Ye cannae miss thes shaw! I was none other than Jon Snow starting this series, I knew nothing apart from seeing a pretty woman and an equally as pretty man from the promotional poster, and it was the lack of spoilers that was just one of the reasons why I was swept up into it so quickly. Outlander: An immersive historical fantasy with just the right dashing of romance, loveable and loathable characters, and all set in the glorious beauty of the Scottish Highlands that I’ve longed to visit…STARZ won me over once again and I’m pretty certain that all you other lads and lasses out there will join me in saying so if you haven’t already. I also wish to thank cosmopolitewannabe for being the one to recommend this one to me!
Outlander has not yet finished its first season but it has already made such an impact that a growing fan base is strongly supporting it and is becoming well established among other series. I couldn’t even wait till the season was over to write this review. Based off a popular series of books written by Diana Gabaldon first published in 1991, this show had the perfect foundations on which to create damn good television and that it did. It has already nabbed four award wins including: A Critics’ Choice TV Award for Most Exciting New Series and a People’s Choice Award for Favourite Cable Sci Fi/ Fantasy TV Show.
You begin your journey by being immediately thrust into the life of Claire Elizabeth Randall as played by Caitriona Balfe: a feisty, flirtatious and more often than not foul mouthed veteran nurse of World War II, who is looking to rekindle her marriage with her husband Frank as played by Tobias Menzies on a second honeymoon to Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. It becomes all too clear rather quickly with ominous tea leave readings, ghostly apparitions and a mystical feel to the air that all is not what it seems, and the landscape and history which Frank took the time to guide us through comes into full fruition when Claire falls through time after touching an ancient stone on Craigh na Dun. 1945 suddenly becomes 1743 and an English woman from two hundred years in the future appearing in a rebellious and traditional Scotland sees to it that you whistle through the episodes as one would on the bagpipes.
Now would be the time to mention the equally as pretty man in that promotional picture. Jamie Fraser or McTavish as he is first introduced as played by Sam Heughan, is every bit of the rugged yet charming Highlander who is by no means exempt from Claire’s wit or insult. Suffering from a wound Claire naturally tends to it with haste much to the surprise of the Scotsmen that rescued her from none other than Frank Randall’s ancestor (psst who is played by the same actor) and wins over a fraction of their trust. However, a sassenach (Outlander/Not of Scotland) is not exactly fully welcome and it is Claire’s survival in another time and what soon becomes apparent to feel like another world that triggers my binge lust to wanting more and more. It has become increasingly unknown to me whether it is my bias love for Scotland and its culture that is propelling me to fall in love with the series or whether it is indeed a show that deserves such recognition…I’ll let you be the judge of that okay?
Fun Fact: The Gruff Dougal McKenzie as Played by Graham McTavish also Featured as Dwalin, one of the Dwarven Company to set out with Bilbo in the Hobbit Trilogy.
What I found to be the most enthralling aspect of the show was in fact the relationships between the characters whether they be; romantic, platonic or antagonistic. The brewing mixture of the complex portrayed in Jamie and Claire’s coinciding sexually passionate relations and battling values alongside the simple, which we can be found in the protective loyalty surrounding Claire via her new found Scottish clan that grounds its realism. I for one find pleasure in seeing these relationships thrive and tested, and Outlander provides an engaging, twisting plot with which to do so.
If I haven’t yet convinced you to try this wee show a go, then let me also add that the Scottish traditions and culture that this series is steeped in is a treat for anyone interested in history of that period. A true portrayal of Scottish Gaelic is a welcomed surprise and the Celtic music never fails to awe me; Bear McCreary also provides another stellar theme song by the way!
You can watch Outlander on STARZ or Amazon Prime and currently is available only on DVD to the US.
What are your thoughts guys? Have you ever been to Scotland? Does this show make you want to? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know what you think in the comments! Also check out my twitter @bingebox for my live tweeting of my binges and for overall television goodness. Thanks!