Outlander aired the first half of its debut season in the fall, with the second half of the season starting on April 4th. The series follows a nurse, Claire, in WWII, Claire Beauchamp Randall, who is transported back to 1743 Scotland. We see the effects of her missing in 1945 and also how she has to cope with the Jacobin Uprising she finds herself in the midst of. It became a huge hit immediately and was picked up for a second season right after the pilot was aired. Here are seven spoiler free reasons to binge the first half of the season before the new episodes start up.
1. The amazing costumes. Outlander is full of period correct garments and undergarments. The designers do not use any velcro or zippers when constructing the costumes. Additionally, they age them with blow torches, ovens, and graters so they don’t look like they were newly made. Additionally, the hand knitting has gained a huge following. There are numerous fans creating their own patterns and hand knitting items to match those on the show. Oh, and they only had about seven weeks to create all of the costumes for the first season.
2. The Scottish Gaelic language. The characters actually speak in Gaelic and they show does not translate for the audience with subtitles. A bold choice that could be off putting for viewers, but it allows you to focus fully on what this is like for Claire, who is an outsider, trying to grasp at what everyone is saying and relying on those around you for the translations.
3. The scenery and cinematography. Outlander films on location in Scotland, so the vistas are gorgeous. You could just mute the show and pretend you’re on vacation. And if you want to actually take a vacation there, you can find information on the locations on this map created by VisitScotland. Also, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, try to spot Winterfell on Outlander. They share castles for their filming!
4. The action sequences and dark story lines. Outlander isn’t just a love story. There is action, death, and danger around every corner, as there would be in Scotland in the 1740s. The show doesn’t try to make everything a sweet love story and it is stronger for it.
5. The kilts. In addition to all of the other amazing costumes, the show is filled with men in kilts. Each actor has around twelve continuous yards of fabric to use as part of their outfit, and every character wears theirs differently. Many actors choose how their character wears their kilt to reflect that character’s personality. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with annoying questions to the actors about what they are wearing underneath.
6. It’s really nerdy. The show’s basis is in magic, but it stays grounded by telling the story of people and not magical events. Also, they strive for accuracy in all of their story lines, from historical events to costumes to props, and even the medical stuff. The main character is a nurse, who is sent back in time, and now has to continue medical care but in the 1740s, and the show uses actual Scottish Highland local remedies in its stories. Their attention to details is astonishing.
7. Its strong feminist streak. Some people have called Outlander the “feminist Game of Thrones.” It’s one of the fewshows on the air that has a female main character, who is actively controlling, or at least trying to control, her own life on her own terms. In Outlander, we hear other people’s stories, but they are always relating back to Claire. Her knowledge, sexuality, and drive are put front and center on the show with no apologies for those traits couched in the series’ story lines. Additionally, they do not shy away from plot points showing the dangers that women have to deal with on a daily basis. Sadly, many of them have not changed since the 1740s.
So run right now to your television or computer and binge watch the first episodes of Outlander. You’ve got about 4 full days left. There are only eight to check out. And it will leave you wanting new episodes faster than they can be released!