Casting News and a Synopsis

I haven’t posted in a while, sorry! I haven’t had much reading time lately, and my next plan for this blog was to do a series re-read. I actually made it through about a quarter of Outlander and wrote most of a blog post before I gave up. There’s too much on my plate right now.

It was probably a little ambitious when I decided that I could release four books in a year, but I’m pushing to do just that. My next book is out October 17th (you can preorder it here), and I’m looking at February and June of  2017 for books three and four. I’m also working on a serialized prequel to be released on a staggered schedule in between releases. That’s a lot of work!!

But there have been a bunch of casting announcements and I’m totally on board with all of them, so I wanted to jump over here and say how excited I am to see the world of Outlander expanding.

There’s also a season synopsis that is making me re-think my episode breakdown. When I have the time, I will do some adjustments accordingly, but for now, I’ve posted the full text of the synopsis on the Season Three Speculation page.

Now, on to the casting news!

david-berry-headshot

David Berry’s beautiful headshot. Image from EW.com.

David Berry isn’t a perfect match for Lord John Grey, but he is VERY PRETTY. I’ll have to head-canon him down almost a foot though; he’s nearly as tall as Sam Heughan. 🙂 With some highlights to bring him from brown to sandy-blond, he’ll be a good fit.

john-bell-as-bain

John Bell as Bain in The Hobbit movies. Image from theonering.org.

John Bell looks maybe a little too cute to be “homely” Young Ian, but it’s hard to convince studios to hire un-beautiful people. And you can argue that Steven Cree isn’t exactly homely, either, and Jennifer Donnelly is bloody stunning. So we were probably never going to get a plain Ian.

wil_johnson

Wil Johnson. Image from The British Blacklist.

I didn’t have a very good image in my head for Joe Abernathy, except maybe James Earl Jones because of the descriptions of his voice. But now that Wil Johnson’s been cast, he fits seamlessly into my imagination. I can’t wait to see him and Caitriona Balfe chatting about Bree’s real father!

Here’s a link to the EW article about Young Ian and Joe Abernathy, and the one about David Berry.

 

And now we have an Adult Fergus!!

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César Domboy. Image from Zimbio.

This is César Domboy. I’ll be honest. He looks nothing like the Fergus in my head. But that’s OK, because he both looks like he could be an older Romann Berrux and a possible ancestor of/in the same family tree as Caitriona Balfe, depending on how much you read into the Saint Germain/Percy Wainwright stuff in the later books.

Another possible issue is that he is super young-looking (he’s 26 and looks about 20). Fergus is supposed to be about 30 in 1768. But again, considering that he’s supposed to be an older Romann Berrux, that might work (Romann is 15, playing 9 or 10). And, since Marsali is only 15/16 (I think…I need to check that), casting a younger actor who looks like he’s barely 20 is probably a wise decision.

On a side note, he looks strikingly like my husband. No, really. Like, I could be looking at pictures of my husband from when we met 13 years ago, except with way nicer clothes. It’s pretty crazy. 🙂

Here’s a link to the EW announcement. They also teased a Season 3 reveal of another member of the extended Fraser family. Anyone want to guess who they mean? I’ve got some theories–post yours in the comments!

 

And here’s Marsali!

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Lauren Lyle. Image from EW.

Lauren Lyle is a relative newcomer, but she looks a lot like Nell Hudson, so as long as she has the acting chops I can totally see this. The EW article announcing her says they are playing Marsali as 18, which I suppose is a good thing, since they are canonically 15 and 30 in the book (in chapter 41 of Voyager, Marsali shouts that she’s 15 and old enough to get married, and Jamie shouts back that Fergus is 30). I’m not sure what they’ll do about Fergus’s age, except ret-conning him younger in Paris, but 18 and 30 isn’t as big a gap (especially since it makes her legally an adult in American culture) as 15 and 30.

And now we have the Dunsany sisters, Mr. Willoughby (sigh) and Captain Leonard!

First, the Dunsanys:

On the left is Hannah James playing Geneva. On the right is Tanya Reynolds playing the younger Isobel.

All I can say is…wow. I mean, they’re pretty close to what I imagined in the books, but I was kinda hoping they would cast up in age. According to Tanya’s agency page, she’s supposed to be cast in ages 21-25 roles, but looks about like she’s 14. Hannah James is 24 but looks 16. I forget the girls’ actual ages in the books, but I think that’s pretty close. And it has always, always bothered me that Jamie actually goes through with it with Geneva, a minor (which is not even to engage with the fact that she says no…there are plenty of other people talking about that elsewhere in the fandom). And afterward, they do it again (at least she actually asks him that time…but still…a minor). It wouldn’t have killed them to cast an actress who actually looks like she’s in her 20s and then have the character actually be 19 or 20. Despite fictional accounts of teenage brides and stories of being “on the shelf” by 20, the average age for marriage throughout most of the last several hundred years has ranged from the early to late twenties.

So the fact that these ladies will be marrying much older men (Isobel marries Lord John) is kinda squicky. But much more squicky is the fact that there will almost certainly be a sex scene between Jamie and Geneva. And Sam is 36, and looks it. I can’t remember off the top of my head exactly how old Jamie is then, but that’s probably about the right age. So just..eww.

Moving on, we have the problematic character of Mr. Willoughby and the milquetoast but annoying-when-it-counts Captain Leonard.

On the left is Gary Young, playing Mr. Willoughby. The reports so far are calling him “well-versed in Eastern medicine” which was actually not true in the book (he spent some time with healers, but it wasn’t his job), so maybe they’re already going in a different direction? Not that we need another stereotypical portrayal of a wise Asian healer/mystic in pop culture, but I’ll take that over the drunkard with weird sexual fetishes.

On the right is Charlie Hiett. He looks pretty close to my mental image of Captain Leonard. The character isn’t around that much in the books, but maybe his role will be bigger in the show. He was annoying and more of a plot point than a character, so ultimately forgettable. Let’s hope the actor brings something new to the role.

 

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6 thoughts on “Casting News and a Synopsis

  1. Great speculation on the season three breakdown. I agree that they simply can’t resist more Frank, which means we’ll probably see that nursery scene as the opener to season 3. Or some otherwise prominent position, along with an inordinate focus on Claire’s first marriage. I certainly hope they show Frank’s bigotry toward Joe in all its awfulness. Says a lot about his character.

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    • I’m worried about those scenes. I hope they don’t back off from the bigotry/adultery/etc. There are good things about Frank even in the books, but there are lots of not-so-good things. And, bottom line, he isn’t Claire’s match. I dislike that the show forgets that whenever Frank is on screen.

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    • Excellent guess! That’s what I think, too. 🙂 But I’m glad they’re at least attempting to withhold that information. So much of the marketing and announcements is playing to book-reading fans, and it will be a big shock to non-book-readers that Jamie has a child other than Brianna.

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    • Hi, Judith. I have absolutely no connection to Diana Gabaldon or her publication team. I can tell you that she is still in the drafting stage of the book, which means it hasn’t even gone to editorial yet. It will likely be another year or two before we have book nine, and I’m sure that every bookstore in the world will let you pre-order a copy!

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