Outlander: Writers Talk About Their First Wife on Twitter

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In their regular Tuesday chat, the Outlander Writers twitter account (this week, Toni Graphia) discussed episode 308. First Wife.

Live from Ned Gowan’s office! We’re here to answer your questions about the last episode!

Q Any regrets changing Wee Ian’s thrashing? Seems show is shying away because of 21st century judgment. Good lesson for Jamie missed.
A We wanted to show Claire’s influence on Jamie. And also we’ve seen a lot of flogging!

Q Do all the writers have input into scripts apart from the main script writer?
A We break the stories together as a staff. It’s a collaborative process.

Q There’s a Portuguese flag on the ship that took Young Ian. Was it done on purpose? Or just a coincidence?
A Nothing is a coincidence. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q Does Claire find some satisfaction in jabbing the syringe needle in Jamie’s arse?
A We’re sure that she did!

Q Was the food for Hogmanay real? If so, did cast and crew get to enjoy it after filming?
A Yes, all food on set is real. Most of it wouldn’t be tasty after hours under hot lights.

Q At the end of the episode, Matt Roberts discussed using a drone. Was that the first time a drone was used?
A We’ve used a drone since Season 1. In Episode 114, The Search for example.

Q Glad that Jamie didn’t call Claire a “bitch” as originally scripted. Why is Jamie so angry when he made her promise to go?
A People are sometimes irrational when angry and say things they don’t mean.

Q What was Laoghaire’s original intention: to shoot Jamie or Claire?
A She aims at Claire.

Q Were there any cut scenes that you loved from this ep?
A Yes, Claire talking to little Joanie, for one. For others, see the script annotations on Outlander Community.

(at this point, there was a break of well over an hour, with no word of what was happening – when the Q&A returned, they said they had taken a supper break.)

Q What’s your favorite, most anticipated quote or scene coming up in the rest of the season?
A Ah, so many! Everyone here has a different favorite. We look forward to seeing YOUR favorites.

Q Loved hearing the line “will ye risk the man I am..” Will we get to hear Claire’s answer to Jamie’s question?
A An answer doesn’t have to be in words.

(and then, another 45 minute break…)

Q Gone again? A wee whisky break now? This episode is one of my favs! Loved how we see more of Jenny’s POV so we understand and like her better! What made you delve deeper into her character?
A We adore Jenny – and Laura Donnelly. Knew it would be interesting to see her reunion with the woman she thought of as a sister.

Q Appreciate all your efforts but wondering how far ahead are the scripts written? Are they written first draft by a certain time?
A The scripts are written very far in advance because of the large amount of lead time needed for production. We are well into Season 4 at the moment!

Q Ever get writer’s block?
A You know how there’s no crying in baseball? There’s no writer’s block in television. No time for it!

Q Can I join the cast, travel back in time and be Ned Gowan’s paralegal? #30yearsofexperience #icanwearatricornhat
A Haha, Ned’s been doing this awhile. He could probably use some help!! We adore Bill Paterson.

Q I just saw the ratings, and they were 2nd only to A. Malcolm! Way to go. 308 gave me all the feels! Do you ever get emotional watching filming or seeing final product?
A If the writing is good, it makes us emotional from the first pitch all the way to watching it with friends on a Sunday night!

Q Curious, why don’t Jenny and Ian know about Willie? Why wouldn’t Jamie confide in them with that secret? Jenny’s comment about Jamie not having experience raising kids made me think of that.
A Jamie must protect Willie from scandal – if word got out that he was the bastard son of a former Jacobite prisoner, his future would be ruined.

Q Which character(s) would you give a spinoff show to?
A Geordie!!

Q Are you allowed to reveal the identity of the writer answering the questions tonight, or are you sworn to super-duper secrecy?
A Haha, no big secret. It’s TG here!ย โ™ฅ

Q Do you watch your episodes on TV when it airs? If yes, with whom?
A Yes, I always do. With a group of friends who love the show – and lots of wine and desserts. I’m always nervous, but it’s fun to see their reactions!

Q How do you go about dissecting the books to get the essentials? So many things happen in each book.
A Yes, the books are jam-packed! We all read them, the researcher does break-downs and we chart out the whole season arc at the beginning.

Q Is season 4 all written?
A We are hard at work on Season 4 and have a lot of it already written. It’s going to be a good one!

Q Do you find yourselves secretly taking sides when you write a fight scene between Jamie and Claire?
A If we tell you, it won’t be a secret! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q Are all of the parts in the final script filmed? Missed Fergus this episode.
A That scene was filmed but cut for time in the final edit. But dinna fash! Ye’ll see plenty of Fergus in the coming episodes.

Q How long does it take to complete the script for an episode? Are there a lot of rewrites?
A About a week or so for outline, then two-three weeks for first draft. Some episodes are rewritten more than others.

Q Do you know which episodes you want to submit for award season yet? Because you have quite a few gems? I’m convinced it’s Outlander’s year.
A Thank you and we hope that’s true! Awards are always nice, but we’re proud of this season and glad that the fans are enjoying it!

Q Which of the Outlander books is your favorite and why?
A So far, Dragonfly in Amber has been my personal favorite. I especially loved the France section.

Q I’m not sure I love reading the scripts any more. I see so many cut parts that would’ve been a joy to see on screen.
A Don’t give up on them just yet…

Q Can you tell me what the celebration was? Christmas time? Never heard that term Hogmanay before.
A In Scotland, Hogmanay is the celebration of the New Year.


My review of First Wife

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Erin Conrad