TV Review: ‘Outlander’ Two-View: A Bonny Bore or Scotch Delight?

Two opposing views on Starz's ambitious literary adaptation, along with the video discussion above

A BONNY BORE — Brian Lowry

For those who turned “Outlander” into an international bestseller, seeing the characters brought to life, with Scotland as the bonny backdrop, will doubtless be something of a kick. For everyone else, the resulting series is a bit of a snooze — handsome, yes, but about as dramatically compelling as the cover of a Harlequin Romance, and too flaccid to make hearts go pitter-pat. More practically, Starz courts a different demographic with this show, which with a few trims could easily have wound up on Lifetime. And based on its not-ready-for-premium attributes, that’s probably the time and place where “Outlander” most belongs.

“People disappear all the time,” says Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a British army nurse introduced at the end of World War II delivering a novel-esque voiceover that runs throughout. Weary of bloodshed, she seeks to reconnect with her husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies), as the two embark on a scholarly trip through Scotland, periodically interrupted by gauzily shot sex.

Developed by “Battlestar Galactica’s” Ronald D. Moore from Diana Gabaldon’s book, the premiere certainly takes its time before getting to the main event — namely, Claire being inexplicably whisked back in time, where she finds herself under the protection of the brutish MacKenzie clan. (It’s not till the second episode that we learn the date is 1743.)

Claire’s keepers include the imperious war chief Dougal (Graham McTavish), who’s only one of the bearded ruffians who (in a later episode) think about raping her; and Jamie (Sam Heughan), a clean-cut Adonis who endeavors to protect Claire’s honor when he isn’t exchanging meaningful glances with her. Menzies also lingers in a dual role as Frank’s ancestor, a sadistic British officer.

There’s something to be said for a show taking its time, especially when freed of the opening-night rating pressures associated with broadcast.

Still, “Outlander” meanders along so slowly that it needs to immerse viewers in its atmosphere and rhythms — something that might appeal to ardent fans of the book, but which seems destined to try the patience of those less invested in the story.

Claire is certainly a plucky and resourceful heroine — and Balfe looks smashing in the vintage garb — but the show doesn’t have much fun with her anachronistic knowledge, which includes medical skill that makes her a formidable healer, and her sobering realization that the Scots face a grim fate at the hands of the British army.

The principals are perfectly fine, but there’s only so much unconsummated smoldering one can take. And while the period touches have been assembled with care (and filmed in Scotland), long speeches in un-translated Gaelic have a way of yielding diminishing returns.

Starz and the producers are doubtless banking on the title’s established name and built-in following to justify their faith, along with the demonstrated appeal of costume dramas (everyone wants their own “Game of Thrones”) and century-spanning romance. There’s also the show’s international allure and the way the subject matter evokes past projects about Scottish resistance.

Strictly in creative terms, though, faced with the prospect of sitting through the whole run after sampling the first half-dozen episodes, well, that’s going to require a braver heart, or at least one more forgiving, than mine.

(Note: This post has been updated.)

WATCH the first “Outlander” episode here via Starz’s free promotion

SEE ALSO: Starz’s ‘Outlander’ Woos Women with Strong Female Protagonist

SCOTCH DELIGHT — Laura Prudom

There are no guarantees in television, but for networks and studios looking to make noise in an increasingly crowded landscape, literary adaptations with in-built fanbases are currently the safest bet in town. (Even if they’re terrible, like CBS’ overwrought “Under the Dome.”)

Thankfully, Starz’s “Outlander” is far from terrible — it’s a measured, atmospheric, surprisingly faithful recreation of Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling 1991 novel of the same name. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” may have kicked off the high-concept adaptation trend back in 2011, but Gabaldon’s book series predates the publication of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” opener by five years, and aside from ambitious scope and historical settings, the two shows have little in common — beyond the fact that Tobias Menzies appears in both.

“Battlestar Galactica” mastermind Ron Moore is at the helm of this lavish production (set and shot amid the rolling valleys and frigid peaks of the Scottish Highlands) and much like that sci-fi epic, there’s a sense of meticulous care that permeates the series, which sees Claire Randall, a British army nurse from the 1940s, mysteriously swept back in time to 18th century Scotland, where she becomes embroiled in all manner of political and romantic conflicts.

Aside from a flashback to Claire’s time in a World War II field hospital — conceived by Moore to give viewers a sense of the character’s resourcefulness and tenacity without the need for exposition — the series premiere condenses the first 70 pages of the novel with little deviation, and the episode progresses at a resolutely slow burn, taking the time to establish characters, dynamics and historical context instead of blindly charging towards the next set piece. While the breathing room may make some viewers antsy, the series rewards patience, ratcheting up the simmering tensions between allies and enemies until conflict erupts in unexpected and often brutal ways as episodes progress.

At its core, “Outlander” is a love story, and the series is strongest when exploring the complexities of human relationships, from the tentative steps Claire takes to reconnect with husband Frank after their separation during the war, to the chaste but burgeoning chemistry between our heroine and her Scottish companion in the 1700s, Jamie Fraser. Throw in the added complication of Frank’s ancestor, a ruthless British army captain who goes by the name “Black Jack” Randall and shares a twisted history with Jamie, and you have a set-up that’s ripe for turmoil.

Where “Outlander” most notably differentiates itself from the majority of genre cable fare is through its strong female protagonist, something that should help Starz appeal to a largely untapped demographic. While the cabler’s recent hits like “Spartacus,” “Da Vinci’s Demons” and “Black Sails” all feature compelling female voices, those stories were undeniably driven by male perspectives and appetites. Building on the success of “The White Queen” (although “Outlander” was in development before Starz aired the historical BBC drama), “Outlander” is undoubtedly Claire’s story, with the luminous Balfe anchoring practically every scene, her steely gaze and quick wit positioning her as an ideal entry point to the foreign and barbaric land she finds herself trapped in. Perhaps even more refreshing is the show’s willingness to portray female gratification and embrace its protagonist as an empowered sexual being in a way that’s sadly still rare to see on television, where many members of the fairer sex are portrayed as the Madonna or the Whore with no room to explore the spectrum of desires in between.

Rape is a constant threat as a consequence of the time, yet Claire is never presented as a helpless victim, nor are female bodies in the series used purely for titillation. The sex is steamy, but equal opportunity (if anything, the camera is far more apt to linger on Heughan, a magnetic force of nature who grows more compelling as more of Jamie’s backstory is revealed). Women are still treated as chattel and chess pieces by the men of the period, but by giving its female characters voices, intellect and agency (a novel concept!), “Outlander” illustrates that female protagonists don’t need to be brutalized in order to give them strength, nor to emphasize the stakes of the world they inhabit.

Starz made the first six episodes of the series available to critics prior to premiere, and while every installment has its charms, the sixth hour provides some of the most riveting, visceral scenes ever to grace the small screen, proving that “Outlander” has a clear sense of identity and a willingness to push boundaries in a way that’s certain to leave a mark. Whether the show will succeed or fail is impossible to predict, but “Outlander” has already set itself apart with a story as unique and confident as the woman at its center.

SEE ALSO: ‘Outlander’ EP Ron Moore on Adapting the Bestseller for Starz, Dispelling ‘Game of Thrones’ Comparisons

 

TV Review: 'Outlander' Two-View: A Bonny Bore or Scotch Delight?

(Series; Starz, Sat. Aug. 9, 9 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Scotland by Tall Ship Prods., Story Mining & Supply Co. and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Crew

Executive producers, Ronald D. Moore, Jim Kohlberg, Andy Harries; co-executive producers, Maril Davis, Ira Steven Behr, Toni Graphia, Anne Kenney, Paulo De Oliveira; producers, Matthew B. Roberts, David Brown; director, John Dahl; writer, Moore; based on the books by Diana Gabaldon; camera, David Higgs; production designer, Jon Gary Steele; editor, Michael O’Halloran; music, Bear McCreary; casting, Suzanne M. Smith. 65 MIN.

Cast

Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, Gary Lewis, Lotte Verbeek, Duncan Lacroix, Stephen Walters, Grant O’Rourke, Laura Donnelly, Nell Hudson, Annette Badland, James Fleet

 

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  1. Jan Leach says:

    OK – complaint time! Why is Roger driving a black Ford Consul? According to the books it SHOULD be a Morris Minor, and I’m sure it later says it was orange (in which case it would either be a respray or a Morris Mini Minor (later just a Mini). The latter is what a friend of mine (a professor at Cambridge in 1968) was driving round in, except his was blue. I was also somewhat
    surprised to see Gillian with a 1968 model Citroen DS 21! I won’t gripe about Roger’s beard – which I thought didn’t appear until his arrival in America – but I might about the fact he should have bright green eyes and Brianna’s should be blue, not hazel! Neither her nor Jamie’s hair is red enough though, their flaming redheads – far more startling than the auburn shown or even ginger (commonplace here!).

    Hopefully there’ll be a third series …..

  2. Jan Leach says:

    Now watching the second series. There seems far less to moan about now as far as the anachronisms go but it strays too far from the book at times for me to enjoy it thoroughly. Still, I’m glad they’ve got one thing right this time, calling it “Thorn Apple” and not “Jimson Weed”, even though it would have been hard to come by in northern Scotland because it didn’t grow there, not even in apothecary gardens!

    The two lead characters seem far flatter this series, no sparks at all! And as for Black Jack striking his brother’s corpse rather forcefully – please, he’s an officer – no matter HOW black his character, he was supposed to love his brother – he would NOT have done that! Struck the wall, quite possibly, but not his dead brother.

  3. Jb says:

    Love the books, love the series first season. They are newlyweds. No affection in bedroom or no bedroom action at all in season 2…. What are I writers doing, are they asexual?

  4. David gibbs says:

    Scotch is a drink,not a country or a people.The correct word is Scots.

  5. Tomas says:

    Have Dougle M travel to the future

  6. Morgan MacBain says:

    I am disappointed, after watching the first 3 episodes I nearby fell asleep. As a highlander I was expecting so more like Game of Thrones. Gary is a good actor though.

  7. Elise L. G. says:

    Boring! I read the books, and thought they would make a great movie or series, but it doesn’t translate. So disappointed. The actress playing Claire and the actor playing Jamie, have zero on-screen chemistry, and the actors playing the McKenzie brothers are bad actors, coming across as flat. There’s nothing compelling here to watch.

  8. Why is this show on all the time? It’s a boarding and I feel like I’m being ripped off paying for starz.

  9. Leslie says:

    I loved the books and read them multiple times, but really thought this was slow moving. I was hoping the pace would pick up in the second episode, but no such luck. My husband, who has not read the books, said that he didn’t think he would be able to continue watching if it didn’t move faster.

  10. metamorphosein says:

    Of course its a televised romance novel and whats wrong with that,hipster scum?
    I just want to know what Brit sports car is that?
    Its a male fantasy to take women out in one of those till you start hearing about the lack of heat, no ac,no music system, stuff hitting her face and out there in the middle of nowhere she has to pee.
    Women seem to like getting picked up by a guy on a horse but how long real world will that las? I wouldnt want that extra weight on my best horse for too long.

  11. JerseyFresh says:

    B. Lowry said: “…there’s only so much unconsummated smoldering one can take.” It’s funny, but I love unconsummated smoldering. I could watch it for hours.

    I don’t think you’re really the “target audience” here, Mr. Lowry. I’m not sure why would be asked to give your opinion on something that wasn’t meant for you in the first place.

  12. Shawn Marie says:

    I watched the show with my husband. I made it clear no commentary from the peanut gallery and that he could give opinions after the show otherwise he would be banished to the other room. (I wanted him to give the show a fair chance) After watching the full episode I was very happy with the interpretation of Diana Gabaldon’s book Outlander. My husband’s take on the first episode of the show,”beautiful scenery, good story, and anything involving broadswords and flintlock pistols I’m on board!”. We are both looking forward to next Saturday and the rest of the series!!!

  13. Lisa says:

    First of all Brian Lowry’s review was completely ignorant. Besides the beautiful costumes and scenery, Outlander is completely different than Game of Thrones. Thank God. Mr. Lowry can not see past all male, all the time! While I think the first episode is fantastic for those that have not read the books, there are some elements that have been changed that are vital to the story, as only readers would know. Poor Kristy, I feel your pain. You are spot on with a few things. Young Roger(missing), Claire’s knee to the chest while bandaging Jamie (I won’t tell why, as it is a spoiler), and the table sex in the castle (this was supposed to be a first with Jamie…only Jamie!). These three major changes are the only things that really bother me.

    Overall in regards to the TV show, I think Starz has a winner on it’s hands. I have purchased the Starz upgrade just to see Outlander, which is the ultimate goal of any production. Kudos! However, please please please…Ron Moore, keep “vital” scenes in, and your creative writing to lesser components of the story line. After all, Diana Gaboldon has already written it for you.

    • jon s says:

      the author states that, almost verbatim, so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about. “… and aside from ambitious scope and historical settings, the two shows have little in common — beyond the fact that Tobias Menzies appears in both.”

  14. Elena says:

    Scots are not referred to as “scotch.” This is what they drink. They are either Scots or Scottish. You may want to edit if you haven’t already been chastised over this :).
    By saying “scotch delight” you are inferring the show is an “alcohol delight.”

    • leemikcee says:

      “Scotch” was, in fact, what the Scottish were called until fairly recently in the 20th century, when the insistence on “Scots” or “Scottish” began. It was not a pejorative term initially, but acquired that nuance (probably through the usage of it by the English).

    • kellmoony says:

      and actually they drink “whisky”, not scotch. Though I like it either way. : )

    • Laura Prudom says:

      As a Brit, I beg to differ (as does the Oxford Dictionary: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/scotch#Scotch). In the motherland, it has always been a means of referring to something as Scottish in origin, both as a noun and adjective. Likewise, Scotch whiskey is so-called because it’s whiskey that originates from Scotland. Although many of the delights of the show are doubtless similar to the heady delights of alcohol. ;)

      • Jan Leach says:

        Agree with Laura on this – although the spelling of whisky used by her is normally not that used for the Scottish variety. Scotch these days tends to mean a blend – what they would have drunk would have been closer to a single malt.

  15. April (@BostonApril) says:

    When I graduated from college, I took advantage of a free offer for six Harlequin romance novels that I thought might be fun to read on the beach, now that my studies were completed. I couldn’t get past the first page of the first book and tossed them out, lock, stock and barrel. They were complete rubbish. For Lowry to suggest that the story told in Outlander could be equated to such crap, or that it should be relegated to an insipid channel such as Lifetime makes steam come out of my ears.

    That beings said, I found his review to be awkwardly written and boorish–so I guess I will just completely discount his opinion. I challenge anyone to watch the first six episodes and not become hooked.

    Thankfully, there are much more thoughtful and level-headed reviewers out there.

  16. Cindy says:

    How embarrassing for Lowey… The shallowness of his perception is hanging out all over his review. As someone who would not pick up a Harlequin Romance on a bet and doesn’t care for Lifetime movies, I KNOW the difference between that and Outlander. Surprising that he has so little discernment. If I knew nothing about Outlander, the lack of thoughtful analysis would make me want to dismiss Lowry’s review in favor of Prudom’s. But I guess being snarky, snide and insulting of things “perceived” as popular with females works with his “bros.”

    My boyfriend (secure in his masculinity) has already watched the show twice and is excited to see more. He went ahead and subscribed to STARZ. I wouldn’t even do that because I’m too frugal to pay for premium cable packages – which has to happen before you even get the privilege of subscribing to Starz. I’d wait for the DVDs, but he’s not into delayed gratification. :)

  17. Denis Huxtable says:

    Oh wow, what a shock. Brian Lowry is snidely dismissive of a show with a woman at the center. In other news, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

  18. Kristy Marrs says:

    The Complete Dissection of Outlander 101
    I am a military spouse. A friend of mine recommended Outlander to me while my husband was deployed to Iraq. I was left at home with two small boys – wondering if he was going to come home, and if he did come home, would he be whole – in body? In mind? I was terrified. Outlander was an escape for me – one so complete that I would forget I was reading – and I left my world and went along with Claire on her journey. One after another I read – and then started over again. They got me through that deployment. No books have ever meant so much to me.
    Imagine my thrill at the making of the STARZ version – 16 hours of being able to sit back and relax and enjoy my story on screen. After all these years, I could stop fruitlessly watching Rob Roy and Braveheart – both a tease and totally unsatisfactory as they were missing Jamie- and watch the story I wanted to see most. I counted the months, weeks, days and hours. I don’t think I have ever looked forward to something so much in my life – except the return of my husband from deployments (there have now been three…)
    I was particularly excited that Ronald D. Moore was going to produce it. He said that it was his wife’s favorite book and that he was not going to ruin it. I believed him.
    And then, 101 came out. Ron, if I were your wife, you would be sleeping on the couch.
    Opening scene: Beautiful scenery. Loved the moving clouds. Voice over – great.
    Claire’s at the shop looking at the vase – but she didn’t buy it – funny, I distinctly remember Claire buying a set of three in the book….grrrr.
    WWII scene – Claire can’t seem to clamp the artery – funny, I thought this would have been a great place to either A. Show how good she is – Claire clamps the artery and says “Got It!” Doctor says, “Excellent work as usual Claire!” or B. Show that Claire has seen death first hand – the boy bleeds out. BUT NO! She can’t find it – the doctor calls her “nurse” as if she didn’t stand out as an excellent one – as if she hadn’t been working with them for months or even years and he doesn’t even know her name!??? At least she drank some Champagne – my Claire would have done that….you had the costumes, the scene right there – but, it fell flat.
    Back to the vase – she still doesn’t buy it – but I know she was supposed to…….
    Opening song and montage – lovely – loved the song, the voice, the words, the music …but no Jamie’s face??? What the hell?? Why do the druids have lights? They didn’t have lights, there were no signs of fire, that was what Frank wanted Claire to go back and look for…..
    Title: Sassenach – love it.
    The music, the car, Scotland – lovely…the hum of the car evokes the hum of the stone – foreshadowing…
    The blood on the doorway – in the book, Frank identifies it as blood – and it was supposed to be on the steps – Claire identifies it as blood in the show -I could forgive that – she was a nurse, it get it…until she says, “There’s two more over there.” English people with bad grammar in the 40’s? Cringe!!! “There are two more over there,” is what she should have said – and I wouldn’t have been reminded that these are actors. I was thinking poor Caitriona has had poor schooling….why didn’t Ron tell her to fix it? I’m not buying into her being Claire like I was supposed to….
    Frank wasn’t Frank either – he was Tobias doing an extremely flat version of Frank. Frank would get all lit up inside from seeing an ancient pagan tradition being upheld- this Frank was dry dry dry….
    Frank says, “We’re surrounded by houses covered in blood” ??? Her Pharoah lines? NOT IN THE BOOK!!! St. Orin??? Not in the book!!! What about Fionn and Feinn – they were in the book!!! Why are you changing something so small Ron???Why???
    Funny, I thought you were going to give us a bit more of Frank and Claire’s happy relationship, Ron. Yet, you started right off at the same place Claire did. What you should have done was put a couple of scenes in from their early marriage. They should have appeared to like each other more. They couldn’t have looked more forced.
    Mrs. Baird – or should I say Mrs. Doubtfire? I don’t know what she said –w as too distracted looking for signs of Robin Williams….
    In the room… Ok. So, instead of showing how loving their relationship is – you have Claire say that they hadn’t been able to get back on track since the war. So, they aren’t happy? That doesn’t make me believe Claire will be in a hurry to get back to him – it makes it more likely she’ll stay with Jamie…
    One of my favorite scenes in the book was Frank and Claire trying to “sleep in” in the morning – and Mrs. Baird was “industriously Hoovering in the hallway”. Would it have killed you to have her vacuum, Ron? I loved this show of Frank’s sense of humor – bouncing on the bed. You wanted to show him in a lovely light – instead, you have Claire jumping on the bed??? What??? Claire does not jump on beds – in any of the 8 books!!!! GRRRRRR!!!!
    CAN YOU SENSE MY DISCORD??? Already I cannot relax and enjoy my book on film – because at every turn, you mess it up!
    Back to the car….she thinks of Uncle Lamb. The costumes- great – the scenery – great – I can believe that Uncle Lamb is on a dig —–with a brown haired brown eyed child who looks like the daughter of an Apache war chief….ummmm where was Claire???? Who the hell picked that dark skinned child to play our fair Claire?????????? Arghhhhhhh!!!!!! So close, but not right….
    Castle Leoch – so, they didn’t go there in the book, but I can forgive this trip in the name of foreshadowing. Frank, we learn here is suffering from depression and PTSD – as a military spouse, I can assure you that these are NOT qualities you want to run toward. Why would Claire kill herself trying to get back to this???
    And then, the bomb hit. FRANK DOES NOT GET TO GO DOWN ON CLAIRE!!!!!!!!! I was screeming NOOOOOOOOOO NO NO NO! At the top of my lungs at my TV set! Gag! Gross! Horrible! I CANNOT believe that Ron and his wife and Diana all thought this was a good idea!!!!! NOOOO! NONO NONONONONONONONONONONONO! It was the area left unexplored – this was supposed to be for Jamie – I am sick to my stomach. What the hell were you thinking Ron? What was wrong with the scene on the hill after they watch the Druid dancers? That was hot, too and more importantly – accurate!! I’m so angry!!!!! My eyes!!!! Why can’t I have a brain delete button!!!! What have done to me? I feel like my eyes have been raped! Cancel STARZ now so he can’t do this to me again!
    At the manse…Again, the costumes, set and music – all great – it was all there for you….all you had to do was follow the book….BUT NO, Ron Moore, you can’t seem to do this simple task
    1. Where was Roger? 2. You set up the joke about Sassenach – then forgot the punch line!!! “I know what the word means, it was the tone I objected to.” 3. Where was the messy desk with the cork board???? No Cork board? No Roger? No Roger family tree on the cork board?? 4. Frank says, “See you later,” when Claire leaves”– Frank would barely have noticed if he was ensconced in historical documents. 5. Did you think we’d miss the fact that the pot wasn’t hot (no steam) – that there was no tea and no liquid in the cups? 6. Claire could not have been snottier about Mrs. Graham telling fortunes – it was too much. 7. Telling the reverend she needs a bath – I just didn’t buy Claire saying that – it made me loose the story and think of Ron – what were you thinking there??? 8. Claire leaves without saying, “Thank you for the tea Mrs. Graham.” How rude. 9. Why do you keep wasting good dialog time on the Halloween festival? She doesn’t go to this – it’s NOT IN THE BOOK! 10. Did I mention no ROGER!!!!????
    Mrs. Graham’s fortune telling – lovely.
    Back to the B&B – would it have been so much trouble to show her pouring some L’Heure Bleu on her hair brush….or at least the bottle on the shelf? I was still distracted from looking for the L’Heure Bleu that it was a shock to see Jamie in the street. Except they didn’t really show him, did they. – REALLY? No side view? No view of the deer stag broach??? Why did he disappear so quickly instead of as he was walking away? Why Ron Why???????? Here’s an interesting tidbit….The portion of this scene where Frank is walking toward Jamie – ummm, there is NO rain. ????
    Conversation by the fire….?? – again with the bad grammar??….how about “There were quite a few Scots” rather than “There was a few” huff, puff… Again, I lost Claire and thought about the poor education of Caitriona. Then, the story of the soldier who hated being stuck – and you left out the punch line…. again!! It was so funny that he said, “If I’m going to lie on my face wi’ my buttocks bared, I want the lass under me, not behind me wi’ a hatpin.” I missed Corporal Chisholm. Then, the abrupt flip to naked breast. What??? A segue would have made some sense there.
    No pub scene. Sigh. It was missed. So was Mr. Crook. I get it, there’s only so much time, but they were still missed.
    Conversation about the witches in bed – ugh. Frank was so dry! The line about the Celts and Africa? Another waste of dialogue – that ISN”T IN THE BOOK!!!! Quit leaving out the good stuff and adding dull!
    The dance- mixed emotions here. The music and costumes and choreography were awesome. The flower shaped lanterns were lovely – although in the book there was no fire – so I was distracted by them…..and I missed the plain bed sheets – as lovely as the costumes and lanterns were – they were just, well, wrong! The light was supposed to hit a giant split stone. Where was the split? You made the stone – why couldn’t there have been a split? What is WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!
    Claire’s in pants – now we don’t get the sex in the heather scene – because you stole it and put it in castle LEOCH and had FRANK – do the unspeakable – now I’m twice as angry – a wrong sex scene and now, a missing one – one that I liked – one that I could have sighed about instead of making me yell NOOOOOOOO at my TV. GRRRRRRRRR.
    Back at the stones….
    So, I’d like to know, because I’d like to understand, why was the stone sounding like wind instead of bees? I keep waiting for the buzzing – but there was none. Then you took me to the car. Ok. I get that. Then the window breaks and glass goes flying at the passengers including Claire. All I can think of now was why isn’t her face covered with scars from the glass? I was braced for it – but no scream came. You know, the scream that could only come from a stone? Not there. Didn’t happen. Sigh. Another not quite right. She heard what sounded like bees and she was stooped over, trying to look in the split to see if there was a beehive – no split, no bees, no buzz……….37 minutes in and I have had more disappointments than happiness.
    Claire comes to and she’s not even panting. Crawling a few feet and throwing up would have been more like it. The walk through the woods was perfect – yes, I said it! It was great – the sounds of the birds, the crunching of the ground – the water running – I could almost smell it – then the gun shot – it made me jump! Voice over here – well done! Then she falls – and somehow a little roll knocks off her belt??? I am distracted again. But the bagpipes start – and we begin to run and I am back with them again….
    She meets Black Jack….
    Tobias is redeemed – because he disappears and Black Jack appears – he was fantastic. Then Claire says her husband’s name. Ron!!!! What the hell???? She doesn’t say that – or that he’s “a teacher”….I’m distracted – did they even say teacher back then???tutor, yes, professor, maybe…teacher???
    Oh, look, there’s Murtagh, we’re going to see Jamie soon – o boy!. The pop on Claire’s head was a great sound effect.
    In the crofter’s house. I LOVED THE GALIC!! Dougal, however, is supposed to have long red hair. Now, he looks grey and bald – handsome and powerful, yes – BUT WRONG!!!! How is he going to look like Hamish? Distraction distraction…..Then I start to try to identify the others – there were six of them, Dougal and Jamie, Rupert and Murtagh, Willie and Ned – one of whom was bald. No one besides Dougal is bald though. I think I see Rupert, but he’s not fat – and another guy is – so it’s hard to tell. There are too many men in the room – and where is the woman? Distraction distraction…..
    Jamie – perfection – thank God! The shoulder part – awesome! The chemistry – instant combustion! I loved the way they looked at each other from the start. I loved the way Rupert didn’t want to watch the shoulder… The part about her not being a wet-nurse – priceless! Sweet Jamie even looks embarrassed! The belt demand – while not in the book, was funny! You missed the gunshot wound – why, Ron, why????? So then Dougal tosses Jamie the jacket – and I guess he manages to take the belt off, then put on the jacket and put the belt back on himself – because he instantly walks out rigged. Huh??? I was distracted by this. No broach again – disappointing. It’s the small details Ron – you missed it. No Claire giving Dougal the wrong foot – disappointing. Jamie acts like he knows where they are going. Disappointing. He does share his plaid – that was good. A fine time of year for a ride? Really? And Claire nods, yes??? I would think she’d answer back – “Are you mad???”
    Then the scenery – Beautiful – loved the music, too….lovely….
    Cocknammon Rock – finally you got a scene right! I loved the Galic here – Jamie especially! Dumped her off the horse – excellent – she runs – yes! As she ran, I expected Jamie to grab her from behind a tree – cause, you know, that’s what he does in the book – denied – he pulls up on horseback and we get to see him dismount – ok forgiven – that was great! If I had been directing, Jamie would have sheathed his sword here – a man like Jamie wouldn’t need it to deal with a tiny woman – and it evoked Black Jack – yuck.
    Jamie goes over – I preferred the book version – the men caught him. The alcohol request– oh yeah yeah the men grunt – too funny! (Of course that was good – it was in the book!) He’s supposed to have been stabbed by a bayonet here, not shot, but whatever. I missed the line, “feisty wee bitch” and she was supposed to put her knee on his chest and he’s supposed to ask Dougal to get her off of him….then Dougal says what I know to be “We have 15 miles to go yet” but it sounded like 50 miles to go yet….that was distracting to me. Then they talk about Randall – in the wrong location….distractions distractions….when he calls out Randall and she turns around… – that was a good added line – I’ll give you that one, Ron.
    On to Castle Leoch…
    I still don’t know the names of the men with Dougal and Jamie. Claire feels assaulted and I must say, so do I….and I can’t decide if I must watch more, of if I should turn it off, cancel STARZ and just let my beloved book remain my beloved book. What else are they going to change?
    What I wanted was to be able to lie back and watch my book … but it doesn’t feel like my book – it’s like when you are a teacher and you thought your class understood the lesson – only to find out they can’t answer most of the questions on the test correctly. Is Ron just being artsy? Did he not love and read the books carefully enough?
    Either way – he’s ripping my heart out. I need to take a shower now. This version makes me feel dirty. Ron, if you need a consultant for season two – you know, someone who has actually read these books and who really cares about the details – call me.

    • Di says:

      Hi Kristy,

      Readers of the books noticed all the differences between the book and the series just as you did, but the majority did not become upset. They know it’s an adaptation. Diana and the producers explained this over and over and over and over. If you’re this upset now, I don’t know what you’re going to do as the story progresses and they move scenes around, merge supporting characters, move dialogue from one character to another in order to move the story along but without having to set up a different scene, etc. In a book, you can write whatever you want and make the book however long you want it to be. In episodic TV, there’s no such luck – nor would I want it to be so.

      In the scene where Claire was trying to clamp the artery, it’s clear to me that the Doctor came in and continued her work – not because she was doing anything wrong – but because he’s a doctor. She would have clamped the artery and proceeded just as he did had he not taken over.

      The good news is that you don’t have to watch the series – you’ll always have the books and that’s a very, very good thing. I thought they did a great job and more power to ’em.

      • Jan Leach says:

        Got to the end some time since. Still very disappointed with it. Castle scenes are too medieval – it ISN’T the 13th/14th century and General Wade and others have spent time building roads in the area. Why was nearly everything filmed in the Lowlands – Jamie’s a HIGHLANDER? That’s like filming something set in New England in Texas! The shot of Frank and Claire pre-marriage should have been London except the buildings were wrong – if set during the war, the windows would have been taped and the buildings probably sand-bagged, if pre-war (1939 – when my parents were married), as a 20-year old she wouldn’t have been walking around with him as she was and would have had to have permission to marry him.
        I shall probably get series 2, even if only to moan about lt … and having lived in Paris for some time, I’ll probably be just as picky!
        Rating has gone down to 5 out 10 – must DEFINITELY try harder.

      • Jan Leach says:

        You seem to have missed “train station” (not used in the UK until the late 1990s) where it should be “railway station”. It states there is a “plant consultant” somewhere in the credits, I find it hard to believe as one episode talks about “Jimson Weed” – a species which is non-native to the Old World, doesn’t grow readily in the UK (especially in Scotland) and whilst known about (see Culpepers Herbal – Devils Thorn Apple) would have been unobtainable outside a physick (or apothecary garden.

        I read recently this series had 5 million viewers in the US – that’s small fry for even the UK! I suggest the production team sharpen themselves up.

      • Jan Leach says:

        Five episodes in and I suppose it is getting a little better. I still don’t think the cast is right, but that may be because I started reading the books at the wrong point (An Echo in the Bone) and I see Jamie with a stronger face and an air of leadership – possibly more akin to Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark), although he could also have made a good Frank/Black Jack, who is not supposed to be ill-looking.

        Full marks for the muddy tracks along which they travel – probably fairly accurate given the location, although Wade had built roads in the area back in the 1720s after the first Jacobite rebellion. I’m a bit puzzled by the ruined monastery, as to WHY it was ruined – the Reformation wasn’t applicable to Scotland, which was staunchly Catholic at the time.

        Claire’s accent keeps slipping and, as has already been pointed out by others, the English is poor. As she is supposed to be about 9 years younger than my mother, she would never have been allowed to use slipshod grammar, even allowing for an unconventional upbringing. Jamie is supposed to be well-educated but it isn’t really showing yet, he seems a little gauche and naif at times (mostly in relation to Laoghaire), but that’s really a criticism of the book (sorry!) – he certainly doesn’t act like the thoughtful person he is supposed to be at times.

        Now I need to watch some more! I’m starting to enjoy it more now.

      • Jan Leach says:

        To be honest, having just bought the dvd set, I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t bothered although I’ve only watched the first two episodes.

        Claire is SUPPOSED to be English – so why is her pronunciation of some words American, or wouldn’t they understand her?

        I have a severe problem with the car at the beginning. I think it’s a Riley, but the styling looks too late. Given that most cars at the time did 15-20 miles per gallon and they set off from either Oxford (520 miles) or London (570 miles – both measured over MODERN roads), they are going to need 26 to 30 gallons of fuel in each direction (minimum) AT A TIME WHEN PETROL WAS NOT FREELY AVAILABLE, it was still rationed to some extent in Britain until 1950, as were many foods. At the time this is set, petrol has just been released for local civilian use, but that didn’t mean people undertook long trips by car. Given the state of most of the roads at the time, the journey, likely average speed 40 mph, would have taken about 15 hours and they would have needed to refuel up to 5 times, often with fairly suspect fuel (Riley fuel tank was about 12 gallons, but they’d be unlikely to be able to get that amount all at once). Would they really take off to Scotland for 2 weeks, travelling for a couple of days in each direction?

        The shots of the dancing round the stones – they would have been away from the site long before sunrise, because they would have walked or cycled there – and sunrise at Samhain in the Inverness area would have been around 07.30 or more probably 08.30 as double summer time was in use. As they were supposed to be secretive, they’d have been missed by the time they got home either way.

        Some of the shooting is very atmospheric, but difficult to see – there ARE ways of shooting interiors with decent lighting to look like candle light – and some of the cast mumble. There SHOULD have been subtitles for the Gaelic bits, we all know from context what is likely to be being said but it would be nice to be sure!

        Given the fact that some of us Brits watch things to look for the yellow lines/tv aerials in period dramas, I’m not surprised it’s only shown to a limited audience over here – we’re a bit picky!

        That said, I shall plug on with the series, in the hopes that it improves and look forward to probably purchasing Season 2 or what ever it is – so I can’t be finding it THAT bad. I really enjoy the books, especially the later ones, and wonder how far through them you intend to go, although I can’t see either of the leads as right for them. As someone else has said, there’s no chemistry between them and I feel Jamie lacks a certain presence which he has in the books, but I’ve only watched two episodes so far.

        Watch this space for more comments from a nit-picking Brit. I hope it gets better, but it’s only gripes and a wish for more clarity! Six out of 10 so far, must try harder!

      • Maj. Mark says:

        Kristy, having read the first three of the novels, I am a little taken aback at the nearly visceral tone of portions of your review. I have found the books capitating and enjoyed them as much as I have the more “historical” (sword and shield) novels that I generally read, written by the likes of Iggulden,Cornwell and others. To pick on a lavish production like this based on the analysis of minute detail is a bit rigid. As retired military (yes, deployed twice) I honoe your husband’s service and your (like my wife’s) dedication to the mission, but relax and enjoy the great effort made by this production company and the actors to portray the real themes of the stories: love, courage, honor, duty, and country…even if they “disappoint” you from time to time.

      • Linda Johnsen says:

        Wow Kristy! I have been waiting for years for this series to be filmed. It also means a lot to me. And I have read the books multiple times as well. I loved the episode and took.it for what it is: an adaptation! Whatever changes were made I trust Ron and Diana to do what is right for the series. In all your ranting did you by any chance notice that Diana is a producer? I have confidence she was on board with this “adaptation”.

      • Cindy says:

        Kristy – loved your review! Like you I was LIVID over the “table sex” with Frank. It was a REALLY BIG DEAL that Claire had NOT done that with Frank and it got to be something she shared with Jamie. That they ROBBED her relationship with Jamie of THAT was an inexcusable violation. Crappity, crap, CRAP! But, even though I wanted some of the GREAT dialog and scenes from the book (feisty wee B) I was ok with the deviations for brevity. Not buying the vase was able to highlight what a vagabond Claire had been and would continue to be.

        I would love to subscribe to Starz and PAY to see this, but alas. I’m not going to upgrade my basic cable and pay $$$ a month for a bunch of channels I don’t watch just for the privilege of adding on STARZ. Extreme stupidity on the part of the people who set up the cable/dish racket. Your days are numbered.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Kristy….sweetie. Take a breath. Diana, Ron, all of them have stated…repeatedly…. that the series is not a direct translation of the book(s) but an ADAPTATION. I found Frank very cold and distant in the books, but rather liked him here. In the books, I couldn’t understand why Claire was so insistent on getting back to him, but I get that now.
      I’m sorry the episode was such a negative experience for you…but if you went into it expecting it to follower the book word for word, I’m not surprised you were disappointed. My only serious WTF was about Roger being missing. Yes…it’s important….but not right NOW. It can be picked up later IF the show continues through the books. While it was disappointing not to get that, I understood it and didn’t let it ruin it for me. Same with other differences. I took the show for itself not expecting a literal translation of the book – which we as fans have been told from the beginning would NOT be the case!
      Diana stated many times recently that there would be differences, things that didn’t happen in the books but likely DID happen. While the actors may not perfectly resemble the characters physically, they seem to embody them emotionally and mentally which is far more important.
      If Ron’s adaptation truly bothers you so much then by all means, cancel STARZ and don’t watch it. As much as the books mean to ME (similar story to yours, but my own hell I won’t share) I went into this whole thing with a sense of wonder and excitement to see other dimensions to the story I love so much. If you can see it for the separate entity it IS, and enjoy it for that…you’ll be much happier. If you can’t…simply don’t watch anymore – but try not to ruin it for others that ARE enjoying it.
      Caitriona made a comment during the panel at the SDCC I believe that I will try to paraphrase. That, the fans have these books, this story that they love and are devoted to. The show can never take that away – the books that you know and love will ALWAYS be there for you. This show, this adaptation is just adding another facet to a well-loved story. New dimensions and insights to known characters.

      • Beverley says:

        Kristy..Your post was RIGHT ON THE MONEY! I felt the exact same way….and where WAS little Roger? Everything you wrote was my reaction to the show exactly. Adaption? What’s the point? The dialog in the book was perfect…the things changed were unnecessary and not for the better…oh and did I say Where was little Roger? I started reading the books 20 years ago..and have re-read them so many times that I know the dialog…the show was diappointing.

  19. Bonnie Berkley Pigman, Ed.D. says:

    Having been enamored with this series since first reading Outlander in 1992, I found the first episode to be acoustical and visual poetry…it lived up to all my expectations and then delivered the knock out punch..the characters merged with the images long held in my head. Well done my man!

  20. dreamlife613 says:

    I appreciate both views. though I tend to like the shows Brian Lowry dislikes, so whenever he gives a show a negative review, I can feel fairly confident that it will be good. Thankfully, I watched the episode prior to reading the review and loved it. I’m happy they took the time to set up Claire and Frank’s relationship, since it has to be apparent to viewers that they are in love prior to whisking her away. The voiceovers do a good job of letting us know how Claire is processing the turn of events. The acting is superb and the look of the show is beautiful (Game of Thrones-quality). I’m looking forward to more.

  21. Schone Attebury says:

    Well Brian must not have been paying any attention to the show because Dougal is not one of the men thinking of rape in fact he says on the show he doesn’t put up with rape!

    • Nevart Fargnoli says:

      Dougal does say in the first episode and also in the book, that he “doesn’t hold with rape.” But a little bit later in the book (after the oath-taking), Dougal does in fact accost Claire, roughly feeling her up, kissing her and threatening rape within a few minutes of her escaping the clutches of a group of drunken clansmen.

      • April (@BostonApril) says:

        More specifically, Dougal tells her she better get back to her quarters before something worse happens to her. He merely kisses her and gropes her…I’m pretty sure that’s happened to most of us in our lifetimes. (Or maybe it’s just me!) That’s faithful to the books. Dougal did desire Claire. I think most men did. No surprise there! It’s faithful to the books.

  22. kathy says:

    Good point here. Black Jack Randall is more interested in men ya ken? He only uses the lassies to cover so he isnt found out. Im not saying read the book if you dont want to and yes the show needs to stand on its own but your supposed to be a journalist…research son. Research!

    • Why the heck do they not have the Gaelic translated in series. Talk about watching a show with half of the dialect available. That is a very important part of the book, you do not get to know the characters if you do not know what they are saying. How can this be overlooked? Guess they were to busy writing they did not happen in the book. Have never understand something is good enough to make a movie about, then decide to change the story. Third night I did not enjoy at all, none of it happened in the book, and on that subject Claire and Frank NEVER looked at the castle together. Really DISAPPOINTED in last nights series. PLEASE put translation so we know what is being said. So annoying.

    • No offense, but you’re way off base. Gender doesn’t matter to Randall. He’s a sadist. He’d have sex with a sheep if it gave him the emotional (i.e. terrorized) reaction he desires. That’s according to Gabaldon herself.

  23. A fan says:

    Eh I’ve read the books and even I found the first episode incredibly dull. It didn’t get good til the last 20 minutes. Obviously I’m going to keep watching because I’m a fan of the books but for people who aren’t, I’m not quite sure what’s here for you. I kept watching the first episode because of my love for the story and characters. However, as I was watching it, in the back of my mind I kept thinking, “If I wasn’t so invested in this story, I would turn it off.” I kept seeing it from an outsider’s perspective and when viewed like that the appeal of the show rapidly declined. I still have high hopes and believe it will get better (after all, most pilot episodes are boring).

    Also, all the people commenting are proving Brian’s point. You all sound like those Harry Potter fans that scream at people to read the books when someone criticizes the plotholes of the movies. If you don’t understand why that logic is dumb, there is no hope for you.

  24. the good cop bad review just makes me laugh at Variety…and it’s fear of actually having an opinion…more blah, blah, blah!

  25. Victoria Lane says:

    It seems rather obvious the gentleman panning Outlander truly doesn’t get or understand it. While true it may not be everyone’s cup of tea it does have features that draw in a variety if genres. There is romance it’s true but there are so many other aspects; battles, espionage, medical breakthroughs, and treachery to name a few. It would have benefited the reviewer to understand what the series is about before panning it after seeing just two episodes.

  26. Shelley says:

    The first episode was incredible. As a huge fan of the books,I greatly appreciated the true alignment to the plot but with some artistic yet completely justified modifications. This is not some brain-less 22 minute drama that anyone can direct or act in. This is a compelling story in which the characters and relationships need to be established. If viewers want thoughtless entertainment, watch TBS or lifetime….or read ignorant “professional” reviews.

  27. Kathy says:

    Brian wanted the Breaking Bad version!

  28. Kathy says:

    Now now Brian, are you poking fun at us fair maidens?

  29. Heidi Bone says:

    Scotch delight! It was the trailer that inspired me to read Outlander and now the subsequent novels. I do think the show is its own creature and is compelling enough to watch because of the actors individual approach and the mystery of the character’s development throughout the season. I’m really, really hoping for more seasons where if the viewers are lucky will also be filmed in the US. This show has so much more potential than one episode. I say give it a try because the incredible storyline has yet to unfold!

  30. Jaafo says:

    I think the comments here just proved Brian’s point. If you read and loved the books, you’ll have more patience and appreciate the slow character development. If you’re just jumping in without benefit of having read the series, you may not enjoy it as much because nothing seems to be happening.

  31. chloe says:

    This article is a bonny bore.

  32. Suzanne Cole says:

    “only so much unconsummated smoldering one can take” If she’s ripped from her husband and immediately consummates the smoldering, doesn’t that make it Harlequinesque? Make up your mind what you want, for Goodness’ sake!

  33. Brian needs a wee dram o’ whisky…and to read the books. So angry…with no base of reference!

  34. Marybeth Maxwell says:

    Okay, Bryan. It’s time to stop blowing smoke out your arse and read the books. If you can. Because you need not have a brave heart to fall in love with Outlander, only an open mind. And a brain. Maybe a trip to Emerald City is in the works for you but until then, let us enjoy what we’ve waited years to see. OUR Outlander.

  35. nerdrage says:

    Looks like a show for fans of the book which I am not one. I wish Ron Moore would return to doing sci fi. We need more good sci fi on TV, not the drivel they’re currently foisting on us.

  36. Deborah says:

    Am tickled pink myself and am immediately hooked. Very sad to think that so many folk need constant smash ’em up, bang’ ’em up and steamy sex scenes to hold their interest. The OUTLANDER series has all of that and more, BUT, it mainly has a great story (remember those?). And great stories must be woven with warp and weft, that gives full weight, smoothness and enjoyment to the telling. Bravo to Mr. Moore and Ms. Gabaldon!

  37. Debi says:

    Sorry, I don’t agree. I loved the first episode and I have read the first book 3 times! I loved how Claire talked to the audience and I loved how we were provided a glimpsed into her past with Uncle lamb. Lifetime, really? And Better than Game of Thrones!

  38. Laura Carmichael says:

    Scottish Delight – no question about it. The first episode (all that is publicly released so far) is superb. If you have ADD, it may indeed seem slow. I thought the hour passed too quickly – and as soon as the end credits rolled, I immediately wanted more. (More!!) This beginning promises us a great action-adventure series with a strong, smart, resourceful FEMALE lead – incredibly refreshing and riveting television!

  39. Leisa Less says:

    what I find fumy is when a show is geared toward a female audience its not a good show or movie, why is that? I am glad this review was positive. I have stayed away from watching TV the last couple of years as the quality of shows has dropped majorly and reality TV has taken its place. No wonder society values have lowered with Reality TV. I am thankful to have shows like Outlander on as quality has been reestablished in my book. With the comments from cust serv with Direct TV and the significant rise in purchase of Starz this show will be on as long as the books are made. Great show outstanding and movie quality acting, scenery, etc…

    • I would like to know how the full & complete development of characters so that we understand them is a bad thing? A good show that’s based on a great series of 8 books that are anywhere from 750 to 1000 pages is going to need time to engage in a full and detailed character development. This helps the viewer understand the importance of certain situations and choices that the characters will be dealing with in the upcoming storyline. If you haven’t read the books that’s even more important. So like someone else commented I think that the reviewer should have read the books or at keast read about the series before talking so much nonsense. So much of television today is so mediocre and lame with underdeveloped storylines and no attention to detail whatsoever that when something that’s well thought out, as well as intelligent comes along that people put it down as being slow etc… Get a clue reviewers.

  40. helen says:

    The sixth episode focuses on Tobias Menzies Black Jack Randall character. He’s a great actor and I hope he has more starring roles in future.

    • JB says:

      He is indeed very fine, Helen. I’m sure you saw him in HBO’s Rome where he gave a wonderful performance as Brutus. You can see more of him in An Honorable Woman, a Sundance series that began just this week.

  41. Nimue says:

    JB—that’s because two entirely different people are reviewing it. If the only kind of TV fare you can tolerate is CSI progeny, Duck Dynasty, or the multitude variations of zombies, this might not be the show for you. With eight 800 page books to cover and more on the way, the series can take its time to let you get to know the characters, learn the backstories of each, and wind your way into the landscape of a story that has captured millions over 20 odd years. Genre bending between historical fiction, drama, action, romance and sci-fi (of which there is ONLY the occurance of time travel), Outlander has much more than just romance to offer. It is set in Jacobite Scotland, occupied by British soldiers. Future books find the protagonists in France, Jamaica and finally the American colonies on the cusp of the American Revolution. The attention to detail and history, the filming in lush and GORGEOUS Scotland, the music and the acting are all superb–and if you give this show a chance to grow under your skin, it will reveal all that the author has written that has thrilled audiences for decades!

    • Jan Leach says:

      Nimue, At the time this is set, Scotland’s ruling family had been ruling England for some time (from James VI of Scotland, I of England) since the end of the 16th century, round about 200 years. Scotland is NOT OCCUPIED by British soldiers. They are at this point supposed to be a peace-keeping force. Jacobites were in evidence over much of Great Britain, being largely the Catholic families. There were equally as many Church of Scotland clans (Protestant) in Scotland as there were Catholic ones and not all Catholic ones wanted to see a return of James II/Bonnie Prince Charlie. Don’t forget that by this stage we’d already executed ONE king and restored the monarchy to his heirs because we didn’t like the Puritan ethos. The King at the time was a descendant of James VI of Scotland (I of England) in the same way as James II of England was, except that he was Protestant and James II had sworn to uphold the Protestant faith – which was why he was kicked out. At least we didn’t execute him.
      The attention to history and detail is actually not as good as you think it is. General Wade had spent some time building roads over that part of Scotland by the time this is set, but all you see are muddy tracks. The music is fine, the signature tune is just a few new words set to an old traditional Scottish song re BPC – the Skye Boat Song, which explains why she is going “over the sea to Skye” which isn’t in the books.

      Diatribe over.

  42. JB says:

    This is a very unusual review. It starts out with the reviewer describing how much he did not enjoy it, while the remaining two thirds of the article describing how beautiful, powerful and unique it is!

    • Susan F. says:

      If you look carefully, you’ll see that it’s actually two reviews in one. The “Bonny Bore” was written by Brian Lowry, whereas “Scotch Delight” was written by Laura Prudom. My opinion is that Laura’s is the better of the two. It shows more attention to the details of the show. I suspect Lowry’s taste in television runs more to shoot-em ups and other action flicks without much depth to the actual story.

      Many people try to put it down as a book/show for women, nothing more than a steamy romance. It is far more than that. I have been a follower of the Outlander series since the publication of the first book. The attention to detail and the depth of the characterizations have kept me entranced book after book. I have begun a second reading of the series just to refresh my memory before the series begins. My father was also an avid reader of the series, and my husband is becoming one.

      I have been looking forward to the start of this series since I heard about. The more I have learned about the care that has been taken with the production the more excited I am to see it!

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