‘Outlander’ TV show review
By Brittney MacDonald, Senior Columnist
History and romance collide in the premiere of the much-anticipated mini-series Outlander, based on the beloved books by Diana Gabaldon. As a long-time fan of the Outlander literary series, I was both excited and nervous for the debut. However, the premiere’s adherence to the novel and amazing cinematography shows that the program is shaping up to be just as successful as Gabaldon’s bestselling novels.
Claire Randall (Irish actress Caitriona Balfe) is on her second honeymoon with her husband in 1945, recuperating after five years at war as a combat nurse, when she is suddenly transported to 18th-century Scotland through a circle of druidic standing stones. Assaulted by the English and a man with an eerie resemblance to her husband, she finds herself rescued and then held prisoner by a group of Scottish highlanders, including an injured Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). The episode ends with Claire being taken to Castle Leoch—headquarters of the powerful Clan MacKenzie—hoping to get back to the circle of stones and return home in one piece.
Naturally, with the translation of literary work to television, some changes had to be made to the narrative. There are flashbacks of Claire during the war to show her profession, which were not present in the novel until much later. However, these changes are key to later plot developments, and it is actually a very clever way of visually communicating information that is relegated to internal monologue in the book.
I found the pilot episode very well-done, and will continue to watch as the series progresses.