I haven’t done a review about this ridiculously addicting TV show that aired in August 2014. I will admit that I had never read the books before I found out about the TV show, but after the first three episodes I went out and bought it and I am already reading the fourth book.
I was really bored one day because there were no good TV shows on, so I was perusing an online streaming site to see if there were any good shows on channels that I didn’t get and I found Outlander. I read the description and as soon as I saw that the main character, Claire Randall, goes back in time to the 16th century, I was sold. I am obsessed with books and TV shows that take place in the past, especially between the 16th-18th centuries. I watched the first episode and learned about the main character’s life and about her husband, Frank Randall, and how they went to Scotland. The first episode shows you a lot of scenes between Claire and Frank that I actually found a bit slow and boring. It’s not until near the end of the episode when Claire and Frank go to the hill of Craigh na Dun that things start to get really interesting. There’s a beautiful scene on that hill when they go there together that is burned in my memory. It’s also my favorite scene from the first episode. The cliffhanger at the end of the episode had me itching for me, so I immediately called up Telus and asked them to add Showcase to my subscriptions!
Episode two is where things really kick off and how we really feel for Claire as she struggles through each episode on trying to survive in a foreign land and century while trying desperately to figure out how she can even get back to Frank. There are numerous things about this show that I love 1) Caitriona Balfe is an amazing actress with the most expressive chin I have ever seen. 2) Sam Heughan is amazing as Jamie McTavish (a.k.a you’ll find out soon) 3) the scenery in Scotland is absolutely STUNNING and made me want to go even more than before! 4) the entire cast of Outlander is incredible.
The nice thing about Outlander is that, while it’s a time traveling drama, it also has some comic relief that is usually provided by two certain characters, and one of them is my favorite character (in the TV show, but not in the book). While there are some jarring differences between the TV and the book, the way they are executed leaves little room for us fans to complain since they did a damn fine job of compensating for it. Example: Claire’s physical description is nothing like Caitriona’s, but her superb acting makes up for it. Angus is completely different in the book than he is in the TV show, but he totally makes up for it and I have a soft spot for Angus in the show rather than the book.
All in all, this is a fantastic TV show! I am not one to cry during movies or TV shows (unless an animal dies), but Outlander had me in tears in season one more than once because of the connection that we form with Jamie and Claire through their acting. Both leads draw you in like you wouldn’t believe and before you know it, the episode is already over. I highly recommend watching the TV show AND reading the book because both are magical.
The thing about the book is that author Diana Gabaldon openly admitted that she wrote the book without expecting anyone to read it. This explains why some scenes in the book are questionable and were omitted from the TV show (and for good reason). I was quite surprised, however, that these particular scenes weren’t edited out on advice from her editor. As an editor myself, I would have advised to get rid of those scenes, but that’s just my opinion and it doesn’t really detract from the book’s originality or plot.
My favorite thing to do once I got my hands on the book was to read what I already watched and then read a little more in advance, then compare what happened. I loved spotting all the differences in the TV show and I was really surprised that I actually liked the changes that they made. If I talked about the changes that the directors of the Harry Potter films made, I find there are things that I hated and was actually angry about them omitting! That’s beside the point, however. I actually thoroughly enjoy the changes that the director made in the TV show and I hope you do too!
Happy reading and watching! Here’s the opening song “Skye Boat Song:”