Period Drama Premiere: Outlander (2014)

The kilt drops tonight in the US (9 August 2014)! STARZ’s 16-episode TV series, Outlander, is based on Diana Gabaldon‘s novels of the same name. Outlander is the first of the eight-part historical fiction series.

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The poster for Outlander

The Novel

Being so busy these past few months, I was thrilled to finally finish reading the 640-page novel last night, just in time for today’s premiere. I won’t give away any spoilers but those of you thinking of reading the book, do so. I have to say, the first few chapters (or was it 10?) were rather slow but once it picked up, I couldn’t stop reading. Next thing you know, I was more than halfway through the book. I believe I would have finished reading within a month had I not had a Duke of Ed Award to submit, two weddings to attend, and a project to do. Those of you who enjoy historical fiction with time-travel, a ‘little’ romance (it’s not like other historical romance novels but there are lots of love scenes…), and adventure set in Scotland in 1945 and 1743, this is the book for you. Many have called Outlander the ‘female Game of Thrones’ that even men can enjoy. 🙂

The Cast

I was a little surprised that an Irish actress would be cast to play the heroine, Claire Randall. I’m looking forward to seeing Caitriona Balfe transform throughout the series. Scottish actor, Sam Heughan, plays the dashing Jamie Fraser. I recognised the actor from Hallmark’s A Princess for Christmas, in which he played a very handsome and charming Prince Ashton. Playing both a loving husband in one century (Frank Randall) and his villainous ancestor in another (Jonathan/Jack Randall) is Tobias Menzies. I recognised the actor from Rome and Game of Thrones as he has a very distinct face. I couldn’t see him as someone so cold-hearted as Jack Randall, but I suppose we’ll see how well he can transform from one character to another. The only name I recognised from the cast was Lotte Verbeek, who will play Geillis Duncan, because she played Giulia Farnese in The Borgias.

Preparation for the series

Don’t know how to pronounce certain Gaelic phrases in the novel? Visit STARZ’s YouTube channel and find the videos with ‘Speak Outlander’.

In the meantime, enjoy the opening title of Outlander (I love the music! The tune is ‘The Skye Boat Song‘ and the lyrics are an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem, Sing Me a Song of a Lad that is Gone):

Watch the first episode here.

Release Dates in Other Countries (listed alphabetically)

Australia: 14 August 2014 – SoHo
Canada: Sunday, 24 August 2014 @ 10PM ET/PT – Showcase
Denmark: 10 September 2014 – Viaplay Denmark
Finland: TBA – YLE
Germany: 20 May 2015 – VOX
Japan: 28 August 2014 – Hulu Japan
Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela): 28 September 2014 @ 10PM – MovieCity
The Netherlands: 11 August 2014 – NBO NL
New Zealand: 27 August 2014 – Lightbox
Norway: 10 September 2014 – Viaplay Norway
Republic of Ireland: 22? September 2014 – RTÉ 2
Spain: TBA – Telefónica de España
Sweden: 10 September 2014 – Viaplay Sweden

Update: According to Entertainment Weekly, Outlander was renewed for a second series, based on Diana Gabaldon’s second novel, Dragonfly in Amber, with Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe reprising their roles. There will be at least 13 episodes. I wonder if all of Diana’s Outlander novels will be adapted for television. That would give us at least eight years of Outlander. What do you think? 🙂