Saturday, December 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Starz’ ‘Outlander’ brings novels to life vibrantly

Caitriona Balfe Sam Heughan Grant O'Rourke

This photo released by Sony Pictures Television shows Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, right, and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser, center, and Grant O'Rourke as Rupert MacKenzie, in a scene from Starz' new TV series, "Outlander." (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Television, Ed Miller)

By
From page B3 | August 01, 2014 |

NEW YORK — There’s an odd believability you find inside “Outlander” that somehow makes it feel true-to-life.

Never mind that it’s a rip-roaring fantasy. Claire, a lovely British Army nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, is mysteriously swept from 1945 back to 1743, plopped into a strange and alien existence, including marriage to a dashing Scottish warrior, even as she struggles to return to “modern” times and the husband she left behind.

Premiering on the Starz network at 9 p.m. Aug. 9, “Outlander” is adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s wildly popular novels. Shot in Scotland, the series is lush and beautiful, and as genre-bending as its source material as it straddles romance, science fiction, history and adventure.

SAME AND OPPOSITE

“I’ve always done period shows,” said “Outlander” executive producer Ronald D. Moore, a sci-fi maestro celebrated for his futuristic “Battlestar Galactica,” ‘’Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

“I like working in worlds that don’t exist, and creating things that take you outside of your day-to-day reality. So the process of putting together a show that takes place in the 18th century is really not different from a show that takes place in the future: You’re still creating everything from scratch.”

Moore knows he’s facing a hurdle snagging viewers who aren’t already hooked on the “Outlander” books. In particular, he’s got to win over guys, who may not instantly see the appeal of a romance-laden saga with a woman at its center.

“Perceptions are hard to fight,” he said. “This is the exact opposite challenge that we had on ‘Battlestar Galactica’ on the Syfy channel: How do you get a woman to even look at this program? But once they did, women bought in, and loved it. Now we have the opposite challenge: Look, ‘Outlander’ isn’t chick-lit or a romance novel! This is really an adventure story. So, you try to get men to sample it in the same way.”

BUDDING POPULARITY

“I wasn’t aware when I got the job,” said Irish actress Caitriona Balfe, who stars as Claire, during an interview in New York alongside Scottish-born Sam Heughan (“A Princess for Christmas”), who plays the warrior, Jamie, and like Balfe knew nothing of the “Outlander” craze.

“But I had a funny moment when I went to my local bookstore in L.A. to buy a copy,” Balfe recalled. “When I was paying for it, the clerk said, ‘You know, they’re making a TV series out of that. Ronald D. Moore is going to executive produce it. I wrote my thesis about him in college.’ I thought, ‘Ahhh, this is a good omen!’ ”

FINDING CLAIRE

“I thought we would cast Claire first, and that Jamie would be the hardest part to cast,” said Moore. “But Jamie was the first character cast in the entire piece. It happened so early it scared us, but once we saw Sam’s tape, we said, ‘Let’s just grab him while we can.’ And then it took forever to find Claire. We needed someone intelligent, funny, empathetic, capable; an actress who could sustain viewers’ interest week after week.

“Then Caitriona sent her tape in, and word roared around the office: ‘Yeah, that’s it!’ She was cast just days before she had to go to work!”

ROACH REPROACH

“There’s a cockroach!” hooted Heughan, interrupting himself as he pointed to a baseboard of the otherwise immaculate Associated Press conference room. With that, Balfe let out a yelp, followed by apologies for overreacting as the roach was swiftly removed.

“She’s great with horses,” Heughan laughed.

“I’m even fine with mice and rats,” said Balfe, who recalled when she used to live in roach-infested New York. “I was pretty lucky. I never had a cockroach in five years in Brooklyn. But I was staying at my friend’s place in Manhattan one night while he was out of town. There was a cockroach in the bathroom and I couldn’t even bring myself to go in there. I woke up at six the next morning and had to run out to the closest coffee shop just to pee.”

BACK TO WORK

After a week in the U.S. for publicity and Comic-Con, it’s back for a few more weeks’ shooting in Scotland. There, the “Outlander” troupe has been able to toil in a bubble since last September, largely shielded from the hubbub greeting the show.

“This year has flown by,” said Heughan. “Our feet haven’t touched the ground.”

“When the show premieres,” Balfe said, “we’ll be back in Glasgow. We miss it.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Creche collection grows in size, popularity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Handmade Christmas display is man’s labor of love

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Company competition a big win for charity

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meeting a great role model at any age

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5

Fairfield police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Island park in San Francisco Bay closed for weekend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
No harm caused by flames at Northern California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Wetter than usual start to new year in California predicted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Hospital to pay $2.2M to settle false claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Napolitano named as UC public policy professor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Man shocked 20 times during jail booking sues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Notorious California graffiti suspect arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California’s bullet train settles 1 of 7 lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Driver pleads not guilty in pedestrian deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Celebrities react to latest Sony hack developments

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
2012 movie massacre hung over ‘Interview’ decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sony on shelving ‘The Interview': ‘We had no choice’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Texas eatery worker gets mink coat from customer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NY police officer suspended after videotaped punch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Franciscan religious order in ‘grave’ financial crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

By Petula Dvorak | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

By Jim Tankersley | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Pampered pets that don duds move to the mainstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

Children from wife’s first marriage put father’s ashes in coffin

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
.

Entertainment

More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Marathon bombing survivor in ‘Yes to Dress’ finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kid Rock to perform pre-race concert at Daytona 500

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Actor Stephen Collins denies he’s a pedophile in interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Dodge, Vaca grad Mason lead Southern Oregon to NAIA title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders haven’t needed much from Janikowski

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP sources: Peavy agrees on $24M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Howe’s family reports rapid improvement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 Armstrong associates settle lawsuit with Landis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player trade involving Myers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vanden girls open Nike TOC with win on Arizona

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Things to know about Friday’s baseball news

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former boxing champ Ernie Terrell dies at 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gold medalist Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dodgers end Yanks’ payroll streak, owe most tax

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

CIF football bowl games headed to Sacramento

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
Cal men beat Eastern Washington 78-67 for seventh straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

California unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Sales for holiday shopping season comes down to the wire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Judy Zamora Rogers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 12/20/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: decorating with Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2