I’ve been staring at this blank wordpress post for over an hour, y’all. For once, I think I have no words. Just, none. My most favorite book series is coming to TV this fall, and I don’t know what I feel. I can state the facts: Outlander is coming to Starz. But there are so many things to say, and so many ways to say them that I can say nothing at all. I have never been so utterly conflicted.
Let me start with a little background:
OUTLANDER IS THE ULTIMATE.
It’s a genre-bending, epic, decades-long saga that centers around the most wonderful heroine, Claire Randall, and THE MOST PERFECT hero ever. Jamie Fraser. JAMES ALEXANDER MALCOLM MACKENZIE FRASER.#JAMMF
Whew. It’s historical fiction. It’s sci-fi/ fantasy. It’s a thrilling adventure. It’s romance. It’s (soon-to-be) eight books (and a bunch of companion novels) spanning almost 25 years of writing that you can pick up at any time and just feel completely at home with. The best characters, the best plot, the scariest villain, the most epic twists, the most heart-wrenching choices, the sexiest and purest romance. YOU GUYS. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
So how am I supposed to deal with this part of the news:
Am I supposed to be happy about this? Can anyone name a single “original” TV series or movie that came from this network and was at all impressive or important? I know they desperately want to be, but Starz is not HBO or Showtime. It’s not even AMC or the BBC. I think someone told me that they watched Spartacus, but that was ONE dude. I would feel MUCH better if these perfect books were in more proven hands. Also, now I have to add ANOTHER premium package to my already ridiculous U-verse bill? EFF.
And then there is the (supposedly) good news that the show-runner is
Ron D. Moore
I don’t mean to be flip, but who? Oh, he was the show-runner for Battlestar Galactica (which I never saw, but I trust Dwight), and he wrote some Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation stuff. So he’s big in the sci-fi world. Ok. STILL. You have my babies in your hands, sir. What will you do with them?
According to his twitter account: “I’m sure many of you are balancing your excitement with worry about how faithful we’ll be to the books…” YA THINK? “…Don’t worry, we’re fans. Let me tell you right from the start our first priority is to be as true to the characters and story as we can. Put simply, our goal is to realize #Outlander, not reinvent it.”
Ah, ok. That makes me feel better. You know what else makes me feel better?
That is quite an order. Since the show is going to start filming this fall, that means we will be in 18th century Scotland for the entire spring television season. THAT IS A TON OF EPISODES. That is 60% more episodes than Game of Thrones gets per season.
But the biggest question, because I’m sure with all the influx of epic historical dramas on TV like Vikings and Game of Thrones etc. that the costumes and the set and the details will all be ok, but what what what about …
Maybe you guys don’t understand but Jamie Fraser has been millions of readers’ ultimate romantic lead for years and years. He’s rugged, strong, young, honorable, sexy, protective and PERFECT. Don’t believe me? Here’s some quotation proof of his UNF:
“As for my pleasure…” His lip twitched. “I said I would have to punish you. I did not say I wasna going to enjoy it.” He crooked a finger at me.
He’s Scottish, SUPER tall, has blue eyes and red hair. He’s described very particularly throughout the books. There is no man alive who can play him. This is fact. The books span decades, so while Jamie is only 23 when we meet him, he ages 30, 40 years before the books conclude. So who can find a gorgeous, tall, but young, ginger Scottish actor? ANYONE?
Plenty of people have tried. Jamie’s been dream-casted for years. The popular contenders:
- Gabriel Aubry. Somehow, Halle Berry’s baby daddy has the perfect face for Jamie. Too bad he’s ONLY a pretty face and not an actor.
- Gerard Butler: Nope. Too old.
- James McAvoy: Too old. Too short. NOT MANLY ENOUGH.
- Chris Hemsworth: Also, too old. And too popular. And not Scottish.
- Michael Fassbender: People, I sense a theme. You are casting old Jamie. Not hot, young, virginal 23 year old Jamie.
The less popular contenders:
- Domnhall Gleeson. The eldest Weasley has the ginger thing down, but he’s still a little old to play Jamie, and sorry, not HOT ENOUGH.
- Derek Theler who I guess is in some show called Baby Daddy and is SUPA tall, but that’s the only plus I can see. NEXT.
- Brian Robinson. This Irish ginge is mother trucking 6’8″ and could honestly maybe pull it off. Although, I haven’t seen him act, and lezzbe honest: 6’8″ is a LEETLE tall for Jamie.
- Peter Eggers. He had a nice fan-following for Jamie until Diana Gabaldon herself knocked him for being too old. Sorry, dude. But he’s in some show where he looks like this, so I can still see it.
There really is no good solution but someone totally unknown. Think about all the nerdy dream casting that must have gone on for important characters like Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister, and then we were blessed the perfect and unknown Kit and Nikolaj. Let’s hope the casting directors for HBO lend the ones at Starz some pointers.
Can I throw my hat into the ring for Jessica Brown Findlay for Claire? I love her as Lady Sybil, and she’s got enough star power as the “hot sister” from Downton to bring people to the show.
Someone please talk me off the ledge??!?! Is the Outlander Series on Starz going to take the absolute best hero from the best book and ruin him forever? Or will it be Game of Thrones all over again and bring a whole new audience to literary awesomeness? I CAN’T DECIDE.