I don’t want to get everyone over-excited … it’s too cold for that nonsense … but Droughtlander may just be a thing of the recent past. Starz just released a STILL and played a CLIP from season FOUR OF OUTLANDER!
If you missed the hubbub last week, I’m going to take you through the journey bit by bit. This is what we all went through, and now you can too.
Starz Tells Us It’s Coming
You can just tell by the look on Claire’s face how exciting this little tidbit of new footage is going to be.
I mean, that looks RIVETING.
I know I once said that when I think about Outlander I invariably think about Jamie and Claire on horses in the woods, sniffing each other and doing it, BUT I don’t think I need visual representation of that mundanity when you’re trying to get me excited about stuff.
Is she going to fall asleep? Are we supposed to assume they went WAY off book and Claire performed an autolobotomy? Because I yawned AND lost brain cells looking at that still.
But the news accompanying <<SaddestCoupleSitOnWagon.jpeg>> was pretty exciting … an Outlander marathon and a full clip from season four airing Sunday night on Starz! YAY. Or as Claire would say according to this photo, “[yawn] yay? [/yawn].”
Starz Shows Its Hand
Apparently, there was nefarious underpinnings afoot here.
Last week you couldn’t peruse Twitter with your eyes cracked (that’s how we all do it now right? Twitter is terrifying) without seeing Promoted Tweets from Official Starz Channels begging fans of Outlander, American Gods, Power and more to call Optimum and beg for their channels back. Optimum is a cable provider in the northeast, and they recently dropped their Starz package altogether.
Naturally, this upsets long-time subscribers and every Barb who only added the Starz package between Droughtlanders. But it didn’t upset ANYONE the way it upset the mothership.
And, they weren’t subtle about it.
— Elyse Ashton (@ElyseAshton1) January 14, 2018
I’m not sure why anyone takes out full page ads in the New York Times, but a perusal of the first page of Google results for “took out full page ad in NYT” does not look like non-profits and saintly types.
Starz is now in the company of 1. Facebook trying to save face, 2. Fox News bragging about being horrible, 3. Kim Kardashian being herself, 4. a guy criticizing the Grammys and 5. Trump being the original celebrity racist. Nice.
*record scratch* Wait. Did FANS take out this ad? The tweet implies yes. My mind says NO THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. As much as I think this was a dick move, I think it HAD to be a dick move only a television studio could make, right? RIGHT? Tell me the Barbs didn’t do this.
Regardless, fans can read between the lines right? This oh-so-new clip is less about ending Droughtlander and giving the fans something cool, and more about exerting pressure on a 5th string cable company to re-up their contract with inflated numbers and an influx of customer ire. Yikes.
We sympathize with Starz viewers, wish Starz demands were not so high and thus forcing these channels to be removed. ^KSB
— Optimum Help (@OptimumHelp) January 16, 2018
OH SNAP. Is Optimum really the Big Bad Baddie here?
Starz Gives Us the Goods
The day arrived. No one watched the marathon. We all saw season 3 recently. It JUST ended. There was church and brunch and The Greatest Showman was really good, and yeah. We didn’t watch that marathon. But we did tune in for the EXCLUSIVE CLIP (that you totally can’t find online and I’m not linking here no ma’am).
go to tumblr
But here’s what happened. Exterior: woods, nighttime. Inexplicable bright lights illuminating the path. Jamie and Claire are in a wagon and are stopped by a torch wielding redcoat. He wants to know who they are and where they are going. It’s not a free country yet! Jamie complies and tells them there is, among other things, a body in the back. Redcoats are QUELLE SURPRISED! Jamie says they are bringing the body home for burial. The redcoat recognizes Jamie from the day’s hanging, and tells him to find better friends. They order the bayoneting of the leg of the body to make sure it’s good and dead. Twitches get stitches. The Frasers’ righteous indignation is vindicated. Claire had invoked sacrilege to keep them from uncovering the body but she sucks at subterfuge, so she just looks shady and irreligious. They go on their way.
Not a bad scene. And sharp-eyed book fans will notice it helms very close to the scene as written in the novel. Well played, Starz. Trying to open up with a bang I see.
Close, but not quite. In the novel, Claire doesn’t invoke the sacrilege of defiling a body; in fact, she doesn’t speak at all. Instead Jamie fussily says that sticking the body with a bayonet will ruin his wagon. Same outcome, so yay for Claire getting lines in??
Also, there’s quite the hint that my assessment of Claire’s countenance and posture in that photo was CORRECT AS HELL, but also perhaps intentional on Caitriona’s part.
From Drums of Autumn:
I kept my head down, trying to look tired and indifferent. I was tired, all right – I could have lain down in the road and slept – but far from indifferent.
Tired and indifferent. I called tired and incapacitated. SAME.
Book readers also know that of course that body is not a corpse at all, but a live and unwell Stephen Bonnet, played by Ed Speleers. He comes back later. TIS IMPORTANT.
Starz Ruins the Afterglow
But just in case you were getting happy all over again thinking about your favorite book series still being on a premium television station (that you can get through an Amazon Prime app, Optimum users. Seriously, they are playing you) … Starz PR machine is there to bring you back down to earth. This time, with the help of the Masterpiece Classics Viewers Like You Graphics Team.
— STARZ (@STARZ) January 15, 2018
Oh, this is the wrong note. If the 300+ negative comments in that twitter thread don’t clue you in, just visit any sane person’s headspace for 7×70 seconds and see. NO ONE does this. NO ONE thinks this is smart, reverse psychology HAHA you are talking to us again PR. It’s just lame. It’s SUPER LAME. Bring Droughtlander back if you are gonna bludgeon to death all the magic with this Aunt Trudy’s Goober Truncheon. That thing hurts.