Embrace Change -- Why the Book vs. Show Debate Needs to End

Written by: Anne Gavin


I know very little about the business of television.  Some others associated with this Blog know a lot.  But, I consider myself more *average* when it comes to the ins and outs of television production.  I think most Outlander fans are in the same boat.  Also, I have never published a novel although I do enjoy writing which, for me, is really trying to convey all my thoughts, feelings and passions in a way that can touch reader's sensibilities or incite them (either positively or negatively) to think or feel a certain way.  Again, most of us probably fit into the category of non-novel writers.  So, here's the thing.  I REALLY hope we don't have to go through the rest of Outlander Season 2 debating ad nauseum  the differences between the Outlander series of books and the Starz television production.

Please. No. Stop. 

Read more after the jump...

In a recent interview with Collider, Outlander star Sam Heughan was asked about the changes that are being made to the story and how fans will react.  Sam's very introspective answer says a lot about why changes must happen but also about what checks and balances exist to make sure the story doesn't go too far afield.

"If only they (the fans) knew the logistics of everything.  It's amazing.  I'm always amazed at how much we are able to stick to the story or get everything in.  We've got a great team of writers and they've all read the books, and (author) Diana (Gabaldon) is very good about that.  If she doesn't get something through to the writers or producers, she'll get to me or Caitriona and suggest something or manage to slip it in somewhere.  It is a little political, in its own Parisian way.  But, I'm very pleased that we manage to stay very close to the books.  I also like to see us be able to get away from it a little bit, or play with the structure.  I think that gives us more opportunity to surprise
book fans." -- Collider.com 4/16/16

And herein lies a tidbit that we may have heard something about but have never seen stated quite this way.  Outlander author Diana Gabaldon serves as a "consultant" to the Starz television production.  In the most recent edition of The Outlandish Companion, Diana famously said of her "consultant" role that it is a "fairly flexible term; it can mean nothing or quite a bit."  She adds that the production is "under no legal compulsion to take account" of anything she has to say either good or bad about the writing and production of the show.  Occasionally Diana does let us in on some of her "consultations" with Ron Moore and company about the show production.  Surprisingly, Diana will often answer direct questions about this topic on her Facebook page or at the CompuServe Writers Forum.  Those insights are often delightful little nuggets of gold.  And, so it does appear that Diana is provided substantial opportunity to make her views known.  But, as she is the first to admit "...they don't necessarily take my opinions." 


However, our dear Sam may have unwittingly let us in on another of Diana's secrets.  I can't say I am surprised, given the formidable nature of the woman, but it appears that if certain changes and/or suggestions important to Diana are not heeded at the production level, then Diana's carefully cultivated personal relationships with both Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, provide yet another opportunity to infuse the television show with vital character attributes or impact how major characters play a scene.  I am not an actor, but from what I can tell, there is a large spectrum from which one can swing when choosing how to fundamentally portray a role.  I think this is an important note for those of you who decry any changes from the book.  It signifies to me that there is actually a fairly fail-safe mechanism in place to be sure that the television production does not substantially change the original story.


In Ron Moore's attempt to "realize" the books on screen, Moore is forced to create a dramatic shape and theme for each episode.  Moore and his writing staff must pour through an avalanche of scenes from the source material and determine which sections and which bits of dialogue are important to include in order to move the story forward yet maintain the spirit of Diana's award winning and best-selling narrative.  No small task especially when you consider they have (for Season 2) just thirteen, 55 minute time blocks in which to do this.  The novels are familiar for so many who have lived with them from the beginning -- over 20 years.  It is in nobody's best interest -- not Ron Moore, not Sony or Starz or anyone else associated with the production -- to make a television show that is unfaithful to the essence of the story.  But, here we find the built-in conflict.  Diana has said it best, "A book has its own shape and unlimited space in which to advance the author's intentions."  A film adaptation -- whether on the big screen or the small screen -- does not have this luxury.  The reality is that we cannot see everything exactly how it appeared in the novels.  And, I say to that, THANK GOD!


I'll admit, during my first viewing of Episode 202, I was more than underwhelmed by the "honeypot" scene between Jamie and Claire.  It didn't have the same level of impact for me as the book scene did.  However, the scene in the television show was actually part of a larger contextual theme for the episode.  I came to appreciate this after later viewings.  A major theme of Episode 202 was not only the strangeness and awkwardness of the Parisian lifestyle for Jamie and Claire (and dear Murtagh) but also about Jamie's post-traumatic stress resulting from the sadistic torture and rape he experienced at the hands of Jack Randall.  In the book series -- this theme was explored quite a bit.  But, as we know from Season 1 and its powerful and vivid final episodes, we weren't able to experience the full ransoming of Jamie's soul given the limitations of the television medium.  However, Jamie's brokenness is a major theme of "Dragonfly in Amber" and, in fact, informs his character for this and many of the following books.   There is no way Moore and company could not address this in a deeper fashion in Season 2 of the television series.  How it was addressed in Season 2 combined a beloved book scene within a very different context.  Clearly Jamie and Claire's intimacy has been gravely affected by Jamie's psycho-sexual trauma.  Claire is trying everything she can to help him get past it and as viewers and readers, we want to see Jamie and Claire's torrid passion return.  But, these things just don't happen overnight and we see that.  It was supremely clever of the television writers to bake this theme into the famous honeypot dialogue from the book.   It delights, surprises and deeply affects show watchers and book readers alike.  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what a good screen adaptation is supposed to do.  Nailed it.  However, if you only viewed this scene through the prism of the book, it would be lost on you and frankly, less enjoyable.  After subsequent viewings, I got it and I liked it -- a lot!


So, back to my point.  Endless debates regarding the differences between the book and the show just take away from the story and distract from the precious time we have to enjoy the screen adaptation.  I can't imagine how completely bored I would be if there was nothing new or different about the show.  As a book reader, I watch and know what's going to happen but I don't necessarily want to know exactly  what's going to happen.  There has to be a sense of novelty permeating an adaptation of a book series that has been around for 20 plus years.  So far, somehow, I am surprised at every episode.  This is good television story-telling.  You can't really ask for more.  At the same time, I don't believe Ron Moore or his writers are infallible.  They will make mistakes.  Everybody does.  Even Diana.  But, as Diana herself so wisely counsels, "If you watch the show with the book in your hand, you're not going to enjoy either one." 

And, really, who wants that?

As a book reader are you able to enjoy changes made in the TV show?  Do you feel as if Season 2 thus far reflects major plot lines in "Dragonfly in Amber?

--Diana Gabaldon quotations from The Outlandish Companion


151 comments

  1. Great points. I dropped my book purist mantle after Diana reminded us that tv is a different medium. Duh! And also after I realized what I really want is for all 8 (9? 10?) seasons to be made. So that means telling Starz loud and clear that we love the show and also telling the show's stars and creators. We don't want them to get bored and unhappy.

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    1. janet reynolds - Thanks for reading and commenting! I was never a purist to begin with but I do absolutely love the books. However, to me one just complements the other. Seriously about the seasons -- we HAVE to make it through all of Diana's amazing books on screen. And, agree that Outlander Love all the way around is a good strategy to achieve this.

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  2. YES. People who refuse to let go of "that's NOT how it was in the book" make me want to cry. Changes in the show do not invalidate the source material; the book will always be there. Book fans who won't take the time to understand these distinctions are cheating themselves of a great TV experience.

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    1. Exactly! You've expressed how I've felt about every major book series turned into movies (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings) as well as tv with Outlander.

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    2. nightshademary and Guinevere -- I agree. We can pick up the book anytime and relive all of Diana's wonderful scenes, dialogue, etc. And, this is a good thing. But, I think if folks opened their heart a little they would see how the TV show complements (not replaces) the book series. Thank you both so much for reading and adding your two cents here. We LOVE reader comments! Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content.

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  3. Well done!
    About 3 episodes into season 1, I resigned to the fact that the book and the show are 2 separate entities, and the show only "inspired" by the text. I enjoyed the show much more after that.
    As for season 2, I'm allowing the show to present the book to me in a different light, and accepting it for what it is...a dramatic love story, and damn good TV!

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    1. Terri Dugas -- Thanks for reading and commenting. Indeed, I think for the best television experience, you need to let go a little from the books. That isn't disloyal it's just acknowledging -- as you said -- that the mediums are different. And, yes, it is damn good TV! Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content.

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  4. Excellent points on all fronts! I too wish people would stop complaining so much about how the series isn't like the books. Well, a TV adaptation could never be exactly like the books because it is as the word states, an ADAPTATION. There is no possible way for the series to cram everything in 13 episodes. I for one, love the series, I love the books and I keep my admiration for them separate in my mind and heart. If I ever miss something that was in the book that was not portrayed in the series, I can go back and read it in the book. It's always there and no one is ever going to take that from me. We should be happy and proud that we have such a wonderful thoughtful team working on this series with dedicated book fans at the helm. Ron, Maril, Terri, Gary, Matt, Toni, and Anne care deeply about this series as much as anyone and want to do right by the fans and Diana.

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    1. Nicole Menard -- So agree that the stars aligned to find such an amazing production crew in Ron, Maril, etc. They are the Dream Team for this project. I love the books, too -- and agree they will always be there. But, the TV show stands on its own while still ringing familiar and yet, surprising. It's what makes this such an amazing show for all viewers, just not the ones familiar with Outlander and the story. Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content. Love hearing from our readers!

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  5. I love both Outlanders.. Although the main thread , woven by Diane, is very much there. The differences shoots off are here and there, but the most of the story continues as in the books. Within the constraints of time and the television medium. People have to grab a glass of wine, close their books, relax and enjoy the story of Claire and Jamie on TV .. It's quite a ride!

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    1. Molly 2003 and Sue Bellows -- I am ALL about grabbing a glass of wine (or whisky) and settling back to enjoy the show. I have in my mind how things should be because I have read the books -- but I don't let it ruin it for me. There is a familiarity with the TV Show for sure but the surprising little twists and turns are awesome to me as well. Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content.

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  6. The books and the TV adaptation are two distinct, separate animals. Both are exquisite examples of their specific genres and I hold nothing but the highest respect for those responsible for each. Diana is simply a genius and Ron has, to this point and his infatuation with Frank Randall nothwithstanding, been very faithful to plot lines and the outlines of the books. That being said, are there things I would to have seen verbatim? Absolutely! But seeing them at the cost of other, more pertinent scenes? Nope! I say, carry on, and let Season 3 get announced soon!!!

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    1. Sue Bellows -- I agree. Ron won't get it right 100% of the time. But, I think he's done a pretty good job up to this point. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don't think anyone else could have been the showrunner for this series -- except Ron. We will see where he takes the story but to me -- it looks and smells and acts like Outlander and any small changes don't bother me. Again, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Greatly appreciated!

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  7. Completely agree! I love the books and I love the show. I have read and listened to the books (all 8 of them) multiple times and I will continue to do so long after the show ends. It is thrilling to see these characters and their stories come to life in such an exquisite production with such talented actors. I also loved the honeypot scene in the show because it was such a tender and loving gift that Claire gave to Jamie in an attempt to get her husband back. It was heartbreaking that the vision of BJR destroyed their moment. Having Jamie react negatively to the waxing as in the book would have only aggravated the situation in the TV show. I know it's hard for some not to compare TV show to books but we will always have the books and the show is a gift to be treasured right now. i truly believe that nobody will ever do a better adaptation.

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    1. Donna Krise -- thanks for your thoughtful comment. The Honeypot scene from the show took a bit to grow on me but now that I see how it served as a way to provide more exposition for Jamie's PTSD, I think it was a change (from the book) worth making. I am happy that a long time book reader (and re-reader) such as yourself can appreciate the television medium as much as the books. I want more seasons because I want to see Diana's exquisite story to continue on screen. Come back and see us again soon at the Blog for more Outlander news and original content. We crave reader's comments!

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  8. I think what some people fail to realise is, that many don't mind changes. I for one enjoyed alot of the changes they had in season 1. The wedding ring? Beautiful! The whole Sandringham incident? Very well done... And so on... What I do mind though is when the showrunner fails to grasp the very essence of the story. The foundation and the thing that had book readers read 8 books time and again: Jamie and Claires relationship. And so far, there's none of that. So far non-book-readers have no idea why Claire didn't go through the stones back in season 1. Non-book-readers have no idea why Claire was so devastated coming back to her own time in episode 1, season 2. Why would she? What's there to miss? Where is the soulmate connection that we read about in the books? And THAT is something that under no circumstances should be changed. I understand the time constraints. BUT, if they'd focus on the truly important material (and I don't consider the king pooping important) they would be able to portray that relationship as it's supposed to be.
    Jamies healing also should've been done in season 1. (one Wentworth episode could've easily been changed into the abbey). Paris is already a struggle with the political plotting and such. To add Jamies PTSD into the mix just makes matters so much more complicated. There're only 13 episodes in this season. And they waste precious time with bathroom humor and Frank (seriously, 20 mins would've been enough here).

    Surprisingly I've seen alot of people who had no complaints whatsoever about last season, suddenly voice their displeasure with what we've seen so far of season 2. Especially the newest teaser has fans worried, if not frustrated. Someone asked: who are these people? They are not the Jamie and Claire I know and love. Changing character traits is - in my opinion as someone who doesn't work in the industry - also absolutely NOT neccessary when bringing a book on screen. But that's exactly what they are doing.

    On a side note: I don't know what interview with Sam that was but no, not all the writers have read the books. Actually only half of them have. According to RDM that was intentional.

    So I won't stop comparing book to show. I fully understand what an adaption is. But if you can't get the basic story of a book on screen, if you can't keep true to what these characters are all about, then maybe you shouldn't do it in the first place.

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    1. I agree, the relationship is getting shortchanged for the sake of the adaptation and bringing more exotic things to screen such as too-long scenes with dildos and constipated kings! The last episode was really lacking in mentioning Claire's pregnancy and she's at least 5 months along at this point. How about some voice over with her maternal thoughts rather than how she had wanted to climb the Eiffel Tower?

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    2. I agree completely. They're not only shortchanging the relationship between Jamie and Claire but Jamie himself. The Jamie is see on screen is not the man of the books at all. Where's his humor and balls ffs? Claire seems to be the central focus and the one in charge of it all. Though this story is told from Ckaires POV it is not her story alone and in her telling of it she never makes Jamie less than the man he is. The man Jamie needs to be to survive what is ahead of him without her is nowhere to be seen and he needs to show up quickly or he won't be the man we all fell in love with he won't be the he needs to be to survive life without his heart by his side. They need to let Jamie be Jamie and let Sam be him because I've no doubt in Sam at all he can be the Jamie and the be the Jamie that is strong and capable and doesn't need his wife patting him on the head like a good child because she approves his idea to hire a pick pocket. And I do not for one second, not being any more of a television expert than some one who watches a lot of tv is, think that fans being interested and invested enough in a show and it's characters to discuss and debate the subject, the good and the bad, will cause a network to drop a show. Why would they? They've got people talking and watching so that means ratings.

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    3. I agree with donna! As I listen to the book, for the umpteenth time, I hear the strong, responsible but sensitive Jamie; I don't see that in the TV version. Actually, I see no sensitivity at all in Claire, either. I'm not criticizing the actors, I just don't feel that the right 'private' kind of moments are being shown; the ones that made you fall in love with the characters as you read the books. If the TV adaptation was the only version of Outlander I was ever exposed to, I would feel as my husband does (who has never read the books) and think of Claire as bitchy, and Jamie as weak. That being said, I do enjoy the show, and like very much what they've done with Murtaugh's role.

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    4. Pieni, Michele, Donna and Louann -- First of all Ladies -- THANK YOU for taking the time to share your thoughts. It's no fun when people just agree with you!!! I do totally understand where you are coming from with regard the J & C relationship. It's been a very slow burn I the TV series -- slower than perhaps we would all like. I've thought a lot about this and I think it may be less about the material the actors are given and more about the actors themselves. This will be a controversial opinion but for me, Caitriona -- while new to acting - has lived a very full life for someone so young. She is -- in my view -- not only a strong personality -- but also she's just seen and done more than Sam. While Sam is an amazing actor, I think he's "younger" in his views. This is no slight to him but I think he's just not as sophisticated or worldy as Cait. This may come across on screen more than we might like. Actors bring a bit of themselves to a character. How could they not? Caitriona does dominate a lot of the scenes she is in. It's how she has chosen to play Claire. And, maybe it doesn't allow Sam to come across as the strong Jamie we all love. But, I believe he will get there and I think it will happen this season. I wrote a Blog Post about this not too long ago. I think it's Jamie's (and Sam's) season. I will say in both Sam and Caitriona's defense that I was a show watcher before I was a book reader. I am now on Book 5 but I can honestly say that what enthralled me the most and made me completely start obsessing over Outlander was the relationship between Jamie and Claire in Season 1. Just saying. But, again -- your comments and thoughts are much appreciated. Come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content!! Love hearing what you have to say.

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    5. To blame who they are off screen for how they appear onscreen is indeed controversial. Certainly you stating such opinions will acquire retaliation and here's a bit:
      So Anne, your take is to blame the actor, who by the way is playing a part using dialogue that is written for them, for not coming off on screen as strong? I think if Sam was given the proper source material, from the writers of the show, I am most certain he would do it justice. If anything episodes 15 and 16 proved he's more than capable. I do not think their acting skills have anything to do with their life off screen that makes the character seem less "strong." The problem here is the people behind this show are so hooked on having a feminine hero that they tend to build up Claire's character while taking away from Jamie's. That is as clear as day to many of the viewers. That is why that opinion is expressed so often.

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  9. Well said Anne and I so agree with you. However I find many people calling others out for expressing an OPINION that basically says “I did or did not like” how this was done in the show – it is nip picking, it is complaining, it is being negative and Starz in not going to renew a season 3 because they are reading all these terrible comments . I have posted very little “I like and I did not like” in the FB groups because of this and coming very close to quitting all FB Groups. When I see someone’s opinion that is well written it gets me thinking.. hummm interesting. For instance Anne, you mention the “honeypot” scene, how you did not like first pass through – I felt the same way but like yourself after another viewing and seeing several posting it made sense. Sometimes other opinions help you see things differently. People need to respect that some of these comments are opinions and not necessarily comparing the book to TV show. Finally I just want to say – I have thoroughly enjoyed both episodes. Ron has done a tremendous job of taking this series and putting it on TV.

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    1. Donna -- it's a jungle out there in the Facebook groups. I get it. People can be very intolerant. I understand when folks want to re-hash an episode and maybe call out things they like and don't like. I am one of those people!!! But, (and you know the type) the absolute purists who reject it all because a certain scene may have been altered, is what I don't believe does anyone -- show watcher or book reader -- any good. However, it's a free country and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I do believe that. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you'll come back and see us again soon at the Blog!

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    2. You are not kidding it is a jungle on FB. You can count hearing from me again. I love discussions like this that are done with respect.

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    3. Anne, on the point of the book purists who reject it all because of alterations, I think there are just as many on the other end of the spectrum who get their panties in a bunch if anyone utters a syllable saying anything other than how wonderful every second of the series is. You know I lean more towards being a book fan, but I think I have enough open mindedness to realize the series can't be exactly like the books and there will be some (a lot) of changes. Some I like, some I hate and some don't bother me either way, but I hate when people are called negative or haters for expressing these opinions as long as they're done respectfully.

      P. S. While I understand why they did what they did with the honeypot scene, and DG has now gone on record saying she loved it, that was still my biggest disappointment with Ep. 2. Also felt that some of the lighter comedic scenes might have gone a tad over the top to look like slapstick.

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  10. Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing about the "honeypot" scene - it's such an iconic (and funny) bit in the books and I was wondering why they'd change it. But you're right - they used it to great effect. Very impressive piece of writing.

    The wailing of the Poutlanders about the books being "ruined" never ceases to amuse. First of all, the books exist on their own, and themselves will not be affected. But secondly, it appears none of these people have ever seen "Clan of the Cave Bear" or Kubrick's "The Shining" or any other of the countless books that are totally unrecognizable on the screen.

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    1. Charlotte Marks -- Ha, ha -- "Poutlanders" -- Hadn't heard that one. Well, I certainly think people have the right to be disappointed if something they were really looking forward to seeing doesn't turn out exactly how they envisioned in the TV show. But, I think it may be worth further thought and then maybe they might see it differently. Or not. But, yes, I do agree that what we have been given by Starz, Ron, etc. remains very true to Diana's original narrative. It could have been so much different. But, it's not. And, well...REJOICE! Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back to the Blog again soon. We love reader's thoughts and comments!

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    2. Maryann -- I agree with abstaining from the name-calling, no matter what "side" you are on. And, as you notice, I didn't do that in my piece. I wouldn't. But, can't control what some commenters say. As I said, I was initially disappointed in the honeypot scene, but it would have been entirely out of context for the theme of the episode given J & C's issues in the bedroom (due to PTSD) if it went any other way. I am just glad they kept the scene, albeit changed it up a little. And, on subsequent viewings, I enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and commenting and for respectfully expressing your opinion!!! Come back and see us again at the Blog soon!

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  11. While I very often find myself critically comparing book to TV, after a couple viewings I come to appreciate the show for what it is, which is a great show and I accept that changes have to be made. But what continues to bother me, that I saw in season 1 and saw again in S2 Ep 2 is that certain writers are changing aspects about these characters that we love. I think the honeypot scene is a perfect example. Book Claire didn't get a full wax, just her arms and legs, because either she didn't want it herself or that this was something she didn't think Jamie would be into. My interpretation of the conversation in the book supports both these points. Yet this is the exact opposite of what they played out on TV. Plus I find that the writers are always making Claire to be the ringleader and Jamie appears as second fiddle and that is certainly not the case. We (and the critics) praise that this is a story of two equals but there are too many instances where this isn't coming across on screen. On the flip side, I love that they're giving more life to characters like Murtaugh and his grumblings. That still fits with his character. Just like the expansion of Frank in S2 Ep 1. So bring on the enhancements and please stop screwing up Jamie and Claire.

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    1. Michele -- I hear you. I add my thoughts to your concerns above in a reply to you and some of the others who raise this point. I may be totally off, but I think what we see is how Cait and Sam have chosen to play the characters -- for now. I do think we will see more of Jamie -- man in full -- soon. And, I think it will be this season. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  12. I recommend reading the annotated scripts. The writer mentioned that he couldn't keep the scene like the book because TV Claire doesn't have hairy armpits or legs! His explanation for using it along with the PTSD made sense too. The scripts and notes are fun to read!

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    1. RoJoCo -- I love all the BEHIND THE SCENES bits. They are fun. And, yes -- the annotated scripts. Cool. It's so very interesting to see how they landed with a certain scene. I hope we get to continue to see these little glimpses of the "making of Outlander!" Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back and see us again soon at the Blog!

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    2. I also read the comments about TV Claire not having hairy armpits or legs. We have been asked to suspend disbelief on bigger issues, and we haven't seen TV Claire's legs or armpits in at least days/weeks of tv time, IMO it wouldn't have been too hard to accept that she only had those areas waxed. The bigger issue I had with that was if Jamie realized it was a man that had waxed her "thatched" area and what his reaction would have been to that. That was more unbelievable to me.

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  13. I think it's unrealistic to expect a character to "get over" a horrific rape, torture and PTSD in one episode. I applaud the writers and showrunner for dealing with the real aftereffects of rape and what it means to be a rape survivor. To not show that would be a disservice to rape victims and what they have accomplished so far in showing the real struggle of being a rape survivor.

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    1. Amen to that. Ron Moore could not do justice to the PTSD in Season 1 so he committed to dealing with it realistically with time to breathe in Season 2 and he is good to his word. The loss of intimacy coupled with the enormity of the task they are trying to accomplish and having to pretend to be people they are not would result in conflicts, arguments and further estrangement. This is real life. In the book they had already spent months at the Abbey in recovery before taking on the world of Paris and intrigue. So yes, this has made things quite complex, but even in DIA Jamie was still having nightmares and as we know BJR haunts him for the rest of his life. I trust that there will be a break through in Jamie and Claire's intimacy which will help them also reclaim more of their humor and easy way with each other. I think Ron Moore and his team have done a fabulous job adapting these huge books into so few episodes. I am on my 4th read of the series and I love the changes they are making because it provides me with surprises and an opportunity to see another way scenes and events could have been played. Evidently Diana is pleased overall and that says a lot.

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    2. Nicole Menard and Kathy Van Wesep -- Yes. A dicey topic in today's world. I do believe it has to be dealt with in the series and rise to the top when they are considering themes for the various episodes. As we have seen from some comments made to Diana on social media -- some of how this has been portrayed on the Show has provided healing for victims of sexual abuse. If for no other reason it's important to treat this subject in the show with the gravity is deserves. The Starz crew is doing a great job of this in my opinion. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. It's greatly appreciated. We love and learn from our readers and their comments.

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    3. Maryann -- wow. You have really analyzed that waxing scene. None of what you say ever occurred to me with regard Claire/Caitriona and her hairy or not legs and armpits! :) The bigger suspension of belief for me comes over the fact that Claire doesn't seem to be showing much baby bump in that red dress despite being like 4-5 months along. Timey, wimey, I guess. Maybe the same guy who screwed up the date stamp with the year (1745 instead of 1744) forgot to adjust Claire's baby bump accordingly!! Again, thanks for weighing in. Comments always appreciated!

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  14. Good points and I do appreciate what they've been able to fit in so far as there is a lot of plot in the book. I like surprises as well! My concern is the J/C scenes that are in the script but cut from the final version. All of the tender scenes between J/C (massaging hand, bringing tea, etc) were cut to make room for a too long brothel scene and a too long pooping scene. My guess is DG was happy with the script but I'm wondering if she's happy with what actually made it to the final screen version. I think probably not. And Claire dismissing Jamie/Murtagh so she could talk to Sandringham?? Not in character. So I too feel that the J/C characters are not in sync with the book and that is something they could've done a better job with. Just my 2 cents! :-)

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    1. Nan -- I understand what you are saying. Less poop and more tender moments with J & C. I am for that!!! Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back ad see us again soon!

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  15. I did not like the first episode of season 2 and liked the second episode even less. The first episode was much too much Frank and a totally different Frank than in the books. The way he reacted to Claire's return was much more in the book believable than in the series. The second episode. Where to begin??? Claire is so overbearing and full of herself. I find myself asking "Jamie who". I was so looking forward to seeing the accidental meeting of Claire and Jamie with Black Jack Randall. Now just like everything else it is up to Claire how of IF Jamie knows BJR still lives. When that scene happened on the series I said that would be my last episode to watch. I love the books and look forward to more of them. I know there have to be changes when a book is put in a series. But the changes should be for reasons other than lessening one character to enhance other characters.

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    1. Unknown -- so sorry you feel this way, but understand and respect it and your disappointment. I do believe we will see Jamie come into his own this season. It may take him a bit to get there but I see it happening. I hope you'll decide to take up viewing again. Or, maybe take a break, read and then come back?? Regardless, though, we so appreciate you reading and commenting on the Outlander Cast Blog. We try to keep up with Outlander news and provide some interesting original content. You are always welcome here!

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  16. As a fan of the books who has waited two decades for them to find their way to the screen, I love everything about the show. I remember when Diana sold the story one or two times before and it didn't pan out. I remember her saying that she did get some scripts from those times that made her head burst into flame they were that bad. Maybe I'm old school, but I have never imagined that I had a right as a viewer to demand changes, casting, whatever. I think a number of fans have misunderstood the unprecedented communication Starz, Sony and Ron Moore and company have given the fan base. They have assumed that the series production is looking for creative input. I don't know how or when they will understand that while the studio and production want to create a show that fans will love, it is not a democratic process. Fans simply do not get to do anything other than say whether they like it or not. The people in production have the idea that they are the professionals. They have the chops to make this the outstanding adaption it is. If any of the fans that treat them like their personal servants could do as well, they would be working on the show. I have come to the point where I don't really say much anymore, because I think it is a lost cause. I do admire the professionalism and patience of all involved from the Production Company to cast and crew in dealing with the more obnoxious fans. How they can do that and create this extraordinary series is beyond me, but I am so very grateful. I have a lot of admiration for all of them.

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  17. As a fan of the books who has waited two decades for them to find their way to the screen, I love everything about the show. I remember when Diana sold the story one or two times before and it didn't pan out. I remember her saying that she did get some scripts from those times that made her head burst into flame they were that bad. Maybe I'm old school, but I have never imagined that I had a right as a viewer to demand changes, casting, whatever. I think a number of fans have misunderstood the unprecedented communication Starz, Sony and Ron Moore and company have given the fan base. They have assumed that the series production is looking for creative input. I don't know how or when they will understand that while the studio and production want to create a show that fans will love, it is not a democratic process. Fans simply do not get to do anything other than say whether they like it or not. The people in production have the idea that they are the professionals. They have the chops to make this the outstanding adaption it is. If any of the fans that treat them like their personal servants could do as well, they would be working on the show. I have come to the point where I don't really say much anymore, because I think it is a lost cause. I do admire the professionalism and patience of all involved from the Production Company to cast and crew in dealing with the more obnoxious fans. How they can do that and create this extraordinary series is beyond me, but I am so very grateful. I have a lot of admiration for all of them.

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    1. Excellent comments with which I totally agree. The only other show that shows this kind of faithfulness to the books is Poldark. They are trying to maintain the integrity and the production value for their Season 2 to the point that they delayed the Season 2 release from April to August to make sure they did it right. If this is the new trend of TV adaptations of book series I rejoice, because other adaptations have been hard to recognize they departed so far from the source material. I love the show and I am on my 4th read of the Books (almost at the end of Voyager) and that include the Lord John series and all the other novellas Diana has written. I will never stop reading the books and I watch the TV episodes over and over. Aren't we lucky to be able to enjoy these characters and stories so beautifully depicted in two different mediums. God Bless STARZ, Sony, Ron Moore and his entire team for this gift.

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    2. Susan Van Hoven and Kathy Van Wesep -- I suppose it takes all kinds. I do believe many of these fan who complain loudly and often are really just gigantic fans of DG and Outlander but are just having a hard time getting past the changes. In other words, I think they mean well -- just may get a little carried away. Ron and Maril, etc. have the patience of saints, though -- that is FOR SURE!!! We love you guys for stopping by to read the Blog and taking the time to add your thoughts! Please come back again soon!

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  18. If you make an exact copy of the book on film, what would be the fun in watching it. Some surprises are always a good thing. Just enjoy and dont nitpick. They are both wonderful in their own separate ways!!!

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    1. Deb -- agree they are wonderful in each their own way!!! Thanks for reading and commenting. Love hearing from you!

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  19. I have enjoyed S2 to date. I was a bit miffed that Claire knows about BJR still being alive so soon.

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    1. I think that they are doing a terrific job of adapting the books to the TV series. There have been some parts of the show that I haven't liked, but overall it is such a huge task to take these very long, detailed books and condense them into 13-16 episodes, and I think that they've done very well. I like many of the changes they've made, e.g. The petition given to the Duke of Sandringham, since they for the most part have served to move the story forward. Of course there are scenes and dialogue that I'd love to have seen, but I'm still amazed with how much from the books appears on TV. I am sad to see Jamie's character suffering so much in S2 so far, but actually it makes sense due to the timeline changes that were made at the end of S1. I know some of my friends have decided not to watch it since they don't like book adaptations, and that's they're choice. I love the show even with its imperfections and I think it's unrealistic to think that the show can be any closer to the books. I'm confident that we'll see a stronger Jamie very soon - from what I've read and heard in interviews with Sam and Cait. They were the ones who fought to have the intimacy between J& C delayed for a few episodes, btw. It's hard but I am willing to be patient!

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    2. I don't expect the show to be a copy of the books. What I do expect is fidelity to the fundamental character of Claire and Jamie. Ron Moore chose not to do that. He altered Jamie's character so that he is more like a "huge boy" than the honorable, intellectual, and humorous man Gabaldon created. The most frequently occurring criticism I see is about how the writers depicted Jamie, and if that many people see a problem with it, then something is probably wrong with the way Ron Moore interpreted the books.

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    3. Theresa -- the BJR reveal -- it definitely is controversial. I am willing to see how it plays out, though. However, the BJR-Jamie Duel is still my most anticipated scene from Season 2. I just know it's going to be EPIC! Thanks for reading and commenting!!! Appreciate.

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    4. Judy Kates -- I agree with you -- that the Jamie we know and love will appear this season -- it's coming. Thanks for your comments. Love hearing them!

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    5. Jessie -- I hear you. I provide my thoughts on the "where is Jamie" controversy" in a response above to some others who have the same concern. I think he's coming...and we'll see that Jamie soon. Thanks for your comments. Agree? Disagree with the post? It's ALL GOOD!!! We appreciate our readers and their opinions.

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  20. I have read the books multiple times and I feel that the show is a very good adaptation. Jamie is not a boy to me but you do realize that at this point he is a young man who has experienced a lot of things most people could not cope with. The show is true to the book as far as it can be and the central theme is there. I believe that the writers and Ron Moore are doing an excellent job. Those of us who are watching and have no experience transferring a book to a television drama can criticize and critique but if we were so good we would be doing this. The number of dedicated fans speaks for themselves.

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    1. Unknown -- Yes! It's why at the top of my post I claimed no expertise in either TV production or novel writing!! To me -- it's coming together nicely. Not without controversy but that's OK. We'll see how the rest of the season plays out but I am pleased so far. Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated!

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  21. When I first heard that Starz was making Outlander into a series, I decided not to watch it. In the past, I've seen TV/movies based on a beloved book and been so disappointed in the casting, the script, everything. I just couldn't let anything or anyone ruin my love for the Outlander books. After hearing rave reviews from fans of the books, I decided it was time. So, I watched & recorded (thank God) the 1st season when Starz had the marathon right before season 2 began. Wow! I'm sure all of you know how I felt actually seeing & hearing these people who I have loved for so long. Sam & Cait are so marvelously cast as Jamie & Claire. I experience pure joy while watching them bring the characters to life. I remember reading Dragonfly in Amber (the 1st time) through tears because I thought Jamie was dead. In the first episode of S2, I experienced that same emptiness & overwhelming sadness (and tears) again as I watched & listened as Claire mourned for the love of her life and all the people she had grown to love. I don’t mind that the series isn’t exactly like the books. As long as the true story prevails - Claire & Jamie always find their way back to one another.

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    1. Sherry Combs -- I can feel the joy in your voice when you talk about the Starz production. I feel the same, although I was a TV Watcher first before I started reading. It's wonderful to hear that a long time book reader like yourself feels this way. Love everything that you said! Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back and see us at the Blog again soon!

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    2. Sherry, I agree with you a thousand percent. I think your answer is part of the key to why some people are struggling with the screen adaptation of Diana's books. As true fans, we (I suppose I will speak for myself) become genuinely invested in these beloved characters and their lives. We hold them dear and cherish them as we might real people, in some ways. The mark of a good author is in her ability to bring her words and characters to life, and we know Diana is superb in her craft. I believe some fans may, on a visceral level, see the screen adaptation as having toyed with our Jamie and our Claire and their REAL LIVES...you know, the lives they live on the pages of our beloved books. Those characters are alive to each of us in different ways, and there are bound to be disappointments when the story is set to film. It is a monumental task that Rin and crew have undertaken, and while I do see the changes, be they sublte or overt, I am enjoying the show for the show's sake. I am keeping MY Jamie and MY Claire tucked away in my heart, though! Each of us should have our own Jamie and Claire.

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    3. Sherry, I agree with you a thousand percent. I think your answer is part of the key to why some people are struggling with the screen adaptation of Diana's books. As true fans, we (I suppose I will speak for myself) become genuinely invested in these beloved characters and their lives. We hold them dear and cherish them as we might real people, in some ways. The mark of a good author is in her ability to bring her words and characters to life, and we know Diana is superb in her craft. I believe some fans may, on a visceral level, see the screen adaptation as having toyed with our Jamie and our Claire and their REAL LIVES...you know, the lives they live on the pages of our beloved books. Those characters are alive to each of us in different ways, and there are bound to be disappointments when the story is set to film. It is a monumental task that Rin and crew have undertaken, and while I do see the changes, be they sublte or overt, I am enjoying the show for the show's sake. I am keeping MY Jamie and MY Claire tucked away in my heart, though! Each of us should have our own Jamie and Claire.

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  22. Judy Kates - I couldn't agree more!

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    1. Jennifer Wolf -- VERY healthy attitude (in my opinion) of how to view show changes. Book Jamie and Claire will always remain so in whatever way we interpret them. Nothing that the Starz Jamie and Claire do will ever change that. The books will always be there. And, J&C in our hearts, as you say! Thanks for taking the time to read, comment and contribute to the conversation. Much appreciated!

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  23. This might have been mentioned already in the comments... but Sam actually spoke inconsistently about one thing Ron Moore has said a few times...
    The writers are made up of half book readers and half non-book readers that way they're sure to stay "fair and balanced" (couldn't resist). I think this is why the show adaptation works so well. Like the OC podcast, it's good to have a healthy mix of both to offer the best product!

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    1. Ashley Crawley -- Yes, Sam was incorrect. Not all on the writing team have read the books. But he's so cute and sexy, I am going to give him a pass!

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    2. I believe that half the writers were not book readers when hired but all have read current book(s), just possibly not beyond that. Plus IMO you can see the difference in the ones who are fans and passionate about OL itself and not just part of the project.

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  24. I think most of the fans are upset about how much the characters' personalities have been changed. It's not about missing one scene from the book, it's about Jamie being reduced to a very weak man who has to follow directions from his bossy Mother, Claire! We are not seeing the romantic couple of equal strengths and abilities from the book. Why change the characters so much when they are at the center of the overall story the show is trying to tell? I will also say that 202 was very poorly written, filled with bathroom humor and even a crummy slasher scene! What a waste of screen time, when there was so much story to tell in a much more intelligent way.

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    1. Happybell -- I definitely see your point re: concern for the Claire-Jamie relationship. I am anxious to see Jamie become stronger and I think he will this Season. But, how Sam and Caitriona are choosing to portray these characters is their own. Sam has very definite ideas about it -- as he has spoken of it often. And, much as been informed by Diana. However, it is also true that Book Jamie and Show Jamie have some differences. Some good and some (if you are a book reader) not so good. But, the point is -- two mediums. Jamie and Claire will get to where they need to be. And, Jamie will rise from the PTSD ashes and I am certain Sam will do this justice. But, definitely appreciate you adding your thoughts and opinions here. It is appreciated.

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  25. Here in the UK we don't have the pleasure of watching S2 on mainstream tv and not everyone can afford Amazon Prime. So I guess I'll just have to wait until 31st October when the DVD is released. And that can't come soon enough for me.

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    1. Unknown -- it is TRAGIC that UK Outlander fans are not provided an easier way to watch the show. I feel for you. You are brave though to read Blog posts and all the spoilers. Thanks for reading and commenting...

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  26. Here in the UK we don't have the pleasure of watching S2 on mainstream tv and not everyone can afford Amazon Prime. So I guess I'll just have to wait until 31st October when the DVD is released. And that can't come soon enough for me.

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  27. So is this Welcome to the USSR where we're forced to follow the party line and wave our OL flags when DG and Ron tells us to? I thought a piece of art is supposed to stand on its own to be discussed, discarded or loved on its own merits? It never got the pm that I gave up my right to my opinion when I got the book! If they're doing an adaptation of a book people have loved and reread for +20 years it's going to be compared - if they don't like it they should have written their own material
    I did like a lot of the changes in the first half of S1, many of them pushed the plot forward and made the it better! However, I believe they have changed Jamies character so much so I felt I got a whiplash every other episode! I feel there's a big difference in the character development of Jamies and Frank in the show. I understand why when I listen to Ron's podcasts as he hardly ever mentions either Sam or Jamie compared to the adoration of Tobias/Frank/BJR. in my world the silent treatment has always been bullying...
    Many of the changes they've done has nothing to do with time, medium or money, it's about changing the story and the balance between the characters!
    Yes, Jamie needs a lot of healing due to eps 115-116 but it's based on bad decisions when blocking S1. If they had condensed 113 and 114 they would have had time to make the healing in the Abbey as 116 (hot spring or not) and Jamie would have started eps 2 the way he was in the book - and he is not broken! but no Ron wanted the R A P e and 'you've never seen this before' it ment we got an unbalanced episode as well as it created butterfly effects that would follow us into S2 (as well as discussions about gratuitous torture porn, spectacle, abcent healing etc for TEN months!! IMHO a bad decision...)
    Ron doesn't care what the fans think about the show, hate watchers create viewers numbers as well and he enjoys stuffing Frank down our throats because this is his show and not a democracy... well, I know that I can't decide what they should put in the scripts - but I have the right to my opinion on what's shown on screen!
    With a healed Jamie in S2 we wouldn't have a man-child lead by a bossy Claire - and he is supposed to be her choice over a perfect Frank from 201? (a change from the book whith new butterflies)
    Time, medium and money is not an excuse to spend so much precious time on pooping kings and dildos over the possibility to make an equally loving and heart breaking scene between Jamie and Claire in 202 as we got between Frank and Claire in 201. A scene like that would glue them together in healing Jamie into what he has to be in DIA instead of emphasising a conflict - and it would have silenced the critique of a biased Ron...
    Yes, there have been much worse adaptations of other books - and there's been better ones - why rejoice that it's not the worst one of them all when it could be better? If they only get praise for what they do and no feedback they have no idea what might be improved - what company doesn't need feedback?
    If an episode needs 3-4 viewings before you can enjoy it then something is wrong imho... They get a lot if money to do this and if they can't come up with a better story line than dildos and constipated kings over a much needed healing of a broken man they probably need additional staff in the writers room!(btw, if they had combined them I bet the dildo would have made wonders for the bowel movements...)
    I've checked out of this 'fandom' a long time ago when I saw how DGs minions bullied every negative review from a non book reader by telling them they had no right to an opinion if they hadn't read the books - and now we are told that we have no right to an opinion about because I _have_ read the books??
    Nope, sorry when I get the feeling I get the middle finger from Ron and DG I will exercise my right to use my own... I will continue to watch the show both as an adaptation and compare it to the books they're supposed to adapt!

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    1. Okay, okay . . . you have a right to your opinion and you have a right to express that opinion, as does Anne. I'm going to address one of your many points because it's one point I'm intimately acquainted with and it's also something I feel the show is getting DEAD right and the books got DEAD wrong.

      That is Jamie's healing. You saying that the problem Ron has in having to address it in season 2 is because they didn't get a couple of extra months at the abby at the end of season 1 just blows my mind.

      Okay, this is a slap in the face to me and I'm going to tell you why. In fessing up about this, I'm not asking for pity, but I AM hoping to get more people to understand the enormity of what Jamie is dealing with.

      When I was 7 years old, I was abused by a stranger while I was a patient in the hospital. I was pretty sick as a kid and in and out of the hospital, so much so, that my parents couldn't always stay with me. They'd used up all of their allotted time off. Anyway, my little kid brain couldn't deal with, the trauma, so I blocked it. It wasn't until years later that the memories surfaced. When they did, it ruined me. It ruined me for a long time. It destroyed my first marriage and I spent LOTS of time in therapy. 30 years later, I can finally saying it no longer effects me.

      30 years.

      And you think 3 months at an abby is enough? What I experienced is minuscule compared to what Jamie's character goes through.

      I respect what Ron is trying to do in dealing with the aftermath of the trauma that Diana created. I have a small amount of disdain for Diana (small . . . she's a brilliant woman) for creating an emotional tsunami of trauma for Jamie and then trying to mop it up with a dishrag.

      Diana revels in sexual violence throughout the series and she doesn't always treat the victims with due gentleness. I'm glad Diana gets tons of mail from victims of sexual assault for her "deft treatment of healing", but I am not one of those women.

      No one is telling you not to analyze the adaptation. We do that every day, here, at the blog. What Anne is asking is to understand the differences between the two mediums and take that into consideration. If it was a 100% accurate adaptation from page to screen, I'll tell you what . . . I'd be skipping every other episode.

      A good editor is a great thing and Ron is proving to be just that.

      With the exception of 'The Search'.

      There's no excuse for 'The Search'.

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    2. Looking for Jamie Fraser -- First of all, let me say -- your opinions ARE welcome and no one is telling you NOT to have them. The Outlander Cast Blog is not the USSR. However, I am writer for the Blog and therefore have an editorial opinion and one I am allowed to express here. This is my opinion. I don't expect everyone to share that opinion and, in fact, welcome responses like yours that not only I can read and learn from but others can as well. I understand where you are coming from with regard the concern over the Jamie and Claire relationship, Sam's portrayal of Jamie and how it may lack compared to Book Jamie. Ron is the show runner. It is his show and when a TV production is being made, the show runner is god. Like it or not. That said, the whole point of my piece is that I think there are a lot of checks and balances on Ron and others and that ultimately we have to be tolerant of changes given the diferent medium. You can like the show or not like the show but at the end of the day you will always have the books and Book Jamie and book Jamie and Claire to reference. Not every episode of Season 1 is my favorite and obviously choices were made. Season 2 will be no different. Accepting that is hard given all our love for the Books. But, I don't think it has to take away from the enjoyment of the series. If it does, then maybe just don't watch because entertainment is about just that -- entertainment. When it ceases to be that, best to move along. Again, thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you'll come back again to the Blog soon!

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    3. Kendra Klasek -- thanks for sharing your story. You didn't have to do that. But, I understand what you say and it's why I think there must be adequate time spent on broken Jamie, as much as we all hate to see him that way and know that it differs from Book Jamie. It's an opportunity, I think, for the Television show to explore. Ron's choice and I am guessing Diana, too. To me it complements Book Jamie and helps me understand better.

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    4. Maryann -- Yes. Sam's was incorrect when he stated in the Collider interview that all the writers had read the books. It's about half and half as you say. But, because Sam is such a good guy, an amazing philanthropist plus cute and sexy, I am giving him a pass for messing up!

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  28. I think that Moore has to tighten and change the narrative of the story for TV. DIA is such an expansive and complicated book, I'm sure he and his writers had a heck of a time trying to adapt the story. To me it seems that because of the large story that he may be trying to do too much, too soon and in turn may be losing a bit of the essence of our heroes. My pet peeve so far is Jamie and his hair. We know that Jamie is suffering PTSD and that he and Claire need to work to get back to the happy place but for me its coming off a bit too literal. Do we need to see that "something's wrong with Jamie" by mussing up his hair. Does he refuse to comb it or what? When we see clips of them back in Scotland it looks as if the old Jamie (and his hair) are back. I do believe that we should put the book down when watching the show and since I hadn't read Outlander before the show, this is my first foray into being a book-before-the-show watcher and I'm not sure I like it. I may just wait until after S3 to read Voyager.

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    1. Daye Garr -- you crack me up! First time I have heard about major pet peeve being "Jamie's hair!" While I do admit that Book Jamie's hair is meticulously described -- I can symphathize with the production crew about not getting it right every single time. Plus, they are dealing with a real person in Sam and one who may be experiencing a little hair loss/thinning. I think they are doing a fine job with the hair given all the challenges. If that's the worst of it, I am fine. But, really appreciate you adding your thoughts here. Book Readers all have such an acute mental image in our minds of Jamie and what he should look like(thanks to Diana's amazing writing) that it can be tough to reconcile the TV Jamie sometimes. I get that. I hope you'll come back to the Blog again soon. Love hearing from readers!

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    2. Daye Garr - While Jamie has not yet shared the Annalise backstory with Claire, we book readers know that his hair was the reason he lost that fight; I think the hair is not only a physical symbol of his disheveled state but will come in to play when he presumably faces BJR. Again, you will recall that he cuts it before he fights him.

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  29. Looking for Jamie Fraser. You and many others, myself included, are made to look like obsessed fanatics by those who have settled for the visual only of Outlander. Book readers who love the show are able to "project" whatever is missing from the book. Non book reader seem to be so love with Sam, they fail to see that the leading male's screen time and dialogue are the shortest in the history of the entertainment business. There is only ONE BIG ISSUE the book readers are upset about....CHARACTER CHANGES. If fact, every departure from the story would have been fine except for character changes. The creek scene would have been a great addition until Jamie's CHARACTER CHANGE. The Watch was the same. Make up a complete episode is fine, but there again, the CHARACTER CHAGES affected how Jamie was precived by Claire Jenny and Ian.
    Jamie's character has suffered the most, because he has been demoted to the eye candy. Frank has benefited the most and Claire has been turned into the boss. That's not the definition of a strong female....and certainly not an equal.
    So don't try and make us out to be fanatics that are picking the adaptation apart. How would Star Wars fans react if Hans Solo suddenly was changed to the sidekick to Chewy and Darth Vader was in reality the honorable hero
    Ridiculous? No more than listening to Ron and Ira deciding to give BJRandall a sense of "honoe" and his war experience making him into a sadist.
    Then we have the Frank Team and Jamie Team that would never have happened if for the almighty CHARACTER CHANGE

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    1. Oh Jamie Fan in Disguise... you are 100% correct! I have no idea why I always hear that due to time, money and (especially) the medium it is impossible to translate the character of Jamie in the book into the Jamie we see in the show... I have no idea why it is impossible to write loving scenes about an emotionally connected, strong Jamie who is both funny, smart and sensible? They managed it perfectly with Frraaaank in eps 201 - that emotional man was never in the book, he is a 'show only' version of Frank and the viewers were crying because Ron wrote such beautiful scenes... They have also fleshed out the characters of BJR, Murtaugh, Angus and Rupert ect without a problem...

      Could someone tell me WHY it is impossible to write scenes like that for Jamie? Is it something about the red hair that makes it impossible - or is it basically just the non-interest in the leading male character from the showrunner and writers??

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    2. Jamie Fan in Disguise -- are you sure you and Looking for Jamie Fraser are not the same people?? :) And, let's be sure to note, I never stated in my piece that those that decry book changes are fanatics. I don't believe that at all. I have a certain editorial freedom with the Blog to express my opinion. And, my opinion is that I think an over-focus on the Book and the Book scenes and characterizations of the key players, takes away from the enjoyment of the TV series. That's it. Yes, the character development or lack thereof. I understand. TV Jamie does differ from Book Jamie somewhat. I think the TV show and Sam Heughan have chosen to explore aspects of Book Jamie that may have been implied in the book but that we never really saw on the written pages. The aftermath of the sexual and physical assault being one major one. That said, if we are fortunate enough to see the TV series continue, I believe we will see Jamie as we expect him to be. In the TV show, they have chosen to portray the Jamie and Claire dynamic out of balance. That is a choice that has been made. We may not all agree with it, but it's their choice. I also think other dynamics with the actors may also impact this. I reference this in a response above. At end of day, I am satisfied with how the story is playing out onscreen. Different, yet familiar and surprising at times. It's entertainment to me. Thanks for reading and commenting. Contrary opinions always welcome here.

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    3. Looking for Jamie Fraser - I don't think it's IMPOSSIBLE to write tender scenes between Jamie and Claire. I think we have seen several of those in Season 1 and we are getting to that in Season 2. Only been two episodes so far!

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    4. Anne Gavin - Nope! We're not the same person,lol - but I bet we would have a lot to talk about if we ever met over a cup of coffe! :) I'm in Europe though so it will never happen...
      Yes, I agree that they have decided to change the characters and their relationship and I just don't understand why?? I don't buy the argument that it is not possible to do it due to the different medium since they managed perfectly well with making Frank Mr wonderful in 201.
      I have no idea why Ron decided to make the show if he doesn't like the male lead character - he IS stuck with Jamie for the rest of the series and huge part of Voyager IS Jamies story - there's no Claire or Frank in those parts! If they want the Jamie we see in S3 to be belieavable they better make a character who is strong enough for the task!

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  30. Bev Tucker Schaeffer (me, commenting here):

    Well done, Anne Gavin, beautifully articulated! As an Outlander book series fan of 20 years, I appreciate the books as the masterpieces they are, and I see the Starz series adaptation to screen as a multidimensional, rich tapestry brought to life -- a feast for all of our senses. The production crew, writers, and actors show their enthusiasm through their incredible talent & chemistry with one another and the fans. The casting is superb, and I am grateful to see my favorite literary characters brought to life onscreen. Brava! Kudos! Props & verra weel done!

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    1. Looking for Jamie Fraser -- I never said it was IMPOSSIBLE to change the characterizations of Jamie and Claire. What I am saying is that the context of the series and the reality of the limited number of episodes has given us a slightly different take on Book Jamie and Claire. You certainly don't have to like it, of course, but it's the way both the actors have agreed to go forward and play these people from the books. I personally don't find it that far off from Book Jamie and Claire. At least not to be annoying to me as it does to you. Would I like more soulmate kinds of Jamie and Claire scenes? Yes, of course. I believe we'll get there. And, let's just agree to disagree with your statement that "Ron doesn't like the main character." If you mean, Jamie, then I don't buy that. And, by the way, I am one that believes for the most part this is Claire's story.

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    2. Anne, interesting post on Writer's Forum by Diana either yesterday or today that this is actually Jamie's story seen through the POV of Claire but Ron, et al have chosen to present it as Claire's story.

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  31. Bev Tucker Schaeffer (me, commenting here):

    Well done, Anne Gavin, beautifully articulated! As an Outlander book series fan of 20 years, I appreciate the books as the masterpieces they are, and I see the Starz series adaptation to screen as a multidimensional, rich tapestry brought to life -- a feast for all of our senses. The production crew, writers, and actors show their enthusiasm through their incredible talent & chemistry with one another and the fans. The casting is superb, and I am grateful to see my favorite literary characters brought to life onscreen. Brava! Kudos! Props & verra weel done!

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    1. Bev Tucker Schaeffer -- thanks for reading and commenting. The books truly are masterpieces and exist on their own as such. And, the TV show I think so far, has done a very good job of realizing the books. Not everything perfect but it is, what it is. Hope you will come back and see us again soon at the Blog!

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    2. Maryann -- I have been so busy responding to ALL the comments on this Blog Post that I am behind a few days on the CompuServe Forum. Will have to catch up. That sounds interesting! Thanks for letting me know!!!!

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  32. Couldn't agree with you more. I usually have to view each epi 2 or 3 times to understand or interpret the adaptation. But I'm ok with that. I'm enjoying the show immensely. I also avoid the debates between tv and book lovers. No point to it in my opinion. It's just not an issue for me. I have both book Jamie and Claire and the tv show version of them held in the highest esteem. Wonderful post!

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    1. N.E. Reinhardt -- totally with you on the re-viewing/multiple watches. Sort of an interesting phenomenon peculiar to Outlander, I think. We might be writing something about this on the Blog so stay tuned. Yes. I let Book Jamie and Claire live in their world and TV Claire and Jamie in theirs and I am happy. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  33. I love the different layers between all the mediums. You don't have to be a math whiz to see that the book can not possibly fit into the alloted screen time. But Ron and crew are doing a fabulous job. I have read all the books several times, seen the show several times, and listened to the audio book as well. Several times. Davina Porters' vocal portrayal of all of the characters has added another dimension to the total Outlander experience. These characters really do come to life in my head. Diana'a book have fed my heart and soul, but Davina has added texture and sound and of course Ron and company have fed me a visual feast to satisfy my Outlander appetite. To me, this is the ultimate 3D experience.

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    1. Michelle -- I am a Davina Porter fan as well. Have listened to her read the first four books and so enjoy it. Love what you say about Diana feeding your heart and soul and audio books and TV production adding to that and serving as a oomplement. It's how I feel, too. Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back and see us again soon at the Blog. We love hearing everyone's opinions and thoughts.

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  34. I agree with you. As a person that loves these books and have read them multiple times, I look forward to the differences in the show. I've also had to stay away from "book bullies" who will never be satisfied with this production.

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    1. Gail Jones -- great extremes in life is definitely not a recipe for happiness. However, I do respect and can appreciate the fervor of book purists. I just hope they can get past it in order to enjoy the television production. That would make me happy! Thanks for reading and commenting! Hope to see you here weighing-in again.

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  35. As a fan of all Diana's books I am thrilled with the series. I was really worried that it would never do the books justice. However Ron and the entire cast and crew have done a magnificent job. The surprises are refreshing. Just relax and enjoy both.

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    1. June Martin -- I don't think we should underestimate the difficulty of the job that Ron and the production crew have making these iconic books into a television show. And, while I do not believe Ron is infallible, I think he's done a darn good job! We shall see what the rest of the season brings, but I remain surprised and delighted like you. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you will come back and see us at the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content.

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  36. Dear Anne,couldn't agree more with you,what a great post,yes the TV adaptation can't always be like the books,as a person who read all 8 books just about twice,
    yes sometimes they have to be different,more Frank,more Laoghare,it all boils down to a more realistic season for people who have not read the books,also get some more people (man) watching it,as its not only about this great LOVE in between Jamie&Claire,of course its the main theme,but there is history here,adventure etc,&RDM & Co., are doing a fantastic job!So looking forward to it every Sunday,what an insightful post Anne!X

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    1. zsuzsip -- I like your attitude and yes, once thing I think people overlook is that the TV production has brought significantly MORE people to the world of Outlander than even the books. This is a great outcome. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to stop by and contribute a comment. Our regular readers are so important to us at the Outlander Cast Blog. See you again soon!

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  37. Kendra Klasek - I am very sorry to hear your story, it must have been awful… 

    I never said that Jamie was totally healed after the Abbey – this is going to affect him in 8 books - but he wasn't the total shell of a man we see now and IMHO it affects the story line in DIA. I think they should have spent 10-20 minutes in 201 with loving and caring scenes for Jamie and Claire to deal with it the aftermath – but we got 40 minutes of Frank instead, because his trauma is more important?
    I don't agree with you regarding the way Ron and the writers are handling Jamies trauma. I don't believe he ever saw the healing of a broken soul as the heart of the story the way DG did. Ron wanted to film the RAPE, torture, the destruction of a man and Jamies 'enjoyment' when raped was IMHO there for spectacle, not for the understanding of male rape victims

    I don't know if you follow DG on CompuServe but yesterday she posted this regarding how they FIRST intended to handle Jamies 'resurrection' in S2 (and please remember, they have a lot of discussions before making a first draft so this was 'the best idea in the writers room' - and it scares me...)

    Diana Gabaldon regarding how they dealt with Jamies healing and trauma in 116
    - Now, I didn't like what they did instead; it seemed feeble and ineffective, but there wasn't much choice. But as they _hadn't_ dealt with the very real aftereffects of rape and torture at the end of Season One, they had to either ignore it and just pretend Jamie had shrugged it all off (not realistic, not honest, and not respectful of people who suffer such effects--and this story depends on its emotional honesty), or...weave his recovery into the ongoing events of the early part of Season Two.

    Frankly, I was appalled at the first drafts of the scripts I was seeing. They had Claire approaching Jamie physically, him stammering half a line about not being sure...whereupon she grabs him by the dick, and says (in essence), "Well, you've got an erection, what more do we need? Let's go!" Whereupon they have a wordless but enthusiastic coupling.

    I cut up rough about that, and so did a few other people--Sam and Caitriona among them. I sent Ron a Facebook posting with detailed comments and stories from some 200 people who had suffered sexual assault, and what they thought about it--and about the OUTLANDER handling of it (in the books). And Ron, to his great credit, listened, and agreed.'

    see link to the conversation http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/_/_/ws-books/86146.501

    Reading this only makes me more convinced that Ron and Ira have NO IDEA what the heart of OL is about. If DG, Cait and Sam hadn’t been nitpicking and fighting for Jamies right to heal... wow, we would have had Jamie being raped again in S2 - by Claire! - and that's not the story I read...

    Yes, Ron changed his mind after a lot of fights and DGs FB posts - but if he had understood the source material, it wouldn't have been an issue in the first place! We know from podcasts and interviews that there have been big controversies about the ‘Laoghaire Boobgate’ etc and Maril and DG have been fighting hard. One could only have hoped that when the shit hit the fan after eps 109 with the uproar from the fans Ron would have taken it as a confirmation that he should listen more to DG and Maril than Ira but I doubt it…

    A great adaptation comes from the understanding and love of the source material - not from the necessity to find a new project…..

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    1. Looking for Jamie Fraser -- Thanks for posting this nugget from the CompuServe Forum. I love finding these. To me, they are gold. Diana has openly discussed -- like you show here -- how she has influenced the show. And, as this example shows -- a very important scene was drastically changed because of Diana's influence. Not sure why this doesn't give you a warm, positive feeling rather than the feeling of foreboding that you express? Ron appreciates the books. Terry and Maril are in his ear about it probably more than he would like. But, he has to produce a watchable and successful TV show and for a larger audience then book readers. There is some friction there but I think it is being managed well so far. Not perfect but then what it?

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    2. Ok, it seems as if we look at it from two diffent angles... If I find myself 2 seconds from having someone running over me with a car I never get at 'warm fuzzy feeling' because they managed to steer away the last second LOL :) I rather feel 'what the heck are doing, moron!! Learn how to drive idiot!!'
      I really believe that the discussion DG mentioned should NEVER have happened and I understand that since she only can fight for big issues like this = she has to let a lot of other things slip through... The way I read DG's comments there's a lot of things she's not happy about and I totally agree with her!

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    3. Looking for Jamie Fraser -- well, maybe it's just the difference between a half-full, half-empty view of the world! Like I said in my post, I know VERY little about television production and next to nothing about script writing. However, as Diana shared about her experience writing Episode 211, the scripts go thru dozens and dozens of drafts. There is a method to this. Ad, at the end of the day, opportunity is provided to DG and the actors to weigh-in. To me, the important bit is that "Ron listened and agreed." Maybe he is not so deeply entrenched with the books as say Maril or, of course, Diana, but when I think of the time that passed and the many (according to DG) producers that approached Diana to option the books into a television or film production, it would seem to me that Ron Moore may have been the BEST if not the ONLY choice. His wife and his long-time producing partner are Obsessenachs. He may not be, but I think that's probably good, as his reputation and experience is needed to get Outlander all the seasons we want to see. Well, maybe not you, but me! And, the fact is, he seems to listen. Not all the time, but a lot.

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    4. I was actually thinking of storyboarding DIA and Voyager as a fan AND screenwriter because I too wish many plot lines were altered. It's Diana who doesn't like fanfiction, I'm not sure Ron would feel the same way if we did a little scriptfiction : )

      As for early drafts of any screenplay, I can say that they seldom look anything like the final, so putting Diana's words in context is very important. I've had it so that the first draft a character thrives, but by 20th draft the story tells better if they're dead. And then if you workshop it, with other writers and actors, other things change even more.

      What gives me confidence is that everyone has a voice - storyboarding and writing. Then the director gives his (no "her" this season) take. Then the actors (and Diana has her final say). And then there's editing, which I believe has a greater role on this show than most others as multiple takes are demanded by production. This is an artistic collaborative process, moreso than books.

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  38. Thank you for adding this commentary...DGs take on all of this is really the voice I am interested in hearing. But I will say I rewatched an episode from S1 last night to see the Jamie and Claire I love. I sure hope I don't feel like that again after E3. 🙄 But I am not complaining!

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    1. Joyce K. -- The Jamie and Claire that we love will be back. I know it. Jamie has to go through it and Claire is just trying to keep her head above water. But, they will find their way back...because that is the story of Outlander. Ron Moore won't change that.

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    2. Holly Richter-White -- Thanks for your screen writer perspective. Very interesting. So much about TV production remains mysterious to me. It seems as if there are so many moving parts. But, it also appears that Outlander is extra collaborative and that includes the series author. They may not get it right all the time, but I think there are many more times they do. Thanks for reading and commenting!!!

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  39. Dee -- (from WAY above in the comments) Retaliation, eh? Wow -- that sounds serious!!! I realize that my theory is controversial but I do believe that actors bring life experience to their roles and that sometimes this impacts them as well as how they play off other actors. I am NOT denigrating at all Sam's acting chops just saying that his life experience may bring something to the role and it may or may not be exactly the Book Jamie Fraser we see in our heads. But, happy that you disagreed and so articulately laid out your criticism. I welcome that. Hope you come back to see us again soon at the Blog. Your views are always welcome here.

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    1. Retaliation may have been a bit harsh. Perhaps I should have stated that you were opening the doors up to a debate by making such statements. I will say both of us our entitled to our opinions on the matter :)
      To go back to my ending point if I may, I do wonder what you think about it. Here's a question for you: If they chose to portray Jamie and Claire as equals on the show, as they are in the books, do you think the people behind scenes fear that it will take away from Claire being portrayed as a "feminine hero"? I personally think they love that title so much that they do what they can to keep it. Which, in my opinion, they go about doing in the wrong way. I feel they push too hard on making Claire, as someone stated above, "the ring leader" of it all. They do this by taking away from Jamie's character to give to her. The thing about femininity is not trying to make women more superior than men but rather making them being seeing and treated as equals. So far, I think this concept has been loss with the show writers. I say so far, because we do still have 11 episodes so I'll save further judgment until then. Perhaps this if off topic but I am interested in your thoughts.

      Now to get back on topic. I was at the writer's bloc event that they had in Los Angeles back in March and one things that stuck with me that Ron said was that people who hate the show but still watch it and tell him how much they hate it are still fans. He said, who sits and watches something they hate because if he doesn't like a show he will never watch it again. I think I would worry when you don't have those people talking anymore. It means they have stopped watching. I do not think we would want that because that means less viewers, less viewers means less chances of more seasons. For me, I'm still on board to at least see, where this season leads, before I choose to stop watching or not.

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  40. Watching them experience true hardship in their relationship and actually overcome it is going to be far more rewarding than if the healing comes as easily as it did in the books. I'm up to book 6 and I know it still plagues him, but I simply don't buy the way she wrote it.

    People talk about Ron's graphic filming of the rape and torture, but Diana wrote it and it's even more graphic in the text, especially when it's revisited in DIA.

    Ron's idea of reconciliation sex? Deplorable. But consider, she created Jamie's emotional destruction to begin with.

    She also said she was really looking forward to seeing the rape.

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    1. Dee -- to your question. First off, I may be a bit jaded on this because I actually believe this is Claire's story first and foremost. But, I will also say that throughout the first season, I think you see Claire gain the respect of many -- including some of the scruffier Highlanders -- when they realize she is, indeed, their equal. Before that, she was just a "feral cat they found on the road" -- as Dougal said. Most of Season 1, Claire was not in a power position, as was the case throughout most of the first book. As for her and Jamie -- he was a young, head-strong farmer soldier when Claire met him. Sam played him that way. I think he came into his own as an actor and a character by the end of the season and I absolutely saw them as equals. Now, Jamie was raped, tortured and psychologically scarred to the point that he wanted to kill himself. Of, course, Claire takes the lead here. This is what we are seeing in the show now. He'll be back... Read my Blog Post "Jamie's Trailer, Jamie's Season." As for Ron's statement -- well, he's right. I hope people continue to talk about the show. I mean -- I work with a group of writers who are all about talking and writing about the show. And, by the way, some of us disagree vehemently on many points. My point of this Blog post, however, is don't let the pre-occupation with the book and the book characters, take away from the enjoyment of the TV series. Let the two complement each other. You'll be so much happier :)

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    2. Diana has stated it over and over again that it is just as much Jamie's story as it is Claire's and I think that is were the TV show and books probably differ a lot. With the books, even though the story is told through Claire's perspective, it is still their story. Where as, in the show, it appears to be just hers as you stated. So, fair enough.
      I appreciate your response :)

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  41. Looking for Jamie Fraser. We may not be able to meet and have a cup of tear, but I would love to discuss Outlander with someone of like mind. If you are interested, I will give you more information on how to contact me.

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  42. Anne Gavin Stating a difference in how you view the show, but stating the issue of Jamie being a weaker character is part Sam's fault steps over the boundary. Shame on you. He has constantly amazed me by adding tiny touches to Jamie, in which he has
    not been directed too. If you are interested, I will share those and an excellent post on a theory a fan had on what Sam is doing, called "catching flies "

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    1. Jamie Fan in Disguise -- sprinkled throughout my over 50 plus responses to commenters on this Blog Post is high praise and love for Sam Heughan. His skills and passion for this project are enormous. That said, as an actor and a performer, his job is to interpret a role and as viewers, I think we are free to critique it. My only point is that I think every actor brings life experience to their role and a bit of their own personality. Seeing the literally hundreds of interactions between Sam and Cait off screen, she does tend to dominate and this impacts somewhat what we see on screen. But, I suppose we should just agree to disagree on this topic and maybe you can choose to respect this opinion and not shame it. Thanks for the continued ongoing GREAT discussion. It's what this Blog forum is all about.

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  43. Anne Gavin - I am in total agreement with your point that this is Claire's story. I have always believed that she is the central character around which all others revolve. Of course Jamie is her principal relationship,over even her own daughter, but Claire's was the first voice we heard, it's her adventure we go on, and in my opinion, it will be the last voice we hear when Diana puts down her pen. Of course, we hope that's a long time off! As for show Jamie - I just don't see that he's being portrayed as a "man-boy" at all. If he were acting like a frat boy - if he'd partaken of the pleasures at Madame Elise's - then we would have something to worry about. When Sam Heughan was cast, there was gnashing of teeth over the fact that he looked too boyish - not our "King Among Men". Except that Jamie was barely older than a boy when the books begin. He'd seen a lot, experienced a lot and was well-educated, but he was a very young man of 23 or 24. He's the hot head who wouldn't speak to his sister because he thought she'd slept with BJR and born his bastard child, thus ruining her honor and that of the family name. He's the hothead who spanked his wife. He's the guy who canoodled with Laoghaire in the stairwell - because a hot blooded young man will do that with a pretty, willing young girl. And all that took place within the year before he's raped, tortured and moved to Paris. Why do we expect him to be suddenly the perfect grown man? I think Sam is playing him perfectly - and don't ascribe to your view that Sam is bringing a certain naivety to the role because he's somehow less worldly than Cait. Claire WAS more worldly than Jamie - she was three years old in a time when that was a huge difference, and she was a 20th century woman. I'm a middle aged woman and may have swooned over Jamie when I was 30, but now I know he could be my son. I swoon over Book 8 Jamie because he’s my age (thereabouts). But show Jamie hasn’t gotten there yet.

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  44. Another point I want to make is that when viewing the show and thinking about the changes made - we need to keep asking "why?" and peel back the layers to get to the nut of it. For instance, why did Claire seem to "dismiss" Jamie and Murtagh so she could speak with Sandringham? (Personally, I didn't think she dismissed them, but...) They had just made nice with the Minister of Finance. Their stated goal of going to Versailles was to get in with the Minister so they could convince him not to fund the Jacobite Rebellion. Suddenly, Sandringham rears his ugly (though fantastically acted by Simon Callow!) head - which gets in the way of them wooing the minister. So, divide and conquer. Claire suggests that Jamie and Murtagh go be drinking buddies with the Minister (something she couldn't do as a woman, remember) and she could deal with Sandringham. It also meant that she could be introduced to Alex Randall and learn the BJR news. We don't know why that timing was changed, but expedience is an important factor when condensing so much material.

    Another example: While the Kings Poopage scene seems silly and sophomoric - it's an actual historical fact that these things happened. Only those in the most inner circle were invited to attend the King's toilette. The silliness of the scene provides comic relief, which is an important factor for viewers' stress relief, but it also and more importantly gave Jamie a chance to stand out and be recognized by the King, and remembered by the King. Going back to the man-boy comments - if Jamie were such a shell of who we think he is - would he have had the courage to speak to the king at all? I say no. He knew he needed to make an impression and he had something to contribute (because, porridge really does work in this regard!). And sure enough, when the King and his Mistress swanned their way through the crowd (see what I did there?) he remembers Jamie and spoke to him, which meant he also noticed Claire which as we know is an important story point. One thing does lead to another. Of course, no one is perfect - I could have done without the "Search" going on so long in Season 1 and I would have personally loved more of the spirituality expressed at the Abbey as the scenes describing perpetual adoration were very personally powerful for me. But, I'll get a richer experience re-reading those sections than I ever would from a television show. Thanks for such a thoughtful forum!

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    1. Linda Merrill -- thank you for your very thoughtful comments. No worry on length. I understand and respect your opinions and you summarize much of the production very well. I, too, dislike some episodes and scenes that were chosen BUT overall, I choose to appreciate the medium for what it is. And, as you say, if you are missing a scene or a character, you can always pick up the book and be immersed yet again. Appreciate you taking the time to discuss your thoughts!

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  45. WOW so many comments,& they are intelligent & interesting,well Anne You started a discussion,Ican't name all the ladies,but must agree with wanting a stronger Jamie on the TV show,DG made him the King of Man in the books,is there such a man in life?,but I still want a better Jamie in the show,& I must say Sam acting is brillian with what he has been given by RDM & the writers!And yes rape can take a lifetime to get over it,that for me was not well written in OL by DG!Kendra very brave of you to share yours with us!Hope life has moved on for you I'm so sorry!♥

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    1. It has, and thank you. It's why I'm able to share it without regret. I have a beautiful family, now, and all the support I could ask for. I had a dear girlfriend who literally saved my life after my divorce and forced my ass into therapy. There are GOOD people in this world.

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    2. zsuzsip -- Only two episodes into Season 2. Jamie will be back.

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  46. Anne, you do surprise me. Blaming the weak characterization of Jamie on the actor who plays that role is indefensible, first because he plays the lines he is given, second, because he is controlled by the writer's vision, and third, because he is under the director's interpretation of the writer's vision. Apparently, Sam answered all of the descriptors when he auditioned. While the producers may have preferred an unknown entity, I don't believe they would have chosen an actor with no talent or limited talent. They can't risk making a "silk purse out of a sow's ear" with millions of dollars on the line. They must have seen his talent Furthermore, to fault the actor's youth and inexperience is problematic while praising the worldliness and inexperience of his co-star is completely ridiculous. As I understand, Sam and Caitriona are both 35 years old, both have traveled the world, and both have a degree of worldliness based on their experiences, Sam in theatre and television, Caitriona in the fashion world and limited dramatic experience. Sam has been in the acting world professionally since 2004, Caitriona since 2011. Neither have achieved any particular professional acclaim until this production. It seems to me that they stand on equal footing in their fame, but not equal in acting experience-Sam has more. Now, aside from my surprise at your statement, I would add that in a series where the central figure is a woman, logic says that character will be most prominent. The point at which the central male character enters will be prominent as well. From the beginning of Outlander until the Wedding (book and show), Claire is the central character, but from the wedding until the end of Book 8, the story tells the marriage, the love, the despair, the loss and the reunion of those two characters. Diana says she created the story of a marriage, an equal partnership, a modern woman who learned to adapt to the past while bringing a modern sensibility to her partner. That implies two very strong characters and in her books, they are strong. Caitriona does a fine job, not because she's more experienced or worldly, but because she fits the role very well. Sam does a fine job, not because he's had more acting experience, but because he intuits the character, brings substance to it. He must adhere to the interpretation of his character, internalizing and adding his own personal touches. So far, he has excelled.

    Concerning adaptation, I believe most people realize there will be differences between the book and the show. We've certainly heard enough about the complexity of the book, the time constraints, the "only" 13 episodes, and the "arcs" that must be accomplished each episode. Most people understand those limitations. What some of us don't understand is Moore's infatuation with Tobias and his two characters. What we don't understand is why he has decided to enlarge those two roles,a complete departure from Diana's books and which cause changes to the characters. Given the limited number of episodes, valuable time has been given to "created" scenes which often distort characters ultimately eliminating scenes that fans hold dear, i.e., The Garrison Commander, Frank at the bar/alley, Laoghaire at the river, The Watch from Season 1. No, Ron Moore can't use time constraints,arcs, and complexity of the book to excuse those scenes. Those were his deliberate choices, and I, for one, do not believe they added anything to the story itself. As for Season 2, it is "same song, second verse" in terms of created material. We get to see lots of Frank and Black Jack, needless scenes such as Claire and the maid, a grotesque nightmare for shock value, dildos for tittilation, and the King's toilet for crude humor, and, of course, someone in the guise of James Frazer, not the Jamie we know. That is because of Ron's choices. . .not the elements of adaptation.

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    1. W O W Della Dartford!!! I don't have words for how I feel when I read your post!!! You are so spot on in everything you say and I give you standing ovations!!! <3

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    2. Della Dartford -- I'll say again -- I have enormous respect for Sam Heughan and his acting abilities. I mention this numerous times in my responses above to commenters. I don't "blame" anything on Sam. Just make an observation and express an opinion about his interplay with Caitriona on onscreen. I actually think we are in agreement that we hope for a stronger Jamie to emerge. Yes, Sam is bound to the final scripts and the direction he receives, but it also seems clear that the actors on this show are given a lot of leeway as to how they want to interpret the character. Sam is interpreting how he believes Jamie is. And, honestly, I am fine with that. Jamie's brokenness was not dealt with 3 dimensionally in the books, but now in the television medium it can be and I think this shows us some extra layers of Jamie -- some of which may not fit our vision of him from the books. As for the scenes you would have rather not seen? I am with you on that for several. But, it is, what it is. The funny, tender, powerful scenes that have been shown make up for that for me. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Appreciate you taking the time to share.

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  47. I am thrilled with the blog itself. It is time that we, the fans, quit the bellyaching about what is/is not portrayed on the screen! The books are the books and the show is the show; nitpicking it to death really doesn't reflect well on us. I believe that if Diana is happy, and she says she is, then we have no reason to complain. Are there things that I wish were done differently, sure but I'm not going to go complaining about them all over the internet since I trust Diana, Ron and company to do it right. Please, take a breath, step back and enjoy the show! After all, some of you waited 20 years for it.

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    1. Trudy -- thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really believe that some of the fans who are more vocal about their dislikes of the adaptation -- really express these criticisms out of love for Outlander and the story. We are ALL fans and anxious to see the very best production possible. My only wish is that book readers can let some of their concerns go long enough to really enjoy the TV production -- warts and all.

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  48. It seems that if one has honest criticism of a show, he/she is a "poutlander," a "nit-picker," or a "book bully." Interesting, since for the most part, I have expressed some negative criticism of the show but I've never called the ones who like it insulting names. I'd like to think my comments are cogent with evidence to support them, and I'd rather think for myself than rely on Diana's approval of the show. The author who has been compensated for the rights and who is currently acting as a consultant is hardly in a position to be openly critical of the production. She may be happy-she may not. She may like some of it - she may not like some it. I don't think that matters in terms of a viewer's opinion. We can think for ourselves. . .and what a dull world it would be if we all thought alike.

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    1. Della Dartford -- see my response to Trudy above. As far as Diana being compensated, etc. Yes, she was paid for the rights to produce her books but honestly, she has never struck me as someone beholden to anyone or anything. I like Diana although some of her eccentricities can be hard to interpret. Myself and many other fans are interested to hear what she has to say. And if you follow some of her comments on the CompuServe Forum, she is not always cow-towing to the production. But, as the author behind Outlander, her interpretation of the TV series has meaning -- that is if you believe she's just not a schill for Starz/Ron. I would never think of Diana when I hear the word schill, though. That said, of course, everyone is allowed to have their own individual interpretation and criticism. If you review this comments thread from start to end -- you'll see that and it's what we all strive for as writers at the Outlander Cast Blog. Because, as you say, if everyone agreed with all things Outlander, it would be pretty boring! Thanks for the continued engagement. It's appreciated.

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  49. So glad Kendra that you're happy!Della must agree it would be a dull world if we all thought alike,I must say I'm happy with season 2 so far,there is a reason for all of this in the future well I live in hope,I'm one of those, who feels that Jamie&Claire should be in equal footing in all episodes,not only Claire this is not only Claire's story,especially after the 1st season,but good things must come!Anyhoo so hoping for Voyager where Jamie is really the king of man,at least that is how its in the book,overall I'm happy with the adaptation!
    Anne I'll have to disagree that Claire is the main character,but thanks for giving us the opportunity to discuss!

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  50. zsuzsip - YES! Season 3 -- Voyager. I think it's coming. Can't wait for it, though (although the wait for Season 3 will make Droughtlander look more like the Sahara) :)

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  51. Whenever something as involved as the Outlander series is is open to discussion, the problems start. You will never find two women who totally agree on anything. I am 83 years old, on the second re-read of the wonderful books as well as owning the first two DVDs. Having read many, many books in my lifetime I have learned to be less objective, less critical of nit-picky unimportant areas and just enjoy the books for what they have to offer. Everyone from the top down from Diana to the staff attempting to put out the best possible product for the fans wants this to succeed so that we may enjoy ALL there is and let everyone else create their own world of Outlander without all the opinions, comments good or bad. I have been thoroughly enjoying re-reading, am in The Fiery Cross right now, and have been amazed at how many things I've found myself saying "Oh my! I forgot all about that!' With a story as involved as this, an intense love between Jamie/Claire, a history lesson, the detail taken to duplicate the clothing, etc. I say 'Kudos!' for turning out such a wonderful product! I have learned now in my waning years to say 'Do what you feel is your best, put it out there for the world to see, and damn the comments"! I have to say that I was all in with the portrayal of Jamie when he requested three things before the wedding, they be married in church, a beautiful dress for Claire, and a ring. The sensitivity of a young man to the things that would make things memorable for Claire when he didn't even know her, was a remarkably well written description of what this young man was and would evolve into. Kudos to Diana! I love the story and wouldn't change a thing. I'll leave all that to the nay-sayers.

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    1. Loober -- DELIGHTED you decided to share your thoughts! My mother is about your age and I have been trying to get her into the series. She likes the show but I really want her to read the books. Maybe I'll share your post with her. I love what you said about Jamie requesting those things before the wedding. Emotionally intelligent, our Jamie, and it was, indeed, lovely to see. Wonderful to hear your perspective and these are words to live by, "Do what you feel is your best, put it out there for the world to see, and damn the comments"! Thank you for sharing!

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  52. Thank you, I think this is a very important article for all of us Outlander "I've read all the books multiple times" viewers. I think it's all time we put our books down (only on Saturday nights at 9 o'clock of course :-))and enjoy the show. Some of my favorite things about Diana's books are that they always surprise me they make me think and feel on an adult level. The show is more than capable of doing the same thing. For me (stay with me here) it's like your first and second child you don't love them any differently because one came first but they are in fact very different people cut from the exact same cloth. At the end of the day I believe Ron and Company are immersed in this end are working as hard as they can to stay true to the books while creating their own Outlander world. So watch the episodes multiple times especially you book readers out there, immerse yourselves in this medium it won't negate how much you love the books. I promise you can love them both.

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    1. Bobbi Franchella -- great to hear from long-standing book readers and multiple reads, too. Honestly, I have been so surprised at the range of emotions I have felt reading the books. No other book has ever affected me this way. It's crazy the roller coaster ride that Diana takes us on. And, I have found myself feeling the same about the TV series. I so enjoy both and try not not to let any feelings I may have about the books get in the way of my enjoyment of the series. But, have learned that this is not the same for all. However, at end of day -- we are ALL Outlander lovers and just want the story. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you'll come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content!

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  53. I've read all the books twice, listen to the books on audio also on long/short drives. I love the books BUT I also love Outlander Starz adaption. Any changes to the story line are fine with me. So far, Ron D. Moore has stayed true to the story line for us "book" people. Of course, there are necessary changes, as in Episode 1 with Claire coming back in 1948. I want to know what happened when Claire came back moving forward in her life with Frank. Great story telling. We'll meet Brianna and Roger ...... Be patient. It will all come together with the great Executive Producers, Writers, Consultant, all workers, and especially our 2 actors - Sam Heughan & Cait Balfe. This is a STAR production!! Thanks for bringing my most loved book characters to life.

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    1. Lori Vargas -- Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with you regarding Episode 201. It was so interesting to see how the TV show handled Claire going through the stones and delve into more detail (then the book) about what happened in the immediate aftermath. I liked that change a lot and was a welcome expansion to Diana's scenes from the book. Diana -- albeit purposely -- left some of those details out for us to imagine but it was fun to see it realized on the screen and add some additional information. I hope you will come back and see us again at the Blog!!!

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  54. I have read all the books and absolutely love them !
    i have spent many friday nights home reading when everyone else was out partying .

    i think starz is doing a great job of adapting the very complex story to television! sure some stuff is not on the screen but if

    it was all on the screen we would only be half way though it now and the expense would outweigh the gains for them .

    the cast is doing an amazing Job of portraying the caricatures we all love , even the ones we love to hate.

    the behind the scenes stuff is incredible , costumes , sets .ect i would like nothing more than to see this go to the end of the books .

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    1. Dan -- thanks for reading and commenting! I agree -- the behind-the-scenes bits -- sets, costuming are truly amazing. Every episode, I just marvel. It's fantastic to see our beloved books come alive on screen even if there are things here and there that we miss from the books. Appreciate your comments. Please come back again soon and visit us at the Blog for more Outlander news and original content.

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  55. Anne, I am so grateful to have found this blog because your bio in the 'about' section of the website perfectly reflects my feelings about the show and books! I started watching the show last year and found myself unbelievably entranced with this entire world and started reading the books after season one of the show! I am a high school English teacher, so I have always loved stories, but for some reason, this show and these books have been different. I am so glad to see I am not alone in this because my husband sometimes thinks I am a little crazy :)

    Ok, I have a question that I would love everyone to discuss – if not On this feed then at some point! I am a BookReader while my best friend is not; Last night we both watched episode 203 and we discussed it afterwards.

    After the episode, she went on to social media, and saw a meme about Fergus. It was a picture of wee Fergus and the tag line said, " if you think I'm cute now I'll just wait until next season"

    She immediately texted me and said "what does this mean?! Is it just that he is important? How much could his looks change?! I know Claire obv goes back to Frank but I have to believe she will return to Jamie! How different can he look? How much of a time lapse could there be for him to change?"

    I obviously told her that she will just have to wait and see, but a really big part of me feels like I am setting her up for utter heartbreak and she will hate me for telling her to watch the show!!

    I am trying not to be too specific here, even though I know this is for book readers. I am sure all of us have had our struggles with very shocking elements of DIA as they relate to time and separation, so here is my question:

    Is anyone else afraid that non-book readers will boycott the show at the end of the season because they will not be able to accept the magnitude of our key characters' separation?!

    Again, if you feel this is better discussed later, I understand, but I feel so conflicted about this - I truly worry my bff is going to hate me 😬😉

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    1. Kcash26,why would your friend hate You?,the adaptation is keeping very well with main focus of the books,I just wish STARZ would announce season 3.Maybe you could tell your friend,that OL is not only a great love story(which it is really),but also history,adventure which will be more interesting later!If non book readers drop out end of this season,they weren't truly interested in OL.I must say I couldn't wait to read the books one after the other.Just calm yourself,you sound so lovely&intelligent & I'm sure your friend is also!♥

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    2. Thanks :) I too eagerly read each of them and believe that while the romance is central to the story, obviously, it is not the only piece that makes the series great. I also firmly believe that given the circumstances Claire and Jamie face they made the best decision available to them. As a wife and mom who works and finds meaning in her work, I also value what Claire accomplishes on her own when she has to return... I am sort of kidding when I say my friend will hate me; I just know how jarring the outcome is so when she asked me how long they might be separated I thought to myself, oh Gosh!

      I have had some minor frustrations with parts of the show, but I do watch it as a separate entity from the books, and I have found it to be immensely entertaining. I agree that they have kept the spirit of the books, especially when people like Anne Kenny write episodes!

      Excited for the rest of this season and hopefully many to come!

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    3. Kcash26 -- I wouldn't worry about a possible "boycott." If we get to Season 3, it won't seem as long a separation on film as it does in the books BUT I do agree with zsuzsip that you should really tell your friend that the allure of Outlander is much more than just the romance. So much more to Jamie and Claire's story all woven together in a delightful bundle of adventure, history and fantastic events that our pair encounters along the way. I would let your friend know that she will never experience the range of emotions that she will with Outlander and this is what makes it one of the best stories EVER!!! You are definitely NOT setting her up for disappointment -- just the opposite. She'll be thanking you if she hangs in with the story!!!! Thanks for reading and commenting. Please come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content!!!!

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  56. To answer your central question, no, I do not mind the majority of the changes, and I do completely appreciate their creative decision to show the real struggles of a rape victim; I do believe that by episode six or so Jamie that many of us know from the end of book one and book 2 will return and that the payoff will be worth it.

    I do agree with other people's assertion that Ron Moore seems to have some odd need to knock Jamie down a peg, but in this particular instance I do not believe that his depression or unhappiness is a weakness. I want the two of them to be happy and blissful as much as everyone else! I also worry about the non-book reading audience. I would never minimize or simplify their interest in the show down to the physical or sexual because I think that's demeaning to all of us as viewers, but I do believe that the show's very passionate and effective portrayal of that part of the relationship is definitely an appeal to a large part of the audience. If that is missing for half of the season, and (we book readers know) will be MIA for a lot of next, if they keep the general storyline,I worry it could lose fans -

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    1. Kcash26 -- yes to all you say, especially about not over-simplifying interest in the show down to the physical or sexual bits. BUT, since most of Season 2 seems to be missing a lot of J&C's physicality, it makes it a bit more difficult to keep some viewers. However, I #TRustRon and believe as the story unfolds it will remain true to the Jamie and Claire story and we will continue to see the closeness of their relationships in all forms. Thanks for continuing the conversation!

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  57. Anne Gavin In response to my "shame on you". You do not have to say the words in order to express the same thought. Which in is what you did. Your observations of Sam and Cait off screen was stated in a way to represent it as fact. I'm sure you will respond that that was not your intention. At least those who are upset about book versus show are stating facts not hypothesises. It is a FACT character changes have been made. You and others may like the new version, and as your blog title implies, those who don't should be "ashamed" for "causing trouble."
    The latest comment from Diana has definitely stated the show is telling a different story than hers. Instead of "it's Claire's story" as Ron has stated, Diana's books are Claire POV "telling Jamie's story" Complete opposite of the show.
    Diana used her husband's explanation and expounded on it. Two totally different stories gave a whole new meaning to " put the book down "' Comparing apples to oranges never results in an apple adapting to an orange .

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    1. Jamie Fan in Disguise -- thanks for continuing the conversation. Trying to follow along with your logic and reply as best I can. My observations of Sam and Cait are, in fact, observations. I thought that was clear. And, as for my Blog Post title -- I thought "Embrace Change" was actually a fairly positive notion and then throughout my post and certainly in the comments, I didn't accuse anyone of "causing trouble" -- only that book readers who are upset at show changes might benefit from trying to see why changes were made given the TV medium being different and somewhat limited. I tried to provide my view of the honeypot scene as an example. But, that said, once understanding why there was a change, you don't have to agree with it. I did read Diana's very interesting CompuServe post about POV's in the TV series. I think overall her point is that by necessity, the TV show doesn't have the same opportunity -- as she did writing the novels -- to show as many subtleties of the POV -- whether it be Jamie or Claire. That's how I read it. I also read with great interest her thoughts below.

      CompuServe Forum 4/22/16
      "If it's truly a major departure from what a character could conceivably do (this happened a time or two with Ira and me having quite different notions of things Captain Randall would or wouldn't do), then I'll say something, and put my case as strongly as possible. If it's a big thing, though, the actor involved usually has something to say about the character as well--and so does the director and the show-runner, so something like that involves a lot of different people. I normally do get my point across in these situations, though (it helped that Tobias shared my perceptions of the Captain).

      But it's a very cooperative, collective thing, and you're very seldom going to get your personal view of something across without it being changed in some way by the time it reaches film. That's just the way this world works."

      Actors do have something to say at Outlander about how they play a role. I am glad for this as they are all so talented.

      Anyway -- again, your thoughts are appreciated. Hope you continue to read and commment on our Blog posts at Outlander Cast Blog!!

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  59. I love the insight into the challenges of bringing a book to the screen. I don't think the debate/discussions will ever end, but if they can be in the friendly arena of spirited discussion, then I'm on board! Personally, I love comparing the book to the TV version, to see how certain scenes were handled and admiring the amazing details brought forward. Perhaps we can "agree to disagree" and enjoy them for what they are - two wonderful means to entertain and transport us to another time and place!

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  60. Anne K. Hawkinson -- yes. I think the "agree to disagree" approach is best because there is way more to love on then to hate on! Thanks for reading and commenting. Appreciate!

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  61. Kcash26 -- thanks for your further thoughts. Totally on point but I trust Ron's telling of the story...even if I don't always like where he takes it. Come back and see us at the Blog soon!

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