I recently marathoned Outlander the other week and it took over my life! Why did no one tell me to watch this show earlier? I have been looking for a show to add to my list of favourites that I will travel to the ends of the earth to watch and now I have found one. Yippee! Not to mention that I had completely been underestimating the talent that Scotland has to offer….. I mean, who would have thought a man in a kilt was attractive? Now I do.
It begins post World War II, where a front line combat nurse Claire Randall and her military intelligence husband have reunited after five years apart due to the war. They go to Scotland to reconnect and to help Frank Randall (the husband) investigate his family tree. Near their hotel there is an ancient stone henge which transports Claire to 1743 which is troubled by war between England and the Scottish Highlanders. She immediately finds herself at the mercy of both the English and Scottish and unable to explain how she got to be where she is. Everyone is suspicious of her and this puts her in terrible positions where she must make hard choices. One of these is to marry a Scottish outlaw whom she finds herself falling in love with, but torn at the thought of one day returning to her husband Frank.
I was hooked from the very beginning. The atmosphere, the Highlands of Scotland, the period drama! It has everything I love. The storyline is age old, we have seen travellers going back in time in many books and movies. However, what makes this different is the setting chosen- it is utter perfection. The 1700’s were known for their tensions between the Scottish and the British. Many skirmishes occurred, atrocities, the deaths of thousands of people and the end of the Gallic lifestyle as they knew it.
If you are a history buff, you will love this show. It is quite accurate and it is excellent how they show the differences between the post WWII era and the 1700’s. There are notable differences shown from the level of technology, advances in medicine, the clothing and the way people thought. I swoon over that alone.
However, then there are the Scottish men and particularly Jamie Fraser the Scottish outlaw and love interest of Claire played by Sam Heughan. He is drawn to the viewers’ attention straight away and there is a chemistry between the two characters. I found myself talking in a Scottish accent for a week after, everyone in my house was so sick of it. Especially my little brother, who had to sit there and listen as I used the accent to read his books to him before he went to bed. He hated it! I might add that my accent is VERY good though. I love doing accents, but I digress! The other thing about Jamie that causes all the girls to swoon is his manly but then gentle nature. He is not like the other men of his time, who are very crude and rough. He cares about and looks out for Claire in a very noble and gentleman like manner without expecting anything in return. Sam’s acting is great, not over played and he seems like a nice young man. Bravo.
I like the main character Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe), primarily because she is both feminine and strong. She is a classy gal who has a will of iron, a sharp wit and looks amazing in anything. I found her acting extremely good, especially in the wedding episode. My hands were sweating and my heart was beating so hard in my chest along with hers. However, I really don’t think she needs to be so naked all the time. I am feel very sure that the scene would have the same effect if her boobs weren’t in my face. However, that is the way television is going these days.
The clothing is spot on and I congratulate the costume department for their thorough reproduction of each era. The post WWII has a more modern look and the men’s outfits are great with the wide brimmed hats and long coats. The women are expressing their sensuality with clinging dresses and shorter hemlines. However, this is completely juxtaposed by the large amount of tartan in 1743 and the layers upon layers of clothes the women have to put on. Still I find their big dresses, long sleeves and tight bodices quite appealing! I envy them all for putting those costumes on because I love to dress up.
However, I do have a negative point to bring up. I feel like I missed out on the part where Jamie and Claire fell in love. I understood that Jamie had a little crush on her and I know Claire found him attractive, but all I felt was sad for her when she was forced to marry and sleep with him. I didn’t feel like she wanted to at all. Maybe it will come up stronger in the second half of the first season. I hope so, because right now I still envision her very much in love with Frank. I know this series is actually a collection of books by Diana Gabaldon. I haven’t read them as yet but I really want to and was going to buy them yesterday but I am broke. I noticed that I couldn’t help thinking as I watched the show that I wish I had the books so I could truly understand how Claire is feeling about all this.
Who else loves this show? I know the next season is out by I never know when it’s showing on TV and my internet is so slow I can’t watch it on my laptop. Needless to say I am dying! Let me know what you think about the show in the comments below.