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Compare & Contrast: Outlander & Other Shows

Meredith Quill
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This topic is a place to discuss what differences or similarities exist between Outlander and other shows. Maybe your love for another show tempted you into watching Outlander? Maybe loving Outlander will tempt you into watching another show? Tell us your thoughts here!


I'll start off by saying as a lover of historical fiction, all shows such as this, GoT, The Tudors, The White Queen are definitely my cup of tea!


For anyone wanting to read a decent compare/contrast between Outlander & GoT, take a look at this article from WiC.net. N.B: Beware of possible GoT and Outlander spoilers in the comments :)


Please put any spoilers of any show behind tags in this thread. Thank you.

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Thanks for starting this topic! I was just thinking about how I first got inspired to check this show out, and it was mainly because I heard that Ronald D. Moore was the executive producer. I am a huge fan of his Battlestar Galactica series on SciFi/SyFy and was curious to see what he would do with a historical literary fiction adaptation. It was only after watching the first episode that I read the book - and I finished Book 1 and half of Book 2 before I saw the second episode! I am now at the beginning of Book 5 :-).


I do see the following parallels between Outlander and BSG (yes, I'm probably stretching things a bit):

* Just as the fleet was surprise attacked by the Cylons, so too was Claire whisked away to 18th century Scotland. I haven't finished all the books yet but I suspect that the reason Claire went to that specific time in the 1700s is because Frank and she were learning all about Black Jack Randall...and the stones brought her to him, and eventually Jamie.

* People were suspected of being Cylons...Claire is suspected of being an English spy.

* The fleet is the only remnant of the 12 colonies left in the universe that they know of, and Claire knows that these Highlander clans will soon be decimated.

* The fleet has to go low-tech in order to avoid detection by Cylons, and Claire, being in the 18th century, also has to go low-tech and use herbal remedies for medicine.

* The fleet is searching for a new home, just as Claire is trying to find her way back home to the 20th century.

* Political alliances shift and are as unstable among the fleet as it is among the MacKenzie clan

* The president of the colonies has a terminal disease like Colum, Laird of the MacKenzie clan


I am sure there are more parallels but don't want to venture too far into BSG for those who may have not watched the entire series. However, I think what made BSG so great is the focus on the characters and how each of them evolve in interesting and unexpected ways. This is what RDM does so well and will continue to do well in Outlander. It is great to see his versatility and attention to detail - whether it is in some old, decaying battlestar or in the battlements of an ancient castle, he stays true to developing characters and story with great care.

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The BSG comparison is apt in many ways because RDM brought a lot of his production team with him to develop Outlander as a TV series. Many of his core BSG team (both male and female) were fans of the Outlander novel series.


The big thing that makes this comparison work is the attention to detail in developing the reimagined BSG and in translating the Outlander novels to television.


The other compaison you could have mentioned, btw, is that both shows have a Jamie (BSG's Apollo, played by the wonderful Jamie Bamber, and Sam Heughan's Jamie in Outlander.)

Edited by theschnauzers
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With only eight episodes to judge I would give the show a C+. I don't really see it as anything ground breaking or making any top ten lists. Better than the junk on network tv and probably the best Starz has offered. But it can't compete with the big boys. It's just not on the same playing field as The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones to name a few.

It might be easier to break down the lead roles. Black Jack as the villain? Put him up against Tywin Lannister, Stringer Bell, Gus Fring and he just pales in comparison. He's more like GoT's Joffrey or TWD's governor. Great in the beginning but so one dimensional it gets old very quickly. Frank, the husband, sorry about your luck but I'll forget you by tomorrow.

Poor Jamie I suppose is more of "you know nothing" Jon Stark. Pretty but not well defined. Maybe you could elevate him to a Robb Stark. Good guy but didn't know how to play the game. If I was Claire getting ready to be raped and tortured who would I want to see in that window? Rayland Givens from Justified. Nasty ass Randall would be dead before he hit the ground. Please show surprise me and have Jamie throw a knife into his brain.

As for Claire, she is a tough one. I see her more like Sansa Stark.

She's a survivor but

no where near as tough as Arya Stark.

That little girl will be the last one standing.

I do think Caitriona Balfe is a doing a wonderful job with the part. But Claire, damn girl make up your mind. You're not as clever as you think and you need to learn to keep your mouth shut. You're headed into the Andrea of TWD territory and I'd much rather see a Carol or Maggie like character arc.

Over all it's average. I've only recommended it to one person and she was out after the pilot. She's more of a Boyd Crowder or Jax Teller kind of girl. Maybe not the target demographics but you need to expand from the book fans to stay on the air. I don't think it's strong enough to gain any more viewers but hopefully the book fans are pleased. Two seasons tops.

Edited by SilverStormm
Tagged potential GoT spoilers for those who aren't up to date with that show.
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Maybe not the target demographics but you need to expand from the book fans to stay on the air. I don't think it's strong enough to gain any more viewers but hopefully the book fans are pleased. Two seasons tops.

I'm a books one, two, and three fan though, and I could even make it through this whole season. I agree with two seasons tops

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One difference between Outlander and Game of Thrones & The Tudors, and to some extent, The White Queen, is that latter 3 shows are primarily set among the pinnacle of the socioeconomic pyramid:  the royal family, their court and retainers, and the senior lords of the land who hold their lands and title directly from the king (or queen).  The White Queen herself being a notable exception

in that she's the daughter and widow of a knight.


In Outlander we haven't met King George, the Prince of Wales, James "III" or Bonnie Prince Charlie (perhaps we'll meet him during the course of the rebellion), etc.  Colum Mackenzie is a laird and important man, but he's not the Duke of Argyll, and Claire is even farther down the social scale.


I'm not sure what the significance of this is, if any.

Edited by SilverStormm
Tagged potential White Queen spoiler
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For me, the only show I can compare this to is farscape, specifically because of the shipper angle (though Crichton's and Claire's respective trips down their own personal rabbit hole beat a lot of similarities now that I think of it). While I enjoy romantic plot lines fine and frequently root for various couples, I'm generally pretty easy going by tv shipping standards. I'm usually more than fine with changes to core tv couples and willing to go with whatever the writers throw at me. It is a rare fictional romance that will make me all swoony and farscape (and now this show) are on a very short list in that regard.

But seriously, now that it's out there, I can think of a lot of solid comparisons between this series and scape and I'm thoroughly amused.

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