Okay, so I’ve been watching on Facebook and hearing everyone else talk about the “highly anticipated” Outlander television series on Starz. On the other side of the camp, all the Poldark lovers are going crazy over that series being redone by Masterpiece Theater.
Because, I knew very little about Outlander, written by Diana Gabaldon, except for what I’ve read in multiple blog posts and reader comments, I finally downloaded the first book. From what I’ve gathered in searching the net and reading reviews, there is a lot of polarization regarding the story. The disagreeable readers say this — they liked the beginning and the premise, but as the story continued were appalled by scenes that turned them off (mainly, the supposed marital rape of Claire, Jamie beating Claire for disobedience, and Jamie’s rape by Captain Randall). I will stay clear of that hot debate.
What makes a story extremely popular is uniqueness. Outlander is apparently one of those novels (a long series), as it takes the reader back in time from the 1940’s into 1700’s Scotland. It contains all of the right elements – mystery, danger, surprise, handsome Scottish hunk, bodice ripping, passionate lovemaking, and a difficult decision for the heroine to make. To keep abreast of the story, I added Starz for $10 a month to my Comcast account. Though I have read the first book, I will rely on the television series for the remainder. As an author myself, it’s impossible for me to sit down and read the entire tale without sacrificing my own time that I need writing.
After watching the first two episodes, I am very impressed with the quality of the production. Starz has brought the story to life through costumes, location, and cast. They have put a huge amount of money into marketing this series and it shows. The frenzy of fans are highly emotional, as well. Just spend a few hours in the Facebook Fan Group with 29,000 plus ladies talking about what is under the kilt.
Now, let’s go to the heartthrob. Pictures of Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie, have been clogging my timeline on Facebook for months. Jamie is quite the hunk–young, virile, strong, and well-endowed, no doubt, as women think about what’s under that kilt. With his thick Scottish brogue, you just want to kiss him to shut him up, if you don’t mind the sweat and blood on his face to get there.
Claire is played by an equally talented and very beautiful Caitriona Balfe. The others in the production are well casted and doing a fantastic job in their respective roles. Tobias Menzies, who plays two roles in the show (Frank and Captain Randall), will make you cringe as the evil Redcoat after the Scots.
Since the Scots have been garnishing a huge amount of attraction from Outlander, the English have been feverishly working on their own series.
Poldark on BBC Masterpiece Theater is slated for 2015 release, based on the books of Winston Graham. It first aired on television in the 1970’s and became a hugely successful series garnishing it’s own swooning group of women over the main character, the dashing Ross Poldark, who will be played by Aidan Turner this time around.
Set on the rocky coast of Cornwall, a former Redcoat who fought in the war of independence in 1776, returns home to resume his life and love only to find things have changed.
Needless to say that those who love to read historical romance, enjoy watching the stories come alive. Of course, adaptations on television or the big screen do not always follow the books. Already, there have been some comments regarding Outlander straying, and it will be interesting to see if Poldark is kept like the 1970’s series or morphed into something entirely new.
Frankly, it doesn’t bother me if an adaptation isn’t religiously tied word for word to the original book. I think that the author of Outlander is extremely blessed to see her work come alive on screen as are the readers of the series. It’s frankly an experience that every historical author probably dreams about–I know that I do.
P.S. If you are one of the unfortunate individuals who cannot get Starz; or if your country is not able to get the series, you can follow my weekly reviews on each episode at the following websites: