An Outlander Community
Saturday 9:00 PM on Starz
"Purrfection"


Fans of Diana Gabaldon from all around the world waited over 20 years to see the tv adaptation of Outlander series. This day has finally come. And I'm very happy to say all my hopes were fulfilled. "Sassenach" was a masterpiece, a love letter to Claire and Jamie story. If I were to give each episode a score (which I won't cause I will love every one of them) I would give the pilot probably 11 out of 10 points.

As many of you I have read the books and I know what will happen next. However, there are people here who don't know Claire and Jamie's advantures yet. So I have a big favour to ask - please don't put spoilers in the comments. Thank you.

1. Claire and Jamie




Caitriona Balfe is just gorgeous. She did a great work showing us how strong and interesting character Claire is. She looks and feels exactly how I imagined Claire while I was reading the books.



The same goes for Sam Heughan. He's my Jamie. And I don't care he supposed to be 23 years old when the story begins. Team Clamie for life!

2. Frank / Black Jack



It's amazing how they're changing the looks of Tobias Menzies. As a Frank he's this handsome ex-SOE man who you would love to invite to your bedroom so he can check springs in your mattress. However, as Black Jack he looks like a monster and you can at once totally believe he is a sadist and a rapist. Great work art / make up department!

3. Dougal


I love Graham McTavish ever since he played Dwalin in The Hobbit. However, I always imagined Dougal to be younger. Still he has fantastic accent.

4. Credits and the music

In times when tv shows cut credits and theme songs off (I'm looking at you Covert Affairs...) Outlander is doing the totally opposit thing. "The Skye Boat Song" performed by Raya Yarbrough and Bear McCreary gives me the shivers every time I hear it. Bear McCreary once again (among others he also composed the music for BSG, Caprica and TSCC) showed he's a genius. Outlander has amazing music. I especially loved the bagpipes part when redcoats were shooting at Claire. I can't wait to buy Season 1 sound-track.

5. Costumes



The clansmen looked awesome in kilts and plaids - that's no-brainer. However, I also loved Claire's 1945s clothes - especially her navy blue trench coat.


One thing that bothers me is that within serval dozen seconds Claire's white dress turned into rags. That belt had to be very cheap cause it completely disintegrated during Claire's fall.

6. Sexy times


Smootches are a big part of the books. However, due to time limitation we won't see as many of them in the show. We have to accept it. Still from what I've seen so far I think we'll be ok. I loved the scene in ruins of Castle Leoch. It was short, but very sensual.

7. The New Stuff

I really liked the WW II scenes and Uncle Lamb's part. In books Claire tells us about them but now we can actually see them - yay! Also comparison of time travel to the car accident really worked for me.

8. Claire's voice-over

The books (for the most part) are written in the first person. I'm very happy the show follows this fashion - especially cause Caitriona has such a lovely voice.

9. Visuals




Scotland in the show is played by RL Scotland - so no wonder then everything looks so beautiful. I really liked that we've seen Castle Leoch both in state of a ruin and in it's full glory (even if Claire and Frank have never been there in the book - or at least I don't remember that part).

10. Favorite moment of the episode

I loved every single scene in pilot, but my favorite moment was the ceremony at Craigh na Dun. It was really beautiful.

11. Plot



The first half of the premiere was a bit slow (just like the first few chapters of the book). However IMO the writers did a good job showing Claire and Frank love and Claire's past. Also a fair warning – if the attempted rape scene made you feel very uncomfortable and you try to avoid watching such stuff – then perhaps this show is not for you. Outlander is VERY naturalistic in its XVIII century’s description. Violence was part of it – and will be a part of the series. In other words this show is for adults only.

Right now Outlander saga consists of 8 books - so I hope we will get at least 8 seasons - make it happen Starz!

If you read the books - are you satisfied with the outcome? Was "Sassenach" everything you wanted?

If you didn't read the books - did you like the pilot? What do you think about Claire, Jamie and Frank?

Will you watch the next episode? Share your thoughts!

Comments (62)
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I found the story setup compelling, interesting and captivating but at times the show and it's plot moved a bit slow for me. I found myself fast-forwarding at times.
I'm staying with it for now because I really want to know where this story is going. Maybe once the universe is established and everything feels more compfortable the pace will pick up.

Otherwise I have no complaints :)

Oh and could Scotland wish for a better tourism advertisment? This show makes the place look great.
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Sometimes (like every book) Outlander has longeurs. However, when the action hits the protagonists between ears - it hits them really hard - so it's worth to wait.

And yes the tv series should be great advertisment for both books and Scotland. If there are Sex and City tours in NY then surely they can make trips for Outlander fans in Iverness.

Also the review of second episode is now online :)
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I enjoyed the pilot enough that I picked up the book and read it. And now I'm even more disappointed that I won't get to watch the rest of the season until it's released on DVD, since I don't subscribe to Starz. I think that the first half was kind of slow but only because you know what's in store for her (time travel!) and by comparison it's pretty boring. But at the same time, I think it's important for the audience to know and love Frank, so that when she meets Randall, there's more of a stark contrast between the two personalities. For that, I'm glad they spent more than half of the first episode on Claire/Frank. I loved Tobias Menzies as Frank, and am kind of dreading seeing him do all the nasty things he will be doing as Randall. I am hoping that Frank shows up again in the series, maybe a scene showing him searching for Claire after her disappearance?

I'm loving Caitriona Balfe as Claire! She has a certain grace about her that is great for the part.

Now that I'm a book fan, I have to say that I think they're doing a great job with the series. And the fact that the author is on board and involved is a good sign, too.
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A Wee Spoiler (highlight for text) ---& I can only say we'll see Frank again. If you want to know more - you have to read book 2 - Dragonfly in Amber :)

Welcome to the World of Outlander!
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When the score is excellent when isn't it Bear? You knew with Ron behind this one he wasn't going to be far behind. (He's also still with him on 'Helix' and his score on that one is also one of its best parts. He's also currently scoring 'Davinci's Demons' and 'Black Sails' for STARZ.)

Everything about this first episode had me completely on board. What a great role to break through with. Caitriona Balfe was so fantastic; such a great choice for seemingly the most important casting decision. Ronald Moore knows how to cast his shows. Strong and beautiful and a character you feel compelled to keep following. Haven't read the books but will probably now if they are in 'Claire's voice.

Glad to see someone who loved the books so much taking a run with the weekly coverage. From this network 'Spartacus' has been my favorite but I think this one may be the one to supplant or share the pedestal with. They nailed the pilot and made the viewer want more. Success so far.

The remake of 'Battlestar Galactica' will always be one of my favorite shows - I will never forget Tricia Helfer and that red dress in the very first scene of the mini-series - and Ron Moore had to have another great one in him. Glad they gave him the chance with this beloved series of novels. Seems like, coming from the voice of an enormous fan, he did right by it.

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Well, since we're getting season 2 at least - I will be reviewing Outlander at a weekly bases. I hope you gals and guys will comment them :)
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Thank you for kind words :)

I'm glad you liked the premier. The more people watch Outlander the better. I strongly encourage you to get the books.

I'm not sure yet if I will write about Outlander on the weekly bases. Right now I'm planning to review episode two - we'll see how it works out.

BSG had fantastic cast and characters - but my favorites will always be Caprica 6 and Starbuck. Tricia and Katee are gorgeous.
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I love Outlander. But I haven't read the book in about 10 years so I can't remember everything that happened. I have read the first 4 books and I have 5, 6 & 7. But I am probably going to have to go back to the beginning to read the others so that I can remember everything. Anyways, the first episode of the series was very intriguing. I enjoyed it. I just wish they would have gotten to her meeting Jamie faster. I kept waiting for that to happen. Both actors, for Claire and Jamie, are great. I'm sure I'll like this series as it goes on because I love the books. It has everything that's good all smushed into a great story. Time travel, history, action & adventure (some of it is really intense), drama and overall... a wonderful arching love story. Everything is awesome about this.
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The first 20 minutes was painfully slow , picked up once she traveled. The lead actress is also very good, decent start
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I haven't read the books but I love what I've seen so far. I think this will be one of my favorite shows. I also love Bear McCreary! I was really happy to find out he's the composer for Outlander. If you haven't watched his Black Sails videos on youtube, you really should. The music is similar in some ways, plus he's just so overjoyed to be making music that he's a blast to watch (and hear).
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Black Sails sound track is very good - but for me Bear McCreary's greatest tune will always be this.

I'm glad you're enjoying the show, Mandy :)
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I loved McCreary's work for Battlestar Galactica, which was in part so good because it eschewed most soundtrack conventions for sci-fi entertainment, which tend to lean heavily on synthetic, electric and mechanical sounds OR to full orchestra epic. McCreary's sonic (rather than strictly melodic) chorus and heavy, dramatic use of percussion was singular!

There are a lot of echoes of that sound in the opening episode of Outlander, but I find it strangely a little less compelling, probably because its a sound and style more typical of "celtic" soundtracks. Still very fine, though.
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I miss BSG! It's so cool that some of the BSG gang is back together for this show.
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I miss BSG too! It was my all time favorite show - and for sure the best hard science fiction series I have ever seen. BSG was a mix of many genres and everyone could find something interesting in it. Outlander is the same - so I hope it will achieve comparable success.
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As a fan of time travel and somewhat history, series pilot was very interesting.
For the first 20 or 30 minutes i usually stop watching if the pilot seems so slow. Outlander was kinda slow for me and yet there was something that made me keep watching till the end. It means the show has potential and can be developed to many possible ways. I guess 17th 18th century background shows can be either really interesting one or real waste of time.

Science fiction+romance+history+some actions=Outlander
This is what I felt so far.....
It feels like watching Continuum and Reign at the same time.

Can't wait to see next episode!!!

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I like your comparison with Continuum and Reign.

Big difference with Continuum though: Claire did not bring anything back in time with her (except for her knowledge) that can actually prove she is from the future.


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I would probably re-order a lot of those components.

(1) history/historical fiction + (2) romance + (3) political thriller + (4) action adventure + (5) fantasy/folklore/sci-fi = Outlander

After being unexpectedly quite impressed by the premiere episode, I finally took the advice I've been getting for the last ten or so years and picked up the book. Now 3/4 of the way through, I'm still not sure entirely how to read the fantasy/folklore elements of the story. It pits a particular brand of 20th-century faith in science and rationality with echoes of Enlightenment ideology against centuries-old belief in magic and fairies, but it just doesn't commit to either one. The blend is compelling, especially in its refusal to express certainty for either one. I'll be interested to see how the Starz show deals with that.
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Without puting spoilers from the books it's very hard to answer your question. Let's just say that in Outlander's version of our world these old beliefs play an important role. Some of them are gibberish - others not so much.
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Partly that's my point. Again, trying to avoid spoilers. Mostly, Claire is guided by her humane nature and what she feels are her personal and professional responsibilities as a nurse/impromptu physician, but given her experiences—including her very folklore-y travel through the standing stones at Craigh na Du on which the plot depends—I'm surprised she's not more reticent to dismiss other traditions and folk beliefs (e.g., changelings). When she has another brush with a folk legend, she still doesn't adopt any more agnosticism about their potential validity.

Also, there's Jamie, who rationally thinks some things, but still can't help but instinctively react on certain "superstitions," but *spoiler...highlight for text* when confronted by Claire's experiences, he doesn't necessarily believe it at her word. In other words, the whole novel dances around this tension in very (refreshingly) noncommittal ways, but it sometimes makes the characters attitudes—even in light of their experiences, cultural backgrounds, and education—difficult to understand.
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@Llostris

As much as I sometimes enjoyed The X-Files, Scully's banging on and on about her clearly unsatisfactory idea of "science" got very tedious. Then again, so did Mulder's tendency to see alien abductions in his breakfast cereal.
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Think of Dana Scully. Like Claire she was a woman of science. How many seasons did Dana need to finally believe in the existence of aliens?

Fortunately, Claire learns way faster :)
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Science fiction+romance+history+some actions=Outlander

To the above I would also add politics and adventure. Also some people thinks it's more fantasy then science fiction.


It feels like watching Continuum and Reign at the same time.

In a way you're right :)


Can't wait to see next episode!!!

We have to wait only 4 more days!
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'Continuum' + 'Reign' at the same time. That's why I love it so much. Thanks for putting my thoughts to words.
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I liked the first episode. I'll watch the next episode...
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Interesting show. As a history buff with special place made for Scotland, I have to love this type of show. Haven't read the books...yet. I probably will because of the "what happens next?" factor if nothing else.

For the first 25 minutes I was afraid this would devolve into just another soap opera. Latter part of the pilot and this review have assuaged my fears sufficiently that I'll continue watching.
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I'm very glad to hear my review encouraged you to see the next episode. Mission accomplished :)
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Very intriguing concept and if it is historical novel it sounds just like my cup 'o tea.
Really curious about the books but as @rolamb I also have a backlog :-S
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I can see a lot of potential with this series but, I would have been better off skipping ahead about 30-45min, because only the last 15-20min is when it really started getting good.
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While I agree that it's a quite leisurely pace to start what looks to be a very action-heavy series with, especially when it all takes place in a "world" that the rest of the show leaves behind, I think it will be hugely important in establishing the contrast...and in giving the audience and understanding of Claire's life before time-traveling, more than just an abstract idea of "home".

I also think that in terms of character-building, it will be interesting to watch how Tobias Menzies transforms between Frank and Jack...and how Claire responds to the uncomfortable familiarity that the villain shares with her loving husband.
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You would have been better only for short time.

Assuming STARZ is planning to make more then one season of Outlander and adapt more books then just the first one - these first 45 mins are very important for the story.
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Thanks for the review, Llostris!

Logic said I shouldn't like this at all since it isn't goofy sci-fi. But this was a really intriguing story.
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You're very welcome :)

Since Outlander is a mix of so many genres - everyone can find something interesting in it. And the story is great - just wait and see!
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Not Bad! A million trillion times better than "Reign"!
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Surprisingly not terrible. I'm a huge fan of historical time travel fiction, I love reading about people or groups of people being sent to a more primitive time (See Island in the Sea of Time for example) and changing things up.

For years I've been seeing Outlander recommended by different book sites based around my reading history, but even a quick glance has turned me off. Romance? Bah. No.

But I decided to give this a watch and while it didn't set the world on fire, it wasn't all that bad.
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The romance part is strongest in the first book. Later it's more adventure / historical fiction.

If you like period pieces - then Outlander saga is really worth reading. The Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is depicted in a very interesting way.

Oh and Claire being from 1945 definitely tries to change things up wherever she goes :)
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As a guy, the "romance novel" aspects don't get my nethers all aquiver like they seem to for the ladies, but it still looks worth watching. Strong characters, great scenery, and historical interest are the main draws, along with the inexplicable situation Claire finds herself in. While the early scenes were as dry and dusty as the historical records Frank was sifting through, the turning point for me came at the stones, with the car crash/cut scene leading back to 1743. I'm pretty sure things will be a lot more exciting from now on, and I can't wait for more.

A note on the soundtrack, especially the title song: This gets my vote for the most appropriate theme music for a series ever. "The Skye Boat Song", while written over a hundred years after the events in Outlander, depicts Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape from Scotland following the failed 1745 Jacobite Uprising. It's not often a series gets to use a beautiful old song that was actually written about the time, place, and events the show portrays, and while the lyrics may have come later, the underlying music had been around in the region for a lot longer. Good call Bear!
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I'm glad you enjoyed the premier. The stuff will definitely get more exciting. And I can't wait for next episode too :)

I agree "The Skye Boat Song" fits Outlander like a glove.
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When i heard about Ron Moores new project i wanted to know what it is about, so i read the book a couple weeks back. I really liked it and was exited they chose to adapt it for TV. As always i'm curious about the differences between the book and the tv series. I found some minor ones i really didn't care about, only one thing caught my eye. In the book Jamie has a gunshot wound and a dislocated shoulder when Claire and Jamie first meet and later a bayonet wound when they encounter the patrol at Cocknammon Rock. In the episode he gets the gunshot wound at the rock. This might not seem important for most of the viewers, but the interesting part is who shot him in the first place. It is not game changing like what they did with game of thrones, but for some reason this scene stuck after the revelation in the book.

All in all i really liked the episode a lot and will definitely watch the series.
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I noticed that discrepancy as well, as I'm currently reading the book, but unless more is revealed in the tail quarter of the book (beyond Jamie's suspicion and the direction of shot), I'm not sure just how much can be extrapolated from it, especially since unrifled firearms were often wildly erratic in their firing. With that many lead balls flying around, being shot by men on the run, firing at just about anything that moved, it's not hugely surprising that someone at the front of the pack might take a shot to the shoulder...whether or not there was specific ill intent, which I'm sure the show will make evident later on in other ways.
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I'm glad you liked both the first book and the pilot - especially since you're a guy. Are you planning to read Dragonfly in Amber?

I didn't remember the details about Jamie's wounds - it's been a while since I last read the first book - good catch!
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I'll definitely read Dragonfly in Amber, i really liked the main characters and want to know what happens next, i just have to finish my current book.
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After the first episode I am liking the show hope it continues. Read all the books enjoy the reading also
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I haven't read the books (yet-but they're on my list), but after the first episode, I'm liking the show so far. I really like time travel stories.
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You should definitely read the books - I strongly recommend them :)

Since you like time travel stories - I hope you're watching Continuum?
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I haven't read the books and I probably never will. Not really my cup of tea, but maybe the series will be. I watched it and will wait for the 4-episode test to give my definitive opinion.

First impression, did I like it? I hear the enthusiasm about a lot of things in the review, but I'm not sure if the ones that I find interesting will keep me watching. There is a lot of competition.....

Until the Jeep drove past her, I thought it played after WW1. The whole colouring seemed right for that period of time.
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I'm not sure what you mean by "whole colouring". For sure people after WW1 wore totally different clothes (just check Downton Abbey for comparison) then in 1945.

I encourage you to give Outlander a chance - it's really a great story. As for the books - never say never :)
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With 'colouring' I meant the colour of the environment and clothes (very brownish). But I will be wrong (can't imagine the series would have done that wrong). Still, it gave me the impression so my brain probably is now exposed of being incompetent.

As said, I will give it the 4-episode test. As for the books, never say never but I have a backlog of a few hundred books at home (I have my little private library and have bought thousands of books since I was 20, never went to the public library again).
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The uniform colors would depend on which army you were in. We're so used to American GI green in WWII movies, we sometimes forget the British and Canadian armies, whose uniforms and equipment often looked a lot more like their WWI counterparts.
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Thanks, that makes sense!
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Any news on the ratings?
I know the early internet release got over a million views
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Here are the ratings of the premier:

*Nielsen estimates that more than 720,000 watched the series opener of “Outlander” on Saturday night, and a total of 2.3 million watched during its opening weekend on the Starz flagship channel alone. Roughly 51% of those adults watching were female, the network said.* by Variety.
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You missed a bit from the same article:

"Early reporting of the week-long on-demand, online platforms and affiliate TVE services yielded an additional 1.4 million to date, bringing the total to 3.7 million and counting."
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'Power' bowed out last week with 1.1 million viewers for the finale in this same spot. Those were its best ratings; more than double the second highest rated episode, it got it a second season. This one had to do better with its built in audience. Very interested to see this number.
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It will be interesting to see - I'd expect it to do the same as Power's finale, and then take the internet views into account
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Yeah - the preview was very popular :) And from what I know Starz has now many new female subscribers.

I think we have to wait till Monday for ratings of the official premiere.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Starz announced season 2 in like 3 weeks.
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I was right - STARZ renewed Outlander for season 2 :)
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EW shows that it did 2.3 million viewers during weekend airings (on premiere night it garnered a tad under 1 million), 1.4 million were added and counted from On Demand and online to give it (according to EW) the biggest multi platform audience success in Starz history at 3.7mil. (roughly 51% female, 45% male, 4% unidentified). Looks like a second season announcement should be just around the corner. One great sign was that it wasn't primarily female, almost gender neutral and this one is going to build as word of mouth spreads.
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Thanks for the info - but if you look at Grumpy's and my comments above - you'll see we already knew that :)

Anyway I'm very happy Outlander's premier did so great - and I'm waiting for that season two announcement.
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No worries - you had the good intentions :)
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(so stupid.. need to look up before commenting:)) I should have just come back here. Glad you're also doing a recap Llostris. Sorry for being blind. I'll be removing my overkill. Thanks.
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