Obsessive fans of the wildly popular time travel romance Outlander may notice/object to Starz‘s adaptation’s different opening in the thick of World War II, but author Diana Gabaldon approved of the change, she told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014.
Exec producer Ron Moore won her over with his argument that the show should open with heroine Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) serving as a nurse in a field hospital. “It shows her being the competent and resilient person that she is.” Gabaldon said.
The Outlander series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. She is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) a young Scottish warrior, and a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men.
Anyway, TV critics didn’t bat an eye over that change. There was, however, a certain amount of heated back and forth about a scene in the book in which Claire, now time traveled back a few centuries, is beaten by love interest Jamie.
One TV critic described it as Jamie “beating the crap” out of Claire. Gabaldon, however, insisted, he merely “spanks her bottom with his sword belt and she doesn’t like it.” Moore, meanwhile, weighed in in defense of Jamie: “Everybody was in mortal danger due to something she did specifically — in Jamie’s world, there’s a cost to that.”
Anyway, kilted Moore said, “It’s in the book and it’s in the show,” acknowledging “It’s certainly an explosive scene. “It’s a shocking moment, but its an important part of the development of the characters and we’re going to go for it.”
One male TV critic wondered if the book had any male fans. Moore said men have confessed to him their wives introduced them to the book and got them hooked, adding “I think the show will be the same.” Gabaldon insisted the show was big with men, “but they tend not to stand out on the streets with signs and T-shirts.”
The critic wondered what has caused this “insanity” among females. “I”m tempted to point to him,” Gabaldon said, pointing to the kilted Heughan. “It’s Jamie, rather than Sam,” she clarified.”He is the focus. It’s the entire story. They love Claire, they identify with Clarie, they want to be Claire. But they want to lick him.”