Tag Archive | Tobias Menzies as Frank Randall

Outlander: On the matter of Frank Randall part one

The matter of Frank Randall  part one

 

The matter of Frank Randall… namely, the matter that this once almost forgotten about, rather seemingly insignificant minor character has somehow managed to create such an enormous amount of attention? From those who absolutely hate the man, to the mildly indifferent all the way to those who are defending him so ferociously.  This mysterious man has become the subject of wild controversies, conspiracies, accusations and any number of other debates. How did one man with such a limited story line and few public appearances such as in the ongoing Starz series become such a hot topic all of a sudden?  I have not been all that much of a Frank fan (realistically, there was not all that much to base a judgement on in the earlier stories!) until recently. I began to change my opinions of him after reading A Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows. Then after viewing the last episode of the show, Both Sides now, which took a new direction with Frank’s character, I started to seriously rethink my entire opinion and assumptions of this man.  Is it because Tobias Menzies, fine actor that he is, has breathed such additional life into this man? Well, that could be a partial reason!

Tobias menzies as frank

Is it because of the turn the show took, leading us down a new direction with Frank, or is it the combination of all these factors that have added to my suspicions about Frank Randall knowing far more than we think he did. To be honest, I want to think that I would have come to these suspicions on my own without the show and Tobias. Since they have left an indelible impression, I can not leave them out of the mix so I must go with the thought that it was the combination of all three leading me on my quest to find out more about this man!

I set off on my own search for answers from the often elusive and not quite forthright Frank Randall. I have questions and Dammit, I want a bit more than “That is classified, Do you have a need to know?” the usual standard and pat answers that the military- past or present tend to give out.

Frank on the way to crag na dun

After a tremendous amount of searching, I finally caught up with him and managed to corner him long enough to ask a few pertinent questions…

Frank4

 

So, Frank, are you aware of what a heated debate there is over your actions and your inner character?

frank6

frank gives me a wary look and mumbles something about having been quite busy of late with demanding research and such. He then adds, “Why would there be any question of my character? I have excellent credentials and my work speaks for itself.”

 

Ahhhh ummm yes, Frank I am aware of that. I am not questioning your work… well, not yet anyway? You are aware that people are questioning not your professional work, but your personal life, your history and your behaviors on family matters?

 

Tobias Menzies

Frank strikes a rather defensive pose and replies, “I fail to see where my personal family life is anyone’s business but my own and my family’s!”

Well, Frank seeing that your wife’s life and yours now as well have been splashed across the world in books and television, people are asking questions and wanting answers… If you would agree to sitting down with me and answering a few of those questions, it might help in squashing some of the rumors that are rampantly flying about?

Hmmm I seem to have hit a nerve, Frank has gone a bit frosty on me and I am feeling a slight chill in the air around us. His answer to my suggestion, “And, what sort of rumors would those be, might I ask?” He’s glaring at me now and I’m not really sure I want to go on with this?

tobias-menzies_ian-fleming_any-human-heart

He quickly resumes control, sighs and apologizes for his minor lapse. “I am quite sorry, I fear I am a bit over worked lately and not handling my stress well. I do have some serious family matters to attend to. Please do go on and explain these rumors?”

frank1

 

Well, now I am a bit off kilter as well and wishing for a spot of tea or some good whiskey… and I don’t even drink whiskey! “Ahhh Well, you do know Frank that because of the book’s and the show’s popularity you are quite suddenly in the lime light and are the topic of much speculation over who you are, what you’ve done, what you’ve said and how you’ve treated your wife, that darling of the media who can do no wrong in many eyes. Now that the show has aired you in a new light, there is even a huge debate over that. You are everything from a forlorn tragic figure to a philandering husband and possibly even a racist on top of everything else. In addition some have compared you to your ancestor, Black Jack Randall saying you have the same dark demons within? Others accuse you of being rather cold and unemotional towards Claire, not affectionate to her… ummm being a sort of Cold fish so to say in the bedroom? Now, to be honest with you, I do not see you as that cold fish! And, I am reasonably sure that Claire did not either!

Frank with Claire2 Frank with Claire

claire and frank10

Frank clears his throat, gives a strangled cough and mutters, “Well that is a relief, I suppose even though she still chose that other chap over me!”

14_frank_frogs

Frank digest my comments and then reluctantly agrees to discuss some of his life with me.

Tired Frank

 

In light of the difficult conversation ahead, we retire to the bar to discuss it over many drinks!

Frank needs something stronger than tea

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? These simple questions should be easy enough for you to answer…such as your full name, date and place of birth…

But, sadly Frank can not get through even these! Other than his name, Frank Wolverton Randall, he replies that those other two are classified? He did supply his parents names though,  Jonathan Randall & Nora Sheffield. He very calmly states his profession as History Professor/Historian. I bring up his military profession and he slams down another shot of the whiskey as though wanting to avoid this portion. “Yes, during the war I was attached to MI6 working with the British Intelligence unit.”  His face suddenly takes on that cooler distant and somewhat harder look… one I assume he thinks will still my prodding about that time. After having had a few of my own shots though, I am not deterred!

Tobias Frank2

I choose to confront Frank with this head on, knowing full well that military connections and networks such he was involved in at the time do not just fade away and disappear because one retires from the military. His comment was as I expected, “That’s classified and of course I would not be at liberty to discuss any of that even I were so still involved.” I nod my understanding but bring up one other fact that is now known.

“So, Frank, tell me a bit about the event with Jeremiah MacKenzie? That event is out in the open now people are speculating about your involvement and what you might now know about any of it. This time, I have the upper hand, Frank chokes on his drink and becomes very slightly flustered at the mention of Jeremiah MacKenzie. 

 

Introduction to Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

excerpt from Leaf on Wind of All Hallows 1

excerpt from Wind of  All Hallows, meeting between Frank and Jeremiah MacKenzie.

wind of all hallows6

 

Frank supplies his standard pat answer of  that being a classified mission and how he was of course not at liberty to discuss any of the specific details. Yes, I was expecting that… but I needed to remind him of something else quite important, or perhaps enlighten him if by some odd chance he was not aware of it? I chat for a bit about minor unimportant things such as his friendship with Reverend Wakefield.

Frank and Reverend Wakefield2 Frank and Reverend Wakefield

While in Inverness, Frank visits a Mr. Bainbridge, a solicitor with an interest in local history, and the Rev. Dr. Reginald Wakefield, a vicar who also has an interest in history. Frank is particularly interested in records concerning his ancestor Jonathan Randall, who was a captain of dragoons in the 18th century. While we’re chatting about the Reverend, I casually mention that little nephew of the Reverend’s… Roger isn’t it?

Wee Roger arrives Wee Roger sing

 

Frank nods his head trying to seem nonchalant about it, “Ummm yes, I believe that was his name, Roger… quite charming young lad he was.”

“hmmmm, Roger… wasn’t that the name of poor Jeremiah MacKenzie’s young son?” I offer offhandedly as though it’s of no real importance…

wind of all hallows excerpt 2

wind of all hallows3 roger

Frank can not hide the bit of discomfort he is suddenly feeling at this line of conversation… I am a bit smug at having caught him in this? “Ohhhh, that little lad, Roger must certainly have left an impression on you as well as your pants… Come now, I am sure you recognized him when you met him at Reverend Wakefield’s home, how could you not have?”

14_frank_frogs

Frank has to admit that yes, he did recognize the boy but did not want to bring up bad memories for anyone so kept his silence on the matter.  Ahhhh what a gentleman you are Mr. Randall, I wonder what other secrets you might be hiding?

The matter of Frank Randall part 2: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

 

 

 

 

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Outlanderday Cooking: A bit of Rarebit!

Ahhhh Well, here we are on the final episode of this first half the season of Outlander… feeling a wee bit sad about that and the fact that it will be a verra long wait till spring when they return to us! I have gotten used to this little routine of Outlanderday cooking, and apparently so have some others in my home? There was a rather disappointed question from one of them recently…”So, does this mean you won’t be cooking on Saturdays, we were just getting used to it!” Well, not wanting to disappoint my family, and also not wanting to give up this new routine… I want to reassure all that I will still do some form of Outlander Cooking on Saturdays! There are, after all, quite a few books and Novellas that cover a wide variety of cooking styles! Theresa over at Outlanderkitchen.com  has so many recipes and ideas that I am quite sure I can keep us well fed until Spring.  When I mentioned this there was a sigh of relief… I’m thinking it was more because they were worried that I might try the more ancient medieval cooking of the Vikings with their return in January! Rest easy, I am not going to force those meals upon us, well not right now anyway? I may explore some of the more ancient styles and methods of cooking but am really not sure I’m up to actually eating them! For one thing, I do not have the required cooking utensils?

Viking food supplies

Viking food supplies

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

 

So, I do believe that I shall leave the Viking cooking to these more qualified women!

vikings_episode8_gallery_3-P

I think I will join Lagertha on her quest instead!

http://www.history.com/shows/Vikings

104,_Lagertha_et_al

Ummmm and just in case anyone is wondering… I will follow Rollo (Clive Standen) where he chooses to go? Hopefully he will take me to France this year? Before Scottish Highlanders, there were Viking Warriors!

Clive Standen as Rollo Clive Stanton as Rollo

 

Ohhhh ummmm ahhhh where was I? So sorry for that minor lapse and digression from our  topic, I just got carried away with daydreams of Rollo! Now, back to our current subject, Outlanderday Cooking!

 

Since tonight is the finale and of course this also a marathon to watch, I really do not want to be stuck in the kitchen all day? Because of that, I am going as usual with Theresa’s most excellent suggestion for tonight’s meal. She suggests Scottish Rarebit   http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/24/scottish-rarebit-outlander-starz-episode-108/ and I agree with her choice!  As a child, we often ate a version of this, though we referred to it as Whelsh Rarebit? I remember once asking my Father why it was called Rarebit and his response was “Well, because back in the old days, if you were lucky there might be a rare bit of meat but probably not?” He did explain too that it was also called Whelsh Rabbit and this was what you eat when you didn’t snare the rabbit!

welshrarebit

Alright, Dad’s explanations and jokes aside, here is a definition of Whelsh Rarebit:

Welsh rarebit (spelling based on folk etymology) or Welsh rabbit  is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread, or the hot cheese sauce may be served in a chafing dish like a fondue, accompanied by sliced, toasted bread.  The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Great Britain.  Welsh rarebit is typically made with Cheddar cheese, in contrast to the Continental European fondue, which classically depends on Swiss cheeses.   Various recipes for Welsh rarebit include the addition of ale, mustard, ground cayenne pepper or ground paprika  and Worcestershire sauce. The sauce may also be made by blending cheese and mustard into a Béchamel sauce[ or Mornay sauce. Some recipes for Welsh rarebit have become textbook savoury dishes listed by culinary authorities including Escoffier, Saulnier  and others, who tend to use the form Welsh rarebit, emphasising that it is not a meat dish.

 

I like Theresa’s reasoning for this type of meal in some tribute to Frank Randall, who is now a bachelor busy trying to find his lost wife and too busy or frustrated to put a lot of focus or attention into meal preparation?

Outlander_Cast_Frank_420x560 claire and frank8 Frank Randall OUT_108-20140518-EM_0812.jpg

I am in somewhat the same circumstances tonight… my usual dinner and viewing partners have deserted me and it will be just me at a table for one tonight. It’s also my Dad’s Birthday.  Though he’s been gone now for 20 years, there are so many times,  like yesterday when I read the Rarebit suggestion at Outlanderkitchen.com, that he shows up looking over my shoulder and I have to smile with him at his jokes! So, it felt somewhat fitting to make the Rarebit for him tonight.

 

Here are a few old versions of the simple recipe!

Recipes for rarebit

 

The version we used to eat was more like this?

welshrarebit2 welsh rarebit

 

Besides the recipe posted on Outlanderkitchen.com, I have found a few others that are similar to what I grew up eating.

The Pioneer Woman website has a great explanation and recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/09/welsh-rarebit/

Foodnetwork’s Alton Brown also has an excellent version! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/welsh-rarebit-recipe.html

 

From Traditional Scottish Recipes:

http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_toasted.htm

Traditional Scottish Recipes

 – Toasted Cheese

More usually associated with the Welsh than the Scots, Toasted Cheese is also called Welsh Rarebit.

Before the days of grills and modern cookers, the cheese was melted in front of the fire and bread was toasted on both sides with butter spread on one side and the melted cheese poured on top. Sometimes beer, pepper and salt were mixed with the cheese.

In 1747 a cookery book gave a recipe for “Scots Rabbit” or Rare Bit as bread toasted on both sides and a slice of cheese, the same size as the bread, also toasted on both sides and laid on the buttered bread. The same book had “Welsh Rabbit” made in the same way but with mustard rubbed on the cheese. “English Rabbit” on the other hand had a glass of red wine poured over the toast before the cheese was added. Take your pick!

 

 

 

I purchased some Artisan Cheddar Cheese Garlic bread, which I will use for the toast, and I also have added some meat to my menu! In honor of my Dad, because he loved his bacon so much, I got some bacon ends and pieces to fry up along with it! Now, it will be a table for two in front of the television tonight… Dad and I will enjoy the dinner and the show together. I know he would actually like the show because he was a huge fan of history!

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/outlander-both-sides-preview/

Previous Outlanderday cooking: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlanderday-cooking-wine-and-wedding-feasts/