I got an early look at Starz new series - Outlander on demand the other night. It's due to premier tonight on Starz. If you don't have access to the cable channel, try this link:
At the very least you should get a preview of the first episode.
Diana Gabaldon wrote the bestselling Outlander several years ago, followed with a number of successful sequels. It was a revelation to romance readers at the time. A wonderful story of time travel, it spanned backward from World War II to the year 1743 in which the Highland clans were in constant battle with the English.
The first episode is true to the novel. As a Charlaine Harris fan AND a big fan of HBO's True Blood, I am constantly disappointed and then glad in some cases that they deviate so far from the books.
It's nice to see a great book portrayed on television as it was written, at least in the first episode. I'll reserve my judgment until after the season is over...HBO has done this to me, turned me into a cynic -both with True Blood and now with The Leftovers. I may never trust a cable network again.
No, I'm not making a big deal out of nothing...this is just the sort of tactic to make an author cringe. Imagine what they could do with my sweet little Regency - turn it into Seventy-Five shades of Treachery - starring a blond bimbo with a Brooklyn accent and Joe Manganiello (oh...that last one is a good idea...)
Back to Outlander - I thoroughly enjoyed the premier episode. The cast is perfect. Caitriona Balfe plays Claire Randall, the married combat nurse who stumbles back through time while on a second honeymoon with her husband in the highlands of Scotland. She is well-cast as Claire.
Running afoul of an enraged English colonel bent on rape, who happens to be her husband's famous ancestor, she is found by Jamie Fraser, a highlander riding with a raiding party from his clan, played by the devastatingly handsome Sam Heughan. He is a perfect Jamie. I predict a big future for him as women in the audience discover him. He could be Outlander's Eric Northman..(you Trubies out there know what I'm talking about.) Come to think of it, he shares a certain facial bone structure with Alexander Skarsgard.
Thus, Claire's adventure begins. She ingratiates herself to the clan by tending Jamie's dislocated shoulder and his other wounds. More and more she and Jamie are attracted to each other, while back in the future her husband begins his search for her.
Shot in Scotland, the scenery is gorgeous. The music which was uncredited is the traditional combination of pipes, drums, and strings. It adds authenticity to an already well researched production. The look of the show from the costumes to the sets to the props and weapons is accurate and impressive. That is also something from the book. Ms. Gabaldon excels at research, filling her work with historic accuracy.
If you like a good historical romance that does not run smooth, this one's for you.
Besides, they had one of my very favorite scenes from the book. Claire is up in their room in 1940's Scotland, wearing a nightgown and robe and brushing her hair. Her husband walks back to the small hotel and sees a man wearing full highlander regalia standing under the streetlight in rapt attention at the vision of Claire through the upstairs window. Her husband approaches the man intent on warning him away from Claire when the man suddenly disappears...like the ghost he is...
Seriously, check this one out. You won't be disappointed...You won't understand the Gaelic dialogue, but hey, you don't really have to...
Until next time.