Outlander is a British-American historical drama with fantasy elements of time travel based on the bestselling series of novels by Diana Gabaldon.
After serving during the Second World War as an army nurse, Claire Randall and her husband Frank are enjoying a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands. She wants to leave behind the memories of war and Frank is leaving the secret service for a life as an Oxford historian. After years of strife, they wish to be blessedly boring.
Without warning, Claire is transported to 1743 Scotland where her life and freedom are both endangered. She is first captured by Redcoats led by her present day husband’s ancestor and later marries a strapping Scottish warrior. Now she is trapped between two completely different men in completely different times.
Overall, American critical response for Outlander was very positive. It is considered a faithful adaptation of the source material and that the leads show a great deal of chemistry. Entertainment Weekly rated it an A-. Other critics praised the show’s unwillingness to sit in any one genre, sharing aspects of historical, romance, and fantasy all in one.
British critics had a more mixed reactions to the show. They questioned some of the historical accuracy and pacing as well as questioning the “gorgeous drivel” that came along with the fantasy elements.
Viewers, however, unanimously love the show. The ratings were not only surprisingly strong, putting Starz into competition with content providers like Showtime, but a great many think pieces on the show as a feminist approach to action shows were written.
Those who like the shifting allegiances and intrigue of Game of Thrones but would like it all done with a bit more flair for the romantic will almost certainly enjoy Outlander. Fans of historical dramas will also enjoy themselves even if they are less interested in the romantic aspects.