Jason Connery 2009 film proves that Life does follow Art
Graham McTavish might not be everyone’s idea of a travelling companion. A grotesque dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, the grizzled fiery lead in Preacher, the only actor to play opposite to Sly Stallone in both Rambo and Rocky…..
Sidekick Sam Heughan presents a milder aspect as the two Outlander stalwarts hit the glens in their Clanlands travel book aided by a strong tailwind in the form of a forward by Outlander creator the American author Diana Gabaldon.
All a bit other worldly you might think as the footloose buddies emerge from behind the footlights to hit the traffic lights in road book on the Highlands.
If Outlander takes viewers through ethereal epochs of time travel, its two real life stars take readers on a feet-on-the-ground terra firma traverse of the highland highways and byways interspersed with the unreconstructed characters who populate them.
Graham McTavish in fact divides his time between Scotland and New Zealand traversing time zones instead of epochs.
He had a big role in a 2009 film called Pandemic in which he played Captain Riley whose mission was to “save the world.”
The film was directed by Jason Connery.
Just this year Britain’s Radio Times readers voted for Sam Heughan to take over the James Bond role from Daniel Craig.
Jason’s dad, Sean, was of course the first James Bond and who is generally considered the first celebrity superpatriot to take up the cause of Scots independence.
This leaves us with Graham McTavish who as he travels between Scotland and his New Zealand-based family and as he cools his heels in managed isolation in the process must be wishing that his film Pandemic had been taken rather more seriously.
Rotten Tomatoes did. It’s verdict on the 2009 film Pandemic was:-
“Moving this exciting thriller along at just the right pace, director Jason Connery builds considerable suspense concerning how it will end…..”
So in relishing their rollicking trail through the Highlands we can discern in the travelogue duologue a foggy whisp of ghostly and indeed deadly Outlander-grade supernatural forces.
Encouragingly for these rowdy latter day Monarchs of the Glen and their publishers, Hodder, is the fact that New Zealand boasts the largest consumption of printed books per head of population and is only rivalled by Norway.
The itinerant actors find themselves pathfinding a print/cinematographic blend in the form of Clanlands being a prequel to Men in Kilts which his described as a docuseries.
Meanwhile, in Scotland’s Highlands the past is the present and so the travellers’ japes and capers are interspersed with historical context.
The authors note that the lockdowns attendant on the current pandemic, the real one, had the effect of putting a sock into their reminiscing and forcing them into the serious business of actually getting their book written.
Time travel is one thing and nowadays true travel is something else involving as it does necessary quarantine hibernation, an interruption absent in the science fiction version.
Not too outlandish then to suggest that Graham McTavish for one will have the time on his hands to start work on Clandlands volume 2?
New Zealand is often described as the Scotland of the South Seas and it is a country that Graham McTavish has visited for the past 30 years.
Since in fact Alice Fraser, granddaughter of the nation’s defining prime minister Peter Fraser, arranged for him to stage his touring Van Gogh show there.