Countdown to Outlander: My Trip to the Outlander Paley Panel

IMG_2829Hurrah it’s Friday and it’s less than 24 hours until the Outlander premiere tomorrow on STARZ.  Check out my countdown this week especially most post on the kilt.

Let me start my tale to say I was lucky enough to get to attend the Outlander panel at the Paley Festival in early March.

My trip down to the panel promised to be a great time getting to see the cast as well as seeing old friends.  My annual trip to Comic Con got cancelled so this was going to be my one nerd out for the year. Being a Comic Con vet I was excited about the potential of spending an hour with the cast of Outlander doing a QA. We had no idea when we arrived that we’d get to see the first episode of the season too. You’ve never seen three middle aged woman more excited or a theater full of middles aged women.  The tsunami of estrogen must have been overwhelming from the stage, it’s a good think Sam was backstage. This was considerably better than possibly seeing the President who was across the street recording an episode of Jimmy Kimmel.

The added bonus of the trip was getting to visit several of my oldest and dearest friends. Yes these friends are the ones that I’ve known since kindergarten which means we’ve known each other since we believed in Santa, had no front teeth and looked good in bikini. This was a LONG TIME AGO!

IMG_2751These are the same friends who went with me to Diana Gabaldon’s reading last year at San Diego Comic Con. They were also the teenage girls who drove with me 200+ miles to see Duran Duran in 1984. They have been with me through all sorts of interests whether it be movies, books or boys.

The droughtlander is now over ladies!!

Before the panel started we got to see the first episode of the new season. I won’t go into any details because that would be wrong. NO SPOILERS HERE!! Trust me you want to see it all with fresh eyes and full hearts. To quote Coach Taylor from FNL, “You can’t lose!” Okay that’s not the actual quote but you know what I am saying.

IMG_2778Kristin Dos Santos from Eonline () hosted the panel and she was delightful. In her excitement she even split her pants. Lucky for her she got them fixed or she might have had to wear the curtains or someones KILT.  She’s a class act!

In attendance at the panel was Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias MenziesRonald D. Moore and Diana Gabaldon.

Speaking of classy, Kristin brought a bottle of Outlander branded whiskey to loosen up the cast and had them play several different drinking games during the discussion. For the most part, I think it worked and would recommend it for other panel hosts. Get them drunk! Sam especially seemed to be a little more nervous so he probably took the most shots and loosened up as the night moved on.  Apparently no one wanted to get in a drinking competition with Cat because they all claimed she’d win.

Cat and Sam played a version of the Newlywed Game which was fun to watch but they didn’t do too well. Despite Tobias’s coaching Sam’s answers.  Kristin might not have realized that they don’t have that TV show in the UK so they weren’t familiar with the format despite what seemed like a simple concept.  Everyone still enjoyed watching them struggle.

Kristien has asked over Twitter to tweet in possible questions.  I asked her to ask Diana which question, “What parts of the book have been the hardest parts to leave out of the show?”  She asked my question first so I did a little happy dance in my seat.  The audience got to ask a few more questions which is always fun to get to see the level of excitement and interest from other fans.  Sometimes it gets a little meta in these QA’s but the questions were interesting and thoughtful.

The one fun fact revealed there is a skinny dippy scene coming up in the last eight episodes which I am sure we are all excited about (See the photo I found below).

The panel was over far too quick for all of us. My friends and I left wanting to watch the episode all over again. My DVR is going to get a work out this weekend.  After the panel we went home, ate loads of junk food and stayed up late like we did when we were kids.  The next morning we got up at the butt crack of dawn at went to Disneyland like we did when were kids.  We had a magical day together with tired feet and we bought cute matching Belle t-shirts.

Thinking about the trip and how it ties into show.  Some of the key themes of Outlander are love, family and loyalty.  These friends have had all been there for me over the years being my part of my family.  I felt very lucky to get to share yet another special occassion with them that will add to a life full of memories.  I am lucky to have these friends as part of my family as well as part of my Outlander clan.

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Here’s some of my photos from the event, they aren’t the best but they captured some special moments on the panel.  Sorry iPhone camera’s aren’t always the best.

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