Happy 5th Anniversary Outlander!! And Outlander Returns to NYCC in October

Photo: Starz, Season 5: Jamie and Jem, Claire, Bree and Roger

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the first airing of Outlander! Here is a video from location of Sam and Cait reminiscing…

 

Both Starz, and Sam, announced this week that Outlander will return to NYCC this year. We know Season 5 will be released in early 2020 (sometime between January and March), and NYCC appears to be the kickoff for promoting the new season.

NYCC 2019 will take place Thursday, October 3 – Sunday, October 6th. The big questions are: Who will be there from the cast and production team?, and Will they show Episode 501??? (That would be exciting!) It also means that we can expect the artwork for Season 5 to be revealed sometime in the next two months.

Speaking of artwork, Starz is running a generous fan art contest, including travel, hotel, convention passes, and a copy of the winner’s art signed by the cast. To enter, submit your original Outlander art on Twitter using #OutlanderContestNYCC for the chance to have your art featured at the convention talent signing where you will meet the cast. Sounds pretty great.

Here is a link to the Starz NYCC 2019 Fan Art Contest Official Rules Good luck to all who enter!

There is one caveat, which is a byproduct of contractual agreements for Outlander. At present, Starz owns the rights to distribute Outlander in the US only, therefore, for the contest, they can apparently only consider art from within the US. Outlander very definitely has a global audience, and lots of beautiful fan art from around the world. Maybe other distributors (ie., W Network in Canada, Sony Pics at Home in the UK, Foxtel in Australia, etc.)  will catch on and run a similar contest? I hope so.

The contest is open until August 30th, at which time Twitter fans will vote on the top two eligible pieces. I assume the winner will be announced shortly afterward. 

I attended last year’s NYCC, so I’ll give you an overview of what happened, and what you can likely expect if you go this year. But first, here’s a brief Q&A with Cait and Sam, Sophie and Richard, and Fersali, released last week.

 

I love New York City, for so many reasons, so going to NYCC 2018 was a treat. One thing I loved about the Starz presence at NYCC last year, was their Fraser’s Ridge Cabin replica. They built a “log cabin,” complete with Claire’s apothecary, lots of props, and locally made, authentic souvenirs. It was pretty awesome, and it was outside, which I really liked… I’m curious what they’ll be doing this year… 

Last year, they let a certain number of people in at once, so participants would line up,

and as you entered the cabin, you participated in a drawing for a chance to meet the cast, 

and have something signed, which was available to a limited number of people….

Once inside, you received your Season 4 tote bag with goodies inside. 

and you had a chance to wander around and look at all of the set decoration replicas from Season 4.

They had Claire’s desk, complete with her 18th century herbs and tinctures,

including dryed herbs and a view of the ridge out the “window.” It was fun. 

One thing I thought was really cool, was they had some theme appropriate local vendors on hand, giving out samples, and talking about their products.

Caswell-Massey, which was founded in 1752, by a Scot (no less), a doctor named William Hunter, claims to be America’s original apothecary and perfumery. Dr. Hunter is also notably credited with creating the first American Fragrance, still sold today as “Number Six,” which was apparently worn by George Washington at his inauguration!  

We got to select one of three scents to take home; my favorite was Number Six. 

Another interesting fact I learned about the historic company, is that Rembrandt’s granddaughter actually designed its logo. They appear to have several, so I’m not sure which one specifically, but I was pretty fascinated to hear about this company that was in existence during colonial times. The CEO of the company was working the event, and had some very old apothecary cases with him, for display behind the counter only, which he showed to me.

He believes this one to be from the 1700’s…

This is the inside of the case…

 

That was REALLY cool.

Another New York family run business, Royce, was on hand to do custom monogramming of luggage tags for each fan. We could tell them what letters we wanted, and just like Jamie, with his printing press, they would hand select the letters and put them in the trays and then press in the monograms.  

 

One side of the luggage tag said Outlander Starz, 

 

 

and the other, with our initials, or whatever we liked. A great, useful souvenir.

Other highlights in the cabin included a map of River Run, 

and the deed to Fraser’s Ridge, which we see Jamie sign in the presence of Governor Tryon in Epidose 404, Common Ground.

This cabin had wifi, and, Jamie and Claire had a pretty sweet big screen tv here, running highlights from the upcoming season…

I thought Starz did a very nice job with this mock Fraser’s Ridge cabin, and all of the thoughtful details included. 

Here is a fun video of Sam and Cait giving us a tour of the actual set of Jamie and Claire’s cabin.

Interesting to note, is that according to Gary Steele, the above really is the small interim cabin, and a larger one was built for Season 5, so get ready for Jamie and Claire’s manse on the ridge! 😜

Other highlights from NYCC 2018 included two small panels, one with Ron and another author, both interviewed by Sony exec (and major Ron/Outlander advocate), Chris Parnell. 

We were also treated to a session with Diana and two other authors, on their book to screen experiences.

I enjoyed both of these intimate panels very much, and in fact, I tracked down the videos, in case you’d like to enjoy them too!

NYCC 2018 Screenwriting Adaptations Panel Video with Diana Gabaldon…

Here are some highlights from my notes from Ron’s Master Class panel…

  • In TV, the writer/show runner is king – directors come and go; In feature films, the director is king – writers come and go.
  • Ron wanted to do Outlander because, “you can say it’s a story of soul mates, but it’s a rip roaring fun tale more than anything else…” (this comment was met with dead silence).
  • We realized that Caitriona is in every scene, and if we keep that up, we are going to kill Caitriona – the show is about him too. (This was in response to why the decision to include Jamie’s POV in Episode 109).
  • Starz picking up Seasons 5&6  is a huge vote of confidence – which carries over to production, because we can plan ahead.
  • The job is complex – Lead several 100 ppl, create the culture, manage financial picture, creative: yeah, let’s do that. “Know a little about a lot of things – I know a little about how makeup runs, I know a little about how costume runs, well, I know a lot about how costume runs!”
  • Prioritize and hold the creative and practical – creative issues and production issue – financial.
  • Outlander is the hardest show as a producer I’ve ever worked on, because it’s a road show – locations, sets, characters, time periods – constantly pushing everyone past their point.
  • Sometimes the producers will say, “I thought we had a lot of $??” Ron: “We did, but we spent it on the last script and now we have to cut back on your script.” Courtney’s notes: explains a lot about episode 307 – which was done at the very end of the year.
  • In Middle school, I read The Making of Star Trek.

Q: Why is Frank’s character bigger in the show?
A: He is foundational to Claire; couldn’t make Frank a dud. I wanted him to be a worthy character of Claire. Frank raises Brianna, plus we had a great actor playing Frank.

Q: How do make Jamie and Claire equal? 
A: We have a big board, and we keep score: Jamie win, Claire win. <audience laughs>. 

  • As we make creative choices, you have to keep going in a certain direction which may diverge from the books.
  • I love post production and editing, the 2nd “stage” is editing.
  • As we dig into characters, who are they, and what makes them sad or happy etc., the story comes. You don’t start out saying who is the hero and who is the villain?
  • Challenges of Season 4: It’s being shot in Scotland; in colonial America, things made of wood, and they are made of stone in Scotland.

“God love Diana, but can’t you just ever go somewhere and stay there???”

 

One of the coolest things, I thought, about these panels, was the location: an old 3 or 4 story brick building, you could take the stairs or ride up in the freight elevator. I did both, but I particularly loved how art has been hung on the brick walls of the freight elevator, which is complicated enough to require an elevator operator…

So New York, hidden gems everywhere…

Once outside, nearby NYCC, there were always interesting costumes to behold, walking to and fro…

Costume wise, though, this was the absolute highlight for me: the extraordinary Dior costume. Anna Sawyer is a professional costumer, and was so inspired by Terry’s Season 2 masterpiece, that she made this herself. 

Photo: Starz

Photo: Anna Sawyer

Ron was so impressed, that he snapped this photo for Terry, during the cast signings.

Photo: Starz

The cast was kept very busy, going from one interview or activity to the next all weekend.

The main event, was Saturday night, in the Hulu theater at Madison Square Garden – a gigantic venue – where we were treated to a panel with Sam, Cait, Ron, Maril, Richard, Sophie, and surprise guest, Diana G.

 

The moderator did a good job, I thought, and it was a fun, informative panel. There were big screens on two sides of the room…

There was a huge crowd, seating capacity at Hulu theater is 5,600, and every seat was taken. People stood in line for hours to get seats. 

After the panel, we watched Episode 401. I will say that due to the acoustics in the room, and the theck Sco’esh (and Irish) accents, I found it a little difficult to understand everything. I did enjoy it though, and was very excited to watch again at home. 

It was pretty fun to emerge after the event, and walk home (I had given up on taking taxis! Faster to walk). When I rounded the corner toward home, I was greeted with this…

I did get a chuckle at the juxtaposition of our strong woman themed Outlander signage being situated above Hooters! 😂

(To see the Full NYCC panel video, go Here). 

It was unseasonably warm for October in New York, 78 degrees at 10:00PM, and after a bowl of delicious matzo ball soup, I walked back to my hotel. My route took me past the downtown Macy’s, where my grandmother used to dine with her girlfriends at the the basement lunch counter in the 1930’s. The facade is much the same, but upon entering, I was barraged with flashing neon lights and loud music, and I thought, this place bears no resemblance to the place my grandmother frequented.

I asked around and found an employee who’d been there quite a while. Apparently, the remodel of Granny’s basement lunch counter had only happened in the past few years, so I just missed it. I decided to go down and take a look anyway, and see if I could find any trace of what had been there when she was. I found a modernized food court. 

The floor could possibly be original. It looked old and had cracks in it. Maybe…

I rounded a corner, and stopped dead. I found it. I found something I was sure had been there when Granny was. 

I was elated, imagining my Granny riding up and down this escalator countless times on her lunch dates with her work mates in the city. It is, in fact, the most beautiful escalator I have ever seen. It’s completely made of wood, and makes a lovely creaking sound. It’s a brilliant taste of history in the midst of what otherwise feels very much like a discotech. 

I’m so glad they kept it. I rode up and down many times, imagining my little Granny as a young girl in the same spot.

  

 

Still more highlights from the weekend, included an intimate panel by the same group, minus Diana, at the Paley Center for Media in NYC. It was a lovely little intimate venue, on the Friday night. I was hoping we would see Episode 401 there, but the big reveal was saved for Saturday night at NYCC.

Caitriona was stunning in velour. And I think Sam and Richard swapped jackets for Friday and Saturday! Sam had his black hair from shooting the Vin Diesel movie, Bloodshot.

On the last day of the convention, Diana did a book signing. Here she is meeting and admiring Dior Claire 😉, and signing Anna’s book.

   

Lots of BTS admirers as well. 

Another extreme highlight for me, was seeing The Ferryman on its 3rd preview night on Broadway. I had seen it once before in London, but the cast was on fire this night, no doubt so excited to be on Broadway. My seat was almost too good. I won’t give anything away, but I’ll just say some key scenes happened just about in my lap. At intermission I did hear some people saying they couldn’t always understand the accents, but at the end, the boisterous American crowd positively erupted into a standing ovation, and the cast was beaming. It was fantastic. 

There’s a reason I call these posts OutlanderBTS Adventures, because there is always an element of adventure on these trips. (Part of why I love to do them). On the night I saw The Ferryman, the city was jam packed, and knowing this, I left myself a full hour to get to the venue (which was 1.3 miles from my hotel). I stood in the taxi cue at my hotel, with two or three groups in front of me in line. When it was my turn, the doorman told the first taxi driver where I was going, and he drove away. That’s odd. The second one did the same thing. I started to get a little worried, because by this time, it was about 25 minutes until curtain time. Apparently, taxis don’t like to go into the theater district in the evenings when the traffic is heavy.

The doorman said, “You won’t get an Uber in time, you better walk.”

Damn. If I’d left when I first came down, I could’ve had a leisurely walk. At this point though, I was going to have to run. It was going to be close. After running 3 or 4 blocks, and pouring sweat in my nice clothes, I spotted one of those bicycle cart guys and flagged him down.

I said, “Can you get through this traffic and get me to the Bernard B. Jacobs theater faster than I can walk?”

“Oh yes!” he said.

So, I jumped in. He was pretty good, weaving in and out of traffic, with only a few scuffles. And before I knew it, we were there. I thanked him profusely and asked what I owed him, and when he told me I almost fainted. It was an UNGODLY amount, absolute highway robbery. But there I was, and the doors were closing soon, so I told him he was a thief, while smiling, paid him, and ran in.

Another cab driver I had that weekend got pulled over for making an illegal turn! I was trying to get to one of the panels, Ron or Diana, and I jumped out of the cab.

The policeman saw me from his car, and said, “Did you pay him?”

“Yes,” I said.

He walked back to the cab’s window and said, “OK, fine, no ticket for you, you take her the rest of the way free of charge.”

I said “Thank you thank you!”

I jumped back into the cab and off we went. When we arrived, the cab driver tried to get me to pay him more! Oy! New York! (I love it!)

         

 

                  

The sights, the sounds and the FOOD! I also had a lovely dinner with some fellow Outlander fans…

      

And, a few times I strolled past Sakes Fifth Avenue,

      

 where my mind drifted back to the Season 2 premier week, before this Dior even hit the screens.

5 years, indeed. It’s been quite a journey, on screen and off. 

I hope Starz will have some fun things in store for this year’s NYCC. I have applied to do a panel with the BTS Ladies there, we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

Here is the ticket link for this year’s NYCC. I’m gonna keep it real, because that’s what I do. The 4 day tickets are sold out, and most of the individual day tickets as well. There are mostly Lyte Exchange tickets only now. I’m not sure why, but that is the situation. A Lyte Exchange ticket seems to be a sanctioned scalping system. If someone can’t use their ticket, they sell it back to NYCC, which in turn sells it via Lyte Exchange. Maybe they will open a new crop of tickets? I’m not sure, because they will certainly have fire codes to abide by. In any case…For tickets to NYCC 2019, Go HERE, and do it soon. 

Sending you all my best, as always. xo

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8 comments on “Happy 5th Anniversary Outlander!! And Outlander Returns to NYCC in October

  1. Great recap! You were able to do EVERYTHING! I’m very impressed. I need you to schedule my con experiences, lol! Can’t wait to see what the booth will be like this year! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great days !!! Travelling from Italy I was a bit confused … unluckily I lost everything happened at Javits center … because I arrived at the MSG early in the morning. Your recap is amazing…
    What about NYCC tickets!

  3. I didn’t think I wanted to attend another Outlander convention but you wrote so eloquently about last year. I hopefully will get tickets for Friday and Saturday. Thanks for your blogs and interviews!!!

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