The Little Princess & Droughtlander Ends

I’ll be super honest, as is my way. The spirit hasn’t moved me lately, to blog about Outlander, (which is unusual for me). What’s going on? Am I changing? Is it changing? Probably some of both. 

The reason I started this blog in the first place, was to provide deeper, more satisfying content to intelligent, informed, passionate Outlander fans, about the making of Outlander, the visual adaptation. I’ve always said I’ll keep doing it, as long as doors keep opening. I can’t speak for other bloggers, but I, myself, was not invited to participate in the S4 premiere this year, despite conveying my willingness. My impression is that from the perspective of Starz and Sony, bloggers were needed in the beginning, to help get this new show with its mostly unknown cast, on its feet. I remember standing behind a sweet older lady from Canada with her notebook and pen, as she asked Sam questions in the press line for the Season 2 premiere. Times have changed. It’s no longer a new show, and the cast is becoming very well known. And bloggers have been replaced with mainstream media outlets in the press lines. I am thrilled for the hard working producers, cast and crew, for their well deserved success, and especially for the outcome of leading more people to Diana’s masterpiece. And, at the same time, I feel a sense of loss.

The ultimate goal of making a TV adaptation, for the companies involved, is making money, it’s a business. But, because of who Diana is, and what her work is, and all the people it has attracted, Outlander feels like so much more than a money making machine to me (and to many), it’s personal. For that reason perhaps, I find the cattle call fan conventions and the mainstream media coverage to be not only unsatisfying fluff, but dare I say, insulting? (especially considering the demographic of this fandom).

I’d like to pay tribute to my husband’s longtime friend Chip Chace, whom we lost to pancreatic cancer recently, by quoting him. Chip was a world renown TCM practitioner and solo climber. He once said:

“Practice is a life-orienting discipline, in which the process itself is the goal.”  — Chip Chace

The journey is the point, not some end point called “success;” that’s my perspective, anyway. Following the people and the process of the making of these four seasons of Outlander has been a joyful, special experience for many of us. Recently it has felt less personal, more removed, and therefore less satisfying and compelling (to me). What does all this mean? Heck if I know. I do know this: the term “success” can (and should be) defined by more than just monetary gain, even in big business. The world would be a much better place if this were so. Is it possible? Is it possible to retain what Outlander has been, while also becoming a Hollywood success? Outlander is a miraculous force, and I look forward to seeing how it handles this challenge. 

I was really going back and forth today, about whether I should post something, as I didn’t feel like reposting what’s floating around out there right now, and I don’t want to put a damper on people’s excitement for the start of Season 4. I had pretty much decided to skip it, when I saw a tweet from Jason Maza, which said, “Earlier this year I directed my first short film ‘The Little Princess’. I’m super proud of it and I hope it touches your heart…”

And I thought, there it is. The juxtaposition.

This is the long awaited short film written and performed by Steven Cree. It’s all heart. I watched, reminded (again), what a great actor Steven is, and while I was certainly touched by the film, what really grabbed my attention today were the credits. In particular, the Special thanks section, where I saw all the familiar names roll by. The names of people I have met through this experience, who have supported the making of Outlander, the show, since the beginning, as bloggers, youtubers, graphic artists, jewelry makers, fans, convention organizers, cast handlers, you name it. We have supported Sam in MPC, Cahonas Scotland, his marathons, Cait with World Child Cancer, and her marathon, Steven and Jason in making this film, Graham in his new directorial debut, Stephen Walters and Andrew Gower for their film, supported each other, attended fan conventions, signings etc. This is the heart. You are the heart. 

I interviewed Steven after he made The Little Princess, before anyone had seen it, and I have included that segment of our interview below. 

I am excited to see episode 401 (I saw it at NYCC, but honestly could not hear the dialogue due to the room acoustics), and I will no doubt appreciate Season 4, so much. So, here’s my 11th hour promo… Here’s to Steven, Jason and team for this beautiful art, and here’s to us guys, who’ve been on this ride since the beginning. Cheers to you! Bring on Season 4!!! ?








56 comments on “The Little Princess & Droughtlander Ends

  1. How lovely, sensitive… I don’t know what the back story might be. But I write the condolence cards to people in my congregation who have lost family members. And this struck me.

  2. I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend. Please don’t give up. I think we the fans, super fans, new fans and on and on have had some of the same thoughts and feelings as you have – perhaps in mute concert. I haven’t watched the clips yet – I just wanted you to know that we appreciate you. We get it. And I”m sorry your excluded from the premiere. That must have stung. If YOU need to move on from this, we’d get it, but I vote you stay. Hugs from far away, Pell

    • Thank you Pell xo. I don’t feel I need to move on, I feel I just need to be realistic about what’s happening, so I don’t feel hurt (does that make sense?). The playing field has changed, and I don’t want to play by the old rules – I would be constantly frustrated. We’ll see what’s in store… xo

  3. Having seen the film Steven was generous enough to show us at the Land Con 2, I can honestly say it left us all incredibly emotional for days, well certainly I was! It has a very strong message and really was so well done. it’s great to see this little interview and to see the special thanks, so thank you Courtney. I hope they have a great success with their chef d’oeuvre and we will be able to purchase it one day.

  4. Very profound. Outlander belonged to us, the readers of Diana’s books. And thanks to us, Outlander is maybe growing beyond us. And while we cannot begrudge any of those involved the success and recognition that is well deserved, in some ways it does feel like loss, doesn’t it? Thank you for writing/saying what I, at least, have been feeling. I am anticipating season 4 and will watch it and love every moment. At the same time, it’s rather bittersweet.

    • Mary This is a bit late but I agree with you and the blogger’s perspectives! Things have changed on many levels and I’m sure “success” has a great deal to do with it. As an early reader and lover of this series you are so right! It’s bittersweet for sure!

  5. Thanks for posting The Little Princess. I’m fairly new to the OL family and must admit in the past year it has grown overwhelmingly, and not always in a good way. happy for the recognition that cast and crew have received, but also happy that we all get to see experience different projects they are involved in.

  6. Hi Courtney, I get where you are coming from. To me the fun has gone out of the cast in interviews. Sam and Caite appear to have matured and pulled away from each other while Roger and Bree (see I slip into names) haven’t developed the same magic. Interviews appear so formal and scripted with a huge emphasis on the American interview style. I’m not in America and I find this style grating.
    I find these days I tend to skip quite a few of the things that are written. I dont devour every word. I’m no longer the sponge sucking up every bit I can find about the series. I just adored all the costume discussions and information from Terri and I miss it now.
    I still love the show yet to me, even that has lost some of the gloss and polish. I didn’t enjoy the second half of Voyger. I didn’t like that part of the book either. I felt that some of the things Claire did were ridiculous and others just too unbelievable with too much time spent with her. Time was wasted on this as opposed to the true guts of the story. I see the story as a love story between two very special people not as rising of one above the other. With this aspect reflecting on Awards/ rewards given with both Sam and the show itself appearing to be one step behind.
    I love the show and the books and I am anxiously, enthusiastically waiting for Series Four to begin. Please keep your blog going as I love reading your opinion and seeing all that you show. Steve Crees little film was wonderful and reminded me of a film I saw as a littlie called The Red Balloon. It was a French film made in possibly, the very earl sixties, no vocals, but with a message about bullying. Please keep up the good work.

  7. Hi Courtney, This post touched me very much. I can feel the sadness you are feeling about what has happened to our beloved series and the lack of consideration Starz et all have shown to you and other bloggers who have done so much to make sure Outlander got all the recognition it deserved. PLease continue giving us all those interesting and meaningful posts. I, like many others really appreciate them. I’m also looking forward to Stephen’s film.

  8. Don’t give up! I love your blog. I don’t have time to find all the juicy tidbits that you post. I like your insights & your interviews are great.

    I’m sorry you seem to be getting overlooked with the success of the show. I hope they (meaning the Powers That Be) don’t forget the people who helped make the show the success it is. It would behoove them to remember.

    Also, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I think when you lose a contemporary, it makes one insightful & of course melancholy which colors our view of things.
    Please know that I do enjoy getting the BTS newsletter! It does brighten my day.

    Take care.


  9. Hi Courtney, I agree with what you are saying and you have put into words pretty much what I have been feeling also. I am no longer interested in looking at the talk show circuit interviews that ask the most inane questions and the interviewer’s lack of subject knowledge is so apparent. Perhaps it is because, like Kimbra, I too am not in America and I don’t like that syle. I also don’t want to see the endless supply of tidbits and still photos I want to wait for the hoped for magic of each episode as it unfolds.
    Having said that I certainly believe the show and everyone associated deserves all the success they are receiving.

    • Yes Kerrie! I want to be surprised! I look at the talk show circuit as the hunters/gatherers, getting new people. (although I’m not sure I would be captured by the interviews as they are often inane, I agree. We bloggers are the farmers. It doesn’t hurt to throw some farmers in with the hunters so everyone feels satisfied.

      And I agree about their success. I just think we can define success in a better way…


  10. Please don’t give up in giving us your wonderful blogs. I cherish them always. I understand your feelings regarding the progression of Outlander – and I cling to the books – They are Jamie and Claire and their life together. I, too, weary of the talk show, and convention circuit the actors are going through. It almost cheapens the spirit of Outlander and Diana’s creative genius in her books. I love the TV show Outlander – it is still the best. There was this magic and awesomeness in Season 1 of Outlander, a freshness and an innocence that had us all won over – I sincerely hope that that doesn’t ever disappear. I loved Season 2 (I cried through that Season a lot), Season 3 was one of renewal and adventure – loved it, and Season 4 I am sure will be awesome. However, I am very sorry that you were not invited to the premier of Season 4, what a terrible let down.

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend – a terrible loss.

    Thank you for sharing the interview with Steven Cree, a great actor. I didn’t realize how hard it is to create and make a movie, short or long – that it has to be accepted in a film festival before it can be shown on tv, etc.

    Please don’t give up on your wonderful work.

    • Rhona – Yes, you hit the nail on the head – it does feel like a cheapening. Like a dumbing down and hooring of something too good for hooring! I think, as I process this, what is important to do is to separate out the _work_ – the books, the show, and the MARKETING. It’s the PR dept’s job to get this show in front of as many eyeballs as possible, to make $, so they run these guys ragged, setting up interviews with every possible outlet, the more major the news outlet, the better. And now, the show is attracting all the major ones. So, it’s kind of understandable why they wouldn’t save a spot on the red carpet for bloggers, in light of that. I just have to figure out what my spot is in this new Outlander world order. Yeah, good food for thought.

      Thanks Rhona. And thanks for letting me know that you cherish my work. That is so nice to hear. xo

      • A big hug to you! Don’t give up. We all are behind you all the way – nothing beats quality. Looking forward to your next article.

  11. Yes, it is a loss. Thinking about it brought to mind many other people who must feel this way to some degree. I am sure Diana felt a twinge when giving up sole rights to her story. The actors involved are very wealthy now but would probably love to go back and be anonymous for some time. There’s the loss of the first season and how the story grows. It also brings to mind as your family has recently experienced personal loss. Watching my daughter grow into a caring, responsible young person who doesn’t need me as much is both rewarding and a loss at the same time. I guess loss is part of our lives in one way or another if life’s moments are to move forward.

    • Mc – Ahhh, so well put, milady. SO well said. Loss is a part of life. A part of moving forward, which is a _good_ thing. I think the key, when I think about Diana, and my family, is feeling it, and letting it move through us. vs. getting stuck and angry or trying to hold on to the past. Thanks SO MUCH for writing. xo

  12. Many above have expressed how important your particular take on Outlander is to us. Your postings have been consist ntly thoughtful, insightful and eloquent. Fans of the books who have been intrigued by the promise of the series are very lucky that you chose to create this blog and share your reactions with us- and our experience of both books and series are immensely richer for your input.

  13. I too have had the same feelings. Part of me thinks, that it can never be the same as with Seasons 1 and 2 when everything was new, fresh and exciting. The interviews with Cait and Sam don’t have that same exciting twist when they were new to this world. They have to be getting tired of the press tours, etc. While I wanted Outlander to become a huge success, I miss the intimate gatherings and discussions. It has grown beyond that. The success of the show has made our beloved actors less available to us and tickets to events have become more difficult to come by. I take solace in the fact that at least this will help us to get more seasons of Outlander. Be careful what you wish for. 🙂

  14. Once again, Courtney, you are able to describe what I have been feeling (and others) about Outlander. The interviews presented to us by the main stream media are embarrassing and ridiculous and all the same silly questions over and over. I am not a fan of EW and find it insulting that they post the same old ‘stuff’ about the cast year after year and can’t seem to get beyond the visuals of season 2. I love the books and the always interesting Diana Gabaldon, Maril Davis is still in love with the series and does her best to keep us enchanted and I will REALLY miss Terry Dresbach and all the information/pictures she tirelessly sent us via Twitter. Matthew Roberts has been fairly silent the last few months and I hope he is finally getting some downtime before season 5. Courtney, you and a few other bloggers are the heart of Outlander and have brought us so much insight and thought provoking blogs, I really hope you can continue. I, too, have been a cheerleader for Outlander from the very beginning and you have been the light ‘Behind the Scenes’.

    • Karen, thank you SO much for this thoughtful note. Wow. Very touching. I _have_ put a lot of my heart into my work for my blog, and it makes me so happy to know that you guy receive that. I am not in it for the selfies! There’s so much depth to Outlander. That’s what I enjoy tapping into.

      I don’t intend to give Outlander up, I love Diana so much, as a person and a writer. I think she will be one of the greats of our time. I just needed to get this off my chest, and then we’ll see what’s in store. Thanks again xo.

  15. I absolutely adore your blog!!!!!!!!!!!! Never give up. I read every word and then pass it on to three of my OUTLANDER friends. Many thanks for all of your hard work throughout the year but mostly through DROUGHTLANDER! It helps me get through it.

  16. Wow. You just put into words exactly what I have been feeling too except I’m not a blogger. I’m just a regular person who fell in love with Outlander but now it has lost its special touch for me. I lived to watch and read every interview since season one yet now I feel differently. I can hardly listen or read the season 4 interviews because the questions and the interviewsers are not serious. Cate and Sam have grown and that special look in thier eyes for one another is greatly diminished. That was what captured my heart…… along with the most beautiful love story ever written. Thank you for sharing your honesty and please don’t stop for all of “us”, YOUR FANS.

    • I agree. It’s almost too sad to write about. They just cannot top S1. Sam’s Jamie in S1 was mesmerizing to watch. The obsession I had for the show even worried me at times. I bought everything, listened to everything, and my stomach dropped at the beginning of each new episode. Honestly, the wigs keep taking me out of the show. I still enjoy watching, but miss the way it used to be. By the way, loved Bonnet in the ending scene. Great job.

      • Season 1 was magical and always will be. And that kind of mirrors the books, you know? There Diana was, writing in her garage in the middle of the night. No one knew what was being created. That was Season 1 – they were off in Scotland, creating this, with no real idea of how it would be received… and that cocooning clearly has an effect. What a butterfly we got, in both cases. xo

    • Awww Fran, thank you.

      Everything changes, doesn’t it? With growth comes gains and losses. I used to say to our son: “we’re sad to say goodbye to what was, but happy to say hello to what is.” It’s tempting to try to hold on to the past when it’s so special, but it doesn’t really serve in the long run.

      I am absolutely devoted to Diana, and I think her work is magical. I will continue, but I have to feel inspired to do so, and I needed to speak my truth stay inspired. (and it seems to have resonated with quite a few people).

      Your kind comments mean a lot to me! xo

  17. What a beautiful, sensitive and thoughtful piece. Thank you for not giving up on Outlander, even if its heart has changed. I guess it was inevitable.
    I’m so sorry for your and your husband’s loss.

  18. I encourage you to be proud of the work you, and others like you, have put into this show, even if it seems you aren’t needed as much anymore (which I assure you is not true). You should feel proud that the show is so popular and more mainstream now BECAUSE of your work! Enjoy where the show is now, knowing you helped raise it up. A fledgling show might still need the heavy PR you lament, but then that would be missing the point altogether. The show is not over and neither is your relevance (and others like you).

    • Thank you Stacey, for saying that! I agree. This is all new for me, so I’m just feeling my way through.

      Diana once said, “it’s all about the work,” and I DO work hard to produce things I’m proud of, no matter what. I think the cast and crew really do value the fans, and I think it’s the job of Marketing and Sales to go after the biggest reach possible vs show love to the fans. So, there’s an disconnect there.

      In fact, I was just thinking, it’s like in ep 401, when Jamie says to Ian ‘When it comes down to it, your cock doesne have a conscience, but you do.” Sales and Marketing are the cocks of the organization ?, but the rest of them do love and appreciate us, I think.

      I appreciate you writing. Thank you!

  19. You write so beautifully because it comes from an authentic and wise heart. We appreciate your blogs very much because your written words reflect our hearts and souls but not all of us have the gift you have of communicating how deeply we feel for this story and show. I’m so sorry you lost your friend too early. Please don’t stop writing for us – we would so miss hearing from you…..truly. ❤️

  20. Hello, So sorry you were not invited to the S4 outlander premiere. That must have been so disappointing, especially when your family have experienced a lose of a close friend so recently. I have found your reports always to be so well thought out and sincere in giving such great information on everything Outlander. I am also not in America, so only see bits of tv interviews and printed articles. I think you would have done a much better job then some of these bits that I have seen. And yes it is great for the cast to get more recognition. But things do seem to have changed. I have found the PR for S4 just strange! there could have been such interesting and better promotion. What we have gotten is silly and unprofessional questions. Don’t these sort of things get checked before going to print? Half the articles seem to be about Ms CBs engagement!! Is this part of S4 then? What has it got to do with Outlander? We don’t hear about the SOs of the other cast members! I just feel a sense of pretence about Ms Balfe when this needs to mentioned consistently. Just weird and unprofessional! No reflection on her an SHs great acting. The PR should be about promoting S4, the closeness and chemistry of the main couple, the new characters and the storyline.

    Also thank you for the Steven Cree short film. so good and such great acting.

  21. I do understand how that must sting as you put it. Things grow, things evolve, but I feel those who have been with something from the ground up and who have helped it grow, even if its in the slightest way, should be part of the legacy. I have always considered your inside scoop to all things Outlander and intimate in the know kind of experience and I always learn something interesting about all the efforts that go into making this series and making Diana’s books come to life. I feel you have always been an integral part of our experience and I hope you continue to be. May your friend rest in peace.

  22. And let me just say, Steven Cree should be very proud of his short film. Beautifully and heartfully done and covers such a dark and somewhat untouchable subject of suicide. It is a ray of hope. I enjoyed your interview with him and how freely you converse with him and bring him out to us.

  23. I feel very similar this season. I am really happy for everyone in the show but feel like a lot of the cast has lost that “humble sweetness” that made me champion this show. I feel like the cast (especially Sam), has lost that, “I’m so honoured to play this character” to “you are lucky to have me”. I feel it has become more about the people and less about the show ?

  24. Oh dear Courtney – please don’t give up on blogging in spite of the painful challenges. I just discovered your amazing blog while trying to understand why I find myself so terribly deeply disappointed by S4E1. Your blog is heartfelt and honest. Your words helped me gain awareness of why I suddenly have the strong desire to check out of the Outlander FB posts where no dissenting opinion is tolerated. I empathize with you and your losses, I’m so very sorry you’ve had to go through them. This blog helped shed light on, well, what I can only describe as the grieving process over my own personal sense of loss of OL’s soul. Like most of us, I was hooked at the first “People disappear all the time…” of S1 and could not replay the S1 episodes enough. They were glorious! While not as magical as S1, S2 and S3 flashed enough glimpses of Diana G’s original work that I still could believe in Jamie and Claire as two people sharing one life. But now we come to S4 and I’m feeling like I’ve lost a good friend; it actually hurts a little. Maybe I’ve changed, but the silly interviews, seeming emasculation and emotional dumbing-down of )amie, and diminished production quality (I.e., more frequent use of distracting CGI green-screen technology to save $$$) leave me ready to turn out the light and bolt the door on watching the TV show.

    Courtney, please don’t shut the door on your blogging, on expressing your heartfelt love of OL, or on sharing your thoughts. I’m one reader who has gained insight from your words and your readers’ comments. Please don’t leave!

    • Jan, I too grow weary and frustrated with the FB groups whom you accurately describe as tolerating nothing but “gushing,” as well as the emasculation of Jamie, when one of the BEST things about these characters is their equality and teamwork. That’s why Courtney’s blog is so important!! It’s a place for intelligent thought rather than being mindless sheep.

      Courtney, you probably have no clue how many wait just for YOUR blog!!! ??? Keep it up girl!! You’re in the company of friends!! ?

  25. Just brilliant. Bravo Stephen !!!!! Who hasn’t been touched by the tragedy of suicide? What a lovely and true message of hope.

  26. Please do not stop your blog. I agree with what’s been said, you have important thoughts, feelings and ideas to share. I too loved Season 1. liked 2 and thought 3 was tolerable. 4 has been an utter disappointment! Before reading this blog I had put it up to the chemistry changing between Sam/Jamie & Cait/Claire. Now I see the bigger picture and understand what’s been wrong! See what a huge difference you can make?

  27. Hi DJR: I loved your comment, very insightful. This blog has made a big difference – in an amazing way! My hopes are that it will continue.

  28. I just want to say that I appreciate you guys and your heartfelt comments and support, more than you know. I don’t respond to every one due to time constraints but I do read every one, and I do appreciate each of you and the fact that you honor me with your energy and thoughts here. I feel very blessed and grateful to be part of this whole Outlander ride. xo — Courtney

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