Saturday, June 30, 2018

Saturday and Sundry Thoughts on the Outlander TV series, & on Two Battles

I recently bought a used set of DVDs, as a change from Netflix etc. These cover season 1, volumes 1 and 2, of the TV series Outlander. Any tale with time travel embedded, for us, is always worth a look!

So far we've watched only volume 1 of season 1 - and in black and white. The new TV set we had to buy when ours decided to go awry, has yet to be fully sorted out for use of our older DVD player. I do believe that, as I type, the husband has managed to do this, so volume 2 will probably be viewed in colour. I actually enjoy black and white movies, and lack of colour in volume 1 of Outlander didn't bother me at all - in fact I thought it rather enhanced the mysterious side of the time travel involved.
From the Wikipedia link above:
Outlander is a television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Developed by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Sony Pictures Television and Left Bank Pictures for Starz, the show premiered on August 9, 2014. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse who in 1945 finds herself transported back to the Scotland of 1743, where she encounters the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite risings.
The second season, based on the novel Dragonfly in Amber, awaits - if we decide to continue.
We are enjoying the beginnings of this tall tale of time travel with a side of steamy romance, and background of history, fairly honestly reflected, so far. As we left volume 1 of season 1 the the epic Battle of Culloden was on the far horizon. Mention of the Battle of Culloden sparked my interest.

My maiden name was Scott, though I have not found any direct link to Scotland in my genealogy, and the Scotts in question were based in Suffolk, way down in the south-east of England. There are several theories as to how a Scott family (or even more than one Scott family) arrived so far south back in the 17th and 18th centuries, or earlier. One, among other theories I've come across, is that some prisoners from various battles, including the Battle of Culloden, were sent to Norfolk, in England, to work on draining the marshes there. Norfolk is a county bordering Suffolk. People of Scottish background, away from their homeland, were often referred to as, for instance,
James the Scot then, eventually, just James (or whatever) Scot(t).

My husband, aka anyjazz, in researching his family history, found that the earliest known ancestor on his mother's side was one Sander (short for Alexander) Milleson, who arrived in Massachusetts USA on a ship carrying prisoners, the majority of whom were Scottish, taken during the Battle of Worcester in 1650. Sander's name appears in the ship's list of prisoners, he is #178 on the 'John and Sarah' passenger list. He can be linked to other known members of husband's maternal family members. These prisoners were put into indentured labour for a number of years, and later released. Husband's relatives moved, eventually, into Pennsylvania, then into Kansas.

How erm...'cool' would it be if my ancestor and my husband's ancestor were Scottish prisoners from battles a century apart, sent off in different directions, one to the New World and one southward to England then, centuries later, courtesy of the internet, two of their distant relatives met and married?


Kaleymorris said...

I LOVE the Outlander stories. I have read all the books and got Jeffie hooked on the TV series.
The stories are brutal and tender, fanciful and factual, romantic and, unfortunately, sadistic. The actions of Black Jack Randall are very difficult to read about, much less watch.
I'm glad you are enjoying Outlander.

Wisewebwoman said...

Daughter loved these books. I tried and tried. I have such difficulty with sci-fi or historical romances although I should get a medal for trying.

I've finally given up trying, life being much shorter now but enjoy!


Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~ While, so far, the TV series has been enjoyable, after considering investing in the original novel (first one) and seeking out a few excerpts to check on the author's style, I decided against it. This author definitely ain't for me! I'd just end up giggling at the way she writes the sex scenes - and as for these they are becoming a wee bit too frequent for our taste, already. We've now watched half of volume 2 season 1 by the way.

Some of this isn't far removed from what I imagine as soft porn. I'd have preferred more history, more of the time travel element, less sex. We get it - she's sexy - he's sexy - we don't need to be constantly hit over the head with it! The frequent emphasis on rape and graphic sex acts are a bit much for our somewhat delicate and old fashioned constitutions. ;-)

The only author I've read, in recent years, who could write well about romance/sex without being yukky and overblown is Robert James Waller of "Bridges of Madison County" fame. I've read several of his novels and enjoyed them.

Anyway, we shall definitely finish season 1, and are glad to have seen it, but might think twice about acquiring seasons 2 and 3.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ As I've responded above, we're having a few second thoughts after getting a little bit further into the series. I definitely would not tolerate the novels! I'm old fashioned in many ways - I prefer a rather more stately, sensitive style of writing.

It's a pity about "Outlander" though - it was such a good initial idea, with so much scope, so many possibilities.

anyjazz said...

Sean Connery wasn't in it.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Shame on 'em! He should've been Dougal. And John Barrowman (Doc Who) is the real Captain Jack - everybody know that!

anyjazz said...

Of course any movie without Harpo Marx is of questionable value.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Who?