Saturday, April 25, 2015
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

Transportation leaders point to need for funding changes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Together to remember children lost to violence

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
‘Cinderella’ carries on despite theater flood

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
3 letters to Vacaville may cost $100,000 to answer

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Church offers free Southern Gospel concert

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Summer Spare the Air season set to start

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Suisun City police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Commercial weight loss programs come under scrutiny

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B10

Food often a conduit to something more

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

San Francisco Catholics deeply divided over archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Colleges starting to offer brewing courses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Hate crime charges for homeless beating suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Supreme Court ruling keeps sex offender registration in place

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

SFPD to pay for settlement of wrongful termination suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
16 students injured when school stage collapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands march to mark anniversary of Armenian massacres

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man ordered to stand trial for kidnap, rape charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Nuclear launch officers charged in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Hawaii raises smoking age to 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Rubio looking to gain support in Iowa

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hep C, HIV cases spike throughout Indiana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Obama uses hospital funds to help push for Medicaid expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Gray should have received medical treatment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Italy police arrest nine terror suspects in sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Yemen rebels ordered to pull back

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

US completing review of hostage policy following drone strikes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

 
Chaos in the primaries

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Joy of baseball back in my life

By Deon Price | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: April 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Daughters’ ex is determined to turn their children against her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

.

Entertainment

Seriously silly, Monty Python reunites for a weekend tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Ynoa, Butler send Rockies to 6-4 win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vikings fall to Jaguars 4-3 in 8 innings

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

After working OT in NBA playoffs, Curry, Rose can earn rest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
SCC baseball team wins to claim share of BVC title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 2 Comments

Dortmund, American Pharoah vie for favorite in 141st Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Harden, Howard lead Rockets to 130-128 win, 3-0 lead on Mavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Olympic sailing events may be moved from Rio’s polluted bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Canadian Henderson shoots tournament record for LPGA lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bowyer and Stewart looking for good runs at Richmond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Oregon wins distance medley relay at Penn Relays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: LA projects viable for bringing back team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Buckeyes teammates Cook, Sindelar top Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Swafford, Weekley atop Zurich Classic leaderboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Logano wins pole at Richmond, his third of the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Usain Bolt: Gay’s reduced doping ban sends wrong message

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Scott Dixon is chasing IndyCar wins leaders, not spotlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ducking the spotlight, some stars decide to skip NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Garber: MLS plan in 6 months to expand beyond 24 teams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Signups for Saturday, April 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B3

.

Business

Harley recalls nearly 46,000 motorcycles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov’t pushback

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Cheaper fuel has airlines soaring to record profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Wynn Resorts shareholders: Elaine Wynn won’t return to board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford recalls 390,000 cars to fix door latches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Winners and losers of the demise of the big Comcast deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

What could McDonald’s do to fix its business?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Durable goods orders up, but business investment falls again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 4/25/2015

Ask a Designer: decorating with spring pastels

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1 | Gallery

Real estate transactions for April 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.65 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3