With the advent of online streaming services there’s been a whole new market for new TV shows. Netflix is probably the best known in the UK but Amazon Prime has also made a big splash in the market. One of its most successful forays has been Outlander, which is an adaptation of the first book in a series by Diana Gabaldon; a historical time travel romantic drama set in Scotland. Beautifully shot and well acted, Ronald D. Moore series can be frustratingly slow at times but is well worth the wait.
Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) is a nurse who is trying to restart her marriage with Frank (Tobias Menzies) again after the end of the war. When the couple visit Inverness she goes to investigate the standing stones at Craigh na Dun, and after fainting wakes up in 1743. She finds herself in the middle of skirmishes between the Highland clans and the Redcoats. When she’s cornered by Captain Jack Randall (Menzies) she’s saved by the handsome Jamie (Sam Heughan) and taken in by Clan Mackenzie. As Claire struggles to get back to her husband, she finds herself falling for the gallant Scotsman.
The first thing you notice about Outlander is the high production values. It looks stunning and the sets, location and costumes are all beautifully done. It’s also exceptionally well acted, particularly Sam Heughan who seems set to be a big star. It’s a slow burner and there’s as much drama and romance as action. The final episodes will surprise you, and are a very brave move on behalf of the creators. It also sets up the seconds season intriguingly.
Outlander Season 1 is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Sony Pictures and is out now.