Weeks ago, when I got tickets to the Outlander Premiere in New York, I almost couldn’t believe it was real. I didn’t even tell some of my closest friends for fear that there had been a mixup. After attending the event on Wednesday night, I still can’t wrap my mind around it. If I didn’t have my passes, my new souvenir flask and more pictures than I know what to do with, I’d think it was all a dream.
You know what? Scratch that. I know it was real, but for this Outlander fan, it was still a dream.
The Tartan Affair that Starz put together was everything I could have wished for and more. The atmosphere outside while we waited to be let in was indescribable. Fans lined the streets, decked out in plaid, while bagpipers played “Skye Boat Song” (the opening theme) and guys in kilts waved tartan Outlander flags. I was so hyped up that I didn’t even realize how cold I was until my fingers stopped being able to snap pictures. But did I care? Nay. This wee Scottish lassie was having the time of her life. And that was before I even entered the Ziegfeld Theater.
I honestly don’t know what part of the night was most exciting. I have to say that entering the costume exhibit and laying my eyes on this was pretty close to the top. I’m pretty sure they could hear my gasp all the way in Loch Lomond.
Once I was able to process the fact that I had just seen JAMIE AND CLAIRE’S WEDDING OUTFITS, I noticed all of the other costumes, and I started acting sort of like a kid faced with a litter of puppies. I think it went something like this:
“Look at THAT one! No, THAT one! Claire and Frank’s 1940s clothes! Jamie’s kilt! Black Jack’s uniform! OMG it’s DOUGAL’S HAT!!!!!!!!!”
There were also set designs on display, and let me just say, if I wasn’t excited about getting to see Lallybroch before, I certainly am now. (Real talk: Of course I was excited to see Lallybroch before. It’s Lallybroch. You’re lucky if I don’t start shouting, “Hello the house!” just at the idea of it.)
I’ve got to tell you, between all of this, I was having one of the best nights of my life—and the actual premiere hadn’t even started yet. They even gave out free popcorn, soda and water, which may seem minor in the grand scheme of things, but a girl can work up an appetite standing in the cold and dreaming about Jamie Fraser. By the time the bagpipers entered the theater and Ronald D. Moore came out and introduced the episode, I was more or less on cloud two billion. (Cloud nine just doesn’t seem sufficient.)
Like any good Outlander fan, watching the show at home each week isn’t just standard television viewing for me. It’s an experience. No one is allowed to call me. No one is allowed to speak to me. My dog isn’t even allowed to go outside, because he knows that Jamie Fraser cannot be paused. (Unless it’s an intentional pause on a later viewing to confirm that he is, in fact, that beautiful.) I love my Outlander ritual, but after watching the episode with a theater full of fellow die-hard fans, I’m wishing we could make this a weekly thing. Watching the episode together was magical. Singing the opening theme together was magical. Cheering together over Jamie ordering Black Jack (again) to take his hands off his wife was definitely magical. I had chills throughout the entire hour just from the experience of watching the episode—and the episode itself, well, it was complete perfection. I’ll spare you the details since it hasn’t aired yet, but I’ll just say that I can’t wait to watch it again tomorrow night. With my tea. And my ringer off. And my dog quietly occupied with his treat ball.
Of course, the perfect capping off to an already perfect night was the cast Q&A panel. It was such a thrill to see Gary Lewis, Lotte Verbeek, Graham McTavish (in his kilt and sporran!), Tobias Menzies, Caitriona Balfe, Ron Moore and SAM HEUGHAN. (Sorry. My brain is making me automatically captialize SAM HEUGHAN. It must be a neurological condition. It has nothing to do with me fangirling over the man who plays our JAMIE FRASER. Wow. There it goes again. I should look into that.)
In all seriousness, I was so excited to see every single one of them. This cast is so phenomenal, and they do such an amazing job of bringing the characters that fans have loved for years and years to life on screen. One of the things that makes Diana Gabaldon’s book series so incredibly fantastic is how complicated, complex and multi-faceted each character is, and these actors not only capture that, but add to it with their portrayals. The fact that they take the time to do events like this one speaks volumes, and means everything to fans like me. I adore these actors, and I really wish each of them could win an Emmy. (Three way tie for Best Supporting Actor, perhaps?)
These books are such a huge part of my life, and seeing the story so beautifully adapted for television has been a dream. The first eight episodes were brilliant, and when Droughtlander started last September, I never thought the mid-season premiere would ever get here. I definitely never imagined that I’d be able to attend an event like this one. I was already beyond excited for the rest of season one, but after seeing episode 109, I almost can’t contain myself for what’s to come.
Sassenachs, the wait is over!!!! Eight more weeks of JAMIE FRASER!!!
Miss any Outlander Week coverage? Visit all of my Outlandish posts here.