Thank You Notes: Outlander Edition

Caitrona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Starz' Outlander
Caitriona Balfe as Claire Beachamp Randall and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in Starz’ original series Outlander.


If you’ve watched The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon recently, you know he starts each show with a segment called “Thank You Notes,” a tongue-in-cheek piece that pokes fun at pop culture news items of the day. Needing some way to express my enthusiasm for my most recent passion — Outlander, a new Starz original series — gratitude seemed the most appropriate way to go about it.

Thank you, Unnamed Colleague, for turning me on to the Outlander series last summer. Although I was at first totally confused by your summary about a war nurse and time-traveling stones, I thank you for lending me the novels and being the catalyst for what’s become a somewhat unhealthy obsession.

Thank you, Diana Gabaldon, for earning a Ph.D. in a STEM field and then deciding to chuck the life of a professor to become a fiction writer who goes on to pen an international bestselling book series with compelling narrative and marvelous characters. This unpublished English literature major is not jealous in the least. Also, you are very pretty. Damn.

Thank you, Starz, for taking a chance on adapting a twenty-something-year old book series for television. I’d never subscribed to a premium cable channel until now. #WORTHIT

Outlander's Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie
Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie in Starz’ Outlander. Hubba, hubba.

Thank you, Ronald D. Moore, for being brilliant and for producing my top two favorite television shows of all time. I blame you for my unnatural affinity for bald older men with a hefty dose of gravitas. Exhibit 1: Sir Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Exhibit 2: Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie.

Thank you, Game of Thrones Casting, for turning down a struggling Scot-ish actor not just once, but seven times. Your failure to cast him in the series freed him to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime.

Thank you, Sam Heughan, for actually training for your craft and not merely relying on your (very) pretty face. You are #KILLINGIT as James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. P.S. If you’re going to have a moment’s peace between seasons, I suggest you shave the red hair and go incognito for a few months. I have been trolling the interwebs for all things Outlander and believe me when I say this: the Sam/Jamie thirst is REAL. You have been warned.

Episode 4 of Outlander, “The Gathering,” premieres Saturday, August 30 at 9 pm on Starz. Je suis prest.