The Other Outlander “F” word. FRANK.

Yup. In the history of Outlander there has always been discussions about Frank. If we think this is a new topic of conversation because of the way the TV show has presented him.  We are wrong. This is just one discussion that is 6 yrs old . It took place on Karen Henry’s blog, Outlandish Observations, which was started in 2008. See…WAY before the show became a “thing”.

I assure you, these discussions/arguments have been happening since the first book came out. My guess, somewhere in the world on June 2, 1991 the first debate about Frank and his place in Claire’s story took place. Why? Because there is a distinct character there, with a distinct personality. The interesting part is which side people fall on.

Frank is the man who was left behind by Claire’s unintended trip into the past. It’s funny, not “haha” funny but “Hmmmmm, how about that?” funny – that if you love him, you defend him like no one’s business – or you despise him and everything he stands for…oh wait…everything we believe he stands for.

Frankly (heehee), he is one of the most complex characters in the Outlander series. Why in the world would I say that? It’s true. That’s why. In 8 books, we keep getting snippits of his story. We THINK we know it all but that’s not true. Diana still has not fully revealed what unquestionably happened in the 20 yrs Claire spent with Frank.  I don’t think that is because she doesn’t care or it’s not important. I believe it is because there is so much to tell, so much that is laying underneath…Frank is simply one of those Tetris pieces that hasn’t fallen completely into place.  We don’t have to like him to know his importance in the story. Perhaps that is where some of us stumble. “WE” don’t like him so he doesn’t belong.  Seems kinda like my high school years allllll over again. OMG…I’m FRANK!

I hope we can see how short sighted that mindset is in the grand scheme of Diana’s tomes. Everyone, whether we like their character or not, has their place in the story she has written. We might think Mr. Willoughby served no purpose but the truth is, he did. In Diana’s story…and lets be frank (snort), it is HER story.  We digest it the way our brain see’s fit, not necessarily as it was written.  Its like broccoli, some people devour it and love everything about it and some get indigestion and end up super gassy.

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The “F” word has been popping up again because of this picture in this article.

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Lots of people took it as a personal nose rubbing because Frank isn’t that big of a deal to them, they don’t personally care for him or they believe he needs to hurry up and die already. Lots of people LOVED the photo, saw it showed what life would be like for Claire & Frank in the future, validated their feelings that Frank’s a good guy. An important good guy.

Neither of these view points are wrong.  Why?  Because people are people and they feel how they feel.  The trouble is when we get to the point where we believe only our view has merit.  Only our view is “right” and our need to express it in ways that are pointless to the grand scheme of things.  Examples of pointless expressions might be : anger, telling people how to do their job, spitefulness or passive aggressiveness. One of my favourite sayings is…You can say what you mean – without being mean.  We can also do that without trying to make others adhere to our beliefs.

Outlander (the show) has a story to tell. The writers, producers and directors want to make the best show possible in their eyes. That is where the crux of it all is. Their eyes.  What is the thing about eyes folks?  They are all unique.  They all see things differently.  Those who want to bask in the things they see…will.  Those who want to contradict the same visions, won’t stop because someone says “You are wrong.”  If it were the “fans” that created the show it would say in the credits SHOWRUNNER – Fans, but it doesn’t. It says Ronald D. Moore.   Whether you believe that’s good or bad, it’s his to run the show.

I have no issues at all with those who use critical thinking to express their thoughts.  I have no issues with rose coloured glasses and those who choose to love everything.  My view is simply to be kind to one another while expressing your differences and maybe, just maybe allow each person their view.

Frank isn’t the bad guy. He isn’t the hero. He’s an intricate part of a story about a woman who is torn between times. The story, whether we believe it needs to be told or not, is the story.  Perhaps sitting back and experiencing the ride is the solution.  Like a roller coaster, some are going to love it…some are gonna wanna puke when it’s over. Either way…it is the experience that creates the outcome.

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Hold on everyone, buckle your seat belts. If I know anything about this fandom, and I think I do…it’s gonna be a helluva ride!

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Side note- I don’t think anyone can deny…Tobias Menzies…is super awesome, pretty good looking and well – brought Frank to life. Whether you like that particular life or not – is up to you.

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders

 

Jane of the Outlander Jungle! #ABOotlanderLOVE

Here we go again, bringing you some of our favourite Outlander fans who bring joy, entertainment and a kind place to rest our weary heads upon.

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If you haven’t checked out our previous ABOotlanderLOVE spotlights, please do.  We talked with Beth Wesson, the heart felt blogger. Connie V , the hilarious creator of one of the most popular Recap Blogs. Our last ABOotlanderLOVE blog was dedicated to the one & only Outlander Anatomy creator Dr. Karmen.  

We encourage you to leave comments & let us know who you feel has worked to bring the Fandom together in a happy light.  I would like to add, this isn’t a popularity contest, the admin team I work with and I simply feel what we feel. Since we are the purveyors of #AlwaysAssumePositiveIntent we gravitate to those people we have connected to within the fandom.

 

This time we are Spotlighting – Lady Jane AKA Jane Sherwood. She is the lead admin for The Rank and File. If you are not a member of the Richard Rankin Fan Group , you are missing out on some fantastic banter, close friendships & seriously smart women.

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Lady Jane’s humour & authentic nature comes out in droves as she drives the ship that is this fan group.  It is worth noting that this fan group formed BEFORE Richard Rankin was cast as our beloved Roger Mac.  I am almost certain the collective universal force that is this fan group was instrumental in RR loading up as Rog.  When you have that many people throwing good vibes your way, you are bound to get caught up in it.

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Please get to know & love Lady Jane as I do.  

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We all start somewhere on this Outlander journey.  When did you first become interested in the world of Outlander?

About 18 years ago, I started reading, and rereading, the books. I’m afraid I actually don’t remember how I found them! (I blame a baby that didn’t sleep in the meantime and Mommy Brain.)

 

However I do remember precisely when I heard about the show. It was when Sam was cast, and I was at a family dinner. My sister, SIL, and I – all major book fans – squeed over his picture. Even though his hair was dark and short, we could see that he would be the perfect Jamie. And of course all the guys present rolled their eyes. The next day, I joined Outlander Facebook groups and the rest is history.

*Baby Brain…yes, the good ole days!  My son was 1.5 when I found the books, lets just say thats when he learned to entertain himself.*

What inspired you to start your fangroup?

I met the co-founder of The Rank and File in the Heughligans FB group in early 2014. She posted this video of Richard doing Shakespeare and it truly made me a fan for life! The Crimson Field aired shortly afterwards in the UK. I opened a Richard Rankin Fans Twitter account – which promptly got so much attention and swooning over the captivating Capt. Gillan, that we decided it would be best to also open a private FB group for moral support.

The name was a difficulty for a long time… after all how many positive things go with “Rank”?! We finally settled on The Rank and File for its military connotation, and the fact that we wanted to be RR’s army.  And so we are the VADs (Very Adorable Darlings) of RAF. It is pronounced “vads” like a word, and is from a joke, actually based on history, in The Crimson Field where the Voluntary Aid Detachment is referred to as such. Even today, not one single day goes by when someone somewhere doesn’t post how sad they are that it wasn’t renewed, but at least we got our Roger Mac.

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Jane has done a great job of forming a community in their fangroup.  Not an easy task. Curiosity bade me to ask HOW.

I have a professional background in web and graphic design, and video editing, so it naturally became a fun hobby for me to share professional quality media. However, what really built our group was its wonderful and intelligent members (the #BrainyFangirls!) and the great admin team I have:  Amanda, Michelle, and Stephanie. We all support each other 100%, with no competition between us, and are committed to running a kind and respectful group.

During the past over two years since the RAF began, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and people in general. We constantly get comments from our members that The RAF is a unique place to share opinions freely in a supportive environment, so that is what I think what truly makes us stand out.  We’ve all worked really hard at building that, and it has not been easy sometimes. None of us knew how to run a good fan group when we started, and sometimes how to best handle conflict. We were lucky we started very slow to be ready when the huge influx happened when he was cast as Roger!

We are somewhat different than other main OL fan groups as Richard already had a large and varied career before he was cast, which has since continued. He will be appearing in S2 of The Last Kingdom and a mini series called The Replacement for the BBC fairly soon. While OL may be our main topic lately, I don’t think the spirit of the group changed very much even though our membership numbers exploded.

I do want to give a special shout out to the admins of the Heughligans, Caitrionation, Tobias’s Tribe, and many, many other admins of Outlander fan groups that helped us when Richard wasn’t even part of the show! We are so proud to be in this incredible union of positive fans.

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What was your most memorable fan encounter?

The Season 2 Premiere in New York City, and subsequent Tartan Parade that followed. Meeting the cast is exciting, but really what stands out is all the fans from all over the world that I was finally able to see in person. It’s such an amazing network of people you instantly feel at home with!

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Brunch with members of the Rank & File. Lady Jane is 2nd from the Left.

Your fangroup is well organized, enjoyable and incredibly positive. The banter you have with Richard Rankin is cheeky & fun. It takes time to develop… how is it that you have done so well?

Thank you so much for saying that! I’m not sure how to answer this – by being myself I guess. Richard is so cheeky and fun himself. One day, he will be boasting and warning us about the #OneScotRule (to admire only him), and the next day, he will be self deprecating. Rarely is RR not teasing on Twitter. Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out when he is serious – and I admit there was at least once when even I wasn’t sure. He’s so good to his fans and it inspires us, his army!

I would say that the RAF is equal parts serious and cheeky. We are super professional in promoting his career and all the shows he is involved in, but we also aren’t letting him get away with anything. Our followers seem to enjoy the mix. The RAF sees him as a real person – someone to admire, but also someone to treat with respect. I’m really proud of our group for that. Our primary goal is always to be a positive force, for him, and for the fans. I get the most pleasure out of this when someone tells me I brightened their day, or made them feel welcomed.

Please share a few of your favourite exchanges with Richard – I know mine.

Gosh, there are so many. Like when he would drop Outlander references during that long dark time before his casting on December 14, 2015. We were all on edge, praying he would be named as Roger, and then he would run away while everyone had a meltdown at the slightest mention. Or tweet that he’s naked in the gym, and disappear. I don’t think I’m biased when I say he’s one of the most entertaining actors to follow on Twitter.

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Many VADs will say that April Fool’s Day 2016 was one of the best days ever. I changed the profile pic of the RAF Twitter account to Loki. Less than an hour later, I was hilariously called out by RR. A day of teasing ensued.
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And when he complained about our Instagram, which has many more followers than he does (there are still only four photos on his).
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Another one of my all time favorite Twitter threads was debating whether Bree was technically engaged to LJG. It went on for two days. Richard really likes to be right. Usually he is, and will defend it TO THE DEATH. Here’s a link to the Storify:
https://storify.com/RRankinFans/in-which-richard-rankin-defends-his-claim

Explain what your reaction was to seeing “Roger” appear on screen for the first time was like.

I was completely overwhelmed. Having watched The Crimson Field in 2014, it was a really long wait! We all knew then that Richard was the perfect Roger Mac.

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He’s such an emotionally powerful actor.  The role of Roger is extremely complex, and RR was born to play it, like all the other cast members who are so perfectly cast! It was meant to be. So basically, I cried along with him during that opening scene of 213…

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We all have our own visions of what Outlander of the future will look like – What do YOU see?

A ten season series with every single book represented. And multiple awards for all cast and crew, including Richard, who is going to slay season 4 … and 5! He and Sophie will be the second leads starting then, and their love story will be at the heart of the show as much as Jamie and Claire’s. Outlander will catapult Richard’s career to the next level, and give him the ability to make his dreams come true. It means that we will be guaranteed to get lots and lots of Rankin screen time to many years to come. The future is very bright indeed.

My husband has said Diana must have a man named “Roger” locked in her basement *smile*.  With all that is to come for his character – how will you prepare for his story line? 

Haha, that’s a great description. Yes, we use the tag #PoorRoger on Twitter. He’s such a lovely character and means well, but he’s just beaten down by life time and time again. Richard said in a recent interview that Roger has an inner strength, so that is what I think he will bring to the role. I’m just so excited to see it all, and have so much faith in Richard’s abilities. I’m thrilled that he will have a chance to stretch his skills and create some epic and emotional scenes that will really touch the viewers. It’s why we are his fans – his characters have such depth and are so full of feeling. It’s the role of a lifetime, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
The fandom’s acceptance of Richard has been incredible, unprecedented really. The huge celebration when he was cast was wrought from months, and years for some, of his fans rooting for him. We are just so grateful to join the Outlander family – so beat him, hang him, do what you will – we will pay the price gladly!  -Stocks up on tissues and whisky-.

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This is an ABOotlander must ask –  If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

I’m truly afraid to answer this question! And I hope I get points for not googling the 3 out 4 that I don’t know – I’ll pick the Taber Corn because it sounds the least problematic and reminds me of Graham McTavish’s corn jokes.

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If you want to join in The Rank and File fun, here is a list of all the ways to do it!

Thank you so much Lady Jane for being so open & sharing with the fandom.

 

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders

*Stay tuned for the next #ABOotlanderLOVE feature…we dive into a new realm!

 

 

I’ve got a crush…Outlander SETS and the man who designs them…

Yep, Jon Gary Steele.  I am super crushing on him.  Why?

First…have you SEEN the sets on Outlander?  They have been perfection since the first episode of season one. Season two has blown my mind.

Second…those dimples!

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See…Those DIMPLES.

Photo Credit: Jon Gary Steele on Twitter

I just want to crawl in them and take a wee nap!

Third…He is brilliant. THE Jon Gary Steele (and I always say all 3 names because, he is classy like that)

Be prepared. I am going to do some gushing about a few sets for season 2. Why? Because the recap market is stacked to the rooftops.  I want to celebrate what Outlander has given us. I want to  give credit where credit is due.

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This is one example of how the sets on Outlander support the actors in their stories. 

Photo credit : http://www.architecturaldigest.com/ 
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I often wonder how people like Jon Gary Steele sleep at night.  If this is the kind of thing they envision during their waking hours…what in the world does their brain do while resting?

The Paris Apartment, had so much detail. So much richness…it was like you were visually sinking into the most beautiful fabric ever found.

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The story is made richer by the little things.

Photo Credit: www.architecturaldigest.com
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LOOK at THAT detail.  It takes me so long to just scan the Paris Apartment, the moldings, the BLUE velvet, the interior of the fireplace…I mean really. It is THE INSIDE of a fireplace…that Jon Gary Steele made it this elegant little niche a visual worth dissecting.

Master Raymond’s apothecary was one of my absolute favourites. I found myself pausing and scanning. Pausing and scanning.  I love how the molding was used in the shop. To my uneducated eye it was framing more treasures…everywhere.

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I could play in this room for HOURS, I believe I have!

Photo Credit: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/  http://media.architecturaldigest.com/photos/5706e210b2d72bc242ccecb6/master/pass/Outlander-second-season-set-design_07.jpg

This apothecary makes me feel like I am in a world…inside of a world.

The Star Chamber.  As a HUGE Book fan. I had a hard time imaging the scale in which this set would need to come to life. You can view many images of the Star Chamber on Jon Gary Steeles website

I can not imagine this scene from the books being as powerful as it was; had Jon Gary Steele and his team did not have their hands in this production. The word perfection might get flung around willy-nilly but this absolutely WAS perfection.

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Each of these characters took the lead of the Star Chamber. It was a living breathing character. The way the light danced through the dome to the flickering torches. Even the floor in which we see the Comte take his last breath…it enveloped him.

Photo credit: http://www.jongarysteele.com/

Jon Gary Steele spoke with Variety about the sets. CLICK HERE to watch that video.

I especially enjoyed the sets in the Outlander finale episode this season. As we made our emotional way through the Rev.Wakefields home, sheds & dusty rooms. These places seemed so stale & untouched, yet filled with ghosts.

Culloden House, yes, we have seen in before, yet this time. I noticed the stark coldness permeating through those walls.

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You know, I could very well feature each set, each design and all of the set decoration.  Jon Gary Steele has an incredible team to work with & I know that he knows how much the fans adore his talent and vision.

Me…I happen to LOVE his brain.  What ever it is that goes on in there, I would love to ride one of those waves one day. Watch him in action.  I devour interviews & videos to see if I can just grab a nugget of what it is that makes him tick but…I believe what he has, is that unique, that special…that mere mortals such as myself, won’t ever be able to grasp just what is going on in there.  I am utterly convinced that Mr.Steele has a Cerebral Cortex external pack as well as what he was blessed with at birth.

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My husband often tells me “Sum up.” SO…in conclusion I need to thank Jon Gary Steele. Tell him that he has surrounded himself with greatness in the team he has.  I have always said that we are the product of those we share our days with…this product is an Emmy deserving, soul lifting group of people.

SherryLynn

@ABOotlanders Founder