Outlander, Season 1 (2014-)

Main Features No 5

Outlander aka Forty Shades of Tartan.. NSFW and Spoilers.Outlander (2014)

 

Married Claire Randall finds herself back in time in 1743, in the Scottish Highlands after passing through the stones in 1945. She is saved from being attacked by an Englishman to fall madly in love with a man in a kilt…

 

 

“Outlander” trailer, c/o Starz, http://www.youtube.com and Pictures © Sony Pictures Television

 

Today the plan is to gitter on about the first series of  Outlander (2014), the first series of the American based Starz made for television programme (as opposed to the book, game and graphic novel of the same name). There is now even a tie in colouring book (where you can colour in Jamie’s bare chest .. steady girls) – yes, colouring book – that darlin’ hubby is now joking about  giving me for Christmas. Husbands can therefore now use this colouring book to spot how obsessed their wife is with the series by seeing if she colours in using the correct tartan colours! If she does then,  get worried guys this series is based on the first of eight books….

The main reason I watched it was because based in SCOTLAND! As I am sure all other expats, from near and far  reading this will understand, which is why expats watch dire TV dramas like Heartbeat or films like the excellent The Angel’s Share (2012) or TV series Grand Designs (1999) to hear familiar accents and see our homeland. Sometimes it backfires and it can be downright embarrassing when there is a full on Scot being slammed by Gordon Ramsay.  I recently watched the third and final Hobbit film, Battle of the 5 Armies ……… when Billy Connolly’s character appeared he sounded like he was about to launch into his comedy routine which felt totally inappropriate at the time but to us expats this is like Highland music to our ears (but more bearable). Hollywood casting directors please note Connolly can act, if you watch Indecent Proposal, Mrs Brown and Columbo you can get a wee taste of his acting skills. Just as your Northern English expats listen to Gene Hunt rants in Life on Mars (2006-7) Just because it’s Philip Glenister. a soft-spoken, Cockney actor impersonating your accent doesn’t mean it’s not HOME.  It’s probably why Irish people avoid watching PS I Love You (2007) as some actors should stick to their own accents especially if they are Scottish. Hell, Sean Connery made his career out of it…and people love him for it.

Outlander is officially a historical, time travel romance, which is great as it means my darlin’ husband can pick holes in both the time travel element and the history and also the Finnish subtitles (as he also speaks fluent Finnish). Incidentally, I must give full credit for the title of this post to my darlin’ husband. he renamed this programme to “Forty Shades of Tartan” when we watched it and it sort of stuck with us. Especially, as the underlying S and M plot became more and more evident . I normally don’t read or watch contrived romance or S and M bodice rippers SO have totally avoided the Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Twishite Twilight saga. By contrived bodice ripper, I mean nice girl meets rough diamond, hates him, gets saved by him from not so major catastrophe, tames him, and this leads to lots of meaningful looks, falling in love, montages, soft focus sex and then they live happily ever after montage… after he’s proved he’s vulnerable and has a good heart under his rough demeanour.

Outlander is a bit like Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-98) but set in the Highlands complete with prim, high moraled, (but into dubious 17th century S and M sexual practices such as including daggers at the throat) English woman from the future, for her it’s 1945 with Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall. The object of her (and allegedly the rest of the world’s) affection, Jamie (Scottish home-grown totty, Sam Heughan) from 1743 .  The duo have their nemesis, Captain Black Jack Randall, a relative and double of her husband in 1945,  Frank Randall.   Captain Black Jack is also into S and M, also with Jamie and this time with handcuffs. Poor Jamie, he must wish at times that he’d left her to Captain Jack’s advances at the start of the series. The time travel involves her transporting herself to the 18th century by passing through standing stones, Jamie helped her to return home via the stones a few times. Claire herself planned to escape from various evil English and Scottish characters by heading towards the stones as conveniently for her they were only a stone’s throw away (sorry about the pun). Also her best friend and confidante,  Geillis from 1743 is only too briefly identified as being another time traveller, but this is mentioned once by the character and then she is taken to be hung for being a witch.. This is a shame as this plotline would be more interesting than Jamie baring his chest yet again.. – he shows his bare chest considerably more than Jason Statham has in his career to date – as Jamie is regularly for being whipped in flashback Jack Randall’s pleasure.  Meanwhile Claire is yet again plotting her escape  from various situations or on the verge of a violent rape.

There is travesty of using the Skye Boat song for the theme tune, a lovely wee Scottish song learnt by many a wee lassie or laddie at school. They kept the haunting tune but inexplicably changed the words to fit the programme. Outlander over the series duration becomes all chocolate boxy and sickly. It turns into Hollywood’s idea of Scotland where HD has never been so green and at times you can almost smell the heather. Its set up to the run up to the Battle of Culloden of 1745 where the English beat the Scots. So representing Scotland we have a spot the cameo of Scottish actors such as Douglas Henshall and Bill Paterson. The English actors include a who’s who of thesps such as Simon Callow and Tobias Menzies who plays both Frank and Captain Black Jack Randall. Luckily for Claire – and those viewers who can’t understand Scottish accents – she can understand both the Scots and their wee Scottish sayings and the thesps so she often acts as mediator or translator. Just waiting for a wee cameo by Alan Rickman or Hugh Grant but maybe English actors are too expensive to cast. Jamie is the most understanding man ever in that, not only does he save his future wife from being raped violently several times or from various castles and prisons it is often to his detriment. He even believes her when she explains her time travel experience to him.  Wee gullible lamb, feel this will end badly.

In the final episode of the series, she predictably she decided not to go back to Frank, her other husband in the future and returned to her Jamie, the husband in the past saying “On your feet, soldier.” This line was spotted by my darlin’ husband ahs a line from the first Terminator movie where Sarah Connor says it to John Connor’s dad Kyle Reese,  so maybe Geillis mentioned this line when talking about the film when they were stuck in prison awaiting their trial. It would make for a more interesting end to the saga though, if Arnie Schwarzenegger made a cameo as a travelling through the stones time traveller Terminator and then he gunned them all down Terminator style…. much to the relief of husbands everywhere who then wouldn’t have to watch the whole goddamn saga, buy the DVD or even buy the colouring book!

 

Weeper Rating0/10

Handsqueeze Rating: : 0/10

Hulk Rating: ‎mrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreen/10

Bonus Trailer: Yes, Parody

 

Pulp Outlander trailer (Pulp Fiction Movie Mashup), Jp Pare, http://www.youtube.com
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43 thoughts on “Outlander, Season 1 (2014-)

  1. I haven’t watched Outlander but I met one of the main female cast (I think she was a main character but I don’t know the name) and she recommended I watched it.

    I don’t think I’d like this though, as stereotypes of Scotland make me cringe in my tartan socks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I probably wouldn’t enjoy this, but I found your account of it really entertaining so now I feel like I have to watch it so I can nod along with this post haha x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not heard of this series but we have just finished one box set and are still deciding what to get stuck into next:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband traces both sides of his family to Scotland, so I understand the lure of the brogue. However, Outlander continues to be the thing that I just cannot get into, I keep falling asleep with the book. Maybe I will try the series.
    Thank you for your honesty and the 40 Shades of Tartan, I may need to borrow that at the next ladies tea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haven’t tried the book, but if it is a bodice ripper type book, can understand completely. I only watch this for seeing Scotland, but I am relieved they got a Scot to play the male lead and that he looks ok in a kilt too x

      Like

  5. I read cross stitch by Diana gabaldon 13 years ago, I loved it. The Jamie in the series for me wasn’t tall enough or rugged enough, however I still fell in love with him again,*sigh* the series promted me to re-read the series,

    Liked by 1 person

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