By: Megan Lilly
Have you ever thought what it might be like to travel through time? What the consequences or implications of such an occurrence might be? Both Diana Gabaldon’s novel Outlander and the Starz television show deal with this subject and how one woman handles the situation she finds herself in. There is no mistaking that this is not one’s typical science fiction, machine-induced travel through time such as in works like Back to the Future, but instead has more mystery and magic than science and technology.
The setting of the show gives an air of foreign intrigue that many other shows have a hard time of capturing. Claire, the female protagonist, is transported to 18th century Scotland while on her honeymoon after the end of World War II. She finds herself in a world completely unknown to her, as she is from 20th century England. The detailing of her escapades while attempting to create a new life for herself in the Scottish highlands provide the drama that makes any television show binge-worthy. A large part of the world of Outlander is the characterization and how the actors and producers weave the world of 18th century Scotland and the events of what occurs in history into the plotline of the story. The clans of Scotland were real and, as an added dimension, the story adheres to history in terms of how the clans functioned and to the manner in which they were destroyed by the Jacobite Rising.
My favorite aspect of this show is how I was drawn into and torn between the two lives Claire leads throughout. She has a husband in the 20th century, but then develops a relationship with Jaime, the 18th century Scottish clansman. She struggles at first to try to get back through the stones and return to her own time, but eventually realizes that such a feat might not be possible. As she adjusts to her time in the 18th century, part of me didn’t want her to go back to her first husband. I had come to love her new life in Scotland more than her old life back in England. The passionate and loving relationship between her and Jamie gave me a couple to root for throughout the five seasons. Their struggles and trials to get back to and fight for each other is a powerful aspect of what makes this show something to be watched.
As a final comment, I would rate this show an 8/10 because of the strength of the characters and how intricately the plotline is woven throughout the show. A future episode will often include elements that seemed insignificant earlier in the season, but turn out to be of immense importance later on, which is an aspect that kept me vigilant and engrossed in the show. The romance between Jamie and Claire is another major element to this show that drew me in and kept me watching. I was always waiting and wanting to see how their life would turn out and how their love would either keep them together or drive them apart.
Edited by Emily Chance