Outlander Series Premiere Recap: A Thoroughly Modern Woman

August 10, 2014 8:45 PM

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Outlander Series Premiere Recap: A Thoroughly Modern Woman

You might think the new Starz series Outlander is about time travel and historical intrigue but you would be mostly wrong. Instead, this is a show deeply concerned with the question of whether or not a modern woman can have it all in two vastly different eras. Outlander is also a novel, well, the first of a series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. I haven’t read the books but I know four things: the books are very long; there is an intelligent, independent woman at the center of the story; there is time travel; and there is lots of hot sex. I am down with all of these things so my expectations, coming into the series pilot, may have been unreasonable, particularly with regards to that last point. I expected torrid, bosom-heaving sex during the opening credits and my hopes were instantly dashed. The opening credits involved gorgeous scenery of the Scottish plains. Everything about this show is, in fact, gorgeous — the actors and acting, the scenery, the costumes, the score.

Meanwhile, the Second World War has ended, a long, bloody affair. In a brief flashback, Claire is doing nurse work on the horrifically wounded leg of a solider—bones and blood and tendons, accompanied by some gruesome sound effects. War is hell. Life without modern medicine is something worse than h...

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