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Outlander S01E01: "Sassenach"


The first thing we learned about Claire Randall, protagonist/proxy of Starz’s new drama Outlander, was that she has seen some shit. She has rolled up her sleeves to the elbow and plunged her hands into a man’s thigh, then washed down the smell of rancid blood with cold champagne. Claire Randall was a war nurse who was in the thick of it, and though she may look as refined and ethereal as Cate Blanchett, she is as strong as a statue of Cate Blanchett carved out of solid steel.


This initial impression was reinforced by a peek into her adolescence: Growing up in the tow of a globe-trotting, anthropologist uncle taught Claire a very specific set of skills—skills that allow her to adapt quickly to new surroundings. Like lighting a cigarette directly over a dig site for an anthropologist who is apparently none too concerned about ashing on ancient artifacts.



So this is a strong lady who is strong in a real sense; she’s not inexplicably good at karate or laying out 250-pound men with a single punch—rather, her strength comes from mental fortitude and her battlefield surgeon skills. Also she sometimes wishes she was settled enough to own a vase. Also she’s on a second honeymoon with a man she married right before the war, who she really hasn’t seen for five years. Also their libidos don’t quite seem to line up?




Claire said sex was the one thing they were rock-solid on, but as a casual observer, let me tell you, Frank Randall just did not seem as DTF as Claire. Sure, he was happy to have some sex, but he approached a tryst in the basement of a ruined castle with all the passion of someone taking a multivitamin before work. Also they’d chosen their honeymoon spot so Frank could investigate his genealogy alongside a parish priest. “Honey, you go on ahead to our honeymoon suite alone, me and Father Whatshisface are going to keep sorting through these yellowed clippings in this damp-ass living room” may as well've been an actual line.




The town itself had an unapologetic Wickerman vibe. There was blood splattered across the lintel of their hotel for good luck or something, and the whole population (including the parish priest) was super excited about Samhain. Can I just say, it’s about my dearest wish to do a three-month stretch in this kind of place, a cozy, casually pagan village. 

On the night that Claire was home all alone in her cold, empty honeymoon suite while husband Frank was peering over some mouldering parchment receipts from his ancestor Captain “Black Jack” Randall, a ghost appeared. A sexy ghost with a penchant for rakishly tilted toques. Frank saw him melt into the night and was like, “Yo, a ghost?”—or perhaps a man PRETENDING to be a ghost!?!?!?!


Frank basically confronted Claire about it, like, “We were apart for five years, maybe you had some affairs during that time? Also maybe one of the guys you effed followed us to this small-ass town and is watching you through the windows? NBD, just wondering.” Claire was shaken by this because it revealed to her that Frank might've had casual liaisons during their separation, whereas she emphatically had not. Maybe this explains why Claire was hurtin’ for some giddyup times and Frank was making a scrapbook of 18th-century relatives?

Anyway, the pair decided to do some birdwatching, except instead of hiding in the bushes and looking at birds, they were going to hide in the bushes and look at people. Up by the standing stones, some pagan types did a ceremony on Samhain, and while it was a sacred religious moment to the pagans, it was also just some jolly good fun to old Frank, and who doesn’t like a lantern dance?



Claire felt a little bad about spying, but also deeply moved, but also like, “Hey cool flower” about a random flower she saw among the standing stones. Later when she found out that Frank was going to shine his shoes or count every grain of salt in a saltshaker or whatever instead of spending some time with her, she decided to go up to the standing stones alone to snatch up that supercool flower. 

She put on a ravishingly gorgeous dress—like you do for a hike—sauntered up to the standing stones, picked a flower, and suddenly the rocks were screaming. Screaming!


Then we’re treated to a music-video quality slow-motion 1940s car crash that was meant to show us what the feeling was like when Claire touched the screaming stone. It was a little abstract and absolutely gorgeous, and without any cheesy blue AfterEffect flourishes, it was clear that Claire had somehow Transitioned, perhaps in Time. 


This was easily the most elegant depiction of time-travel I’ve ever seen. I’m not a fan of continuous voiceover narration by a main character, but I prefer it to a wavy dissolve when it comes to explaining supernatural elements. Well done, Outlander.

Anyway, Claire woke up in the middle of a battle and IMMEDIATELY lost her belt and button, like you do.




She then stumbled across Frank in full fancy dress, but it turned out it was NOT Frank in full fancy dress... it was his ancestor, Black Jack Randall, and Randall’s first instinct when stumbling across a fellow countrywoman who was clearly completely disoriented was to rape her. So, way to immediately establish a character’s story drive: This dude is a maniacal sexual predator, gotchya. 

Luckily he was warded off by a Scot who swooped in to save/kidnap Claire and take her forcefully back to a peat-thatched cottage. And there, sitting by the fire, was a handsome, vulnerable young man, one Jamie Fraser, who needed the medical assistance only Claire could provide. His friends were about to pop his arm into his socket in such a way that they might instead snap that shit in half, and Claire intervened.




First of all let me say I thought Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan exhibited immediate, fantastic chemistry. Well done, Outlander casting director, because this is pretty key. And Claire, Lord love her, set Jamie's arm with minimal damage. For this act of kindness karma gave Claire a seat astride Jamie's horse, cuddled up in his plaid and chest muscles, for the next two days. 


On the road, Claire saw a rock formation and remembered some of the boring trivia Frank quoted to her about redcoats ambushing Scots around there, and she warned everyone that redcoats might be in wait up on the rock. Immediately everyone was like, “HOW TF DO YOU KNOW THAT?”—but just then they were ambushed, as she predicted, and Jamie threw Claire into a small creek for her own protection, which is actually the best call in the circumstances.

Free from her captive Scots, Claire made a break for it (“Time to go back... to the future! By running? ID even K”) and ran smack into a blood-drenched Jamie, fresh off the most recent skirmish, who threatened to physically carry her back with him to the waiting Scots. This bit was a bodice-ripping Highlander genre moment if ever there was one, make no mistake, but the actors gave it an elevating gravitas—and kudos to Claire for not making him actually throw her over his shoulder like an indignant, time-traveling Jansport.



Although she had got every reason to be mad at him for overpowering her, A) he got her some booze, and B) she found out he had a ball through his shoulder he hadn’t been telling anyone about. Just when we thought Jamie couldn’t be any more heartbreakingly vulnerable, he was faint from blood loss and groaning on the ground.


One problem I had with the first Outlander novel, which was perhaps exacerbated in seeing its events unfold onscreen, was that sometimes it seemed like Jamie’s physical vulnerability was supposed to make him more appealing to us and to Claire. 

I am not particularly comfortable with what goes into fetishizing a strong man who’s  physically incapacitated. We often see it in action movies: Some woman sets to stitching up a gunshot wound or pressing cheesecloth against a tiny forehead cut ("Now, this is going to sting a little bit...") after a guy fights with, like, 200-foot-tall robots. However, Jamie and Claire's predicament went beyond, “Ooooh, things are gettin' steamy in the first-aid tent,” because Jamie was literally falling over.

A delirious dude with his arm in a sling out in the wilderness doesn’t make me think, “Poor baby needs sexy nurse times” so much as, “This dude has no real agency right now and he is in extreme pain. Deactivate all ladyboners.”  Even if Claire the character was 100 percent invested on a purely professional level with Jamie as a patient, it felt like we as an audience were expected to melt at the “Hurtin’ Hunk” trope, and it was frankly too much hurting for me to handle. 





Does the natural sympathy for an injured person add to an overall sense of goodwill and protectiveness toward Jamie? Sure. Just like classic Disney animated characters never have a mom so we feel protective of them right from the start, meeting someone who is essentially maimed wins him my sympathy points. It’s efficient storytelling, but I still have to point out that the Hurtin’ Hunk trope is the worst. 


Anyway. After the group decided to push on despite Jamie's gunshot wound, Claire learned that Black Jack Randall (her husband's ancestor and doppelgänger) was fixated on capturing Jamie, setting up our ongoing conflict. Our premiere episode ended with the Scots riding into the resurrected Castle Leoch. Who can kick that out of bed? I need to see inside that castle. Will you be there with me next week?


QUESTIONS:

... Book fans: Are you appeased?

... Hurtin’ Hunk trope: Are injuries sexy? Am I overthinking this?

... What was your favorite part of the premiere? 

... Best time-travel segue ever? If not, what is your favorite time-travel segue ever?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 7/9/2016

Season 2 : Episode 13

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I love it cant wait until next episode it show what true love is about u don't find that kind of love anymore great show
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I just saw the pilot... this review surely is more entertaining than the pilot was... i found it too slow and someone else on the couch fell asleep, whereas I - by sheer force of will - managed to survive until the end... I guess I will give it another try by force of superwill.
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Oooooh it's a book~!!! *pulls up Amazon*

This episode got me hooked.

Nice review, I was laughing so hard, #myside

DTF? looks like someone misplaced thier panties~
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I might be really late to the party, and someone may already have said it , but - regarding the hated trope, which I also hate, in this one instance I actually saw the usefulness in him being seriously hurt. NOT because I have a thing for injured people, found his pain sexy or even remotely attractive or anything like that, but because it gave Claire an actual, legitimate reason to keep seeing him, once they got to the castle. If he'd only broken his arm or something, she could've been like "Here, I've set this shit, don't use it for the next 18 days. Everything here is clearly under control, and my help is not desperately needed. - Now, guys, has anyone seen a time machine?". He had to be so seriously injured that it seemed beyond reasonable for Claire to be forced into (continued) action/medical follow-ups. I don't know about nurses and Hippocratic oaths, but surely, the principle still applies? Her priorities had to widen beyond "get back to the 40's" - and Jamie's injuries widened them so she cared about his health, too, then about other people in the castle's health, and so on. Didn't she become invested in the plight of these people, because her nursing-skills initially forced her to, via Jamie's injuries? Good lord, I sound like such an asshole. I would like to repeat, that I am in no way defending what I still think is a pretty stupid trope.
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You've done the furthest analysis of the "Hurtin' Hunk" trope I've seen so far! Thank you. To be honest, this went far further than the usual macho stuff you see, and seeing as he's the love interest and she's the main character, played off differently. But yes, I do have a problem with it. I think it was dealt with well here, no panning shots of his chest or anything. (Some directors pat themselves on the back for "fan service" made possible by sadism, e.g. Teen Wolf's torture scenes, the comments about "We gave you a shirtless scene!" for Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes, who was being very tortured then and that is not enjoyable.)
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Just watched the pilot episode online (through the Starz website) for the first time today, and really enjoyed it. Wish I could watch the rest of the series, but it looks like I'm going to have to wait for it to come out on DVD, which it hopefully will. (Seriously, why don't they even allow the option of buying episodes online? No, you must have a subscription to a cable provider. What about subscribing to just Starz Play? No, you must have a subscription to a cable provider. GET WITH THE TIMES, STARZ!)

Loved the chemistry between Claire and her husband, and Claire and the hotty Scot (whose name I don't know if we ever even learned in this episode). Love where the plot is going.

Love the attention to detail, the filth of the people, the clothing, the shiny, pristine, perfectly-groomed horses with filthy people riding atop them... well, maybe not that last part, although the horses were really, really pretty...

(Sorry, I just happened to notice during one shot where the horses were walking right by the frame, and couldn't help noticing from that point on).

Regarding the "Hurtin' Hunk" trope... I don't think that we're meant to think of him lying unconscious on the ground as "hot," especially when we're experiencing the story vicariously through Claire, and she's being completely professional. Rather, the purpose of having him be injured is to set up an environment where, even when Claire is under suspicion (from the Scots' perspective), he could realistically be seen developing feelings for her. Since she probably saved his life, three times in this episode alone, and didn't have to do that, any of those times.
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Is there a way to actually watch an episode on my iPad through this website ?
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"Then we’re treated to a music-video quality slow-motion 1940s car crash that was meant to show us what the feeling was like when Claire touched the screaming stone. It was a little abstract and absolutely gorgeous"

Up to this point, I liked Outlander, but wasn't blown away. I figured, at worst, it would fill the gap of period drama that my current schedule lacks...and then this scene happened. WOW! Similar to some of the cool factor from Inception, "waking up mid free fall" might be the coolest way to describe a feel of complete confusion I've heard in a LONG time.

I dunno where the series is going to go, but from here on in, I'm watching.

"This was easily the most elegant depiction of time-travel I’ve ever seen."

Thunder stealer

[LADYBONER]

For reasons only my immature brain can explain, that and "Lady Wood" make me giggle every time.

"Deactivate all ladyboners"

Adding to my giggle list
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The reviews seem positive but it's Ronald D Moore.

Yes he makes great TV but watch any of his shows for long enough and they turn out to be a subversive religious mind-bleep.

DS-9, Sisko. Roswell, Max. BSG, Starbuck. They all turned out be Jesus - immaculate conceptions, resurrections, power to heal etc. Ugggh.

Worst of all, in BSG he promoted religious genocide. "God" made the Cylons commit genocide against the 12 colonies because they were "wicked". And then after being chased by said Cylons across the depths of space... the surviving humans eschew technology, embrace "God" and settle on Earth.

Apart from being completely absurd the obvious and undeniable message in that ending is that religious genocide is ok, and I ain't buying into that.

No more Moore for me.
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I tried it out and sorta' liked it, though I hadn't expected to. I think what I liked the most is how they fleshed out Claire's life in the 20th century, before they threw her into the 17th. Then they made the 17th century so realistically grimy and mucky, that I bought the story. I'll keep watching and see if it can keep holding my interest.
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Lily!! LIVING for your photo recaps of this show!!
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I'm enjoying every aspect of this show, yes it is slow to begin with but the viewer has to remember that it's a romance story- those typically are slow paced. The scenery and the score is magnificent, although the opening title does hark back to the 90's. I will continue watching and will probably read the book.
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Judging from what I saw of the first episode, this is probably not for me. It is a romance story for the ladies. It is moving at snail pace especially the first half.

Still, I am kinda of curious to see what happens when she gets inside the castle.
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1. Haven't heard of this book before, sorry. Maybe I should correct that mistake...
2. A popular trope, now that you brought my attention to it. Someone ought to like it.
3. "You can mind your own bloody business, and so can St. Paul!"
4. The first I liked, that basically makes it the best, right? :)
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I actually just finished the first book not too long ago knowing that this was coming to TV. All the Office Ladies at work highly recommended this series when I was looking for something to new to read. So that said, this first episode like most of the commentators have already mentioned is canon to the book. Like almost WORD FOR WORD. I only noticed a few minor tweaks.

One thing though... that ghost scene was TOTALLY a spoiler for the books. As most readers probably assumed the ghost was Jamie, but was never really confirmed in the books (DG did say she will solve this nagging question regarding Jamie's ghost before the series end), the tv show gave it away.

I can see how some viewers may have felt that it was slow. But it's the first episode and it did suffer from an info dump of establishing the entire Frank/Claire relationship -- I was even questioned WHEN IS SHE GOING TO FALL THROUGH THE DAMN ROCKS while reading the books -- but it did come off somehow not as loving or sincere as it was on screen somehow. But it's not something that could be helped since there's so much material to go through in just 16 episodes!
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As a fan of the books, I was pleased they stuck to the book. Thank god they did not follow True Bloods interpretation of the books. Casting was perfect and scenery added to the mood and feelings like in the books. It was how I imagined it to be, rough and dirty. I am looking forward to the next episode and how they carry forward with Claire's struggle to adjust to the 1700's as well as her bonding with Jamie. So glad they had the Ghost scene in the 1940's. For those who have not read the books you will understand once you do. I strongly suggest you read the books so you will understand all the special nuances in the Starz series. Thank you Starz from one happy fan!
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I did not expect to like Outlander, but WHOOPS. Even if I wasn't drawn in to the story, I think the scenery + Ron Moore + Bear McCreary's score would have been enough to keep me watching.
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I'm all in. Excellent opening episode. The look is excellent. Such beautiful scenery. It seemed like they cast a great relative new comer for the lead. 1 episode in and the viewer has to love 'Claire Randall' and Caitriona Balfe's portrayal. That was obviously the biggest role to fill and Balfe was wonderful throughout. Such a strong wonderful female character to build a show, or book series for that matter, around. She brought the viewer into Claire's world and vision and it was a fantastic opening episode. Little something that I loved, when she popped up on the edge of the battlefield she just started running away to safety (very Doctor Who!) rather than engage or observe the fighting like is often the case in television shows. The live ammunition immediately made her realize, I gotta try to figure what the hell is going on before jumping in. Even the scene with the fortuneteller which is a common used device in sci fi and fantasy to give us some exposition on the characters was done well. Loved the seer talking about Claire's sexual prowess and the fact that her husband would be sticking around because he's never had one like her. I think Graham McTavish's 'Dougal MacKenzie' will probably end up my favorite character outside the leads just because he seemed pretty awesome throughout the second half of the episode plus I've always loved him in everything and he's been around forever.

Oh my god, how beautiful did Scotland look in every shot? And add another great opening theme to add to the Bear McCreary song book. I think Starz finally has a hit on its hands that will get it some universal recognition. I think Ron Moore is back in the game. Lets see where this goes.

'Hurtin' Hunk Trope' - Its funny that you mention this when all of the shows that you cover on this site 'OUaT', 'Reign', and now 'Outlander' ALL have used it. I'm with you, its overused. It wasn't distractingly done here and fits in with who 'Claire' as a character, you knew she's going to be the one taking care of people, so I'm willing to just ride it out. The chemistry between 'Jamie' and 'Claire' was effortless.

The time travel seque was very very cool but still no 'Doctor'.

Favorite part of the premiere was meeting 'Claire Randall'. It seems like one of those roles that many actresses would have been making calls to the agent to get a read for and it looks like the made the right choice with Ms. Balfe. A lead I could follow from the first time we met her. Smart move holding this show until August. Definitely better than the show that just vacated this spot ' Power'.

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Anybody else see Jamie and think that could have been Jared Padalacki from Season 1 of Supernatural?

No?

Moving on...
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NICE CALL ED! That was my first thought as well. All I could think of was young 'Sam' when I first saw him. When Sammy had that hair.
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This show shouldn't at all be my "thing". But it was good. I wonder if I would like the books.

I don't think Jared is giving up that paycheck any time soon. I remember both he and Jensen saying they were done after season 5. *snickers
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I'm still confused as to why they've doubled that. Kripke was the first to say done in 5. Both of them have to go to cable, hopefully pay cable, when they put the '67 Impala(s) away.
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They both tried a movie career with less than impressive results
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I liked the pilot. The scenery was gorgeous and the actors okay. GRAHAM!! I didn't read the books so I don't know if the hurting hunk trope is in there but twice in one episode was a bit much for me. I disliked the voice over and long introduction of Claire. The time-travel segue was okay I suppose. The pilot sold Scotland to me if it sells Outlander to me remains to be seen but I will watch the next few episodes before I decide. I just hope it's not going to be one of those harlequin novel shows
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I enjoyed the pilot, the scenery was awesome, and after watching it I started reading the books and read the entire first book in a day. So I'm looking forward if the series can hold up to that :D
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the show was brilliant, i thought. havent read the books, but i wish i had.
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Haven't read the books but I'll tune in fore the scenery and the beautiful photography alone. My favourite bit was the creepy/gorgeous ritual scene.
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As a book fan, I am VERY pleased. I have waited for months for the premier. The photography was beautiful and much of the dialog is directly from the book. The first scenes of Frank and Claire were only necessary to establish her previous life. This will play a much more important role in book 2. As for all the hostile comments re: Jamie being wounded........this is necessary to set the scene for Claire's function as a nurse. I will watch every episode because I enjoyed the books to the fullest. The director has promised, and so far has kept his word, that the series would be true to the book. Read the books first before you make comments.
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I like time travel so i might watch but it felt a little like it was made mainly to incite lady boners. :)

Also, i do not think it is the injuries of the man that are supposed to be sexy, it is the role reversal. A man can protect a woman with his strenght, and a woman can protect a man with her nursing/caring. Or say it like this, when the man is weak and injured, the woman becomes the stronger part, the protector. The codependence or symbiosis of that is what is supposed to be sexy or romantic, i guess. That they need eachother, they depend on eachother. Maybe?
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Now to answer your questions:

I for one am happy with the first episode.

Not really but then I know Jamie's injuries are leading into more about him and his tale which sets a lot going forward.

The ghost scene. Sufficiently creepy.

Outlander is my favorite time-travel saga though I suspect most will still say Dr. Who... which the writer loves too.
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So he over the shoulder bit is him asking if she actually wants him to throw her over his bad shoulder that she just fixed and the nurse in her is saying no. I don't feel that was conveyed but I still loved the show.
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Oh my goodness. This must be the most boring, most predictable piece of tripe I've seen in a very long time. Don't get me wrong here, the photography was gorgeous and the actors were okay. But .. like.. really? No. Sorry. I'm not wasting my time on this.
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Clearly you didn't read the books. This premier ends at page 80 of Book one of eight books. It is really meant to give us an introduction. But that's ok. There are about 30 million other people who will give it a try.
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That's right, I haven't read the books. I didn't know about the books until I saw that being mentioned in the pilot. Why does that even matter? Do I need to read the book to enjoy the show? Because let me tell you, I read Under the Dome which I enjoyed and the tv series is ... well, not as good, to put it mildly.

Introduction or not, the episode was boring. It's supposed to be a pilot epiosde, setting up conflicts and letting the viewers see (the clueless ones, like me) what madness that lies in store.

Have you seen Farscape? The premise is similar but much more interesting, getting into the thick of things sooner, and leaves me excited for the future. Outlander? Well, Claire was kind of interesting. She had the nerve to tell a bunch of scots things that no woman in their right frame of mind would ever dare say, so I guess she has that going for her.

I hope the "about 30 million" will enjoy the show. No skin of my nose.
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Yeah really - how can someone judge a show based solely on the pilot? I think you need at least 4 eps - like the 4ep reviews done here on tv.com - to make any kind of informed decision about the quality of a show.
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I hope you're being sarcastic here. I really do.
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I've passed on a show 5 minutes into a pilot if every moment of that 5 minutes was pure hell.
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Some shows I've never seen a single episode of, and know for a fact I won't like the show. Desperate Housewives would be one example. Sometime you can glean all you need to from one episode, or none at all.
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I am a book fan, but am regularly getting fussed at by the more serious ones, so take that into account......... Appeased is not the right word for me. Relieved is better. The number of times I've seen a good book turned into a fairly tolerable movie or tv series, I can count on zero fingers. I honestly can't think of one. I can run down a list as long as my arms (and legs, laid length wise) of excellent books turned into piss poor film though. In spite of what looked like promising trailers, I was still concerned that this one would turn out to be more of the same. It looks like its going to be different though, the one in a bazillion. (maybe, fingers crossed, knock on wood)

Hurtin' hunk trope - yeah, don't care, doesn't register with me. I figured it was because DG wanted to establish Claire's medical expertise right off, and frankly, I'm not going to object to having any bit of the young gentleman's clothing removed.

Favorite part was when Jamie told Claire he would throw her over his shoulder (yeah, see above)....and every female with or without a working ovary stood up and cried: I volunteer as tribute!!!!!!

Two things that bothered me about the going off a bridge transition: one was the woman in the front seat seemed to be smiling slightly. Now I know that these folks are British, and that's the land of the stiff upper lip and all, but if your car just went out of control and off a bridge, you would think she would register some distress, wouldn't you? At least an Oops? The second thing is the car is spinning, yes? Flipping over? Shouldn't they be up on the ceiling at some point? Still these are minor, details, all in all I was reasonably satisfied with the way it was done.

Here's hoping, hoping, hoping that the series continues as well as it's begun.
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I was very nervous as well, and it had been awhile since my last reading of Outlander. I had the book next to me, and every time I thought, Hey Did that Happen? ...I looked and not only did it happen that way, the dialogue is very very close as well...so I was mostly happy....although I don't know if she will ever get the Phrase "Jesus H Roosevelt Christ" right. She does not seem comfortable with it. Maybe as the series progresses...
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haven't read the books, but I thought the episode was good enough to keep watching.. even though the first half was boring and I nodded off a couple times. I liked the time travel sequence but it'd have been nice if they had actually showed a little bit of SOMETHING so she's not just like "whazappening where be I" like nothing happened. I also was kind of annoying how the big strong man was all vulnerable but he's supposed to protect them? meh.

also, did anybody else think he looked a bit like Matt Blashaw? that castle needs Yard Crashers ASAP :p
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I will give it some more time but it IS a romance. I read the books until #6 and I did get bored. I'm not a true romance genre lover. I really didn't care for any of the secondary characters until they "move". I am sure we will not get to that this time. I am sure romance lovers will love it. They did pick a nice looking guy for Jamie! I didn't care for Claire's monologue.
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Loved the books, loved the pilot. My one gripe with the first episode was that it ended just when it got really interesting. Can't wait for the next one.
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Great pilot. I'll give this show the 4 episode test, and I hope it survives.
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I've read the books and I am not disappointed! It's always fun to watch books be made in to series or movies, but often they fall a bit short. Having only seen the pilot is still don't feel like that will be the case in this series. Great casting, from what I've seen so far and I am just squeaky excited to see what comes next! So please keep producing!
Yes the premiere was a bit slow, as was the beginning of the first book, but I can't wait to see where they'll take this. So far it seems pretty near identical with that books and that means you're in for a really good show!
So for all of you being a bit held-back from this first appearance -- you who haven't read the books -- keep at it because there is a storm of crazy good romance and tons, and tons of action coming your way!
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Well the Pilot was kind of boring the time travel was some of the worst I seen in a long time and it was going from a boring time to a less boring time. But that's all the "sci-fi" you're going to get later it just turns in the standard chick flix :S
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Thanks for this review. As an Outlander fan for 23 years, you made me laugh so hard! And agree with what you said for the most part. I will still watch every episode a dozen times at least. Thought Ron D. Moore and John Dahl did an awesome job setting up this long, involved story. Will also read any further reviews you do on anything!
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Have to agree, as much as they wanted me to love the Frank/Claire relationship, I'm just not feeling it. He's too stuffy, boring, self centered for Claire, no wonder she fell for Jamie hard or I shd say, she will fall for him hard.
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Why do you think that they wanted you to love the Claire/Frank relationship? I mean sure, they gave it quite a bit of time in the pilot (they probably don't want her to fall too fast and easy into Jamie's arms), what I got from how they portrayed the relationship - they wanted to show that there might have been the potential for them to love each other deeply - had the circumstances been different, had they not been separated soon after marrying and gotten a chance to actually get to know each other on a deeper level. Claire said it herself - the sex was never the problem, but they've grown apart in everything else. Also, there's zero chemistry between the actors portraying them, in my opinion. Which is a good thing considering his dual role.

Basically what I'm saying is - I didn't get a feeling that the showrunners want the viewers to feel sad for breaking them up, at all. So yes, no wonder she's going to fall hard for Jamie - it seems like an inevitable conclusion, even just after the pilot. I thought they did that very well, actually.
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I did like though, that they reminded us that she DID love Frank at one time...and also I loved how they made him into Black Jack with only costume and good acting, essentially...
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That's right, we were spared any comical mustaches.
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I really enjoyed the pilot, and I'm looking forward to the next episode (I haven't read the books).

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Neither Jamie's injuries, nor their severity ever bothered be because it serves multiple purposes storywise. The first and probably the most important is that it gives Claire and Jaime bonding time. Claire needs to spend time with Jaime to tend to him, and he gets to know and admire her. For Claire part it helps explain way she feels more safe with Jaime than his fellow clansman (after she's nursed someone she finds it hard to see them as a threat). Jaime's injures needed to be bad so the highlanders could witness her awesome healing skills, which is important to the plot once they reach the castle.
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As a book fan I was appeased. I was hesitant to watch it because the books are so long and I didn't know how they were going to translate that on screen. But, so far, so good I say. I'll keep watching.
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Not impressed at all. I think i'm not a Ronald D. Moore guy.
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I loved BSG. This show is just way too sappy for me at the moment. Maybe it'll tune down. I really hope the main story isn't just going to be the main characters struggles with the decision to cheat on her time-travel-estranged husband. Kill me now if that's the case.


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There is a lot of adventure in this series and lots of humor as well...Remember as well, this was Diana's first book of the series, written over 20 years ago. She has evolved for sure...but the beginning of the series does have to establish the story, and as well, make us believe that Claire can live in a time where there is filth, superstition and violence. Most women would not do that well(:&)...
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Slightly spoiler-ish:



There is a good chunk of that to a point, but there's also a lot of the struggle between Jamie/Jack Randall, and the overall Jacobite cause leading up to the 1745 Rising.
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OMG, I am rotfl at this review! You are spot on and I just love the screenshots!

Thank you. Looking forward to your next review!
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A lot of people on this board should stick to watching the CW. Not all shows need to be fast paced and blatantly stupid. This was the pilot and it needed to introduce the characters as well as the story and it did just that. With quality shows you need to show a bit of patience if not than there is always the Vampire Diaries!!!
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Yes, not all shows need to be fast paced - that doesn't mean that fast paced ones are always blatantly stupid. I think the pilot did a brilliant job of introducing the characters, the setting etc. But it did have me waiting and waiting until they finally got to the part where Claire meets Jamie - and I thought they stopped just as it was gettig really interesting. And that's a good thing, because now I'm eagerly anticipating the next episode.
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Call me silly - even call me cliched, but I just don't get people who say a TV show featuring lotsa people killing each other isn't suitable family entertainment cos it shows people making more people with 'lurv' and not killing each other in hatred & emnity.

I must be weird I am proud my kids have grown up and resisted any urge to put the hurt on anyone else. That's the best in my book - if they've played a few games of hide the sausage when not married who cares? And yes some of my kids are women.
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Hide the sausage?
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Do you really need this one explained?
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Never heard of this saying before. But now I have a pretty good idea after reading your comment and thinking about it. Still doesn't make much sense thou.
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Stunning premiere! I loved every second of it.
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Sounds like it could have been a descent values teaching show ... Then there it was the ... the sex. Too bad. This kind of crap is what has made us swear off most of what passes for televised entertainment these days.
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"then there it was... the sex."
Beware, kids, the sex is coming for you!
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So you're not objecting to seeing the inside of a guy's thigh in graphic, gory detail and a woman then being splattered with blood, but not particularly graphic, brief sex scenes between a married couple working at rekindling their marriage is turning you off? Interesting values...
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Read the books...really...Each book there is subsequently less sex, but these characters are young...truly though it is a small part of these books....
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They are trying to stay true to the books. her writing of sex scences are well known lol
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Well now!
That... was the most boring pilot EVER!!!!
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second half was good though i thought.
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The first episode was well directed, decently acted, had a good score and beautiful scenery.

Too bad the writing and story feels like it came out of a trashy romance novel. Everything is setting itself up like a cheesy love story and that seems to be the focus of the show.

The attempted rape amidst a battle/skirmish was so illogical and out of left-field it made me laugh. Felt completely forced just to be like "Hey this guy is a badguy."
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Basically the story takes a traditional "Lost in the Highlands" genre plot and then takes it to Larry McMurtry levels of grit and realness.
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Well, as previous commenters have reminded folks, the show follows the books...and as I said above, this covers the first 80 pages of the first of EIGHT books...
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This comment has been removed.
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From a Scottish perspective, apologies bad language ahead...
http://thejaggythistle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/all-you-really-need-to-know-about.html
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Very nice. Thank you for that - it was hilarious. And spot on.
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