Here we go again, bringing you some of our favourite Outlander fans who bring joy, entertainment and a kind place to rest our weary heads upon.
If you haven’t checked out our previous ABOotlanderLOVE spotlights, please do. We talked with Beth Wesson, the heart felt blogger. Connie V , the hilarious creator of one of the most popular Recap Blogs. Our last ABOotlanderLOVE blog was dedicated to the one & only Outlander Anatomy creator Dr. Karmen.
We encourage you to leave comments & let us know who you feel has worked to bring the Fandom together in a happy light. I would like to add, this isn’t a popularity contest, the admin team I work with and I simply feel what we feel. Since we are the purveyors of #AlwaysAssumePositiveIntent we gravitate to those people we have connected to within the fandom.
This time we are Spotlighting – Lady Jane AKA Jane Sherwood. She is the lead admin for The Rank and File. If you are not a member of the Richard Rankin Fan Group , you are missing out on some fantastic banter, close friendships & seriously smart women.
Lady Jane’s humour & authentic nature comes out in droves as she drives the ship that is this fan group. It is worth noting that this fan group formed BEFORE Richard Rankin was cast as our beloved Roger Mac. I am almost certain the collective universal force that is this fan group was instrumental in RR loading up as Rog. When you have that many people throwing good vibes your way, you are bound to get caught up in it.
Please get to know & love Lady Jane as I do.
We all start somewhere on this Outlander journey. When did you first become interested in the world of Outlander?
About 18 years ago, I started reading, and rereading, the books. I’m afraid I actually don’t remember how I found them! (I blame a baby that didn’t sleep in the meantime and Mommy Brain.)
However I do remember precisely when I heard about the show. It was when Sam was cast, and I was at a family dinner. My sister, SIL, and I – all major book fans – squeed over his picture. Even though his hair was dark and short, we could see that he would be the perfect Jamie. And of course all the guys present rolled their eyes. The next day, I joined Outlander Facebook groups and the rest is history.
*Baby Brain…yes, the good ole days! My son was 1.5 when I found the books, lets just say thats when he learned to entertain himself.*
What inspired you to start your fangroup?
I met the co-founder of The Rank and File in the Heughligans FB group in early 2014. She posted this video of Richard doing Shakespeare and it truly made me a fan for life! The Crimson Field aired shortly afterwards in the UK. I opened a Richard Rankin Fans Twitter account – which promptly got so much attention and swooning over the captivating Capt. Gillan, that we decided it would be best to also open a private FB group for moral support.
The name was a difficulty for a long time… after all how many positive things go with “Rank”?! We finally settled on The Rank and File for its military connotation, and the fact that we wanted to be RR’s army. And so we are the VADs (Very Adorable Darlings) of RAF. It is pronounced “vads” like a word, and is from a joke, actually based on history, in The Crimson Field where the Voluntary Aid Detachment is referred to as such. Even today, not one single day goes by when someone somewhere doesn’t post how sad they are that it wasn’t renewed, but at least we got our Roger Mac.
Jane has done a great job of forming a community in their fangroup. Not an easy task. Curiosity bade me to ask HOW.
I have a professional background in web and graphic design, and video editing, so it naturally became a fun hobby for me to share professional quality media. However, what really built our group was its wonderful and intelligent members (the #BrainyFangirls!) and the great admin team I have: Amanda, Michelle, and Stephanie. We all support each other 100%, with no competition between us, and are committed to running a kind and respectful group.
During the past over two years since the RAF began, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and people in general. We constantly get comments from our members that The RAF is a unique place to share opinions freely in a supportive environment, so that is what I think what truly makes us stand out. We’ve all worked really hard at building that, and it has not been easy sometimes. None of us knew how to run a good fan group when we started, and sometimes how to best handle conflict. We were lucky we started very slow to be ready when the huge influx happened when he was cast as Roger!
We are somewhat different than other main OL fan groups as Richard already had a large and varied career before he was cast, which has since continued. He will be appearing in S2 of The Last Kingdom and a mini series called The Replacement for the BBC fairly soon. While OL may be our main topic lately, I don’t think the spirit of the group changed very much even though our membership numbers exploded.
I do want to give a special shout out to the admins of the Heughligans, Caitrionation, Tobias’s Tribe, and many, many other admins of Outlander fan groups that helped us when Richard wasn’t even part of the show! We are so proud to be in this incredible union of positive fans.
What was your most memorable fan encounter?
The Season 2 Premiere in New York City, and subsequent Tartan Parade that followed. Meeting the cast is exciting, but really what stands out is all the fans from all over the world that I was finally able to see in person. It’s such an amazing network of people you instantly feel at home with!
Brunch with members of the Rank & File. Lady Jane is 2nd from the Left.
Your fangroup is well organized, enjoyable and incredibly positive. The banter you have with Richard Rankin is cheeky & fun. It takes time to develop… how is it that you have done so well?
Thank you so much for saying that! I’m not sure how to answer this – by being myself I guess. Richard is so cheeky and fun himself. One day, he will be boasting and warning us about the #OneScotRule (to admire only him), and the next day, he will be self deprecating. Rarely is RR not teasing on Twitter. Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out when he is serious – and I admit there was at least once when even I wasn’t sure. He’s so good to his fans and it inspires us, his army!
I would say that the RAF is equal parts serious and cheeky. We are super professional in promoting his career and all the shows he is involved in, but we also aren’t letting him get away with anything. Our followers seem to enjoy the mix. The RAF sees him as a real person – someone to admire, but also someone to treat with respect. I’m really proud of our group for that. Our primary goal is always to be a positive force, for him, and for the fans. I get the most pleasure out of this when someone tells me I brightened their day, or made them feel welcomed.
Please share a few of your favourite exchanges with Richard – I know mine.
Gosh, there are so many. Like when he would drop Outlander references during that long dark time before his casting on December 14, 2015. We were all on edge, praying he would be named as Roger, and then he would run away while everyone had a meltdown at the slightest mention. Or tweet that he’s naked in the gym, and disappear. I don’t think I’m biased when I say he’s one of the most entertaining actors to follow on Twitter.
Many VADs will say that April Fool’s Day 2016 was one of the best days ever. I changed the profile pic of the RAF Twitter account to Loki. Less than an hour later, I was hilariously called out by RR. A day of teasing ensued.
And when he complained about our Instagram, which has many more followers than he does (there are still only four photos on his).
Another one of my all time favorite Twitter threads was debating whether Bree was technically engaged to LJG. It went on for two days. Richard really likes to be right. Usually he is, and will defend it TO THE DEATH. Here’s a link to the Storify:
Explain what your reaction was to seeing “Roger” appear on screen for the first time was like.
I was completely overwhelmed. Having watched The Crimson Field in 2014, it was a really long wait! We all knew then that Richard was the perfect Roger Mac.
He’s such an emotionally powerful actor. The role of Roger is extremely complex, and RR was born to play it, like all the other cast members who are so perfectly cast! It was meant to be. So basically, I cried along with him during that opening scene of 213…
We all have our own visions of what Outlander of the future will look like – What do YOU see?
A ten season series with every single book represented. And multiple awards for all cast and crew, including Richard, who is going to slay season 4 … and 5! He and Sophie will be the second leads starting then, and their love story will be at the heart of the show as much as Jamie and Claire’s. Outlander will catapult Richard’s career to the next level, and give him the ability to make his dreams come true. It means that we will be guaranteed to get lots and lots of Rankin screen time to many years to come. The future is very bright indeed.
My husband has said Diana must have a man named “Roger” locked in her basement *smile*. With all that is to come for his character – how will you prepare for his story line?
Haha, that’s a great description. Yes, we use the tag #PoorRoger on Twitter. He’s such a lovely character and means well, but he’s just beaten down by life time and time again. Richard said in a recent interview that Roger has an inner strength, so that is what I think he will bring to the role. I’m just so excited to see it all, and have so much faith in Richard’s abilities. I’m thrilled that he will have a chance to stretch his skills and create some epic and emotional scenes that will really touch the viewers. It’s why we are his fans – his characters have such depth and are so full of feeling. It’s the role of a lifetime, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
The fandom’s acceptance of Richard has been incredible, unprecedented really. The huge celebration when he was cast was wrought from months, and years for some, of his fans rooting for him. We are just so grateful to join the Outlander family – so beat him, hang him, do what you will – we will pay the price gladly! -Stocks up on tissues and whisky-.
This is an ABOotlander must ask – If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?
I’m truly afraid to answer this question! And I hope I get points for not googling the 3 out 4 that I don’t know – I’ll pick the Taber Corn because it sounds the least problematic and reminds me of Graham McTavish’s corn jokes.
If you want to join in The Rank and File fun, here is a list of all the ways to do it!
Thank you so much Lady Jane for being so open & sharing with the fandom.
Founder of the ABOotlanders
*Stay tuned for the next #ABOotlanderLOVE feature…we dive into a new realm!