Tomorrow is the premiere of Outlander on Starz. Created for Starz by Ronald D. Moore (Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica) and based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander takes place in 1945 AND 1743. It’s the story of Claire a former WWII combat nurse who is transported back in time to 18th century Scotland –FUN! In order to properly prepare for recapping Outlander I read the first book in the series and LOVED it (I’m currently on book 2 of the 9 book series). Here are the five reasons why you TOO should watch (and read) Outlander.
Claire as feminist hero
Yesterday Flavorwire wrote a pretty good piece on how Outlander is feminism’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey and I would definitely have to agree. Claire, who is in her late 20’s, has spent most of her adult life married but for most of that marriage she was separated from her husband due to war. Instead of spending the war on the home-front Claire served as a combat nurse. Once in the 18th century her assertiveness puts her at odds with the rampant misogyny of the times but she uses her training in medicine to her advantage and as protection.
It often flips stereotypical gender roles
This one is hard to talk about without giving too much of the plot away (though almost every write-up I’ve read gives a large chunk of plot away) but I will say that though Claire is occasionally in danger of assault in the 18th century she is more often than not the rescuer NOT the rescued. She is also much more sexually experienced (and aggressive) than her 18th century love interest.
It’s filmed like a travel ad to go to Scotland (okay, this could be bad for your wallet)
The cinematography is insanely gorgeous and makes you want to immediately visit Scotland. The cinematography is used to great effect on showing the Highlands as mystical and foreboding. The show takes it slow and spends quite a lot of time world-building so that when Claire is first in the 18th century both she and the audience are confused as to the chaos that ensues.
Hot dudes in kilts, Scottish accents, and/or beards
Claire is torn between her husband Frank in 1945 played by Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones and the NEW Maggie Gyllenhaal show for IFC The Honourable Woman) and in 1743 the dashing Jamie Fraser played by Sam Heughan (you may remember him as a Duke in A Princess for Christmas or because he is Tumblr’s new boyfriend).
The book has a lot of steamy scenes in fact I described it as a sci-fi, historical drama with time-travel and SMUT to Melissa. Yet the smut is classy –I really like to say the word smut. The show also does a good job of keeping everything classy but also smutty like a pay cable show should (Game of Thrones could learn a thing or two from Outlander).
Our recap of episode 1, Sassenach will be up on Tuesday!