I didn’t jump on the Outlander wagon straight away. For one thing, I live in the UK – which made it near impossible to watch it before Amazon Prime took it on.
Plus then there’s the whole time-travel thing.
As a trope, I’ve never found it particularly satisfying in the past, perhaps because I feel there’s never going to be a satisfactory resolution, with a character having to choose between their home and a place that they’ve come to love.
So I avoided the series for a while.
I found myself craving period drama in between Poldark episodes and so turned to the show which every romance author I know had been raving about.
Firstly, there are kilts. This is never a bad thing, especially when they’re worn by one Jamie Fraser (aka Sam Heughan) whose accent and disposition makes me melt time after time.
Then there’s the politics. We’re talking an in depth look at the complications and tensions arising in a clan before the uprising of Bonnie Prince Charlie – and this is where the time-travelling element really comes into its own. We know the outcome of the uprising, as does the heroine, and we find ourselves aligned with her as her heart breaks for the men she’s come to care for.
But for all its romance, Outlander doesn’t shy away from difficult moments. SPOILER ALERT!
There’s a fairly brutal scene where Jamie spanks his new wife with a belt. It’s a scene that doesn’t shy away from the fact that Claire sees such behaviour as domestic violence, and fights him with all her might. It’s not meant to be titillating, and it seems to be a crucial tipping point in their relationship. Afterwards, we see Jamie rethinking what had happened. It might be perfectly normal and acceptable behaviour for a man in the 1740s – in fact, it’s expected – but he decides to change that dynamic.
If anything, it’s a brave move on the part of the producers, and I’m glad that they haven’t culled the scene. It may not be one that we’re comfortable with, but it doesn’t condone it, and Claire’s physical topping of Jamie later in the episode redresses the balance, with the point of his dirk held firmly at his throat.
I’m super excited to see what the show has to offer us next and am only regretting the fact that I can’t binge-watch the second half of the series like I did the first!