26 August 2014

Outlander Episode 1 - Sassenach

***Spoilers ahead - kind of.  If you haven't read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and want to, you might not want to continue reading.  If you've read the books, you know what's going to happen...the show is one interpretation. ***

***Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened.  When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.*** 

You can watch the first episode for free until June 2015 on Starz play.  Other episodes are only available with a Starz subscription...for now.

On to the review! Which, FYI, is a written "live" while watching the episode.  

I've heard some negative comments about the opening sequence, and while I do agree that it wasn't what I was expecting and it isn't an extremely gripping opening sequence, I do like it.  The singer's voice is very lovely, and the song's words (see below) are nice and fitting to the story.  They took the words to the Skye Boat Song and tweaked it. This version was composed by Bear McCreary and sang by his wife Rava Yarbrough. So overall, I'm pleased.  (YouTube link to the opening sequence.)

Skye Boat Song

"Sing me a song of a lass that is gone,
      Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.
Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
      Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
      All that was me is gone.
Sing me a song of a lass that is gone,
      Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye."

I've been wondering how they were going to do all the back-stories - not just Claire, but Jamie's and the other characters too - so far we've seen a lot of flashbacks.  Do you think they will continue that? I think they are good and I did like the scene of Claire in a field hospital. We don't get to "see" that in the book, only her memories being discussed.  

Some of the dialogue between Claire and Frank seems forced. (Robert, who has only seen half a scene so far (between Claire and Frank), thinks that Claire's (Caitriona Balfe) acting is a bit cheesy. But maybe it is supposed to feel forced/cheesy...their relationship is strained and they are attempting to get to know each other again.  We (the readers) know that the connection twixt Claire and Frank isn't the connection we know Claire and Jamie have so we think nothing of it, but his comment made me think.  Claire's narration in the show of how they are trying to find each other helps those that haven't read.

Uncle Lamb!!!  I was hoping they would show him and Claire's childhood! I'm pleasantly surprised to see him so early.  We don't get to meet him in the books and I'm glad he made an appearance in the first episode.

God, Scotland is BEAUTIFUL!

Roger:  There has been some disappointment that we haven't seen Roger yet.  The scene he made his appearance in the book was in the first episode - but no Roger.  And we (the readers) know how important Roger is to the story overall, though he's not important yet, and the scene he should have been in he wasn't that important so I get why it was left out.  We know Roger has been cast though so we will see him soon (as in some time in the first season).

How the show gave the explanation of what Frank did during the war makes me think we'll get to see more of his story line of what he was doing during the war.  And probably what he was doing after Claire's disappearance.

Claire's swearing ("Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ") has always felt awkward to read.  To me anyways, not sure about anyone else.  But hearing Claire say it; it works so much better.

I'm slightly disappointed in the ghost scene.  There didn't seem to be enough wind and the ghost was more clear than I expected.  When I read it, I see mist and wind and driving rain so hard that Frank is having trouble making out who the man looking up at Claire is.  In the show, it's just dumping rain.  No wind. I totally could make him out...not so mysterious.

The druid scene is my favorite!  The lighting on the dancers and the rocks are splendid.  Though the light on Claire and Frank is wrong and annoys the shit out of me.  The costumes! The music! It starts out slow and then takes off. The slow-motion twirls, the amber glow from the sunrise, the shadows and costumes draping and twisting and flowing perfectly.  All the light is amber/gold and then Claire and Frank have white light which is wrong and annoys me.  And then afterwards they are exploring the stone circle and the light has become mid morning instead of sunrise.  Where's the consistency, people?!

After Claire's fall:
The forest reminds me of Oregon forests.  The running scene is great.  The bagpipes are PERFECT! for that scene.

I like how Scots pronounce "whore" - "ah-hoorrrrr".

The CGI on the dislocated should was believable.  But we have another consistency error.  (His arm was all slung up and they handed him his coat and he comes out of the house with his coat on and the arm through the sling, he would have needed help to do that guys.)

I like how Jamie (Sam Heughan) looks at Claire; like he is immediately smitten.

Her flash of her future/past at the end, on approaching Castle Leoch, is excellent.

It's a good ending.  You want more.  You want to find out what happens next.  Yet it's not leaving it on a cliff-hanger where you have to find out more now.

Did you see it? What did you think?

22 August 2014

Outlander reviews/discussions

I'm considering doing reviews/discussions for each episode of Outlander.  Any interest in watching and discussing with me?

17 August 2014

Fields of flowers

The Queen Anne's lace has been very prevalent this year, probably because it's been so dry. I have been admiring fields of them where they have been planted as cover crops and a couple vacant fields that happen to have no trespassing signs (damn).  I tried to figure out whom I could ask for permission to photograph in the fields, and I even called a few businesses.  

I was not able to get permission (blah blah liability blah blahity blah).

AND THEN! I found a public space with a small flower field.  

01 August 2014


Outlander, the TV show adaptation of my favorite book series officially comes out in one week, on August 9th.

The "Outlander" series spans the genres of romance, science-fiction, history and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 Scotland. Upon her arrival, she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. But when Claire is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited. Now Claire's heart is torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

It feels like I've been waiting forever for this, when it has been a bit more than a year since it was first announced.

It's been fun to follow along online with the casting process, and roll my eyes at the other fans who whined about who was cast or how they weren't going to fit the roll.  I figure let's wait and see how they do before we decide if they're good or not.

Starz is releasing the first episode one week early and for free!

You can see it on Starz Play (click on Outlander and scroll down). (Starz Play will allow you to watch on a computer, or you can download the app for your Android or Iphone or tablet. You have to have a Starz subscription to watch anything but the first episodes of their shows - the first one's free.)

Right now there are several previews/trailers and later tonight/early tomorrow morning (midnight on August 2nd) the first episode, Sassanach, will be available. 

I am thinking I'll probably stay up late to watch it...for the first time.

How about you? Are you going to watch it early or will you wait until August 9th and the official release?

Blog Archive

Popular Posts