It’s Day 3 for Outlander Week! Did you miss Monday or Tuesday’s posts? Follow the link below! Also, see what’s in store for the rest of the week!
Today I’m talking about the new Outlander TV show! I had been hearing about this show for quite some time and was initially super excited, but then it kind of went to the back burner of my brain until the past week or so when I realized it was finally here.
Cue the excitement!
At first, I didn’t pay too much attention to any of the characters chosen for the show, except for one.
I mean, come on! He’s the swoon-worthy male of the book, so I knew they had to cast him right! I was a little disappointed looking at Sam Heughan, though, because he didn’t seem that tall, nor did he have the flaming red hair that I figured Jamie would have. I recall reading a recent quote by Diana Gabaldon on Jamie:
“Naturally, everyone forms mental images while reading. Everybody. I do it when I read other people’s books, too. Now, I can’t imagine why anyone—having read OUTLANDER—would form an image of Jamie as a 7-foot tall Bozo the clown on steroids, but you know….whatever floats your boat.
Red hair—as I notice a few red-heads have been mentioning—looks Way Different, depending on the light. Unless it’s truly carroty (and Jamie’s is Definitely Not), sometimes it looks almost brown, sometimes it’s red-gold and sometimes it’s all different colors and sometimes it has almost-blond highlights and sometimes…well, let’s put it this way: it doesn’t look like Bozo the clown or Shamus the Wrestler, it looks like Real Hair, just red. (And if you really worry about this, do go and google “red deer images” and _see_ what the heck a red deer’s pelt looks like.)” (Source)
OK, maybe his hair is okay. I guess I never considered our leading male to look like Carrot Top or anything!
I really didn’t think about how the show would translate to television. Really, Diana Gabaldon gave the makers LOTS to work with, since the book is a good 850 pages long and has plenty of description in it.
First of all, the casting! Watching the show turned me right into a Sam Heughan fan and I loved the chemistry between him and Claire. It was great that neither of them were well known actors — I really think that would’ve ruined the show. They both look gorgeous together! I also love the band of characters in Jamie’s party — while I have a hard time understanding them, they really have the disarray look I had pictured in my head. Frank is also perfectly cast and it’s fun seeing the actor play both him and Jack Randall.
I was pleasantly surprised at the first episode at how the time was took to really flesh out the long intro of the book, with the relationship between Frank and Claire after their separation during the war. Looking back on quotes from their dialogue, it’s funny how it’s almost tamed down (at one point Frank teased Claire by calling her a “little wench”) but still super sexy. I knew that Claire would be ultimately going through the stones, so I was never a huge Frank fan, but I liked how they made us like him in the beginning. I was excited for his searched to find his relatives, at how enthralled he was by his ancestory Black Jack Randall. And we can also see that he really does love Claire — it made it almost heartbreaking to think of how he might of felt after she disappeared.
Then there are the wonderful supernatural elements to the show. I have the worst book memory but I do remember the ghost of a highlander looking up at Claire’s window. I can’t remember how it all panned out in the book, but I absolutely loved the shiver I got down my spine seeing Frank encounter this “ghost.” I haven’t read further in the series (still trudging through book 4) so I’m always wondering if this really is just a ghost, or if it’s another time traveling part of the series. Is this possibly Jamie? Will we come to this part later in the books? Seeing him disappear into thin air was awesome and creepy at the same time!
Not only that, but seeing Claire get her tea leaves read was pretty creepy, too, and only furthered my resolve to never get that done myself. Yeah, yeah, I know that they can sometimes just go off of your reactions, but I think that there’s a lot that can be said about you based on the lines of your hand, or maybe there really are people out there who can actually see what might happen in your future. Hearing about Claire’s made me wonder how her character would’ve felt hearing such a story. To hear that the lines in your hand really don’t follow the normal pattern … what does that say about you?
Anyway, eventually, Claire and Frank watch the dancing (which still seems kind of goofy to me on TV, but Claire also said that maybe they were ridiculous). It’s equally ridiculous and enthralling and it was nice to see how easy Claire and Frank took it afterwards. I almost expected Claire to hear the stones then and there, but knew that she had to come back alone before anything could happen.
And then it did happen! LOVED THIS PART. I can’t say that I really mapped out what to expect when Claire went through the stones. Would it be like opening a door and walking through? Would she be falling through as Alice did through the rabbit hole? I think the way it was done, with the stones almost screaming and then utter silence, was perfect. I also loved how the colours seemed muted in Claire’s present day, but turned so vibrant when she ended up in the past. Almost like a comparison between today’s world being so noisy and the uninterrupted beauty of the world just being built.
While I managed to watch the first episode no less than three times in two days, I will admit that the part that happens after Claire goes through the stones was one that I watched over and over. If I had to sit down and make a grocery list, I’d put it on. Feeing the baby? Put it on. Tidying the living room? Put it on. The whole relationship between Jamie and Claire, as rocky as it starts, is my favourite part of this book and I felt like it translated so well to screen. I also love that Claire wasn’t so at home, but still terrified of what was happening. She knew that it wasn’t just a reenactment, but that somehow she managed to go back in time. I can’t say I would be as brave as she was.
On top of everything that’s going on, she also meets Frank. Or, Jack Randall — the spitting image of Frank. He seemed just as slimy to meet on screen as he did in the book!
I will admit that hearing some of the Scottish speaking threw me for a loop. I had to go through a character listing by picture to see who exactly was who (I had no idea, for instance, that the tall guy in Jamie’s party was Dougal — like I said, bad book memory.), but once I had that down I had a lot of fun with this episode. It’s still so amazing to see this all translated to television and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to see how it all pans out! Yeah, I’ve read the book and know what happens, but it’s just so exciting to see something that I watch in my head on the TV. I’m already very excited for the DVDs to be released so I can watch all the special features, and I already hope that the show is picked up through the end of the books. It’s just all so good!
I’m sure I could say so much more, but then I’d probably write a novel the length of Outlander! If you’re wondering my thoughts on anything else in the episode, just ask me in the comments!
Have you watched the TV show? What did you think?