Puja Miri Yajnik
Outlander is a 2014 fictional period drama/romance television series adapted from a novel series by Diana Gabaldon. It is produced by David Brown, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. It has five seasons and 67 episodes, developed by Ronald D Moore.
Having stumbled upon this series in my never ending search for period dramas, I was pleasantly surprised with Outlander’s ability to not only entertain and emotionally engage, but to keep a steady pace throughout it’s seasons. A combination of fantasy, romance, and history (quite a bit of historical accuracy, a rare occurrence in many shows)- this show takes on a lot! One may feel that the makers were over ambitious, however it all comes together beautifully.
A married combat nurse, Claire Randall, and her husband, Frank Randall, are trying to rebuild their marriage after the war. They are in Scotland, where Frank is studying his family tree, including an ancestor called ‘Black Jack Randall’; that is, our villain. One day, they observe some women dancing around a stone circle of Craigh Na Dun. This is where Claire, exploring the stones by herself one morning, somehow passes through to another time. She runs straight into Jonathan Randall, from whom she is rescued by a rather raggedy group of Scotsmen. They soon discover her nursing skills and she nurses an injured clansman. Thus, she meets our hero, Jamie Fraser. They take Claire to Castle Leoch. Here slowly she realises, to her amazement, that she is in the year 1743. The series covers her adventures; including her at one point being suspected of being a witch and nearly being burned art the stake.
The love story is very touching and dramatic, with beautifully filmed scenes bringing to life Claire’s deep love and belonging with the handsome, brave and protective highlander, Jamie, played to perfection by Sam Heughan. The theme song is brilliant and haunting, with subtle changes through the different seasons depending on the time period we are in; arranged by Bear McCreary, it is adapted from a traditional Scottish folk tune called “The Skye Boat Song”. This is a great choice as it is connected to the Jacobean uprising that the show deals with. The story includes the escape of Bonnie, Prince Charles to the Scottish Isle of Skye after he and his supporters, the Jacobites, were defeated at the historical battle of Cullodin. The series expertly takes you from Scotland to France and to colonial America. It boasts excellent visuals and performances; the atmosphere, with the help of brilliant musical scores, is beautiful and carries you through dramatically different moments in time. Production standards remain steady and brilliant throughout the series. It is important to note, however, that the violence and sex may be too graphic for some viewers- the makers of the show are definitely going for as much realism as possible!
All in all, it is a must watch for everyone who has a bent for period dramas, fantasy, romance, or suspense! Many of you may walk away with a glorious hangover of “bonnie” Scotland and the handsome Jamie Fraser!
‘Outlander’ is currently streaming on Netflix. Viewer discretion is advised (Violence, Sexual Content)
Additionally, TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.