Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Susana’s Tribute to All Things Outlander

Torn between the past and the future

Like thousands of others, I have an Outlander obsession. I love everything Jamie and Claire. To the point where I won an auction bid for a lunch with Diana Gabaldon in Phoenix, Arizona. (Read about it here.) I didn’t blink an eye at paying for the trip to Phoenix from Ohio, nor the cost of the resort. It was fabulous!

Diana Gabaldon and Susana Ellis
October 2013

The STARZ television show has been equally fabulous. After being so often disappointed by movies adapted from books, I was almost afraid to hope that this one would be any different. After all, the books were larger than life. How could a television show measure up? And would the actors cast for the show conflict with my imaginary images?

Claire and Jamie before the wedding

Wow! From the first episode on, I’ve been bowled over by the magnificence of the television series. Sam Heughan is Jamie for me. Caitriona Balfe is Claire. And Tobias Menzies! OMG, what talent! I never fully appreciated Frank so much before Tobias became him for me, and the dilemma Claire faces at loving two such different men has become much more real since Ron Moore chose to perform his magic on Gabaldon’s remarkable novels.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Randall

Black Jack Randall flogging Jamie

Tobias’ portrayals of both Frank Randall and Black Jack Randall have been particularly noteworthy. That man is an amazing actor! The fact that he can play two such very different characters so convincingly shows his unique talent among a cast of extraordinarily wonderful actors.

Lovable, comical trio

Claire and Dougal

And then there’s Dougal. I never thought of him as particularly sexy until Graham McTavish played him. Rupert and Murtaugh and Angus add an inflection of comedy to the cast. Mrs. Fitz. Laoghaire (“Leery”)…the character we all love to hate. Geillis Duncan, whose role becomes more prominent in future episodes. The music. The Skye Boat Song has never been so haunting and meaningful as it is when Bear McCreary sings it in the opening of the show.

STARZ’s Outlander actually enhances the wildly popular saga Gabaldon created nearly twenty-five years ago. Run, don’t walk, to subscribe to STARZ. You won’t regret it!


Unfortunately, the second half of the first season doesn’t begin until April, so we must find other ways to keep our Outlander obsession going strong.

Blog Contest

I’m offering a special dragonfly in amber brooch* from NinaCancerSurviver to one poster on this blog who responds to the question below. The best responses will be collected and run through random.org on December 10, 2014. Please be sure to include your email address in your response!

The Question: 

How has the television series altered your perception of one of the major characters: Claire, Frank, Jamie, Black Jack Randall, Dougal. 

Photo Album

*The brooch will be mailed as soon as the winner's mailing address has been received and the brooch has arrived (it is currently on order). A winner located outside the US and Canada will be offered a gift card comparable in value.

Claire and Frank at Craigh na Dun watching the dancers at dawn
Claire sets Jamie's dislocated shoulder. [Drool]
Wedding day splendor: but is she committing bigamy or not?
More wedding day
Gotta love the wedding day!
And don't forget the wedding night! [Gulp!]

About Susana

A former teacher, Susana Ellis is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France, and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years. . . and it was awesome! She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.

 A Twelfth Night Tale

A wounded soldier and the girl next door find peace and love amidst a backdrop of rural Christmas traditions.

Treasuring Theresa

She’s a country lady. He’s a London swell. They have nothing in common. Or have they?


Tina Donahue said...

Love her outfit. :)

Danielle said...

I actually found Claire to be a lot more personable after watching the TV series. In the book she began to grate on my nerves a bit, but bringing the books to life in the series has given me an opportunity to really appreciate the hardships she is going through. I also think that the increased connection between her and Frank makes me appreciate her struggle to get back to him much more.

luvinva said...

How has the television series altered your perception of one of the major characters: Claire, Frank, Jamie, Black Jack Randall, Dougal.
Throughout the books, Frank has always been the husband left behind - but not missed by me, the reader. The TV series has taken the time to show Frank's struggles and concern about Claire's disappearance. Suddenly, I am distraught about what Frank is going through, and find my own heart breaking as I begin to compare how I would feel if my husband suddenly disappeared. How long would I search before giving up - would I ever give up? Would I conclude there was someone else? The questions swirl in my head, as my heart breaks for Frank.

jean hart stewart said...

Too much wonderful stuff to comment on! I think to me the books still remain the best, although it's a hard choice. I just prefer reading and making my own mental pictures....

Rena Fuhr said...

For me, the Outlander character I perceive differently is Dougal. From moment one I saw him as a lying, cheating, conniving so and so. Since the beginning of the series my first impressions still stand, but now I can also see him as a real charmer when he chooses to be plus he seems to genuinely care about Collum, his brother, when he isn't plotting against him or running scams behind his brother's back and yet his character does seem to have a few redeeming qualities (although few and far between). I've read an extensive library of books, but in all of them no one character has been able to make people see him/her as not just one type of character, but many characters all at the same time. Stay healthy, my friends! Rena Cochran Fuhr: wahala_ent@hotmail.com. Lots of caring going on in these posts!

K Davis said...

I've changed my ideas about all of the major characters in Outlander. My thought is that it is because all the TV characters emotions are excessively played to make a point in small amount of time. Black Jack Randall is more evil than I remembered him being in the book. Claire is a little more sexual than I remembered her being in the book. Frank is a much bigger, stronger, richer character than I remember him being in the book. And Jamie, I love Sam now, but he was not what I pictured while reading the book. I love the TV series and can't wait to see part 2. It is just fabulous!davisbk121@gmail.com

Kathy Downey said...

For me, the biggest difference was how I viewed Jamie. The book was told from Claire's point of view, and it was not clear how much Jamie cared for Claire, until he finally told her, much later in the book. In the TV episodes, Sam's superb characterization of Jamie is filled with nonverbal clues as to how Jamie felt about Claire: his eyes, body language, tone of voice, etc., all reflect and make obvious this attraction and his feelings. These episodes are still told from Claire's perspective, but with the added visual nuances that seem to shout deep feelings. A masterpiece! :). Kathy Downey, Kdowney25@comcast.net

Susan said...

I think I felt badly for Frank after watching. I didn't give him much thought--who would after getting to know Jamie Fraser?! While reading Outlander, I think I wondered more about how Claire could still care for her husband in the 20th century, and once, I think, I wondered how Frank reacted and felt. The TV series put that into perspective. I think. The scene when they were both simultaneously walking/running towards the stones was so moving, I cried. The music, the scenery, the acting--it was perfectly done.

Anonymous said...

Well, I started watching Outlander because I'm a big fan of Graham McTavish -- and of course his Dougal is riveting, so complicated and dangerous and sexy! But for me the big surprise was how much I really liked and respected Claire in the show. Caitriona Balfe has done a great job of making Claire a believable and strong heroine.

Susana Ellis said...

Rena Fuhr, you are the winner of the dragonfly in amber brooch. Contact me at barbiesa@buckeye-express.com with your snail mail address and I'll get it in the mail to you!