Chapter 6

In Which the Fandom Grows Ever Increasingly Insane.

1. Following the New York Comic Con event, the frenzy surrounding the show increased.  Starz began their social media blitz, beginning Instagram and Twitter feeds, as well as becoming a more visible Facebook presence. 2. Immediately regional fan groups started growing.

3. Twitter was the meeting place and the meeting place was Twitter. 4. All those with the #Outlander in their profiles are to be immediately followed (trolls can be unfollowed later). 5. But in the beginning… there weren’t trolls. 6. There were benign nuts who just wanted to “touch” the living and breathing Jamie. 7. There were gentle readers who wanted to connect with the “real life” Claire.

8. Starz, in their infinite wisdom, realized that the fandom was hungry for their stars. 9. To appease the longing, they began to teach lessons on how to “Speak Outlander“. 10. Hearing Sam Heughan as Jamie say “Sassenach” crashed the Internet and a few million brains.

11. The videos also introduced the fandom to the estimable Gàidhlig scholar, Àdhamh Ó Broin, who became a star in his own right because of his delightful personality and willingness to share his love of languages with any and all who ask.

The love of all things Gaelic grows. 

12 Àdhamh was probably one of the most followed #Outlander team members after the core actors & production team. 13. As the Gàidhlig coach for the show, Àdhamh’s responsibility is a large one. 14. As someone who is personally trying to revive an almost-extinct dialect in his home in Scotland, Àdhamh became someone with whom the fans were eager to interact. 15. “Àdhamh, how do you say my name in Gaelic?” “What’s the difference between Scots Gaelic and Irish?” “How do you say ‘Happy Birthday’ in Gaelic?” were some few of the questions Àdhamh graciously fielded in between official “Speak Outlander” lessons.

16. As the holiday season approached, excitement began to build with the announcement of the LA Fan Event in January of 2014. 17. Unlike the New York event, lucky fans would be able to see & possibly meet Caitriona and Sam in their first outing. 18. Participants submitted e-mail entries and were chosen by Starz. 19. E-mail inboxes, junk mail, draft mail were searched frantically as entrants awaited a response. 20. Finally, it appeared that all had been delivered, but not all had been accepted. 21. And there was much moaning and wailing among the fans.



Chapter 5

1 With the arrival of “Our Claire,” Caitriona Balfe, the fan frenzy began anew.  Tobias Menzies had been cast to the dual roles of Claire’s husband, Frank Randall, as well as Jamie’s 18th century nemesis, Jonathan Wolverton Randall (aka “Black Jack”).  The casting of Menzies brought consternation to some because “Tobias is so cute, it’s going to be hard for me to hate Frank as much as I have!”

2 The faithful could also see that having a well-established actor such as Menzies cast as Frank meant that the character they had loved to hate for so long was going to require a second look. An actor as appealing as Menzies could serve to upset the balance of Team Jamie vs. Team Frank for years to come.

3 New York ComicCon took place in October of 2013 and provided fans with their first glimpse of Outlander – behind the scenes (BTS for short). At the STARZ exhibit, dioramas of sets were on display, as were pages from the script of the first episode.  A message went out from STARZ’s Outlander Facebook Page letting fans know that there would be an “Intimate afternoon with series Executive Producer, Ronald D. Moore and author Diana Gabaldon in New York City.”  All fans had to do was send an e-mail to the listed address.  Approximately 200 lucky fans (including your trusty Gospel-author) received invitations to the event.

4 As the day approached, the faithful grew more frantic, “They just started filming, but do you think Cait and Sam might show up?”  While Sam and Cait were not in attendance, the faithful were treated to an hour long talk/q&a by Diana and Ron.  Ron shared a “sizzle” video which showed some glimpses of rehearsals, sets, costumes and props. Clad in a dashing kilt, Ron and Diana shared their excitement for the project and were kind enough to answer fans’ questions.  At the end, the fans were treated to a quick clip of  Sam and Cait who were kind enough to record a video greeting to the fans in which Himself uttered the sacred word: Sassenach. The squeeing and screams could be heard three blocks away. There might also have been a slight earthquake as a few overly excited fans fell out of their seats. Luckily that was right before lunch, to which a bagpiper led the way.

5 The faithful were then allowed to meet both Ron & Diana, posing for photos & getting signatures. Parting gifts were signed paperback copies of Outlander and a tee shirt with the phrase “Real Men Wear Kilts” and “Outlander” on them.  The pictures and videos from this event lasted the faithful through the next few weeks. And then LA was announced


Chapter 4

1 With the dawning of #Clairewatch, the faithful learned how devious Herself and Himself could be.  With each new character cast, the frenzy built. Back and forth they went as the clever Tweeters found new members of the crew to follow- from Costumes to set drivers to publicists- no one was safe from the scrutiny of the Outlanders.

2 The summer months flew by in a flurry of anticipation. When would filming start? Would Herself have a cameo? How many episodes would there be? Would #Clairewatch ever end? The Starz Outlander Facebook page was launched and immediately acquired thousands of followers.

3 Fans of Sam Heughan launched a fan club known as Heughan’s Heughligans™ and quickly linked their fan efforts with his charity of choice, The Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society of the UK. Following Sam on Twitter also lead to the Saga of the Spurtle and the knowledge that the man can cook! Following Herself’s statement that Sam’s Jamie portrays, “patience, seriousness, annoyance, patience, humor, menace, humor, and…enough sex to drop anyone with functioning ovaries in their tracks,” the faithful began watching for “ovary-dropping” moments.  And they were many.

4 As masters of the Twitter Tease, Himself and Herself flirted back and forth with each other and their faithful followers. “Tomorrow, I’m going to introduce you all to my new friend…” he said, “Think brown eyes and long hair…” driving the Twitterverse crazy. Could it be Claire? 

5 Of course not. It was his practice horse. The frenzy began again. Was the horse Donas, Jamie’s trusty steed? Immediately, a Donas Twitter account came into being, honoring the relationship between man and his sarcastic equine companion.

6 With each new cast member (Mrs. FitzGibbons, Murtagh, Old Alec, Dougal, Colum, Hamish, Rupert) the frenzy built higher and higher.  #JennyWatch came into being, as did #MurrayWatch, and #IanWatch.  The faithful knew that the cast would be incomplete without Jamie’s sister and his best friend.

7 But Claire, La Dame Blanche, still eluded the faithful.  Vimeo videos of auditions started popping up, actors were followed on Twitter who auditioned for Claire but were unsuccessful in garnering the role. A fever overtook the faithful, causing them to suffer from a variety of symptoms including:

  • Insomnia
  • Distraction
  • The overwhelming need to refresh one’s Twitter feed or check one’s e-mail every other minute
  • An addiction to Google- stalking casting agencies, models, drivers, directors
  • Manic behavior
  • Impulsive Facebook posting

8 In short, there were a lot of crazy women waiting and wanting to be the first to welcome “Our Claire” to the growing Outlander Clan. On September 11, 2013, many grieving hearts were lightened by the announcement of Caitriona Balfe as Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser. Caitriona announced her casting in typical Claire style that she was thrilled to announce that she was joining the cast. “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!”

9 Twitter and Facebook light up the like the New York City skyline on a clear night.  Faithful followers could not contain their excitement. “There’s the two of us now” memes flooded feeds, Photoshop was used more in those first few hours than all the days leading up to it… and it was decided: the fans loved Caitriona.

Chapter 1

*Please note, this is NOT fan fiction.  This is a comical account of historical events leading up to the airing of the Sony Productions TV series Outlander based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novels.  No copyright or other infringement is intended.  

The Gospel of Outlander

By Jeannie Hurley

Chapter 1

1 In the beginning was a conversation. And that conversation was about pregnancy.  Herself was a member of Compuserve, an electronic bulletin-board website begun early in the era of what is now known as “The ‘80’s.” 2 Herself, being a scientist and mother of three, knew very well what pregnancy felt like, so she proceeded to describe the scene vividly.  3 Encouraged by the warm reception and feedback she received after writing the scene, Herself began writing what would become her first novel. 4 The novel was named Outlander (translated as Cross Stitch in non-American speaking countries).  And it was good.