Great Scott! Starz’s highly anticipated adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s series, Outlander, already made headlines when it was viewed nearly 1 million times before its official premiere. The cable network released the pilot early online and On-Demand and clearly fans were excited to get their hands (or rather eyes) on it, a good indication that the Outlander will continue to make headlines as viewers have the opportunity to watch the series unfold.
Outlander follows British combat nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) just after World War II has ended as she tries to return to her regular life with husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). While on a second honeymoon in Scotland, Claire touches a stone circle and is transported back in time to the Scottish Highlands in 1743, a prominent time in the people’s battle with the British. There she meets a group of Highlanders, including Jamie (Sam Heughan), a new love interest for Claire, and Black Jack Randall (also played by Menzies), a sadistic captain in the English Army.
This history, fantasy and romance series is sure to be another cult hit, and here are five reasons you need to need to start watching now.
A strong female lead is refreshing and needed
Ever more, the entertainment world is noticing the presence of – or more often lack of – strong female leads in popular series (e.g. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and even Leslie Knope in NBC’s Parks and Recreation). So it’s no surprise, Outlander is mostly making headlines for this reason. Claire is a sophisticated and resourceful woman who finds herself in traditionally misogynistic times, the 1940s and the 1740s, yet doesn’t allow herself to be subverted by the men in charge. In the 1940s, she seems like an equal to her husband, especially as one sexual scene is focused solely on her pleasure, which frankly doesn’t happen often on these cable shows, and in the 1740s, she yells orders to the Highlanders when Jamie is in need of medical attention. She’s a great force to be reckoned with and one that will hopefully pave the way for even more female-centric multi-genre shows like Outlander.
The cinematography is stunning
It’s impossible not to notice how impeccable every frame of film is while watching the series. I’m no camera expert in any way, but when I, a simple TV fanatic, can notice the amazing skill behind the camera, it’s noteworthy. It’s worth a watch just to be amazed by the beautiful Scottish scenery and the way the directors capture it.
Unanswered questions leave you wanting more
The plot is truly creative and intriguing and just makes for good television. What’s happening with Frank and how is he handling the sudden disappearance of his wife? What is going to happen when Claire meets up with Black Jack, who alarmingly looks like her husband? And, most importantly, when will Heughan take off that kilt and get down to his skivvies? It’s enough to make you want to immediately gobble up those eight books.
It’s more than a romance; it’s history and mystery as well
The love triangle between Claire and her new love Jamie versus her love for her husband Frank is very prominent in the storyline, but it is not the only thing that defines the series. The mystery of how that stone circle made Claire do a not-so-musical time warp is just as pressing on the viewer’s mind as Jamie and Claire get more friendly. At the same time, the Jacobite risings are at the forefront of the action.
Garner a passion for Gabaldon’s series
What I love most about adaptations is the possibility they create to be enveloped into a whole universe. If viewers aren’t already reading Gabaldon’s books when they start watching the show, they will now be more likely to read it because of their interest in the television serires. Then they get an expanded story and a more in-depth look at the characters they’ve come to love, meaning you not only have 16 episodes of Outlander, but eight books as well. Dive in!
Outlander airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. EST on Starz.