*New* Diana Gabaldon Talks About Outlander With The Fayetteville Observer   Leave a comment

From The Fayetteville Observers: 

Let’s jump right in with River Run. The area around what is now Fayetteville wasn’t exactly oozing with plantation homes at this time. But according to Fayetteville historian Bruce Daws, a 1775 map does show two large plantations near where Rockfish Creek flows into the Cape Fear. Why did you decide to put Jacosta’s plantation right outside Cross Creek?

There were Scottish settlers all along the edge of the Cape Fear because that’s where they went – those who were not already settled along the coast from the earlier immigration wave of 1730 and so forth.

They came because they had kin there. But they pushed on up into the mountains in order to find their own land and make their own way.

The Cape Fear, as you know, is only really navigable as far as Cross Creek. So I thought, well, for convenience that’s reasonable. It was conceivable that there could be a large plantation there.

Jocasta was not the type who would be pushing further into the Piedmont?

No. Jocasta and her husband were very wealthy when they came to the colonies. They weren’t struggling. They bought their land and a large number of slaves and proceeded to make more money by running it.

What’s your favorite part of her plantation?

Let’s see. You mean the TV set?

More after the jump! 

Well, since you mention it, I talked to one North Carolina historian after he first saw River Run on TV last season. He said something like: “This is NOT what Diana wrote.”

It’s not. We had … a fabulous designer. He’s very lavish. He does beautiful details and wonderful sets. They’re glorious to look at but they are not what you’d call really historical. So we sort of take a deep breath and say, “That’s lovely,” which it is. And you know people who read the books will know that’s not quite historically accurate.

But in terms of what I was actually writing about? I would have very much liked to have seen the turpentine production works where they were distilling turpentine by setting fires and burying them under turf in order to get the aromatic distillate out of the wood. It was not unusual for these turpentine mounds to explode periodically. One actually does in the book and that’s why Claire is able to go out and see it because she’s patching a fellow up who is badly burnt in the explosion.

For television purposes, I must say that the episode involving (River Run’s workings) was my second least favorite. My least favorite was in Season 3. But it was certainly my least favorite in Season 4. They show a wide field of some kind, which appears not to have anything actually growing in it. But there are a number of theoretically black people – you can’t tell because it was shot in Scotland – they’re sort of wandering to and fro. River Run as seen in the show is not a whole lot like it would have been in the 18th century. But it’s done for a television show which is, by definition, fantasy because it involves time travel and so forth.

I am a consultant so I offer suggestions and typically they take them when they can. When they can’t, it’s for reasons of logistics or budgets or whatever. For example, I would have loved for them to have shot the show in North Carolina and they would have loved to do that, too. But the “Outlander” crew, which has been together for a number of years now, are very expert hardworking people. They know the show. Everyone gets along. It’s a happy show. You don’t want to break that up. To import 250 people on the crew – putting aside the fact that they would have to abandon their families for 8 months – is hard. “Outlander” is not a union show, meaning that they’re not obliged to hire only SAG actors. If they moved the show to North Carolina, which is a union state, they would have to force all of their actors and crew to join the union, which is an expensive proposition.

That being said, they do a reasonably good job of what’s available to them in Scotland, even though it does result in things like having Spanish moss in the mountains at Fraser’s Ridge. They were forced to shoot in the Fall and there were no leaves on the trees. They were trying to suggest this sort of a Summer wedding because we can’t have it in the winter because of all the things that are about to happen. So they thought, “We better put something in the trees.” They do a pretty good job of adaptation, but they don’t have anything like the flexibility or the room that I do. I can do pages and pages of historical details. I have time to include just about anything. They don’t. But they do a very good job of maintaining the feel of the story if not all the little details.


Did your research ever take you to Fayetteville?

Yes. I have been through Fayetteville a couple of times with my husband. We had a good time driving around North Carolina looking at the locations of New Bern, Wilmington, and the Alamance battlefield. I will say that the show does the Battle of Alamance very well. They did a great job with that.


Read the full article here at the source. 

Posted March 9, 2020 by justfp in Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Tagged with ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: