Outlander Season One – Volume One: DVD Review











The awesome Lety Gallegos (GoneWithTheWords.com) was kind enough to view and give her thoughts on this DVD release for us.

The “Outlander” series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Upon her arrival, she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. But when she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited. Now, Claire’s heart is torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

The Show:

Outlander is a Starz original series based on an eight-book series written by Diana Gabaldon. The season starts off in 1945 with Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) and her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) on their way to Inverness, Scotland to reconnect after they have been apart due to WWII. Claire was an army nurse in the British army during the war and Frank assisted in the British war efforts as a part of MI6. Frank is a historian and has taken an interest in researching his genealogy and has a particular curiosity in investigating his ancestor Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall.

While in Inverness, Claire and Frank decide to visit the standing stones of Craigh na Dun to observe an early morning Druid ritual. The next day Claire decides to venture off on her own and visit Craigh na Dun to explore some of the plant life. While she is there she touches one of the stones and is mysteriously swept away. When she awakens she finds herself right in the middle of a battle between Redcoats and Highlander rebels, she then finds herself face-to-face with Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, also played by Tobias Menzies, who happens to be a not-so-good guy. It is then she starts to realize that she may no longer be in the 20th century. She is saved by a Scotsman and is taken back to their camp where she first encounters Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

You can sense a spark the moment that Claire and Jamie meet and as the season progresses, so does their chemistry. Claire is tremendously witty and intelligent and she uses it to her advantage to try and blend into and survive this foreign time period. Though at times her wit and her lack of a filter, and not being able to hold back her tongue, gets her into trouble. This journey proves to be an emotional and dangerous one for Claire and it only gets worse for her as she struggles to get back to Craigh na Dun in an attempt to get back to 1945, to her husband Frank, and her old life. At the same time, Claire is struggling to come to terms with her feelings about Jamie Fraser and they only seem to intensify as the show develops.

My likes: I was really impressed with the first half of this series and how well it was created and adapted. I felt that the cast and acting was excellent. The series is filmed in Scotland and features some exquisite cinematography and landscapes complete with some amazing castles. The costume design is also incredible, impressive, and authentic. The chemistry between Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan is palpable and I was very pleased with how well they portrayed their characters. I must also commend Tobia Menzies who plays two different characters, though ancestors, he still manages to portray the two very different men in an impressive way. Diana Gabaldon is mentioned in the credits as a consultant, and I was very pleased that she was involved in the creation of this series, even if only as a consultant. This series is filled with emotion, time-travel, violence, romance, war and political drama that should please all matter of audiences.

My Dislikes: Since this first season includes a lot of story-building and character establishment, it can be a bit slow in progression during the beginning of the season. I personally didn’t mind the pace of the storyline too much but, there may be others that may not be completely engrossed in the series until later on.

Special Features:

Authentic in Design: The Dresses and Kilts of Outlander – This short clip delves into the costume design that goes into Outlander. Terry Dresbach is the costume designer, who also happens to be the wife of Ronald D. Moore (the creator of the show), and is featured in this clip as she describes how she is able to make such authentic 18th century costumes. It also includes commentary from the different actors and their opinions on the costumes they wear in the show. It really is incredible how accurate the costumes are on this show, I really enjoyed this one.

Outlander: An Epic Adaptation – This clip features Diana Gabaldon, the writer of the Outlander book series, and the background of how the series came to be. It also includes commentary from the creator, director, actors, producers and how they came to be involved with the show and their thoughts on the books series and the show itself. This felt a lot like a “how it came to be” clip and it was really nice to hear from Diana, and hear all the different perspectives from all those involved in the show, and how passionate they are about the series.

Outlander: Season One Volume One is available March 3rd on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


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