Tag Archives: Caitriona Balfe

Outlander: For Your Consideration

28 Jun

By Kathy Custren

Deadline Hollywood hosted a virtual screening on June 18th for Outlander, the STARZ series that recently aired its fifth season. Afterward, producer-writer Matthew B. Roberts and co-producer-actors Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan joined attendees for a question and answer session. This is among the special industry appeals to the Television Academy and more this year as part of the award nomination process.

A Most Prodigious Pachyderm

Let’s begin by talking about the elephant in the room, shall we? This article is a blatant plea focusing on getting Outlander nominated for any and all television awards, period. Being primarily housebound with the COVID lockdown, many of us manage to enjoy some binge-worthy shows. For your consideration, and leading the pack in the humble opinion of many fans, is Outlander on STARZ—with streaming also available on Netflix, Hulu, and available for purchase through Amazon, Apple via iTunes, and other retail outlets.

We must also mention the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon, which is the genesis of these characters and this enterprise. Season five stories rely heavily on her book, The Fiery Cross. There are large blazing torches that bookend the season, courtesy of the craftsmanship of producer Sam Heughan’s uncle. These are but some of the many intricate details of this quality production. With millions of avid fans around the world and after more than 30 years since its inception, viewership and readership alike continue to grow, which is no small feat.

And yes, spoilers ahead, etc., yadda, yadda, yadda. The season is over and if you have not watched Outlander yet, what’s keeping you? Just be mindful of the fact that, five seasons in, Outlander can be addictive. Go ahead and start now and the fandom will wait for you to catch up. We understand.

Appealing to the Television Academy

It appears that particular notice must be announced within the industry to the Television Academy members calling attention to the fine work that Outlander brings to viewers. We are in the home stretch of the nomination period. Not being an industry insider, it is a mystery to many of us how these things work exactly. It must be connected to who knows whom. So, if you know someone, please say something. Tell them to nominate Outlander and its cast. The hint cannot get much bigger. Share this article widely, please.

Outlander is but one program in a sea of shows. Season five, filmed before the pandemic, has an overarching theme we might call ‘peace of mind,’ It has given this to viewers with many big story lines that elicit impressive performances from its players. Diana Gabaldon herself consults and contributes to the show, which helps maintain its vibrancy. So, why is the fifth season of Outlander so worthy of awards? Why does it deserve “all” of them, as many fans like to say? To borrow from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways….

Noteworthy Cast Performances in Season Five

1. Weddings: At Fraser’s Ridge (Ep. 501) and at River Run (Ep. 506)

Most shows culminate the year with a major event like a wedding as a way to draw viewers to a peak or go out with a bang. Outlander had two significant weddings this season. The first at Fraser’s Ridge marries Brianna (FYC: Sophie Skelton) and Roger (FYC: Richard Rankin) to kick things off. The second occurs midway through at River Run to unite Jocasta (FYC: Maria Doyle Kennedy) with her betrothed, Mr. Innes, after a falling out with Murtagh (FYC Duncan Lacroix) following Brianna and Roger’s wedding.

2. Roger’s Hanging/PTSD (Ep. 508)

Never a team to shy away from depicting mental anguish or physical torture for that matter, and because one time is never traumatic enough, we relive Roger’s lingering horrors of surviving near-death through an ingenious cinematic device, repeatedly—as most who suffer with PTSD do. Buddying with Young Ian (FYC: John Bell) brings matters to a head. Also see #5.

3. Brianna Taking Care of Stephen Bonnet (Ep. 510)

We may as well use this euphemism for all it’s worth because Brianna sure did handle matters definitively. Worries over Stephen Bonnet (FYC: Edward Speleers) pursued the Fraser family since season four. Brianna is assuredly her mother and father’s daughter, after all. And, to answer Roger’s ultimate question: Yes.

4. Jamie’s Snakebite (Ep.509), Redcoat/Losing Murtagh (Ep. 507)—and Claire (Ep. 512)

Jamie Fraser (FYC: Sam Heughan) delivers both a morality play and a mortality play this season with a trio of moving episodes. Scenes touch on the very real choices we make in life and the importance of family dedication. We are only on this earth for a certain amount of time, after all. While viewers may mark Jamie in every episode, even as a background actor in some scenes, these three hold significant award evidence. Heughan galvanizes his quintessential portrayal as if stoking a fiery cross with jet fuel—brilliance personified.

5. Claire’s Purpose (Ep. 503, Ep. 504) and Traumatic Abduction  (Ep. 512)

Much like her on-screen spouse, Claire Fraser (FYC: Caitriona Balfe) also has a trio of poignant episodes that highlight her storyline this season. Multiple pivotal scenes depict Claire’s calling to be a healer/doctor. These culminate with her violent abduction, which employs another clever and creative cinematic style to show us her experience in a slightly less horrific manner. Balfe continues to delight our screens effectively at her most happiest, homiest, and horrendous of times, dragging our hearts, fears, and tears along for the ride. The final scene of season five leaves us feeling as Claire does, safe—for the time being.

Public Relations and Nominations

So, this is the short of it—touching briefly on a handful of reasons why Outlander season five deserves all the awards. What a ride it has been! If you are like most viewers, chances are you have seen your share of bingeworthy shows over the years. But there is just something special fueling the Fraser Fandom this year that makes this Outlander season five even more meaningful. Perhaps it is the pandemic, or due to the fact that we are gearing up for an extended Droughtlander (look it up).

STARZ does its part to promote shows ahead of the season. Actors repeatedly say they do not do their job with awards in mind. However, it is key performers, supporting, and guest stars such as these and the larger creative family that work on Outlander who embody the best in the arts. Together they turn a daily creative process into a reality that viewers get to enjoy every week and over again.

Outlander S5 Crew

With an audience that includes many countries around the world, it may well be that social media has its own influence among those who nominate talented performers for awards. Inventive videos by Tash Pow on Twitter are ‘a little something’ she put together as part of a personal FYC campaign under way for the past 45 days and counting. Reference these two examples:
https://twitter.com/peekaboo_jen/status/1273967391907577856?s=20 https://twitter.com/peekaboo_jen/status/1277194610247266306?s=20

For Your Consideration – Proposed Nominees

With this in mind, if any one or more of these impressive performers catches your eye and you happen to know someone, anyone, associated with the nomination process in the Television Academy or any other awards out there, please share. Tell your mama and your cousins by the dozens to spread, watch, and enjoy [Please Nominate!!] the great show that is Outlander season five for these noteworthy performers:

Outstanding Drama Series: Outlander

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Sam Heughan

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Caitriona Balfe

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Sophie Skelton

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Richard Rankin

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Lauren Lyle

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Cesar Domboy

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Duncan Lacroix

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Edward Speleers

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: David Berry

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Maria Doyle Kennedy

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: John Bell

…and thank you for your consideration.

Images courtesy of STARZ