“Outlander” captures audience with action and adventure

Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

Over the summer, I binge-watched a couple of shows (as many students do). I finally watched “Sex and the City.” Even though the series ran from 1996 to 2002, it still has some relevancy to single 30-something women. The other show I watched was “Outlander.” So far there have been two seasons. I am patiently waiting for season three to come out in four days.

The show is based on a series of books of the same name by Diana Gabaldon. It involves World War II, time travel, 18th century Scotland and Scottish uprisings. Before I lose those who don’t like science fiction novels or shows, while time travel is the root of the series, it’s not the main focus. If anything, the relationships, action and adventure is the main focus.

The series follows Claire Randall/Fraiser. She starts in the 1940s on a second honeymoon with her husband, Frank Randall, in the Scottish Highlands. They had spent five years apart during WWII. Frank is an avid historian, who takes Claire to watch an ancient
Scottish pagan ritual, at a rock formation. After the ritual, Frank and Claire go back to their hotel. Claire returns alone to look at some flowers growing nearby. She puts both hands on the center stone and is transported back to Scotland in the 1740s. During much of the first half of season one, she tries to return to Frank in her own time. The audience sees glimpses of what Frank is going through while his wife is missing.

Claire marries a Scot, James Fraiser, out of necessity for survival. Claire and Jamie end up falling in love. Because Claire is from the future, she knows that the Jacobite rising will ultimately fail. She tells Jamie of her time travel and the outcome of the rising. For most of season two, they try to stop the rising from happening. Historically, the Jacobite rising is an event that marked the end of Highland culture. Even though the show is fiction, there is some historical accuracy.

Once Jamie realizes that Claire, who is pregnant, will probably die during the uprising, he tells her to go back to the stones and back to her own time. She does, finds Frank and tells him everything. He agrees to raise the child as his own. The season finale is set in the 1960s. Claire’s daughter finds out that Frank isn’t her father, which prompts Claire to tell her daughter everything. Through research, they find out Jamie didn’t die in the uprising.

This is where season three will pick up. I have found myself in love with the book and the show. There is enough action to keep me interested but not so much that the show is strictly about fighting. The cinematography is better than most movies. There are several transitions between the past and the future that are so fluid you almost miss it.

If you have read the books, I think the show does a great job following them. The author works with the cast and crew to keep the show accurate. Sure, there are some changes and details taken out, but the attitude and heart of the book are left in the show. “Outlander” is on Amazon video but only with Starz subscription.