One of my new favourite series Outlander has hit the small screen in a big way. Garnering success overseas, the series based on books by Diana Gabaldon focuses on the main character Claire Randall, who is transported back in time to a reality that is far from her own.
Outlander is quite a fascinating series, the concept combines aspects of folklore and history, delving into that of the Scottish and supernatural themes present at the time. All the while we are introduced to some new talents. In the lead role Caitriona Balfe stars as Claire Randall a English WWII combat nurse who upon taking a trip after the war with her husband Frank Randall played by Tobias Menzies in 1945 is transported back in time to 1743 where she finds herself in the middle of a conflict between British Army guards and warriors/rebels. Some astonishing truths are realised in the events that take place and she ends up being saved and taken in by a group of warriors.
She surprises them with her attitude and manner, as well as her considerable skill and knowledge when it comes to medical procedures, as well as the information she is privy to, pertaining to their time. We discovered earlier in the episode that her husband Frank had quite an interest in the history of the area and earlier on we were treated to some spectacular scenery. The colouring in the images is quite unique to each world. Whilst the colour is there throughout the episode, the contrast between the sombre tones where you still have light and warmth in 1945. The colours in 1743 have a crisp and clear quality that reflects the atmosphere at the time. All the while, we’re kept informed and updated about how certain feelings and emotions in this new world relate to her old world. Especially when she takes on a more assertive role in 1743 which would have been normal in 1945 such as her being a nurse. She takes a strong stand when it comes to maintaining a dominant role in the past.
A big plus in my books and another reason I love the series is, as soon as we were introduced to this episode it began with the title theme which I recognised is notable Emmy award winning composer and musician Bear McCreary (you may know from his work on Da Vinci’s Demons, The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Black Sails). McCreary is also working on the complete soundtrack for Outlander. Another aspect I like about this series is, so far it is narrated by Claire. Her tone is quite inviting and calming in a situation that is otherwise. The narration also helps bridge a connection between the past and present or (if you prefer to think of it as) two worlds, extremely informative. Balfe’s portrayal of Claire is quite capturing. Her expressions and movement are quite fluid and believable, which is why I feel we as an audience can accept what she’s going through and relate to Claire. I found myself thinking what would I do in that situation?
I haven’t read the books yet, but from what I’ve heard the series has been adapted well. The first episode was so successful that a second season has already been approved. Promising news considering we have another 15 episodes to watch in season 1. Overall I’m looking forward to this new adventure.