wedding ceremony represents the traditions of their time, but their blood vow may be described as something between a binding handfasting and an initiation.  It is a spiritual blending, a binding of their souls, not just to God but to one another, and not just for this lifetime but forevermore. Not until death-do-us-part but for all lifetimes to come.  Jamie knew what he was doing and knew it’s significance, but Claire did not.  Claire viewed the wedding as a temporary solution until she could return to her time, but Jamie took the ceremony and it accompanying oath very seriously. As he tells Murtagh, he intends to marry only once, and he wanted to do it right.  He insists that they wed in a church, before a priest, with a ring for Claire and a proper dress.  He wanted to make it special for her as well.  Claire’s heart may not have been in it initially, but, as we know, looking back she wouldn’t have changed a thing.  That, my friends, is a commitment.

I Said I Was a Virgin, Not a Monk

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Nothing else need be said about this scene other than it is perhaps one of the most beloved and anticipated lines from the Outlander novel.

“I did like it, Jamie.”

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After the first round of obligatory sex to consummate their marriage, Jamie asks Claire if she liked “it.”  The highlanders had given him advice, and Murtagh had said that women don’t usually enjoy “it.” Poor Jamie is crushed when Claire fails to respond immediately and he assumes she had not liked “it,” as Murtagh had warned.

In truth, Claire does not respond immediately because of her own internal conflict.  She is ashamed that she had indeed enjoyed their sexual act and feels like a “bigamist” and an “adulterer.”  Upon realizing his disappointment she admits that she had enjoyed the sex, which immediately improves Jamie’s outlook.  It is written all over his face.

Don’t worry, Jamie.  You and Claire will enjoy a fabulous, “not usual” sex life together.

Duty, Pleasure, Love

Jamie and Claire’s lives will never be the same now.  At the beginning of the episode they have already formed an attraction and at least a friendship.  Jamie’s feelings are stronger than Claire’s, but they begin their marriage as equals.

With an act of sexual duty they establish consummation and fulfill a contract.  As noted before, Jamie still hoped Claire would find it pleasing, and was gratified (and a little smug) to learn that she did.

Their next sexual act is for pure pleasure.  They take their time, engage in verbal foreplay, and are playful in bed.

Finally, they make love.  He shows her how much he values her by giving her the last remaining memory of his mother.  He has brought her into his family by this gift and she recognizes the value of that.

I think it is important to realize that in each of these encounters, Claire initiated the sexual act.

“Perhaps we should go to bed”

“Take off your clothes.  I want to look at you”  (thank you Claire!)

And finally by reaching out to him and making love with him, maintaining eye contact the entire time.

Jamie never once forced the issue with her.  She had been forced into too many things already.  In this instance, the choice was always hers.  The agency was always hers.  The power was always hers.

He is “under [her] power and happy to be there.”  It is a beautiful thing.

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Episode 106, “The Garrison Commander,” is not one for the feint of heart.  Claire’s meeting with Black Jack Randall is expanded from the book version to take up most of the episode.  Ron D. Moore’s expanded adaptation was intended to help shed light on the diabolical behavior and nature of the infamous Captain of Dragoons.  The flashbacks to Jamie’s flogging as Black Jack Randal recounts the events to Claire are disturbing and difficult to watch.  Two of our favorite scenes occur at the end of the episode and offer some much needed levity from the brutality of most of the subsequent scenes.  Therefore, rather than focusing on the darkness in which BJR tells Claire he belongs, we will focus on a scene that illustrates Jamie’s strength and defiance of his tormentor.

“The boy would not beg.”

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UGH!  This scene was both the best and the worst for me.  It was awful to watch, yet so masterfully played.  From an acting standpoint it is exceptional.  We have not just the voice over from Tobias (as BJR) in that flat affect, but Sam really sells so convincingly the pain of the flogging and Jamie’s stubborn determination not to acknowledge it.

From a narrative POV, THIS small but effective scene is the crux of the relationship between Black Jack Randall James Fraser.  This moment is what precipitated BJR’s fascination/obsession.  Jamie’s strength of will became Jack’s white whale.  And we know how THAT turns out.  Grrr.

This scene, this horrible, awful, beautiful scene so perfectly showcases and explains everything that comes after it.  Everything.  All of Black Jack’s subsequent actions (and words) to both Jamie and Claire are predicated by what he says here.  We see that he likes to hurt.  He likes to break.  He attempts it with Jamie in the actual flogging.  He attempts (and perhaps succeeds) in the recounting of it to Claire.  I don’t believe that it was a moment of self-reflection for him.  It was a moment of pride.  He was gloating to Claire, and thereby breaking her trust that somewhere inside him was a decent human being.  He set her up perfectly for the literal/metaphorical gut punch that comes next.  BJR is literally the worst.

Even though this passage is less than a page in the book, I love that they devoted an entire episode to it in the series.  It was important not just to learn the lengths that BJR will go to, but we learned a lot about Jamie and Claire as well.  We actually learned a great deal about Jamie, more so than we have probably learned up to this point.  Yes, we were told of the flogging, but Jamie brushes it off.  He does not want people (Claire, Alec) to be uncomfortable or pity him for it.  But we never see the strength of character or stoic nature that Jamie has until we see the moment.  We see EXACTLY what Jamie is willing to put himself through for the people he loves.  We see the pride that Jamie has.  This pride is not a character flaw.  It is a pride of WHO he is… not just as a man, but as a Scot.  He is a symbol of the Scottish people.  They are beaten, shackled, and abused, but they are not broken.  They will not beg.    -S

“Well, I must admit, the idea of grinding your corn does tickle me.”

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I love Graham McTavish, but his character, Dougal, is not a favorite of mine.  That said, in Episode 106, Dougal has a line of dialogue that has become iconic in the Outlander fandom.  “Well, I must admit, the idea of grinding your corn does tickle me…”   Truthfully, with the possible exceptions of Father Bain and the Duke of Sandringham, who among the male characters wouldn’t like to grind Claire’s corn?

People who had not read the Outlander books before seeing this episode must have been anxious to learn exactly who Dougal had nominated for the position of Claire’s husband.  They must have breathed a sigh of relief to learn that it was not Angus, Rupert, or even Murtagh, but Jamie.  Don’t worry, Claire.  Everything is going to work out just fine.

“I reckon one of us should ken what they’re doing.”

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Claire, you are a lucky woman.  Dougal nominated Jamie for the job.  (Though I must add that Jamie is also lucky because God is giving him a “rare woman.”)  This is one of my all time favorite scenes. Claire isn’t pleased about the forced marriage, but with the aid of a bottle of whisky she reconciles herself to it.  Jamie isn’t nearly as bothered about it.  Their mutual attraction is strong, but he is willing to do anything to protect Claire from Black Jack Randall.  The look on Claire’s face when Jamie informs her that he is a virgin is simply priceless.  The thought of de-flowering the young highlander clearly makes her anxious, but as we will see in the next episode, “The Wedding,” Jamie is a quick learner.  In fact, in the book, Claire reflects that “Virgins are highly underrated.”   -D

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Episode 104, “Rent”

Claire has already begun to establish a friendship and mutual attraction with Jamie, but after a rocky start, in “Rent” she finally solidifies her relationship with the Highlanders.

OL-S1.5-Jamie-and-Claire2-8-13OL-S1.5-Jamie-and-Claire-8-13  Once on their journey to collect rents, it isn’t long before Claire begins to feel isolated from the Highlanders.  She is concerned that their use of Gaelic represents an effort to exclude her, and she reminds herself that being on the road would be her opportunity to escape.  Jamie notices her unease and comes to her.  She asks him if the Highlanders hate her.  Jamie reassures her but admits that they don’t trust her.  Then she asks him if he thinks she is a spy for the British.  He tells her,  “No, but I do think there are things ye’re not telling us, and I know you tried to run during the Gathering.  It’s on your mind still, plain and clear.”

What is interesting about Jamie’s observation in that in the books, Claire is frequently puzzled by Jamie’s seeming ability to read her mind.

OL-S1.5-Claire-and-Angus-8-13 OL-S1.5-Jamie-ripped-shirt-8-13  Once again, Claire’s righteous indignation causes conflict, and Jamie comes to her rescue when Angus does not take kindly to being called a thief.  Claire believes Dougal is not only collecting rent from clan members, but is using Jamie’s scars to garner sympathy from them in order to line his own pockets.

OL-S1.5-Claire-and-Ned-8-13  Claire’s healing skills had begun to give her some credibility and help build a measure of trust with Dougal and Colum.  However, when she confronts Ned about her suspicions, that trust quickly dissolves.  It isn’t until another collection night that Claire realizes Dougal is raises the extra money to finance a Jacobite rebellion.

OL-S1.5-Jamie-and-Claire3-8-13  This is my single most favorite scene from the episode.  The collection party stops at an inn for the night.  While the men drink downstairs in the tap room, Claire retires to her room upstairs.  A noise outside her door leads her to investigate the source of the disturbance.  She finds Jamie just outside the door after she steps on him.  For fear that the drunken men might wonder upstairs, he again intends to protect her by sleeping at her door.  She offers to let him come inside, but he fears it “would ruin [her] reputation.”  Amused, Claire instead offers him her blanket, “If it isn’t too scandalous,” and he bashfully accepts.  The sexual tension in this scene can be cut with Jamie’s dirk.  (Yes, pun intended.)

OL-S1.5-fight-8-13  The next morning during breakfast when Claire tries to convince Ned that history will never again record the name of a Stuart king, a group of rowdy locals are heard referring to Claire as a “Hoor.”  Ironically, Angus, who had previously drawn his knife on her, is the first to throw a punch in defense of her honor.  After the fight, Murtagh explains to Claire that as she is a guest of the Mackenzie, “We can insult ye, but God help any other man that does.”  Even Dougal joins in the fight.  This represents a turning point in Claire’s relationship with the Mackenzies.  A bond is strengthened and she is defended as one of their own.

OL-S1.5-Claire-tells-joke-8-13  Rupert regales the group with a story about his experience with two women in bed, where they become jealous and begin arguing over who he will “swipe” first.  “Can you believe it?” he jokes.  Claire replies, “I believe your left hand gets jealous of your right.  That’s about all I believe.”  After a brief silent pause, Rupert breaks into a hardy laugh, the Highlanders following suit.  “Ah, you’re a witty one,” Jamie says.  Amazed at what he has heard from Claire, Rupert says, “I’ve never heard the woman make a joke!”  Claire responds, “There’s a first time for everything.” Clearly the entire groups appreciates the moment, and the bond with the Highlanders is now solidified.

Now Claire needs only to convince Dougal that she is not a spy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Scottish clans looking to appoint new chiefs

MANY of Scotland’s ancient clans are without a chief. Perhaps you have the lineage to take up one of these ceremonial roles, writes Chris McCall THE days of clan chiefs wielding claymores and dispensing justice are long gone. Modern chieftains are purely ceremonial figures, more likely to be employed as landscape gardeners than live in Highland castles.

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Picture: Hamish Campbell/TSPL CHRIS MCCALL 16:04Thursday 04 August 2016 2

MANY of Scotland’s ancient clans are without a chief. Perhaps you have the lineage to take up one of these ceremonial roles, writes Chris McCall THE days of clan chiefs wielding claymores and dispensing justice are long gone. Modern chieftains are purely ceremonial figures, more likely to be employed as landscape gardeners than live in Highland castles. A series of laws passed in the aftermath of the final Jacobite rebellion in 1746 effectively stripped chiefs of any authority. While some remain substantial landowners and local worthies, by the 20th century chieftains were largely forgotten figures. Many clans became armigerous – having no recognised chief – as family lines died out. But an increasing interest in family history, especially among those whose ancestors had emigrated from Scotland, prompted a revival in clan societies from the mid-20th century onwards.

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Ranald Alasdair MacDonald spent 30 years fighting to be recognised as the 32nd chief of the MacDonalds of Keppoch, a battle he finally won in 2006. Scotland’s newest clan chief, Iain Alexander Gunn, was appointed in April this year. He became the first recognised head of Clan Gunn since 1785.

There are currently more than 150 armigerous clans. Some have recognised ‘commanders’, a rank below chief which must be renewed every 10 years. All chiefs and commanders must be recognised by the Lyon Court – an ancient legal office in charge of all heraldic symbols and state ceremonies in Scotland.

MacQuarrie

This ancient family once owned the islands of Ulva, Staffa and Gometra in the Inner Hebrides, as well as large parts of Mull. Among its most famous members was Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, often referred to as ‘The Father of Australia’. He served as the last autocratic governor of New South Wales until 1821 and oversaw the settlement’s transformation from a penal colony to a free settlement. Although there is an active Clan MacQuarrie society, the last recognised chief died in 1818 and no one has claimed the title since.

Maxwell 

One of Scotland’s oldest clans appoint new chief Maxwell The impressive Caerlaverock Castle on the south coast of Scotland was built by the Maxwells, a powerful lowland clan, in the 13th century. Robert Maxwell, 9th Lord Maxwell, was created Earl of Nithsdale in 1620, reflecting the family’s prestige. The last clan chief, the fifth Earl of Nithsdale, was a fervent Jacobite supporter and was captured following the battle of Preston in 1715. He was sentenced to death and imprisoned in the Tower of London, but somehow managed to escape – while dressed as a maid – with the help of his wife. The earl fled to Rome and died without issue.

MacFarlane

Descendents of the ancient earls of Lennox, the MacFarlanes principally lived on the north-western shore of Loch Lomond. They played a key role in the battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547, and later supported the forces which defeated Mary, Queen of Scots, at the battle of Langside in 1567. Such was their reputation for cattle rustling and fighting, the clan was denounced by the Scottish Parliament in 1594 and its clansmen were often persecuted. Several hundred later immigrated to Ireland as a result. The 20th and final chief, William Macfarlane, died in 1866.

Pringle

A common name in the Scottish Borders to this day, the Pringles have had no clan chief since John Hoppringle died in 1737. An active Clan Pringe society encourages members of the family to trace their ancestry as part of a concerted effort to appoint a new chief.

Buchanan

This family, whose principal seat was in Stirlingshire, proves the complex nature of legally identifying a new chief for the first time in more than 350 years. John Buchanan of Buchanan, the last chief, died around 1680. The clan was once a powerful force in central Scotland. Buchanans fought at Flodden in 1513 and were firm supporters of the Covenanters in the mid-1600s. The Buchanan Society, which traces its origins to a charity founded in Glasgow in 1725, remains active and claims to be the oldest clan-related society in the world.

(2)   cambayne 1:05 PM on 09/08/2016 In ancient times I believe that the position of Clan chief was an elected position. The gradual introduction of the feudal system perhaps at that time aided by the greed of incumbent toiseachs led to these positions becoming hereditary. As the feudal system is now generally in desuetude we can dispose of the Lord Lyon and return to the historic procedure. (0)

(1)   J Fife 7:24 AM on 06/08/2016 Clan MacDuff (Dhuibh) — the first clan so recognized by Scottish Parliament. To us belongs the right to crown the King on the Stone of Scone; and that the Earl of Fife should lead the vanguard when the King gives battle. There must be a Chief reinstated.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/the-scottish-clans-looking-to-appoint-new-chiefs-1-4194405

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http://www.historicalfirearms.info/post/97915547775/the-union-between-scotland-england-the

Union between Scotland and England

The Union Between Scotland & England

The relationship between England and Scotland has been a long and tempestuous one.  Even if we simply examine the last 300 years the relationship between the two has been uneasy.  The first joining of nations came in 1603, with the union of the two crowns when James VI of Scotland succeeded the heirless Elizabeth I to become James I of England.  Despite numerous calls for a union of the two countries’ parliaments over the next century, and the brief union of the two nations imposed by Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth during the 1650s, it would not be until 1707 that the political union would take place following the economic impact of Scotland’s failed Darien Expedition.

Even once united politically the Union remained tenuous as political crisis gripped Britain during the late 17th century.  In 1715 and again in 1745 major rebellions took place in aid of the Jacobite cause, these however were brutally suppressed by Britain.  By the late 18th and early 19th Century the political landscape had settled with Scots becoming some of the period’s key figures including General James Abercrombie, Admiral Thomas Cochrane, Chancellor Henry Brougham and Keir Hardie among innumerable others from almost every field from the arts to law, from architecture to science.

Despite a number of moves during the mid 20th century by the British government to devolve power north it was not until 1999, that the first Scottish Parliament was formed.  2007 saw the Scottish Independence Party come to power for the first time and by 2011 the calls for a referendum on independence had gained momentum.  In 2012 it was agreed by both governments to hold a vote to allow the people of Scotland to decided their future.  The referendum saw the Scottish people vote in favour of remaining within the Union.  However, increased devolution was promised by the British Government and the next nine months will see negotiation over the details of increased home rule.  In turn the referendum has spurred calls for increased local powers and franchise for both England and Wales with calls for each to have their own individual parliaments deciding on regional matters while the Union Parliament decides on matters of national and international importance. With next year’s general election this is likely to become a key issue in deciding the political landscape.

Image:  Treaty of Union which agreed the terms of the Union between England and Scotland, it was made law when the Acts of Union were assented to by the English and Scottish parliaments in 1706 and 1707 respectively. (source)

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FYI, in Scotland, the words “bannocks” and “scones” are often used interchangeably.

Grandma Johnson’s Scones Recipe

Using simple ingredients and only 30 minutes, this easy raisin scone recipe is a perfect sweet snack for the whole family.

Grandma Johnson's Scones

Grandma Johnson’s Scones

  • Prep 15 m

  • Cook 15 m

  • Ready In 30 m

Recipe By:Rob
“A basic scone recipe that really does the trick. Tried and tested through 3 generations of kids. Simply the best anywhere!”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

 

 

One reviewer posted a helpful hint for this recipe:

more like a muffin than a scone – cutting way back on the sugar, and eliminating the egg would make it more like a true scone. also, it makes me crazy when one of the “most useful” reviews tells readers to let the butter come to room temperature so that it can be creamed with the sugar. scones are meant to be flaky, which requires cutting cold butter into flour. creaming is a technique used in cakes and cookies…

Incorporate the tip or not, depending on your personal preference.

 

 

 

 

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http://www.thenational.scot/news/jacobites-to-rise-again-with-re-enactment-at-highlands-stronghold-fort-george.20938

OL season 2

BATTLE re-enactors will take up swords this weekend for a new event exploring the historic Jacobite Risings.

Highlands stronghold Fort George will host the two-day “Stuarts’ Struggle” event, with costumed actors recounting the 60 years of civil war and unrest.

Living history camps and guided tours will help teach visitors about the risings of 1689, 1715 and 1745 as Stuart supporters fought to restore the exiled King James VII and his descendants to the throne.

Fort George was built in response to the Jacobite threat, commissioned by the government following the disastrous Battle of Culloden to put a stop to any further show of arms.

The military base was strategically positioned and held more than 80 guns, with accommodation for a garrison of 2,000 redcoats.

Fran Caine of Historic Environment Scotland said: “The Jacobite Risings form an important period in Scottish history.

“Spanning around 60 years, these events shaped the Scotland, and in particular the Highlands, of today and their legacy is still visible in battlefields and defences – such as Fort George.

“The Stuarts’ Struggle event, which is new for this year, will offer an insight into the three main rebellions, as visitors discover the history behind this period of unrest and civil war in 18th-century Scotland.

“There will also be opportunities to discover what life could have been like for Jacobite soldiers during the Risings of 1689, 1715 and 1745 as well as learning about Fort George itself, which was built by the government in a strategic move to stop any further risings by the Jacobites.”

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