This past week I got the opportunity to attend an early premiere screening of Showcase’s Outlander and it was outstanding! Whether or not you’ve read the Diana Gabaldon series that inspired the show (and if you haven’t, you’re going to want to immediately), you’re going to become obsessed with this brilliant historical television show. I’m going to list a number of reasons why I think this is going to be the show you can’t miss on Sunday nights, but first let me take this opportunity to thank Showcase/ Shaw Media for a spectacular night. Not only was there gin tastings and Scottish inspired food, but, well… I think this speaks for itself,
Without further ado, here are the 5 Reasons Why You’re Going to LOVE the Television Adaption of Outlander:
1. Claire is an independent woman
The show starts by introducing us to British Army nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank who are on their second honeymoon in Inverness, Scotland. Because this is a family friendly blog and I don’t feel comfortable discussing the sex scene I watched, I’ll just say that this woman is all about taking control. She knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it. While going plant-gathering near the hill of Craigh na Dun, she time travels back into the 18th century and meets a young man by name of Jamie MacTavish. After being taken to a cabin and determining that he’s dislocated his shoulder, she uses her 20th century medicine knowledge to help fix his shoulder. I only watched 45 minutes of the show to know that this woman is all about getting things done. Oh and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this quote from Diana Gabaldon,
I don’t like stupid women, so why would I write one? (source)
To the people that I was sitting beside (Michele, Christa, Liz and Laurie), I apologize once again for making weird noises while watching the sneak peek of Outlander. As I noted above, the scenes between Claire and Frank were pretty sexy, but you’d be a fool not to pick up on the immediate chemistry between Claire and Jamie on their first meeting. Long gazes, uncertain glances and an unspoken trust as she pops his shoulder back into place, this is a chemistry that I can’t wait to see play out on my television each week.
3. It’s being called the new ‘Game of Thrones’ and with good reason
If you’ve ever been to a Diana Gabaldon event, you know that this woman can create one hell of a crowd. Some would say, the same fan numbers of the equally talented Game of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin. Their dedicated fan base has taken both of these authors to new levels of their careers. Of course the two book series/shows have different plots, but the obvious comparison is that these are two fantasy authors that have vivid, wild and descriptive imaginations. There are some obvious contrasts between the two shows that are explored in this great Independent article,
Indeed it’s arguable that a large part of Outlander’s success derives from the way in which it subverts gender conventions. Where the TV version of Game of Thrones has been criticised for its objectification of women’s bodies, Outlander’s gaze is female and, at times, breathtakingly frank. Not only is Claire unapologetically upfront about her own desires, it is the male rather than the female bodies which are lingered over – a pleasant contrast to Game of Thrones’ sexposition and breast shots. Furthermore Jamie might be loyal, brave and often very funny, but this is Claire’s story. Indeed Jamie’s role in it is closer to that of the traditional heroine in that he’s a good-looking virgin who when not getting his war-wounds treated spends a fair amount of time getting rescued. (source)
You know something is a hit when it hasn’t even hit the air waves and it’s been renewed for a second season. In the US, Outlander released a bit earlier and clocked in an outstanding 5 million+ viewers on the night of the premiere. With numbers like that, it wasn’t hard to convince executive producers that this show isn’t going to be a one trick pony. That’s why on August 8th, it was announced that Outlander had been green lit for a second season. Thankfully, thanks to the eight book Outlander collection the television producers have lots and lots of guidance on where to take it next…
5. Diana Gabaldon has been very involved in the adaptation
Who would have thought that when she started writing Outlander, by mistake I might add, it would become a television phenomenon. It only makes sense that the television creators would bring Diana Gabaldon on as a consultant for the show. As Gabaldon shares in this article,
Ron [Moore] and his partner, Maril [executive producer Maril Davis], came out to my house and spent two days with me talking over characters and story lines and backstory and discussing their ideas for adaptation, which I thought was very, very smart of them, as well as very generous. (source)
And I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but Gabaldon is great on Twitter and Facebook. She’s been sharing lots of great behind the scenes shots and connecting with her fans, so be sure to connect with her ASAP.