September 30, 2014

Downton Abbey 5 - Clues from Episode 2 on what is to come!

Well, at least Carson was right in the Season 5 previews when he said that times, they are a changing.  Yes indeed! I hardly recognize my old friend...
To say that last week's Downton was a bit of a  departure from the prim and proper Abbey we've grown used to, well, that's an understatement.   
No more gasps in horror from Lady Mary at the thought of Mr. Pamuk in her bedroom.....Nope.   In episode two of the new season we got condoms, pre-martial sex  and Cora making eyes at an art dealer over dinner while her unaware or oblivious husband looked on.  Not even the Dowager commented on the googly eyes being thrown Cora's way.   The Dowager notices everything!  But no snide, judgmental or sarcastic comment at all?  Seriously, what is up with that?  
But that is far from all going on at Downton in episode two!   Mr. Drewe comes up with the idea for Edith to become little Marigold's 'benefactor' - a sort of fairy-godmotherish role so she could then spend time with her secret daughter without raising suspicion.  Uh...okay.   Mrs Drewe looked less than impressed by this idea but the Crawleys?  Sure!  Why not?!  
Now to Lady Rose.  What a HUGE change from season four!  So, how old is she again?   Last season she was all about going out and partying but this is a new season and no one is their normal self.   Especially the scandalous Rose.  Ready for this? Brace yourself.  Okay, Lady Rose is.....
...desperate for Lord Grantham to buy a radio.  Seriously.  That's it. 
Last year she was dressing as a maid to kiss a stranger at a dance.  This year?  She wants to hear the King's Speech.  Wow.  Parents of teenage daughters, we MUST find out what the Crawleys did over the summer break to upgrade the parenting skills and bring such an astounding change to a 'willful' young lady.  Brilliant.
Mary, ready to leave on  a week of living in sin with Gillingham, has Anna pack all her dresses (with easy fastenings) and then sends her to buy contraception.  Yeah. Clearly Anna does not get paid enough.
Meanwhile, Isobel and Violet go on a trip to flirt with men.  Yes, that happened. And it was pretty entertaining!  But wait!  There is more!   Right before this episode ends, a policeman visits Downton to announce that there is now an investigation into the death of Mr. Green because a witness had come forward. Dun, dun, duuuuun.  (insert strange look on Mrs. Hughes face)
So the episode ends with Mr.Bates freedom under question once again, Lady Mary poised to unfasten her undergarments and make love all night, or for "as long as either of us has any stamina left"  (super classy)  and oh yes, I forgot... Lord Grantham thinks Cora's new admirer is flirting with Isis the dog.  
I barely know what to imagine for episode three but they have released a few photos so maybe I'll give by best guess....
Lady Mary, Downton Abbey, Lord Gillingham, sex, Liverpool
Photo #1  Lady Mary grinning.  I think she is leaving her hotel in Liverpool after a 'visit' with her new lover Gillingham and thinking to herself, "Oh Mr. Pamuk, if I were going to potentially tarnish my reputation, which was important to me last month, I wish it was you I slept with  instead."   And then she imagined it.  Thus, the grin.
Spratt, Lady Mary, Liverpool, Downton Abbey, series 5, episode 3
Photo #2   It's Spratt - Violet's  butler is in Liverpool. Either he's here to give in to his lustful desires like Gillingham or he has just spotted Lady Mary.  I am hoping he goes straight to the Dowager with this news, just so I can see that conversation take place.  Since this is Spratt we are talking about, I think it is safe to say that when the Dowager finds out it will most likely be at an awkward luncheon that she finds out her granddaughter is earning skymiles at the hotels around Liverpool.  At least, thanks to Anna's painfully awkward trip to the pharmacist there won't be any secret love children this time. 
Lady Cora, Simon Bricker, Richard E Grant, Downton Abbey, series 5
Photo #3  Cora and the Art Dealer.  A stroll with a single man? Cora should know better than to wander narrow streets in the twilight looking all coy with a charming gentleman by her side. I suppose she must be in Liverpool, too.  When in Rome...
Hmmm.  Maybe it's Cora that Mr. Spratt sees instead of Mary! Interesting...
Downton Abbey, series 5,
Photo #4  But not as interesting as THESE dudes!   What have we here??  They look Russian to me.  Russian mob comes to Downton?  Sure!  Why not?  If all the women are running about having affairs, secret children and pre-marital sex, why can't a few chaps put on furry outfits, grow impressive facial hair and take up smoking? Seems legit.  
Downton Abbey, series 5
Photo #5   Is the dude with his back to us (in the grey suit) is he wearing a surgical mask?  Hey, it could happen.  Russians have turned up at the Abbey seeking refuge from....uh.....something evil.  Possibly the new 'wireless' radio that is...dun dunn dunnn.....NOT wireless!  gasp!  Didn't see that one coming did ya?!
Downton Abbey, series 5, Bates, prison
Photo #6  Mr. Bates with the look he has perfected over the years.  Victim of the unjust, unfair and unkind.  Doer of good....OR IS HE???    Even if his presence in London on the day Green died is a complete coincidence, as a former inmate he'll be first in line for questioning.   Which means......ready for a plot twist???
That is why the Russian mob is at Downton!  Did Bates hire the mob to take out Mr. Green?  Is he going to grow out one of those beards?  Does he own any of those sets of dolls that stack one inside of the other?  Did he indeed own a set of dolls but Thomas stole them and is trying to frame Mrs. Patmore so he can work for the Russians by laundering money in the pudding each night?   Oh, Julian Fellowes, what does it all mean??  
The worst part of all?  The one thing that has stayed the same is the intense dislike I have for Miss Bunting.  I still find her extremely rude and annoying and totally wrong for Branson totally stayed the same.  
Maybe the Russains can take her back with them....

September 28, 2014

Downton Abbey - Season 5 - Episode 2

Review from
Episode two of the new season of Downton Abbey reminded us that more than one inhabitant of the house has a secret they really need to hide.
Watch Episode 2   HERE 
We’re looking at you Mary, Edith and Mr Bates, while former thief Baxter was happy to tell her secret to anyone that asked!
We also got to see a nastier side to the usually avuncular Lord Robert as he reacted to the changes going on right under his nose by lashing out and being quite rude.
The mood however was lightened by the appearance of the sparkling Richard E. Grant in a super cameo appearance that I hope is repeated throughout the series.
Downton Abbey: The police arrive but who are they after?
What happened in the house?
Sparks are already beginning to fly between Carson and his master over the site for the village memorial and obviously upset at the change in the balance of power Lord Robert became progressively abusive and boorish as the show went on.
He started baiting Branson about the Russian Revolution and unflatteringly called his friend Sarah Bunting a ‘tin pot Rosa Luxembourg’ and a ‘harpy’, accusing her of pulling Sybil’s widower ‘back to the other side’. Heaven forbid that his former chauffeur should want to leave the old-fashioned family right?
In fact I didn’t like Lord Grantham at all in this episode although it was rather amusing when he asked his wife to tell their guest Mr Bricker to ‘stop flirting with Isis because it’s ill-bred to try to win the affections of someone else’s dog’.
But it’s not the dog you need to be worrying about Robert because the handsome Simon Bricker seems to have eyes for your very own Lady Cora. Watch this space.
Anna and Mrs Hughes found the picture of a baby in Edith’s burnt bedroom and quickly hid it away but how long can this secrecy last? The kindly adopted father of Marigold – Mr Drew – has been trying to establish more of a role in the young girl’s life for Edith, but we can tell this is going to cause trouble among the tenant family as his wife is growing more suspicious of the relationship.

Downton Abbey season 5, episode 2
Why is that posh woman from the Abbey always here? (Picture: ITV1)

Mary’s former paramour Charles Blake arrived at the house to value a painting with his friend Mr Bricker and to wish Mary and Lord Gillingham well in their relationship. So that particular relationship has been put to bed, or has it? The two of them certainly enjoyed a late night flirty conversation which had Mary questioning her choices.
But she was more than happy to pursue her plans to ‘road test’ Lord Gillingham before marriage would be considered and under the pretence of a painting trip Lady Mary arrived in a Liverpool hotel to begin her secret assignation with Tony. Shockingly the two of them decided to make love for as long as either of them ‘had any stamina left’. Goodness!
The annoying Lady Rose got her way and a wireless arrived in the house.

Downton Abbey, season 5, episode 2
Don’t like it (Picture: ITV1)

Despite Lord Grantham originally calling it a ‘fad’ which ‘won’t last’ and only relenting on hearing that the King himself would be broadcasting to talk about the Empire.
On seeing the new fangled contraption being set up Daisy brilliantly remarked ‘Why is it called a Wireless when there are so many wires?’ Mrs Hughes declared it meant that Downton was catching up with the times to which Carson archly responded ‘that is exactly what I am afraid of’.
Dispatches from downstairs – the servant’s digest: 
Mrs Patmore enlisted local teacher Mrs Bunting to assist Daisy with her studies, which obviously means the lovely Sarah will be in the house a lot more and in the path of the disapproving Lord Grantham and the admiring Branson.
She took the opportunity to continue with her campaign to get the former chauffeur to remember his roots and she might well be winning, especially as Branson seemed disgusted with Lord Robert’s behaviour towards her.
We saw off the disgraced Jimmy, and there was an emotional farewell between him and Barrow, which means the end of the below stairs bromance. Now Barrow really does have no friends in the house, and even less to lose so was more than happy to tell the lovestruck Molesley about Baxter’s thieving past.
Anna reached out to the evil underbutler and in a rare moment of reflection he admitted ‘There are times when I’d like to belong’. Could this mark a change in character for the lonely chap?
There was finally a whiff of an understanding between Carson and Mrs Hughes as they fell out over the site of the war memorial, with the housekeeper sagely remarking ‘Every relationship has it’s ups and downs’. Of course a compromise was reached and Carson admitted ‘I don’t like it when we’re not on the same side’. Hooray!
But the good mood didn’t last as a new shock arrived in the shape of a policeman calling on the house to disclose that a witness had come forward relating to the death of the valet Green – who we all know raped Anna in series four and for which we might just think that Mr Bates is responsible. This can only spell disaster right?
Most shocking revelation – the weekly gasp:
Lady Mary recruited Anna to help arrange her saucy weekend away and scandalously asked her to purchase contraceptives – because ‘one can hardly rely on a man’.
Cue an awkward encounter in the pharmacy for the put upon maid but it did mean the pair of allies ended up discussing women’s rights. Hear hear ladies.
Violet Crawley speaks – the best quotes from the Countess:
On hearing the King’s own voice for the first time thanks to the radio the Dowager Countess was distinctly uncomfortable to hear that Isobel thought that he was now ‘less of a myth and more of a man’ remarking that the country’s rulers have ‘thrived on magic and mystery, strip that away and people may think the royal family is just like us’.

Well said milady.

September 27, 2014

Outlander - Episode 8

Episode 8  -  ‘Both Sides Now’

Click HERE or HERE to watch Episode 8
SPOILER WARNING: Do not read on unless you’ve seen “Outlander” episode eight, titled “Both Sides Now.”  
It’s going to be a long wait between now and April 4, when “Outlander” returns from its midseason hiatus to resolve the cliffhanger left lingering at the end of episode eight — newlywed Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has once again fallen into the hands of the sadistic Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), forcing her new husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) to mount a rescue attempt behind enemy lines. To make matters worse, the only reason Claire ended up back in the Englishman’s clutches was because she bolted back to the Standing Stones at Craigh na Dun to try and return to her first husband, Frank Randall (Menzies) in the 1940s. This can’t end well.
“Both Sides Now” also presented the show’s most notable departure from Diana Gabaldon’s book to date, following a distraught Frank as he desperately searched for any sign of his missing wife back in her own time — something that was never explored in the “Outlander” novel. Variety spoke to both Menzies and executive producer Ron Moore to learn more about the process of conceiving Frank’s new storyline, adapting the book to fit the action-packed hour, and what fans can expect when the series returns in the spring.
Note: Our interviews with Moore and Menzies were conducted separately, and have been combined below, with questions edited for clarity.
outlander caitriona balfe
Ron, this week’s episode is the biggest departure from the book so far, in terms of Frank’s storyline. What was the process of developing his arc over the course of the hour?
Moore: We were in the writers’ room, looking for how to follow up the wedding show and get to our midseason cliffhanger, so we knew what the Claire story was, but then we started talking about “what else can we do in this hour?” and somebody suggested, “we could pick up on Frank and see what he’s been doing,” which was an out-of-the-box idea because it’s not in the book at all. It was something we had talked about internally and it became an interesting notion to just cut to him at the very beginning and start the show there and see his frustration. Then it became really interesting as we started talking about the counterpoint in their experiences — as Claire is getting closer to Jamie and starting to fall in love with him a bit, we’re going to Frank who’s heartbroken and upset, and it was an interesting juxtaposition of the two stories. All season long it’s been Claire saying “I’ve got to get back to my husband,” and then at the point where she’s actually considering being with this man that she just got married to, that’s when we take the audience to the other side of the equation. It felt like a really good time to do that.
The progression of Frank’s story in this episode, leading to the confrontation in the alley, obviously serves to strengthen the parallels between him and Black Jack, so it feels very organic. But a lot happens in this hour — it’s pretty action-packed just in terms of adapting what’s in the novel, so why did you feel like now was the right time to add that additional character development for him?
Moore: It just felt right. This is a pretty big moment in Claire’s story — because everything starts with the Claire story — the fact that she takes off and runs for Craigh na Dun at her first opportunity, given everything she’s just gone through in the wedding episode, everything she’s just experienced with [Jamie]. We wanted to understand that and we did not want the audience going “God, are you crazy, why would you leave him?” We had to reestablish and really underline Frank, really say “look, this guy is not only a good guy, he’s actually suffering; he’s actually been hurt; he’s actually out there really going through it waiting for Claire; so yeah, she should go back to the Stones.” We wanted that feeling, or at least have the audience conflicted about what they’re rooting for.
In terms of the fight in the alley, Tobias, how did it feel to play Frank unleashed like that, and blur the line a little between his character and Black Jack’s?
Menzies: I think it gives a really interesting dimension to Frank as something that we haven’t seen in the story to date. He’s been relatively contained, and I feel it was a really interesting and good move because it feels true to what that would be like. I’ve never lost anyone or had anyone disappear, but I can believe the impotence that must generate in someone, and especially someone like Frank — who is a man of the world; he’s a spymaster, and I imagine he’s used to being able to sort these things out — [when he realizes] that he is completely helpless. I think you see that all condensed into that moment of attack.
We really get the first sense of how dangerous Frank is after all the experiences he must’ve had in the war, but unlike Black Jack, we also see that he has a conscience afterwards. What went into filming that scene in terms of blocking and preparation and deciding how much brutality was enough for you and how much was too much?
Menzies: We shot a lot of it, so that it could be done in the edits, and obviously, the creative team would pitch it depending on how things were looking. So I think we shot enough that it could be as brutal as they wanted it to be, and obviously then they could draw it back. That very much is informed by the rest of the scenes building up to it, how much or not you show of that. In a way, I think the biggest sell really is the moment — because the attack on the guy’s obviously visceral, but very blurred with the rain coming down on him — but the moment when he takes the girl’s throat, I think, was still a moment of Frank regaining control of himself.
Mrs. Graham gives Frank an explanation for Claire’s disappearance by telling him about her belief in the power of the Stones, prompting him to visit them near the end of the episode. Do you think there was any part of Frank that believed her, or was it more of a last-ditch effort because he’d exhausted every other option?
Menzies: It’s probably the latter. He’s a rationalist through and through, I’d say. He’s not a particularly romantic spirit, and so I think when he hears that story, there’s a point when you see him and it’s almost as much about the disappointment of where his life has ended up, that he’s sat here listening to this, and it’s this straw that he has to grasp onto. I think what drives him back there is actually as much about the longing he feels — I don’t think there’s a great deal of expectation. But then there’s this strange [experience]; he hears something, but I don’t think he knows what it is. But I always thought it was more about letting go and catharsis, rather than a literal belief that he would find her there.
Speaking of the Stones, it was a really powerful moment, seeing Claire escape to Craigh na Dun and almost manage to connect with Frank through time somehow — it felt like it could’ve been lifted straight from the book, even though it was completely new. Ron, how did you develop the idea for that almost-reunion?
Moore: It was something that came out of the writers’ room as we were breaking the episodes for season one. We were going through them and we started talking about episode eight; we knew it was the midseason finale, we knew what the cliffhanger was going to be and we just started thinking about what that episode could be. The deeper we got into the conversation and talking about Frank and how it would help us with Claire’s story and move the audience’s allegiances around, it just built naturally to the point of “wouldn’t be cool if he went up to Craigh na Dun at the same time she was going up?” You could just see visually what a great cross-cut that would be and that provided the climax, and then we could still get to the cliffhanger of the season right after. It was a very organic process because once we started talking about it, we all just fell in love with it.
Tobias, can you talk about filming that scene from a logistical standpoint? Were you and Caitriona shooting it separately or together?
Menzies: We were shooting at the same time. It was quite technical. The director had these little shots — because you know, there’s the shots that you see Cait being taken away, and then you pan across the rock, and on the other side of the rock is Frank with the car in the same shot, and so that was a lot of timing. I think that it’s a very eloquent piece of filming. My main memory of it is just spending a lot of time shouting at this mock-up of a rock and wondering what it was going to look like, because it was one of the more esoteric moments of Frank’s journey.
Ron, the episode is one of the most brutal so far, with two instances of Claire almost being raped. Obviously, both are pivotal moments in the book, but coming so close together they really highlight the danger and cruelty of the world she’s still trapped in, and it makes for a fairly dark episode. Was there any hesitation about including both in the same hour, or was it just a case of trying to be faithful to the flow of the book?
Moore: We never seriously considered taking either one out because they were both important to the storyline as laid out, because the deserters’ near rape in the meadow is a key component to the relationship between Claire and Jamie and it plays into the next episode, 109, on top of the second half, so that was an important element. Obviously, Jamie coming in when Randall’s about to rape her was also a key thing that had to happen, so yeah. The fact that they’re both in the same episode is just the way the story was given to us and so we wanted to keep going down that path.
Fans have a long wait between episodes eight and nine when the show returns next year — what can you tease about what we can expect from the next episode and the second half of the season?
Moore: We will resolve the cliffhanger; you’re going to see the fallout in the relationship between Claire and Jamie as a result, and eventually we will return to Castle Leoch.
Menzies: The adventure continues to rumble on in many surprising and varied ways. Claire goes on the road at one point in a sort of song and dance troupe with Murtagh. We see Jamie’s background, we meet his sister… there’s plenty of story to go.
“Outlander” will return for the second half of season one on Sat., April 4 at 9 p.m. on Starz.


September 21, 2014

Downton Abbey Season 5 - Episode 1

Click HERE for part one of watch Episode ONE
and HERE for part two

• Spoiler alert: this is a post-transmission review of episode one of season five of Downton Abbey, after its broadcast in the UK on 21 September 2014. If you don’t want to learn what happens in that episode, stop reading now.
The hype is over, and the first episode of season five of Downton Abbey – as usual, a feature-length opener – has aired in the UK. Which means that a few of the new season’s secrets have been revealed – and a few more hang tantalisingly in the aristocratic air. Here are the five that I find the most intriguiging:
1 Lady Edith’s secret is bursting to be revealed
It’s surely no mistake that this series opened with Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) cycling over the estate to see her secret daughter, Marigold, at the home of Marigold’s adoptive parents.
Mr Drewe (Andrew Scarborough), the kindly farmhand who has taken Marigold in, wasted no time in reassuring Edith that her secret is safe with him. But that reassurance came with an implicit disclosure that’s rather worrying for Edith: Mr Drewe has figured out her secret all by himself.
And if he can do it, his wife can do it too – and might not be so unjudgmental.
More worrying for Edith were the events of the end of the episode, when fire ripped through her bedroom. The fire was started by Mr Gregson’s German primer, which Edith threw across the room in frustration and which landed next to the grate.
What Edith also did, in that unhappy state, was to put a photo of Marigold as a baby under her pillow before she went to sleep. As Edith was rescued, the photo certainly wasn’t. If the fire didn’t burn it to ashes, the photo remains as a potential giveaway of Edith’s secret to whoever finds it.
2 Miss Baxter’s secret is already out – or is it?
Miss Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) took strength from Mr Molesley (Kevin Doyle) in this first episode, and confessed her criminal record to Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern).
Which put Mr Barrow (Rob James-Collier) in a difficult position – of which more below – but also set two other hares running.
First, will Lady Grantham see fit to fire Miss Baxter, who is – as Lady Grantham so pithily put it – a ‘convicted felon’?
My guess is that she won’t, because – and here’s the second thing – it looks as if Miss Baxter has plenty more storyline in her yet.
We discovered in episode 1 what she’s done, but we pointedly didn’t discover why she did it.
The theft (and disposal) of her former employer’s jewels must have had a reason, which promises plenty more Baxter to come.
3 Lady Mary is getting louche – again 

Dedicated Downton fans will remember that – despite all her icy aloofness – Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is not above a little slap and tickle when she fancies it.
In season 1, she was famously in bed with the visiting Turk Mr Pamuk when he spontaneously died.
Now she is planning a dirty week away with Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), who (ironically) plans to use her loose morals to show her that she should let him make an honest woman of her.
But Mr Blake may not have been rejected as comprehensively as Gillingham believes – there’s an interview with the actor who plays him, Julian Ovenden, in the season 5 press pack. He’ll be back…
4 Mr Barrow is thwarted – and not for the last time
Barrow’s little plan to blackmail Baxter has been foiled – for now.
Only his heroism in the fire saved him from Lady Grantham’s wrath over his treatment of Baxter.
And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a happy season for poor Mr Barrow. Actor Rob James-Collier has said that Barrow is going to have to come to terms with the fact that he’ll never find romantic happiness with another man (this being 1924) – so his spat with Baxter could herald more sadness to come.
5 This is a pacier, snappier, more political Downton
A couple of final thoughts on the overarching themes that episode 1 established.
It seemed to me that there was more pace and structure in the writing – to wit, some halfway decent cliffhangers (Edith with Mr Drewe in the barn, Edith throwing her book into the fire) going into commercial breaks, let alone ending the episode.
And though the world outside has always had a tendency to impinge on the great house – especially when the world outside was fighting World War I – it seems that this series may include more politics than before.
ITV has made much of the ‘shaking ground’ beneath Mr Carson’s feet in the trailer for this new series, and the election of the 1924 Labour government was rammed home in the second scene of this first episode.
If historical accuracy is to be maintained, Downton – like all entailed estates – must sooner or later come under threat from death duties and social change.
Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen until we’ve had a few more juicy seasons…

September 20, 2014

Outlander - Episode 7 - The Wedding

The Outlander wedding — and wedding night — has arrived.
For fans of the book, Chapter 14 is the pivotal moment when Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) essentially begin their love story. Yes, we've seen their affection building, but until the moment Claire is forced into betrothal — as a loophole to Captain Jack Randall's orders — Claire is holding onto the hope that she'll return to Craig na Dun, slip back through time, and reunite with her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). But nothing signifies the realization that this may never happen more than halfway through the episode when, as told through flashback, she slips off her wedding ring. Claire would later put it back on, with her new wedding ring on the other hand, in the final scene as she accepts her fate of being stuck between two worlds.
But before the episode gets to the juicy part, it begins with Claire's memory of when Frank asked her to marry him. (If I'm not mistaken, this was not in the books or, in the least, did not come up just prior to the nuptials.) Their kiss then transitions into Claire and Jamie's first kiss at the altar. For a while, I thought the series would skip over the actual "I do's," and although it turns out the episode would show much of those moments through flashbacks, they left out Claire's hesitation as she put on the heavy satin gown and the moment she walked down the stairs to find the taproom suddenly silent — not to mention, the gift of Jamie's mother's pearls which, on the show, would happen in the bedroom.
Following the ceremony, Jamie and Claire retire to their bedroom, where they must consummate the marriage to keep to the "letter of the law." (Yes, it was really a requirement!) A quick toast and Claire begins to inquire about why a man such as Jamie would agree to marry her. He explains that Ned (Bill Paterson) and Dougal (Graham McTavish) told him it was the only way to keep her safe and the flashback scene depicts yet another time that Jamie wins our hearts as he defends Claire's character to his elders.
"You have my name, my clan, my family and if necessary the protection of my body as well," Jamie tells Claire as he does in the books. (And viewers everywhere swoon.) They then hold hands and are about to kiss before Claire breaks the tension by asking about his family history.
Before long, it's time to go to bed. Jamie helps Claire out of her corset and soon the two passionately embrace.
"Where did you learn to kiss like that?" Claire asks.
"I said I was a virgin, not a monk," he answers, as he does in the book.
From there it's on — quickly, of course. But the conversation that follows is endearing, as the two giggle over Jamie's naiveté and misconceptions about sex.
Following a sudden — and embarrassing — encounter with the wedding-goers, the pair continues to talk through the night as we see an enlightening juxtaposition of Claire taking the lead in the bedroom inter-cut with a perfectly coifed Jamie guiding a scared, yet gorgeous, Claire through their vows in flashbacks. Back in the present, Claire has Jamie undress so she can look at him— flogging scars and all. It's then that I really understand Diana Gabaldon's fondness for our leading man's backside as the two get down to business again, leading Jamie to ask, "Does it happen every time?" "Only if the man is a good lover," she says.
By the end of the night, Claire and Jamie have had another go, this time while she's wearing his mother's Scottish pearls. The following morning, the couple banters as if they've been together longer than a night. After Jamie leaves, Claire picks her wedding dress up off the floor causing her first wedding ring to drop and fall between the floor boards. She grabs it — in a cinematically stunning shot — puts it on, and the episode ends as she stares at both palms, and both wedding rings, almost in horror knowing she must face the reality of it all.
So, my fellow Sassenachs, did you enjoy "The Wedding"? Did it live up to your expectations? 
Outlander 107 Jamie Still - H 2014

Watch Episode SEVEN
Episode SEVEN can also be viewed HERE

September 18, 2014

Dr. Who - Season 8

The eighth series of the British science fiction television program 
Doctor Who premiered on 23 August 2014 on BBC One.

The series is the first to star Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, and co-stars Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in her first full series. It is also the first series since series five to not be split into two parts.

click to watch EPISODE ONE

Deep Breath Promo.jpg

When a dinosaur materialises alongside the Houses of Parliament in Victorian London, the Doctor's old friends the Paternoster Gang are relieved when he arrives, seemingly to deal with the creature. However, they soon realise that the Doctor is the one in need of help; newly regenerated, extremely volatile and questioning his self-worth, this is a very different man from the one they last saw. The only person that may be able to help him is Clara, and she is still grappling with losing the Doctor she knew and loved. After the spontaneous combustion of the dinosaur, The Doctor takes on the case of whoever killed the time-travelling beast. The Doctor has an internal battle with himself, pondering where his new face came from. The Doctor and Clara are called to a restaurant, only to find out all the other customers are androids. After discovering the robots' hidden spaceship, and their long-term goal of reaching a "promised land", the Doctor confronts their leader, who falls to its death from an airship, though it is unclear whether he fell as part of a self-destruct mechanism or if the Doctor pushed him. Clara receives a phone call from the previous Doctor, and is convinced to join the Twelfth Doctor on his journeys. Meanwhile, the Half-Face Man awakes in a mysterious place, greeted by an equally-curious woman named Missy.

click to watch EPISODE TWO


The Doctor saves Journey Blue, a rebel fighter, from her space shuttle, which is under attack by Daleks, but is unable to save her brother. Upon returning her to her rebel ship, The Doctor then drags Clara away from a potential date with Danny Pink, her new colleague at Coal Hill School, and is thrown into the most dangerous place into the universe; the inside of a Dalek. The Doctor and Clara, along with a team of rebels aboard the Aristotle, a military station in space, are miniaturized and sent into "Rusty", a Dalek that has turned good. At the Dalek's power center, the Doctor discovers a large crack, which he deduces is causing the malfunction within the Dalek. He uses his sonic screwdriver to seal the crack, but their meddling has a terrible outcome, causing the Dalek to realize its true cause again. It sends a message to the rest of the Daleks, giving them the base's location. The mysterious Missy and "Heaven" once more make an appearance after Gretchen sacrifices herself to allow Clara and Journey access to the mind of Rusty. In an attempt to show Rusty the beauty of the universe, the Doctor connects his mind with that of the Dalek's. Rusty, however, sees the Doctor's hatred for the Daleks and is inspired by this instead, deciding to exterminate his own race. After the battle, Rusty calls the Doctor a "good Dalek", and the Doctor and Clara leave, with Clara returning to her date.

click to watch EPISODE THREE

Treating Clara to an expedition of her choice, the Doctor takes her to the twelfth century to prove that her childhood hero, Robin Hood, doesn't exist. He is stunned when he stumbles upon a gang of outlaws, led by a man claimed to be the great hero himself. The Doctor duels with Robin Hood with a spoon, and remains in disbelief even as Robin takes the two to meet his band of Merry Men. Robin takes part in an archery contest against the Sheriff of Nottingham, splitting the arrow to claim a prize of a golden arrow. The Doctor challenges Robin before impatiently blowing up the target, causing the Sheriff to order his arrest. Robin defends the Doctor, but after slicing the arm off of one of the guards, it is revealed that they are robots. After the capture of The Doctor, Clara and Robin, Clara is taken to the Sheriff to act as the trio's leader, where she finds out that the Sheriff witnessed a spaceship crash and has been trying to repair it by collecting all the gold in the nearby land, so that he can use it to travel to London and take over the kingdom. The Doctor and Robin escape their prison, where Robin demands that Clara reveal who exactly The Doctor is. Robin Hood defeats the Sheriff in a sword fight, and after allowing the robots' spaceship to detonate harmlessly in the atmosphere, The Doctor and Robin Hood part ways, after which Maid Marian is reunited with Robin.

click to watch EPISODE FOUR

After a failed date with Danny Pink, Clara returns to her home to find The Doctor awaiting her. He seeks a creature he believes to have perfected its ability to hide, that stalks mankind and is responsible for a dream common to all humans. Using the TARDIS' telepathic circuit, the duo end up in the mid-1990's, where Clara meets Danny Pink as a boy. The Doctor and Clara comfort Danny from his fear when an unknown entity enters the boy's room. After returning to her date with Danny and failing a second time, Clara returns to the TARDIS and meets Orson Pink, a distance descendant of Danny Pink, one of Earth's first time travelers stranded at the end of the universe. After a brief moment with the entity, Clara triggers the TARDIS' departure to an unknown barn, where she finds a crying child. Hiding beneath the bed, she realizes that the child is The Doctor in his younger years. When the boy gets out of the bed, Clara accidentally grabs his leg, and she realizes that she is the monster under the bed. She comforts him with the notion of fear being a constant companion that can bring out the good in him, where one day he'll return to the barn during the moment of his greatest fear. Clara leaves, forcing The Doctor to not see where they had been. Clara and Danny reconcile, and The Doctor rejects the notion of the unknown entity ever existing.

EPISODE FIVE - coming soon!