Starz ‘Outlander’ at PaleyFest 2015: Panel Fun and…EPISODE 9!

Last night was the Starz Outlander panel at PaleyFest 2015.

I had to go after work -and since Obama was visiting the Jimmy Kimmel show across the street – that left me very little time to get to my seat, so I didn’t get to take any pictures with these amazing posters (the line was pretty long still) as I raced up the stairs to grab my seat:

PaleyFest 2015 Outlander Standing Stones with character posters

PaleyFest, Frank Randall, Geillis Duncan, Black Jack Randall

I did have time to sneak this pic of Ronald D. Moore on the purple carpet:

PaleyFest 2015, Ron D. Moore

Once inside you could feel the energy and excitement.  #Droughtlander is almost over and we were all there to quench our thirst. Of course #PocketJaimes were everywhere and making the rounds, and apparently this lad decided to take advantage of the drinks that were available:

PaleyFest 2015, #PocketJaime

Pretty soon the lights went down and it was time.

Kristin Dos Santos was tonight’s moderator and very obviously a fan.

PaleyFest 2015, Kristin Dos Santos

Right before she introduced Ronald D. Moore, she dropped the most awesomest news of the night…WE WERE GOING TO BE SEEING EPISODE 9!!!!  Then Ron Moore came out and spoke a bit about the writers – some of whom were in the audience:

PaleyFest 2015, Ronald D. Moore

Then he was…

PaleyFest 2015, Ronald D. Moore

“Who wants to see Episode 9?”  and of course the place went squealie.

I’m not going to spoil the episode…but let’s just say I’m still riding that high.  What I will say is that it’s a great opener and if the rest of the this season is as good as this episode then it is going to kick ass!!!!  AAAAAAHHHHHH…I can’t wait to April 4th so we can all talk about it!  We book fans know that this second half of the season is going to get pretty dark and go to some uncomfortable places.  If you’ve discovered ‘Outlander’ through this amazing show…be prepared.

After the episode it was time for the panel:

PaleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Ronald D. Moore, Diana Gabaldon

L-R: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Ronald D. Moore and Diana Gabaldon

Kristin Dos Santos decided to kick things off with a little game of “Never Have I Ever”.  So she handed out some glasses and some…liquid courage:

PaleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

If you’re not familiar with the game – as Sam Heughan was not – the premise is someone makes a statement and if you’ve done the action described you take a drink.  For example: “I never played a prank on my costars or anyone on set.”

aleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Ronald D. Moore, Diana Gabaldon


After that she decided to subject Caitriona and Sam to a version of the Newlywed Game.  Sam being a sly fox, and Tobias a sneaky devil, they decided to gang up on Caitriona.

PaleyFest, Starz, Starz Outlander, Outlander TV, Outlander, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

After all, their characters are both married to Claire.  If you’re not familiar with this old show, the ‘host’ reads a statement and the two newlyweds try to guess what the other will answer.  Like “What word or phrase does Sam say the most?”

PaleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

Ok…that was a fail.  How about what was the hardest time they had on set?

PaleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

Close enough, right?  Apparently Sam had some issues putting his shirts on…of course there were lots of volunteers in the audience to help him out with that.  Games aside, though, there were some really great insights.

According to Ronald D. Moore, the plan is to continue sticking as closely to the books as possible in this second half of Season 1, Season 2 and beyond (fingers crossed).  So far, including the episode we saw tonight, they’re doing a good job of that.

Conversation turned to the possibility of awards, accolades, etc.  Ron said, of course, he’d love the show to win things in order to award everyone who works so hard on it – actors, directors, producers, writers, costumers, etc. – but ultimately he feels the real payoff is knowing how much the fans are behind it.  Kristin asked the actors if they had known what the fan reaction would be, would they still take the part.  Caitriona confessed that she would still do it, but feeling the pressure of pleasing the book fans…she might not have been so calm those first days of filming.

Of course the night ended with some audience Q&A and Kristin promised that anyone who asked a good question would get a ring made by Sam.  Evidently he made her one out of a key (like Jaime does for Claire in the show) so she brought some along for him to make one for all the people who asked a question.

PaleyFest 2015, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

And then…it was over 🙁   So of course there came the inevitable rush to the stage for pics and autographs which everyone was more than happy to do:

PaleyFest 2015, Diana Gabaldon

PaleyFest 2015, Ronald D. Moore

PaleyFest 2015, Tobias Menzies

PaleyFest 2015, Sam Heughan

PaleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe

I admit to a Fanboy fail since I didn’t bring anything with me to have signed.  Whoops 🙁

Before ending this can we talk about a few things?  First, Caitriona’s utter perfection.  I don’t have a great close up of her but she is just stunning.

Secondly, these smiles from Tobias and Sam:

PaleyFest 2015, Tobias Menzies, Ronald D. Moore

PaleyFest 2015, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

And finally….these eyes:

PaleyFest 2015, Sam Heughan

These eyes people!!!!

DSCN1732 2

In all in was a great night.  Everyone needs to be ready, the second half of the season is going to start off with a bang!

Don’t forget the season resumes April 4th on Starz!

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  1. Anushika March 13, 2015
  2. The Novel Strumpet March 19, 2015

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