As a huge fan of historical fiction, I take my pleasure in a variety of formats, whether they be print books, eBooks, movies, or TV Series. Among my current TV favorites in the blood-letting category would have to be Game of Thrones from HBO, Black Sails from Starz, and The Vikings from History Channel. And in the Masterpiece genteel group from PBS: Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, and Downton Abbey. As much as I enjoy watching all of these, none has captured my imagination from the very first episode like that of Outlander on Starz, a Ronald D. Moore creation adapted from the bestselling series by Diana Gabaldon.
Outlander offers something for just about everyone, that is, certain adults (you know who you are)—from time travel, post-WWII civility, and intrigue to adventure, violence, deception, and romance.
While on a 1945 second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, British combat nurse Claire tries to rekindle her war-torn marriage with former British officer Frank Randall, an about-to-be history professor with ancestral ties going back to the 18th century religious conflict between Scotland and England. Through a strange phenomenon, the lovely Claire finds herself transported back to 1743 where she has a nasty encounter with Scottish warrior Jamie Frasier, a ginger-haired hunk with a price on his head. Jamie has been unfairly targeted by the British, in particular, the despicable Captain Jack Randall, ancestor to Claire’s 20th century husband Frank who is trying to figure out what happened to his beloved Claire.
With her 20th century nursing experience Claire takes on the role of an 18th century healer, risky for an independent woman stuck in the wrong century, one filled with fear, superstition, and ignorance of what has yet to be discovered. She can’t get back to her old life with Frank and her new life is in constant danger because Captain Jack Randall hates Claire as much as he hates Jamie Frasier. Jamie, on the other hand, has come to Claire’s rescue on more than one occasion and in order for them to survive, they have to tie the knot—officially, in church with a reception afterwards. A first for Jamie; a second for Claire who’s passing herself off as a widow. Which seems only fair since a marriage that won’t occur for almost two hundred years in the future should hardly count in the past.
So, what’s a girl from either century to do? Claire’s new marriage with Jamie is so undeniably romantic and passionate and provocative, she’s forgotten about Frank who hasn’t forgotten about her. Nor should I forget to mention Outlander’s marvelous main characters: Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, Sam Heughan as Jamie, and Tobias Menses in the dual roles of Frank Randall and Captain Jack Randall. Plus a cast of supporting actors who make me feel as if I’m eating with their characters in those cold stone castles or galloping alongside them through the lush, green countryside. Did I mention the Scottish scenery? I’ve been to England but not Scotland so I really do need to see those Highlands for myself.
How about you? Ever been to Scotland? Or watched Outlander. If you watch a single episode, trust me, you won’t stop until you’ve seen them all.