Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Outlander - as told by a Sassenach.

                    Some of you may not understand the title, so allow me to clarify and let you in on the joke. The word Sassenach is a Scot word used in the Outlander universe to mean, well, Outlander. Sassenach is basically slang for anyone not of Scottish origin. For those of you that don't know, Outlander is the first book in a multiple book series by author Diana Gabaldon. These books were so well received that Starz Network partnered with Gabaldon to turn her books into a television series.

            I, like most who had not read the books, didn't understand what the hype was about. It wasn't until the first episode that I got it. It has mother beeping Time Travel. The book and series introduce you to a world of amazing characters.  You have Claire Randall, an ex combat nurse, who is on a second honeymoon with her husband in 1945. She is at an ancient stone circle one day and innocently touches a standing stone. This simple act of touching a stone propels her back  to the year 1743.  So now she is a British woman in war torn Scotland, where that isn't a good thing to be. You have Jamie Fraser, Claire's protector. Ferociously loyal and in love with Claire. The odds of anything hurting her are slim to none when this red headed tombstone's around, and if his romance-novel-cover-boy status wasn't already set, he also has breaks horses, which shows you the depth of his patients and ability for love and compassion. Stick all of that in the body of a 6'4 Scottish mountain, who looks like he bends horse shoes by hand, and you have Jamie Fraser.

            Using real events in Scottish history as her backdrop,  Ms Gabaldon weaves a wonder of a Chrono Love story. The books are so popular, that the TV series pre-released its pilot a week before it premiered for its on demand customers. In one week before its official release it racked up nine hundred thousand views. Following the official releases the number jumped to 3.7 million. The response was so great, Starz has been rumored to have green lit season two after one episode.

            This is one of the most odd articles for me to have to write. I didn't really know anything about it before I suggested to my editor that I write about the show. I thought since it was everywhere, why not do a bit or research and write a current story. Luckily, I had an inside scoop - it's my wife's favorite series. The joy my wife shared in showing me this thing that is Outlander was frankly contagious. I can't explain it other then to say if the one I love,  loves anything like that it is worth it to me. It was a level of fandom I could only compare to my love of Transformers. So I might be a Sassenach right now, but I got my Claire to bandage me up after me brawls where ever they may be.                                        

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