Last week, Starz posted the announcement that the opening scene of Outlander’s mid-season return would air immediately before the Black Sails season 2 premiere on Saturday the 24th. The tactic electrified the salivating fan base, which is suffering the effects of “Droughtlander.” Here it is:
This is a “teaser” clip if ever there was one. Some Highland scenery, some voice over, a tight shot on our hero, and then… done.
For those who are already hooked, this was something of a letdown. I chalk this up to how high the stakes were set in the final episode 1.08, Both Sides Now. I, for one, don’t think I would have been satisfied with anything less than the first throes of Jamie and Claire’s escape from Wentworth and the clutches of “Black Jack” Randall.
Presumably, this clip should have also served the purpose of capturing new viewers’ attention. If you were on the fence about adding another addiction to your television schedule, the teaser clip probably didn’t do much to pull you in, unfortunately.
To overcome the anticlimactic chagrin, I watched this one a few times.
The phenomenon of our beloved series taking extended hiatus between seasons, or even mid-season breaks (e.g. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, et.al.), is nothing new. The reasons for such separations are as varied as the series themselves, and a tangential topic for another post.
In the case of Outlander, the reasons have little to do with tantalizing audiences, protracted negotiations, or positioning the series for multiple years of award qualifications. It’s a magnificent risk to cultivate an audience with a steady stream of indomitable programming just to squelch the source of its nourishment just as its size and passion had broken outside the “cult” circle and into the mainstream. Unfortunately, budgetary concerns for this new series prohibited production of its full slate of scheduled episodes all at once.
Has your appetite has been whetted? In the meantime, feel free to express your begrudging acceptance of, or vent your frustration about the mid-season hiatus phenomenon.