Outlander Season 1 Recap

There have been countless recaps over the 10 months. Some good, some bad, some ranting, and some raving. I’m not sure where this one will fall, but after watching the last episode, I decided to throw my two cents out there.

Claire and Jamie Source

First reaction? Holy. Hell. I’ve only been waiting 10 years for this book to be made into a visual media. And thank GOD! it didn’t end up being a 2 hour movie. 16 hours was barely enough. And that’s just the first book. There are seven more (with Diana working on book 9 in the series as we speak)

I was a member of several online forums discussing the show as it progressed. What they say is true, you can’t please everyone. Am I disappointed that a few things were left out or changed? Yeah. I think most of us wanted to hear the joke about the hedgehogs. (If you’ve not read the book, I’m sure you can find the reference online). Did it ruin the overall experience for me? No. Some of what was left out that I would have liked to see left in were things that resonated with me when I read it but wouldn’t necessarily translate well into a visual media. There is SO MUCH DETAIL in the book. That’s because we see everything through Claire’s eyes. Can you imagine how seasick we would get if that’s how it was filmed? Pages of description can be shown in less than 30 seconds on film. If you don’t watch the background action sometimes, you’ll miss a lot of the overall story. As several people have said, if Diana’s okay with it, I’m okay with it. She fights for certain things that she knows the fans will riot over if left out of the series. She’s involved quite a bit and gets to see scripts, I’m pretty sure before they film the episodes, which is huge.

For those times where they used dialog word for word from the books? Those times gave me chills, made me smile, and made me cry. I’ve read the books and listen to the audiobooks. Yet even though Davina is a fantastic narrator, Caitriona’s voice is slowly replacing it in my mind. And Sam, when it comes to Jamie? I wasn’t sure at first, but from the first moment on screen he was Jamie. Tobias? He’s freaking me out a little. It’s difficult to believe sometimes that the same actor is playing such polar opposite characters. All three are talented actors and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve felt this much watching a TV show since China Beach back in the late 80’s. Buffy came really, really close, but I don’t remember ugly crying as much during Buffy.

I’m happy that Ron Moore, the writers, the producers, and everyone else involved took such pains to make it feel authentic. You don’t get the feel of having 21st century people dropped into an 18th century set. The people feel real and genuine to the time. Considering the bulk of original material, the challenges of shooting so much outdoors, and the sheer scale of things, I think the overall heart of the story shone through and people who loved Jamie and Claire from the books love them even more now. And that’s partly because Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan do such a good job bringing them to life.

I’ve never followed a show’s production as closely as I have Outlander. It’s been an interesting study and I really need to catch up on Ron’s podcasts where he explains each episode and why they did certain things.

The hubby thinks I’m obsessed with Outlander and maybe I am.  When I was in school, I remember people being obsessed with The Lord of the Rings books. Others were obsessed with Ian Fleming’s James Bond and there have been others. Outlander is one of those books that you find something new every time you read it. I’ve rewatched a few of the episodes and they do the same. I see something new each time I watch.

Kudos to Outlander and all who were responsible for bring it to life. Looking forward to Season 2 which, as of this writing, is currently filming in Scotland. I’m very curious to see how this one will pan out!  Emmys all around!!!

Melanie

If you’ve watched, what is your overall take on Season 1?

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2 thoughts on “Outlander Season 1 Recap

  1. I’ve read the book and we JUST got Starz and are planning a binge-watch very soon! My husband watched the first episode and is jonesing to watch more. It is rare we find a show we both really enjoy 🙂

    1. It’s good. I’m happy with the adaptations they made to translate it to a visual media. I’m listening to the 3rd book right now. I find something new every time I go through them. You’ll have to let me know what you think after you finish the season!

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