It’s no wonder that Outlander is a pop culture phenomenon, commanding a huge fandom. This highly bingeable television show has EVERYTHING. Adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling Outlander novels, the series encompasses romance, history, folklore, action-adventure, fantasy and mystery.
Outlander is the epic story of time-crossed lovers: English woman Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser (played by 4-time Golden Globe nominee Caitriona Balfe), a feminist, World War II nurse and accidental time-traveller, and James “Jamie” MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan), an honourable, intuitive and virile 18th Century Scottish Highlands warrior. He sure rocks a kilt.
Here are just a few reasons why Outlander should be on your must-watch list, if it’s not already.
An Action-Packed Journey Through Time
Period dramas can be stuffy. But not Outlander. This transportive show offers history with a twist.
First, Outlander poses a question: “What if your future was the past?” Our story begins with an orphaned Claire, raised by her archaeologist uncle and traipsing around the globe. She marries Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), a history professor. Inherently independent, Claire serves as a frontline nurse during WWII, while Frank works in intelligence.
Through a series of twists and turns our hero Claire is mysteriously transported some 200 years back into the past – specifically Scotland, 1743. In this strange new yet old world, her life is threatened and in order to protect herself Claire is forced to marry the aforementioned Jaime, a young and handsome Scottish warrior. Conflicted as she is, Claire falls in love.
And so begins a time travelling chronicle spanning decades, centuries and continents. It is enthralling.
A Must Watch Love Story
Claire’s swoonworthy romance with her braveheart, Jamie, has enthralled Outlander‘s viewers. The soulmates have THE most erotic sex scenes you’ll see on TV. Yet, even early on with the ever-decent Frank, Claire asserts her sexual agency. Significantly, the temporal interconnection between Claire, Jamie and Frank is not presented as an archetypal love triangle, but rather as a complex and nuanced series of emotional exchanges.
All Outlander fans are Team Claimie. Still, Jamie and Claire each have rival admirers, with the former’s rebuffing of Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) reverberating through the decades.
Making History New Again
Outlander isn’t merely a romp; it’s smart. In Outlander, history is as much a narrative driver as any individual character. Our hero Claire uses her insight into the future to, if not directly intervene in history, then to manage its impact. Outlander brings this history to life by depicting pivotal action-packed events on screen.
For example, Claire’s adventures with Jamie kick off in the lead up to 1745’s Jacobite rising; when Scottish clans schemed against King George II to restore the Stuarts to the British throne.
She’s then embroiled in the mania of the witch hunts. The Frasers sail to France, intending to prevent Charles Edward Stuart (or Bonnie Prince Charlie) from instigating what Claire knows will be the catastrophic Battle of Culloden.
At one point our characters experience the wealth, decadence and intrigues of King Louis XV’s court – Claire’s wardrobe is to die for in this part.
Later, she and Jamie travel to the West Indies. Following a shipwreck, they arrive in America, resettling in North Carolina. In the New World, Claire confronts the brutal realities of European colonialism and slavery.
Outlander takes us through time and across continents, all the while bringing history – and its many lessons – to life on screen.