I do not remember the last time that I wrote about a television program that was based on a book, I think it was a few years ago, and it makes sense due to the fact that I do not watch a lot of TV. Between school studies, work, church life, reading, and making time for friends and family I admit that I do not have the luxury of sitting in front of the telly for long periods of time. This was my theory and excuse until I saw that they were making one of my favorite books of all time into a mini-series on Starz; Outlander was coming to life! *Squeal* Of course, the one downside to my excitement was that I did not have cable or Starz to watch it on, so I had to wait a LONG 6 months for it to appear on Amazon Instant Play and ITunes to purchase and download the show. Let’s just say this… it was worth the wait, and it was worth the money.
Here is some back story on the novel before I dive into my review of the series thus far. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is a story of a woman, Claire Randal, who is on her second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband Frank, after spending 6 years apart from one another. The Second World War is over, Claire and Frank are taking this time to become familiar with each other after being separated by war; Frank worked in the Intelligence office and Claire was a nurse on the battle front. While out exploring, Claire comes into the center a stone circle that sends her back in time to 1743 Scotland. Claire, now an English woman stuck in the past, faces the challenges of a not only being a foreigner in time but also in different country. While trying to figure out her way home, Claire is confronted by with dangerous Scottish Highlanders and even more dangerous British Army officers who will do at nothing to discover who she really is. Her only hope is a Scottish solider and Highlander named Jamie Fraser who comes to her aid to not only help, but to protect her as well. Jamie ultimately gives her his name as well as his heart to always love, protect and be devoted to her, and she reciprocates those feelings of Jamie’s. Torn between a life and husband she once knew, and the life she now has with Jamie, Claire will have to choose a fate and a life that will bring her not only great happiness but also great heartache.
So that was by far the hardest description ever! I wanted to give some depth but I also didn’t want to give anything away. Either way, Outlander is one of my favorite books, EVER! Its right up there with my 4 other favorite books of all time; Fatherland, Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Outlander, and Crime & Punishment. I have read this book so many times that I can pinpoint my favorite parts in the book and which chapter they fall into. I am a tad obsessed. Not only is this book fantastically written, providing so much historical details and accuracy, with characters that are deep, complex, and true, and with such language that you cannot helped but be transformed by the story. This book does no wrong in my mind. I will happily read it again, and again. I had high expectations for the TV series based on my love for this novel, and I am sure others did too.
With that said, I loved it to pieces! I binge watched this show! I couldn’t stop, I always needed to be watching more and more. Not only is the show beautifully done, it is by far the best novel adaptation for telly I have ever seen. It does not mistake any of the fine details from the novels and does not skim over any major events, like some adaptations have done. The actors were brilliantly casted, and bring life to such beloved characters. I admit that I have had only had two fictional crushes in my life (I am a little picky), and Jamie Fraser is one of them. Mr. Darcy is the other but this is not about him; Sorry Darcy, make way for the man in the kilt. Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie in the series, has become the living epitome of the character he has played. Not only is he dreamy with his curly red hair, bright blue eyes and broad shoulders, but he looks like he was born to wear a kilt. Well, he is Scottish, so I guess he was born to wear one, and, my, does he wear it well. I am always fond of a man who looks good in a kilt *sigh*. Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire, does an exquisite job bringing depth and life to such a well-known and well-loved female character. She has embodied her so well, from her personality to even the little gestures of her curly hair down to a tee. These two have done an impeccable job by demonstrating the chemistry and difficulty the two characters have to overcome together.
The actors have done a brilliant job giving to life the elements and complexity of these characters, but the main star of the show is Scotland. A country based on tradition, history, and conflict, laced with rolling hills, lush green fields and pointed rock summits, it is hard not to fall in love with such a beautiful country. The show has done an excellent job of showing the beauty and exotic nature of Scotland in such a way that I cannot help but long to be there again. A longing to feel the Highland wind in my hair and smell the freshness of the earth, and it is deep within my soul that I feel this longing to be back there once more. . I long for Scotland like a woman longs for a past lover; knowing that I am not near him but feel his presence none the less. I am due to go on vacation to Italy in September, but I may just have to make a side trip to London and Scotland. I know it would be out-of-the-way, but what is “out of the way” for a place I once called my home and still do to this day. The United Kingdom has always held a special place in my heart and I hope someday, God willing, that I will get to go back for a very, very long time. My love for the United Kingdom has never seceded, and I look forward to the day I can step into that soil once more.
Now coming back from that brief tangent, the show is beautiful, clever, sharp, well written, sublime shooting, and it is just a glorious piece of work. It does the book justice, and remains true to books that are loved throughout the world. So if you haven’t seen or read Outlander, I am going to naturally assume you live under a rock or you are literally in the middle of nowhere. I would suggest reading the book first, then watching the show for yourself. Part 1 of Season 1 is now on Amazon Instant Video, or on ITunes, and Part 2 will be airing at the beginning of April. YESSSS!!! I cannot wait!!
Have you read the book? Have you been watching the show? Tell me what you think! Also, who else has a major crush on Same Heughan? I mean come on, he is a beautiful! He can speak to me in that Scottish Highlander brogue any time he wants, but I would prefer he wore a kilt, it just makes everything better.
I am in the middle of a few books so hopefully will have something up next week depending if I get some reading done this week!
Happy Reading Everyone!