Tag Archives: Tom Brittney

Outlander – The Wedding

Chapters 14 and 15 of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander cover the wedding of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp (Caitriona Balfeand James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) known to one and all by the nickname Jamie.

The wedding in the book was similar in many ways to the wedding on the show, though there were a few differences, such as the show choosing to present the events out of order as the couple discusses the day they have just been through.

In the book the greater difference was in the marriage of Claire and Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) and this is a case where I was glad the show chose to make not just minor changes, but major ones.  I understood why the author chose to write the book the way she did, and the emotions she was putting her character Claire through, but when I first read it, the passages struck me as a bit much.  I agreed that her wedding to Jamie would undoubtedly remind her at every turn about Frank, about her desire to return to 1945, and this is a tremendous fork or turning point in her life.

Is Claire giving up hope of returning to 1945?
Is Claire now accepting her life in the 1700s?
Is this a marriage of convenience or emotion?
Is this Claire simply doing what she must to make it through another day, or week, or does this marriage to Jamie mean something more?

The wedding is given an entire episode and I feel rightfully so because it means so much for Claire, and coming out of this day Claire is in a new position figuratively speaking.  Not because she is Mrs. Fraser so much as because she has made a permanent move in this time-frame instead of just treading water in an effort to find her way back to Frank.  That is a decision that should have emotional ramifications.

Sam Hueghan shows his acting abilities quite well in several of these scenes with Claire.  As she is reacting to her own thoughts and emotions in the wake of what she has done he is clearly noticing them, observing her and realizing there is something going on with this beautiful lass he has married.  The nuances to both his performance, and that of Caitriona Balfe were quite nice as they took the audience on an emotional roller coaster with them.

With only one more episode before a mid-season break that will take us into the new year, it will be interesting to see how much further into the novel the show carries us.  My hope when they first announced the divided season was that the show would take us to Part IV of the novel before the winter break… but we shall have to wait a week to find out, especially since the commercial for this coming week appeared to show some 1945 scenes that I do not recall from the book.


Outlander @ IMDB
Outlander @ Starz
Outlander @ Showcase

Outlander – The Garrison Commander

Lt. Foster, Claire and Dougal

Lt. Foster, Claire and Dougal

The sixth episode of Starz Outlander, The Garrison Commander, covers more of the events in Chapters 10 through 21, again changing a lot of the story line, adding characters, and recrafting events in intriguing and fascinating ways.

From the moment I first started reading the book the character Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) fascinated me.  In most current Romance novels his alpha character introduction would have signaled his being a major player, and male interest for our female lead.  Because I knew I was reading the book in anticipation of the television series, and at the recommendation of a friend, I had opted not to read the back cover text about the novel.  As a result I entered the story blind, not knowing who was a major player in the story, and who was minor.

As a result, when Claire (Caitriona Balfe) first met Dougal (Graham McTavish) I was both intrigued and curious.  Who was this man, and what role would he play in Claire’s attempt to survive life in the 1700s?  Dougal (Graham McTavish), as portrayed in the telvision show, is slightly different than in the book, the nuances to his character fascinate me.  His loyalty to clan and country and never in question, but his motivations, and what he is seeing and how he will act on it is constantly of interest.

I assumed Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) would be the Garrison Commander for whom this episode was named, in part because he was the highest ranking Red Coat we were familiar with thus far.  I expected him to be the predominant face of the British troops, and thought I understood a great deal about the scenes that would unfold in this weeks episode.

As has happened so often in this series, the episode contained some scenes directly from the book, and portions from the book shifted to other characters and other positions.

I said last week that it was best to have read up through Chapter 21, and while I now realize that does cover into the next episode (The Wedding), I think some of those scenes have been merged and shifted into this week’s episode, and last week’s.  For instance, one character from this week’s episode is at the very end of chapter 20 (Corporal Hawkins).

Where the first episode of Outlander felt almost like an abridged presentation of the book, each episode since has felt less and less bound to the novel, and yet they have maintained the spirit and spark of the prose so well, that it can be difficult to fully recognize while you are watching the show which parts are created from scratch for the series, and where dialogue has been pulled from Dougal speaking to Claire beside the spring in Chapter 13 and given to Black Jack Randall in episode 6.  Hard to believe, and yet, so well done that each scene plays well, conveys the same scene with great power, and presents two different perspectives on the same scene and gives Claire very important knowledge about the world she is now surviving in, and the people around her.

Starz Outlander Wedding Invite