I started by selling off my old legitimate card collection in college, a broke student fascinated by how much these little pieces of cardboard could sell for. One day, a potential customer falsely accused one of my Shivan Dragons of being a fake. It got me thinking of how easy it would be to actually fake these cards. So I went to a self-service Kinko’s and had a go at making a copy of a card I happened to own. The result looked … absolutely horrible.
So I started doing research. I learned the difference between bright white cardstock and digital cardstock paper, the different types of inks, the different options for lamination available to me. Once I’d learned all I could, I returned to the copy place and gave it another shot. The result was … again, absolutely horrible.
I needed a professional printer – and that was all I needed.
Here are scans of two cards. One of these is a real card, and one of them is a fake that I made. I won’t tell you which one is real and which one is fake. That’s the fun of it.
DOCTOR: Am I sensing a certain hostility from you? TEGAN: Spot-on. DOCTOR: Why? We were friends! TEGAN: Because if you’re here in Brisbane, it means trouble is on its way. DOCTOR: That’s a gross exaggeration. TEGAN: My friends are here, my family. I don’t want them mowed down by Daleks, or possessed by Maras, or killed by Cybermen. I care about them! DOCTOR: You’re not pleased to see me? TEGAN: You know what I mean. DOCTOR: We had some good times, didn’t we? TEGAN:
Favorite “That’s not in the book” Part: Claire playing with the children and simultaneously plotting her escape. I loved how much planning and thought Claire put into her preparations during The Gathering and the layers of the opening sequence with Claire playing with the children of Castle Leoch - especially wee Hamish. That she was using the games to observe the area and plot her escape shows the resourcefulness that I love about Claire as a character and is one of her better subterfuges. The facts that it annoys her shadows and gets to have fun with the children are just bonuses.
Favorite Line: “We’re missing the festivities.” There is so much great side-character stuff in The Gathering. I love Rupert’s whining when Claire and the children decide to keep playing. The interplay between Rupert and Angus throughout the episode and their childish excitement over the Gathering itself are at their best in this episode.
Favorite Location: the MacKenzie encampment outside the castle. Claire’s voice over where she contrasts the excitement and joy of the MacKenzie Gathering with the celebrations following the end of World War II are beautiful. The atmospheres are so drastically different with joy and community being so prevalent in the MacKenzies while relief and exhaustion were more characteristic of the solemnity of the end of WWII. Her observations and her reactions to them recall the beginning of Sassenach when the war officially ends and Claire seems lost more than relieved or celebratory. Here, she remarks on how a small part of her would regret leaving these people behind, despite the fact that she has been stuck there as a pseudo-prisoner - she feels connected to the odd community of Leoch.
Favorite Minor Character: Angus. While a lot of his great moments this episode involve him playing off of Rupert, this is the first episode where Angus gets to be something other than grumpy for a prolonged period of time. He’s excited but doesn’t regret having to perform his duties the way that Rupert does. This is where you really start to see Angus’ devotion to Dougal as well, from his eagerness to follow Dougal in pledging his oath to Colum to the shinty battle and squaring off against Murtagh.
Favorite Costume: background actor #2. Every time I watch the beginning of the oath taking, my eyes go immediately to this trio of ladies at the front of the crowd. They’re all wearing similar shades of an absolutely gorgeous blue and the one in the middle with the embroidery detailing on the sleeves and stomacher is my favorite (though the blue and green plaid to her right is a close second). That even the background characters have such gorgeous and intricately worked costumes is part of what makes the show look soooooo good.
Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment: the stable. More specifically, the part of the stable scene where Jamie is reassuring Claire about going back after she’s explained her encounter with the drunken clansmen. His immediate concern for her well-being - and rage at the thought that anyone might have done something to her that she didn’t want them to - are palpable but he shifts to light-hearted and calming as soon as he knows she’s all right physically. His pointing out the flaws in her escape plan was a blow and now he’s building her back up by openly admiring her resourcefulness, and he loves that she got the best of Dougal. The little elbow nudge he gives her when he asks, “Knocked him out cold, did ye?” is so cute and sweet.
Favorite Book-to-Screen Adaptation: Jamie’s oath to Colum. The political tensions between the brothers and Jamie’s skillful walking of that fine line between them is one of my favorite aspects of the book. His handling of the delicate situation when he is forced to the hall during the Oath Taking is such a well orchestrated scene in every way. The cuts to members of the crowd/audience, Claire and Murtagh, and between Jamie and the Brothers MacKenzie along with the rising score ratchet the tension beautifully before Jamie successfully diffuses the situation.
Favorite Performance: Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie. There are so many sides of Dougal that come out during The Gathering. The subtle interplay between him and Colum as he pledges his oath; his drunken interaction with Claire as he finds her in the hallway; the way he looms over Jamie as he makes his unorthodox oath to Colum; the sorrow and strength with which he greets Geordie’s death during the hunt; taking his grief and frustration out on Jamie in the game of shitny; and finally, coming to Claire with his proposition for joining him on the road and the respect and gratitude he shows to her after her handling of Geordie’s death (such a contrast to the way he treated her in the corridor while he was drunk earlier in the episode). All of it is just brilliant.
Favorite Scene, Favorite Music Moment: Shinty. Everything about this scene is my favorite. The Clean Pease Stray track from volume one of the show’s score is my absolute favorite from that album and fits perfectly with the action as Dougal emerges from the woods after the hunt that killed Geordie, picks up a stick, and starts hitting men. At the same time, the balance of Jamie’s oath and the lines that were drawn rise to the surface once more as Dougal targets Jamie specifically - and then Murtagh and Angus going at each other as Jamie’s and Dougal’s respective seconds. You’ve also got Claire remarking on the scene next to Rupert who isn’t fazed by a single thing that happens. And the cinematography of the scene… the camera angles, the use of slow motion at various points - I mean, how great is that shot of the guy Dougal knocks into the cooking fire? And then Jamie flipping Dougal over his head?