There was a lone piper belting out jaunty ceilidh tunes (and the Marseillaise) outside the door; a warm welcome of whisky liqueur-based cocktails and canapés nestled on beds of thistles and heather; the chance to get dressed up in kilts and tam o’shanters to pose for photographs next to life-size cut-outs of the stars… and the chance to watch the further adventures of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) as they set out to avert the 1745 Jacobite Rising and the subsequent slaughter of the clans at Culloden.
The fans who won tickets in RadioTimes.com’s competition to catch a sneak preview of the first episode of the second season of Outlander were in cheerful, highly expectant mood as they milled around the headquarters of a London film company waiting for the call to enter the screening room. They watched trailers, giggled (there were a few men present, who looked, it must be said, ever so slightly less enthusiastic than their partners), and shared stories. Several wore dragonfly-emblazoned T-shirts (in honour of author Diana Gabaldon’s second novel Dragonfly in Amber, on which this season is based), and we heard that one woman had flown over from Chicago especially for the event.
— Angela Sasso (@angela_sasso) April 5, 2016
Few series in recent years have attracted such a fiercely loyal fanbase as Outlander. Don’t forget, the best part of 120 million votes were cast before Heughan won last year’s Radio Times TV Champion poll. And he’s still their favourite – the cut-out of Claire at times stood a little forlornly to one side as group after group draped themselves over Jamie…
…if not in Glasgow…
— Inverness Outlanders (@InverOutlanders) April 6, 2016
Sadly, having attended the New York premiere of the episode the night before, Balfe and Heughan weren’t able to join the fans in London, but they did pop up in a short video introduction before the London show began to say hello, which made everyone smile.
And the show itself? In case you haven’t seen it yet, our lips are sealed, but it had its fair share of surprises, especially if you haven’t read the books. Tobias Menzies (who has the double role of Claire’s husband Frank and his dastardly forebear “Black Jack” Randall) played his part in proceedings, while Claire and Jamie dealt with the repercussions of Black Jack’s terrifying assault near the end of the previous season.
But as the lights went up, there were cheers and applause, and the fans emerged into the London evening in high spirits, clutching the Outlander shortbread that had been kindly left on their seats. I’d also like the recipe for that whisky cocktail…
— Sìle (@LadySileL) April 6, 2016