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Outlander: Ep.1 'Sassenach' Review


So the wait is finally over and hopefully your nerves and anticipation have calmed a little now that the highly anticipated premiere of “Outlander” has aired. “Sassenach” opened the series premiere and where heroine, Claire go from honeymoon bliss in 1945 Scotland to fighting for her honor and life in 18th century Scotland.

If you’ve read the books, but haven’t yet seen the premiere, then you’re safe to read on. However, if you haven’t done either, then know that spoilers await you and you can always bookmark this review and come back later. ;)

I’ll have to admit that I’m among those who couldn’t wait and had already watched the fist episode last Saturday online as Starz graciously provided an earlier preview for all of us impatient fans.

I have however went online and watched it an additional three times since because I loved it so much. But tonight’s premiere was still just as special and I couldn’t wait until show time.

There’s always anticipation when a much beloved book or books are recreated for film or television. Who will play our much beloved characters? Will they get the plot right? How are they going to cram all of the good stuff into just an hour and over the short span of a season?

It’s a risky business, one that I don’t think I would ever want to take on.

However, I’ve got to say that for,  just seeing the first episode, Ron Moore and his team get an “A” for their well thought out and executed premiere,”Sassenach.”

I’m not going to give a play by-play of what went on in during the premiere, I don’t feel I could do it justice. I will, however, provide you with what I thought made it such a great episode.

Claire’s narration- For the books, most of the story is told by Claire, so I was glad that the show went ahead and did the same. Not only does she have a lovely voice, but it helps those who are not familiar with the books have a little better understanding of what’s going on as she gives some explanation as to what’s going on. This will help as there is much more coming up on the horizon that will call for explanation from our narrator.

The use of the Gaelic language- While I didn’t understand any of it, I was glad to see the show staying true to its 18th century Scotland roots and using the old school language. Ron Moore has said in interviews that fans can plan on hearing a lot of the Celtic language and without any subtitles. So looks like it’s up to us to start learning Gaelic, so get to googling.

The characters. It’s always hard after you’ve read a book to see characters portrayed on-screen. You’ve built this image up in your head and it can be hard to let that go. But I’ve got to say Moore and his casting crew did a great job in picking everyone from Jamie, Claire, Frank, Dougal, and even Murtagh.

The love scenes. It’s only the first show and we’ve seen three! And even though they were all between Claire and Frank, I’m glad the show’s creators weren’t afraid to go there and show a sex scene in a very tasteful way. Let’ s just say I have a good feeling about what is to come.

Jamie. Well, I could not comment on one of the most important characters in book. Claire is great, really. But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t holding my breath waiting for my fiery headed Scot to jump onto the screen. Kudos to Sam Heughan who seems to fit the role like a glove and I can’t wait for the coming weeks to see how he grows in the role of Jamie Fraser.

The ending. Oddly enough this was my least favorite part. We leave the crew of Scot’s and Claire on their arrival to Castle Leoch, where Claire had also visited earlier in the show. I was really looking forward to a seeing a little bit more of Jamie and Claire before the end of the episode. However, all good things come to those who wait and there is plenty of good to come. Moore has said he the show will stick to the books closely and the show will also take its time going though all of the scenes that the book lovers have come to cherish. So, I’m stowing my anticipation and setting back and enjoying all that “Outlander” has to offer.

As I said above, this is just the first episode and while I have great hopes for the future of the season, I am going to take it one episode at a time. I also highly recommend you read the books, if for no other reason than you get to see even more Jamie and Claire!





Tags: Outlander Premiere Review Starz Television

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