It’s not news to us that Outlander has an amazing fandom. (They recently clicked their way to victory in RadioTimes.com’s League of Fandoms) But Diana Gabaldon, who penned the popular fantasy book series, reckons their dedication is unlike anything she’s ever seen.
“It’s remarkable,” she tells us. “I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like it. It causes these little explosions of creativity. People make things. They compose symphonies, make cookware, create immense amounts of fan art.”
“I don’t know if that happens with other shows. Star Trek certainly, Game of Thrones to an extent. But it’s the sort of shows that create a world people want to step into a live inside. That’s what the fans do. They make the world themselves. It’s a fascinating phenomenon.”
Gabaldon is also amazed by the way her book series – and the TV show which is based on it – has bought people together.
“The odd thing about the books is the communal aspect,” she says.”That is that fans of Outlander want to talk to each other. They will make immediate friends standing in signing lines or meeting in bookstores. It’s suddenly, ‘Oh, you like Outlander? What do you think about this?’ Suddenly they are best friends.
“These groups spring up which are deeply social. Outlander is what draws them together and it’s a focus for their activities but it’s basically drawing in like-minded people together. It’s certainly nothing I ever foresaw or intended, but I’m very gratified that it works that way.”
The TV show might be attracting more people to the Outlander fandom, but Gabaldon has always been aware of the story’s followers.
“They’ve been with me for the last 25 years. There just gets to be more of them. They don’t ever seem to tire of it! I just hope that the story has enough complexity and enough ambiguity to keep people constantly interested.”
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.