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If you’ve been craving some more Outlander goodness, then the team have a big treat for you.

The creators have confirmed they will be releasing an “End of Summer Series”, which will consist of four episodes.

And the best news of all? They’re starting from tomorrow (23rd August).

We’ve got the low-down on all the episodes, when they’re out and how you can be a part of the action – read on to find out more.

How to watch the Outlander specials

The Outlander summer specials will be available to stream via the Outlander Collector Facebook page.

The four-part series has been made in conjunction with Doctors Without Borders, an international aid organisation who work with over 70 countries around the globe.

Viewers can donate to the charity via the Facebook page.

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Outlander star Caitriona Balfe has launched her own Scottish gin – and it’s for a great cause.

The Irish actress, who plays lead Claire Randall/Fraser in the show, has created Forget Me Not Gin to support the arts and “acknowledge the positive contribution creative industries make to society”.

Posting on her official Twitter account, Caitriona wrote: “This is a very special product that has combined my love of collaborating with friends, drinking and finding ways to support our beleaguered artistic community.

“So I hope you enjoy and feel the love that has gone into Forget Me Not.”

The star had previously teased the new gin in a clip of her enjoying a G & T with her instagram star cat Eddie.

The special spirit is described as a “smooth botanical gin” distilled in the Highlands of Scotland – though the distillery hasn’t been named.

It’s created using botanicals including the Forget Me Not flower (which holds special significance on the show), rosehip, elderflower and interestingly beetroot.

A portion of the profits from sales of the new expression will go to support a number of charities and projects involved with the arts.

The first of which is the SWG3 Graduate Programme, which is based in Glasgow and offers a 12-month sponsored studio residency and commissioning programme to artists and designers each year.

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With Outlander Season 6 on hold thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser, had time to join the rest of the cast, the exec producers, and best-selling author Diana Gabaldon to reminisce about Season 5 of the hit Starz series for the first-ever virtual PaleyFest LA.

Season 5 was an eventful one. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) tied the knot, Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) godfather Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) was killed at Alamance, Roger was hung and almost died, Jamie was also near death from a snake bite. If all that wasn’t enough, the season closed with Claire’s abduction and sexual assault at the hands of a rogue group of men from Brownsville.

“Subject matter like that is always difficult,” Balfe says of her kidnap and rape scenes. “It is really hard to address these subjects and feel that you are on the right path. You are always trying to toe the line between being responsible and not bringing anything that’s gratuitous or trying to show too much, while also being true to the situation and trying to respect the subject matter.”

In the instance of Claire, the decision was made by executive producer Matthew B. Roberts to try to do something unique for the “Never My Love” episode by adding a surrealistic element to the rape scenes. While Claire is being abused, she escapes in her mind to a fictional Thanksgiving set in the 1970s, where her Fraser’s Ridge family are incongruously in attendance.

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Fans of Starz’s time-traveling love story Outlander will be intrigued. According to the show’s EP, Maril Davis, “something fun and new” will happen to the characters of Brianna and Roger in the upcoming Season 6.

Speaking during a PaleyFest panel discussion in Los Angeles, Davis did not elaborate further on this new storyline but said of the new season, “Jamie and Claire, their love deepens; Roger and Brianna, they have their own journey… and Caitlin [O’Ryan], who plays Lizzie, has a great story, and she’s such a great actress.”

Davis’ fellow EP Matthew B. Roberts also assured fans there will be no lull in the action enjoyed last season. “There are going to be joys, there’s going to be a drama, there’s going to be suffering, there’s going to be tears,” he said. “All of the above.”

Last season saw the action centered on Fraser’s Ridge, the homestead built in North Carolina by Claire and Jamie Fraser. Living on the brink of the Revolutionary War, they, and their daughter and son-in-law, Brianna and Roger, have faced execution, bereavement, sexual assault, kidnapping and even a snake bite.

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The Season 5 finale of Starz’ mega-hit show Outlander was a deeply emotional journey for its leads, Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser, and Sam Heughan, as her husband Jamie Fraser.

Since its 2014 premiere, the show has led us through two hundred years of time travel for the star-crossed lovers, as they’ve survived everything from the Battle of Culloden, to marauding pirates. Now, in Season 5, the couple have attempted to settle in 18th century North Carolina, on the brink of the American Revolutionary War. But of course, in true Outlander fashion, things do not run smoothly, and by the finale, Claire and Jamie Fraser find themselves in a horrific situation.

The episode “Never My Love” follows Claire as she is brutally abducted and raped. Speaking via video conference during an AwardsLine screening series panel discussion on Thursday, showrunner, executive producer and writer Matthew B. Roberts talked about the decision to do extensive research into trauma and to partner with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

“We wanted to be very careful with it,” he said. We have in the past on Outlander dealt with rape and sexual assault on the show so we have a lot of consultants, over the past six years, that we’ve been going to, and we mine their expertise before we even start the process.”

Balfe, who, along with Heughan was also a producer this season, added, “I think anytime you tackle the issue of sexual violence or rape, you want to do it the most responsible way you possibly can. What we’ve always done on Outlander is try to take a point of view and highlight something that can be somewhat helpful in terms of starting a conversation… We talked a lot with RAINN about how we could approach this and also in terms of having trigger warnings before the episode.”

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Bloomsday Readings and Songs will be streamed lived form Dublin on Bloomsday, June 16, with appearances from Irish celebs including Caitriona Balfe, Aidan Gillen, Glen Hansard, David Norris, and more – tune in here!

It’s time to don that boater hat and join Caitriona Balfe, Aidan Gillen, Glen Hansard, David Norris, and more for a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses as part of the Bloomsday Festival’s flagship event “Readings and Songs.”

Bloomsday, June 16, the day in which James Joyce’s “Ulysses” unfolds, is a long-standing and treasured tradition. This year, the tradition will be kept alive online thanks to Bloomsday Readings and Songs, which will be streaming live from Dublin, the backdrop to Joyce’s famous novel.

You can tune into Bloomsday Readings and Songs live here on IrishCentral or over on IrishCentral’s Facebook on Bloomsday, June 16th, at 7pm IST / 2pm EST.

Every Dubliner has their own story about James Joyce, and no one more so than our best-known Joycean scholar, Senator David Norris, who has been at the heart of Joyce’s Dublin for almost 60 years. Senator Norris will introduce the show, featuring a cast of noted Irish writers, actors, musicians, pundits, and everyone in between, reading extracts from Ulysses. The readings will bring to life Joyce’s immortal words, from his description of Dublin’s “snot green sea”, to Molly Bloom’s famous “yes”.

Ulysses is composed in 18 episodes mirroring Homer’s Odyssey and takes place in over 18 locations around Dublin. Experience your personal odyssey through James Joyce’s epic novel from the comfort of your home.

Writers taking part this year’s Bloomsday Readings and Songs event include Colum McCann, Booker Prize nominee Donal Ryan, Paul Lynch, winner of the Kerry Group Novel of Year, crime writer Tana French, Mary Costello, recently shortlisted for the Dalkey Literary Award, Christine Dwyer Hickey, author of Dublin’s most recent One City One Book, and Peter Murphy, novelist, and vocalist with Cursed Murphy & the Resistance. International best-selling author Douglas Kennedy will be reading with his actress daughter, Amelia Kennedy.

Going from stage to page will be chanteuse Camille O’Sullivan, Jess Kavanagh of BARQ, spoken word artist Sasha Terfous, and Glen Hansard. While joining the Bloomsday Festival from TV, film and the stage will be Aiden Gillen, Kate Stanley Brennan, Emmet Kirwan, performance artist Bonnie Boux, and writer and director Gerard Stembridge. Bafta winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee actress, Caitriona Balfe, will be reading from Molly Bloom’s soliloquy.

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In the latest episode of The Times’ TV podcast “Can’t Stop Watching,” host and staff writer Yvonne Villarreal asks “Outlander” star Caitriona Balfe about her character’s harrowing kidnapping and rape in the Season 5 finale — a scene Balfe’s co-star, Sam Heughan, discussed during his own appearance earlier this month:

One of the things I love about Claire is that everyone talks about what a strong character she is — but there’s a danger, in that people sort of make that character Teflon. … I thought it was really important to show that no matter how strong you are, no matter who you are, if you go through something like this, first of all, you don’t know how your body is going to react. You don’t know how you’re going to be able to process it. And nobody comes out of anything like this unscathed.

You can listen the episode here to hear Balfe chat about sketching the “Outlander” cast, her love of “Cagney and Lacey” and co-starring with — maggots. [Source]



Two Scottish brothers have created a hilarious social distancing sketch called Star Force, which features James McAvoy and Outlander stars Caitriona Balfe and Steven Cree.

Kevin and Ross Mains, originally from East Kilbride, co-wrote the project with Brendan O’Rourke over Zoom after finding themselves having free time during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kevin Mains, 30, who is known for starring in Outlaw King, Shetland and Mountain Goats, said:

“There is no work for acting this now and it’s a good way to pass the time and have a laugh…. And when someone like James (McAvoy) says he’ll take part, it makes the message of staying at home easier to take as you’re seeing these stars adhering to the guidelines.”

Ross Mains, 25, best known for his comedic sketches on BBC The Social, directed the clip which has been watched over 700K times.

Ross had previously worked with Outlander star Steven Cree, who showed the video to his friend James McAvoy and the Hollywood star immediately wanted to be involved in a future production.

The sketch took just just over a month to make as the stars had to social distance due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Ross Mains said: All the directing would need to be done on WhatsApp, with the actors recording and sending their lines through the messenger!”

He continued to say: “Like any film there were reshoots and difficulties but the actors were all very understanding of it.”

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The actress and executive producer breaks down the episode’s heaviest moments and her hopes for Outlander’s next season.

Claire Fraser is no stranger to brutality. The first time we ever see our Outlander heroine, played by Caitriona Balfe, on-screen, she’s stoically tending to a soldier’s horrifically mangled leg, her face spattered with arterial blood, and her life became only marginally less grueling after World War II ended. Since tumbling back through time into 18th-century Scotland, Claire has endured a whole litany of traumas—loss, miscarriage, physical and emotional violence at the hands of countless villains—and emerged more resilient than ever. But tonight’s Season 5 finale centers on what may be Claire’s most horrific ordeal to date, following her kidnapping at the hands of Lionel Brown and his men at the climax of last week’s episode. The disorienting opening moments of “Never My Love” find Claire in an idyllic but surreal 1960s dreamscape, immediately suggesting that this will be no ordinary episode of Outlander. It soon becomes clear that this is her brain’s desperate attempt to cope with unspeakable trauma as she is gagged, beaten, and raped by multiple men.

Outlander has always been fascinated with the dynamics of sex and power, and by extension with the ways in which sexual assault is used as a weapon. Ever since Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) was raped by Black Jack Randall at the end of Season 1, the show has drawn praise for its unusually nuanced portrayal of sexual violence and its lasting psychological impact. But more recently, particularly in the wake of the rape of Brianna Randall Fraser (Sophie Skelton) last season, there has also been criticism for what some consider an overreliance on rape as a source of conflict and drama; an overreliance that is baked into Diana Gabaldon’s novels, on which the show is based. Though Claire is promptly rescued midway through the season finale, this episode will continue a long and sometimes fraught conversation about the role of sexual violence on Outlander.

“It is a really hard line that we have to tread,” Balfe told me over the phone last week. “Obviously, we try to stick as faithfully to the books as possible, and [rape] is something that creeps up quite often in Diana’s novels. When you have eight or nine books out in the span of 20 years, it probably doesn’t feel like there’s as much, but when you’re compressing all of that down for TV, it becomes quite difficult. We can only try to do it as respectfully and as, I suppose, empoweringly as we can.”

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Outlander
Season 6

Role: Claire Randall
Release Date: 2020
An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743.
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Belfast

Role: Ma
Release Date: 2021
A young boy and his working class family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.
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Caitriona Balfe is a patron of World Child Cancer

The country you are born in should not be a deciding factor in your battle against cancer. World Child Cancer works daily to give children in developing countries access to treatment and care and a fighting chance against this disease. I am proud and honoured to be a patron of such a worthy charity. Please join me in helping in any way you can.

 

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