Outlander Event at the Grove

Ladies (and dudes), I hope you know how much I love you, because I waited in line for you, and I don’t do lines.

One hour I waited last night to get into the Outlander event at the Grove, an outdoor shopping center in LA, where they had such activities as tea leaf reading and silk screening. There was a mock print shop, and even a place where you could touch a green screen monolith and pretend you were Claire, longing for Jamie on the other side, like this:

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Apparently, if I’d gotten there a couple hours earlier, I could have met my future-employer-who-doesn’t-know-it-yet Maril Davis of Tall Ship Productions. Alas, I missed her this time. I did, however, see these hot dudes:

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Not sure who they were supposed to be, but I appreciated the view.

And if I’d wanted to wait another half hour, I probably could’ve gotten someone to weave me a flower wreath for my hair, but a $10 glass of red wine had my name on it at the bar, so off I went to the theater where they were screening episode one of season three.

Oh, sorry, I buried the lead: I got to see episode one of season three. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you here. Not yet. But check back in on Sunday so we can discuss how it does or does not adhere to my Voyager Redux! “Mock One”.

I have to admit, when I first got there and I saw all this Disneyfication of our little TV show, I felt a little sad. It no longer feels like we’re part of a secret society. The secret is out.

There were hundreds of women milling about, and I know many of them drove far to get there. Listening to their stories while standing in line, I heard that they were all different ages, and from all different places. They talked about who had a baby with whom, who married their middle school teacher, which Outlander book was their favorite, or which episode from season two they had watched on repeat. And Jamie of course. It always comes back to Jamie.

I feel the weight of the show for the people who love it. I feel how much it means to us that the producers get it right, that the actors capture these stories as they have lived in our minds.

Sitting at the bar before the screening, listening to the women get giddy with excitement as they watched the bartender shave fresh cinnamon over their White Russians, it was hard not to get caught up in it.

I feel like people miss this story like they miss an old crush, and that seeing it again is like finding out that old crush is still hot and now available.

I began my mock episodes as a writing exercise. After all, I want to write for TV. What would it be like to conceive of an entire season of a television show? But by delving into Voyager, I found myself to be face-to-face with themes that feel even more universal now than when I first read it.

We talked a lot in my episodes about the theme of freedom versus enslavement, and how a man can be enslaved in more ways than one. Ironically, the idea of freedom has come up a lot lately IRL, and specifically what it means for us here in America and everywhere else.

At the time that Voyager is set, in the late 1700s, a revolution was underway in America. People were demanding to have a voice. People who had been oppressed and overlooked, marginalized and misrepresented, were saying, “No more.”

That takes courage. It takes courage to make a choice, to declare independence, to demand a better life. It takes courage to walk through stones, knowing you can never come back.

I was struck last night by the beauty of the women who surrounded me. How romantic women are, how hopeful, how lovely, with flower wreaths in their hair, flower dresses, carefully applied makeup. Excited that for one night, they got to return to something they had been missing for far too long.

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To keep up with season three of “Outlander” on STARZ, follow Rebecca Phelps on Twitter @DownWorldNovel, “like” us on Facebook at Novel2Screen, or just follow this blog.

To read my Voyager series in its entirety, click here.

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