Alright, let’s put it on the table up front: I haven’t read Outlander. I tried twice since it first came out, and I couldn’t get over the first part. It reminded me of my aborted attempt to study History at university. I had loved history classes at school. At uni, not so much. The first few weeks of any class were great. But when I was ready to move on to the next bit, they stayed on the same narrow topic for MONTHS. Yawn. (That was years before I learned I was a Scanner, btw. More on that some other time. Rest assured: It’s not an alien life form. I think. ;-)
So, anyway. That was my impression reading “Outlander” when what I was used to was Highlander-romance, sometimes paranormal Highlander romance. While in the romances, I sometimes cringed when things were too modern or badly researched, here there was history. That was fine. But there was so much of it! And so much backstory. And so much stuff about the modern guy who I didn’t care for at all. I just wanted him out of the picture so the highlander could ride in, like: finally.
So when Outlander (gah: first I wrote Highlander … ;-) now came out on iTunes, I hesitated. I watched the trailers – and I loved what I saw. Still on the fence, I decided to skip the first episodes and to start with episode 7, The Wedding. For … cough … various reasons. ;-)
I was totally hooked by that episode. The writing, the story, the dialogue, the grittiness of it all. Like Game of Thrones without chewing my nails to the quick. I watched the eighth episode and am now severely tempted to start over at the beginning, with Sassenach.
I’m still torn on whether I like the heroine. I love the nuanced way she’s played and love the actress, but the heroine herself. Hm, we’ll have to see. But the Highlander, Jamie, comes alive so much and in so many small details, he feels real.
No wonder Sam Heughan, the actor who plays Jamie in Outlander, picks up Twitter followers by the bucketful. If you also love Jamie, here’s something for you: The page collated Sam Heughan’s rare Question & Answer session that he held for reaching 100K twitter followers. (That was two months ago, he’s at 114.000 now.) Now some of it reads just plain boring taken out of the context of Twitter. But if you’re on Twitter, you can imagine the heart palpitations some of these answers must have given, when he used their Twitter handle to, personally, send them a hug or a greeting. :-D
Something else that I love about Outlander beside Jamie and the show’s look is the song that haunts the opening sequence, The Skye Boat Song (Skye Boat Song on Amazon.com). It’s based on an old song and poem and has such a nice Celtic, past-times touch combined with drive and determination. Reminded me of Loreena McKennit and Enya, in a good way.
The feyish quality of it is especially lovely when coupled with snippets of the series filmed in modern times. It went straight onto my playlist for writing. Can’t decide which version to show you here. One where you see the opening sequence? Maybe rather one where you can sing along:
Last but not least for you Outlander-addicts, here’s a sneak peek at the next season:
What do you think?