A historical tale of time-travel, rebellion and romance, Outlander is based on the best-selling book series by Diana Gabaldon. In 1945’s post-war Britain, Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) finds her delayed honeymoon in Scotland’s Inverness disrupted when she falls back in time through the standing stones circle Craig na Dun. disoriented 202 years in the past in 1743 she finds herself among the Scottish clan MacKenzie during the early stages of a Jacobite uprising.
1. You’re a Game of Thrones fan
The battle for the throne runs through both shows. Rather than fighting for the Iron Throne, Outlander’s Scottish Jacobites prepare to overthrow the English and restore the Stuarts to the throne. We follow one protagonist rather than multiple families, however, the duel time-settings of her 18th century and 20th-century lives contribute plenty of tension. Without the Lannisters tyranny in Game of Thrones, the Scottish highlands are subject to the ruthless nature of the English redcoats.
2. The Villain
Who doesn’t love a great villain? At the top of the list of redcoats, you don’t want for an enemy is Jonathon ‘Black Jack’ Wolverton Randall (Tobias Menzies). A sadistic captain of dragoons, he takes no mercy upon those who cross his path. Unknown to him, he bears Claire’s married name which throws further obstacles in our protagonist’s way. He is highly suspicious as to why Claire, an English lady, willingly acquaints herself with the Scottish clans.
3. The Magic
No, not the sort of magic Harry Potter casts. Instead, witchcraft is dealt with. It all starts with the mystical wonder of the druids dancing around the standing stones of Craig na Dun in the first episode. Fall back into the 18th century and, as she served as a combat nurse in the Second World War, Claire’s ability to heal is met with suspicion. Expect folklore, rumours and trials to become obstacles to her attempt to return to her present day. Season two continues to delve into the world of sorcery as whispers of La Dame Blanche flood the streets of Paris.
4. The Settings
The historical sites that exist in the 20th-century action are turned into a living, breathing places of battle and conspiracy for Claire in the 18th century. From Fort William to Wentworth Prison, the show transforms castle ruins into their grand origins.
We’ve established that Claire gets pulled back in time. But what Outlander does best is use her knowledge of the future to help her befriended Scotsmen. Her knowledge has its problems too, of course, especially when it comes to Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a young outlaw wanted by the redcoats. You can expect to see a lot of him as he quickly becomes a significant counterpart to Claire.
Season three of Outlander is set to return this September with the historical Battle of Culloden taking place. Catch up with the previous two seasons on Amazon Prime now.