Thoughts on Adapting Outlander for TV: Voyager 13 – 14

During a break at work I came across a Twitter discussion about Sam and Cait and how or if they treat various groups of fans differently and if that’s ok and such. For a moment I was tempted to chime in and even explain my point of view in a post here. But then I thought…. no way, I’m want to get dragged down that pit ;-)

So on with my Voyager Re-Read. (Or Re-Listen mostly these days. You’ve gotta love the audiobooks, they are just amazing.)

13: Midgame
Part Four: The Lake District, 14: Geneva

in which we follow Jamie into exile in England and meet a spoiled, but strong-minded young woman…

For these series of blog posts chapter 13 is almost negligible and had I remembered that, I would have included it with the previous post. Chapter 14 is where it gets really interesting and I’m very curious how they will adapt this part of the story. There is SO much going on in Part 4 (chapters 14 – 17) and quite a few important relationships are built or changed. Let’s start with some technicalities:

New location! New sets! Yay! I’m not sure how much we’ll really see of the outdoors in the Lake District and how much different the stables at Helwater might look from the ones at Leoch. Not sure if we’ll see much of the indoors expect Geneva’s bedroom. When I listened to it this afternoon for a moment I considered if they might abridge the whole blackmail and let them have sex somewhere in or near Jamie’s quarters. But then I thought, no way spoiled Lady Geneva would arrange her first time to be anywhere else than a comfy bed. I might be wrong though.

There is one item I really hope they will bring in at this point and that’s Jamie’s beech wood rosary. Because it’s going to be important a few chapters further on. And then equally important even way more chapters further on. Like four books and 50 chapters down the line ;-). I’m not sure though if it’s considered an important enough bit to be kept in the TV story. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

New characters! Geneva being the most important one obviously, but I guess we’ll also see Lord and Lady Dunsany, especially later on. Not so sure about Isabel. They might just mention her, because she’s not relevant to the story yet. With new characters this time there even – finally – comes a new line of clothes to create for Terry and her team :-) Clothes for English nobility. Maybe not a noble family of of the highest rank and thus definitely not as over the top as anything we’ve seen in Paris. But definitely different from the Scottish dresses and coats and such we’ve seen in season 1 as well. I just realized that’s also valid for Lord John Grey of course, at least if he isn’t wearing his army uniform. 

Some time ago I already tweeted my curiosity about Geneva and the actress who will eventually be cast in that role. It’s not a large part, but an important one and the actress has to be able to equally play a spoiled brat and on the other hand a strong-minded and even in parts terrified young woman. As much as I wanted to dislike Geneva the first time I read that story, I felt pity for her rather quickly. She is going to be married off to a rich guy who could be her grandfather. Any sane girl might want to reconsider losing her virginity with a more suitable (age and such wise) man than that. Not that she goes about it the right way, but she honestly didn’t have much choice, did she? These times sucked for young women. For women in general!

I’m sure the whole Jamie getting to Helwater, finding his place and purpose, Geneva blackmailing him to have sex with her can be condensed in a suitable way. The night itself  is written much more explicit than I remembered it and there is no way they are going to put that on TV close to the book. But I guess that goes for many other sex scenes in these novels as well. The TV adaptation didn’t disappoint us on that front yet, did it? And even as in this case it’s not Jamie and Claire, it’s Jamie. Naked! Come on, it’s going to be hot either way.

The dialogue is this scene is hilarious in parts and I hope they will keep some of that in. In a way I’d love to see a “like horses” flashback to the wedding night, when Geneva mentions it. Not sure though if that’s really a good idea on screen. The same goes for some of the other relaxed, friendly chat. Would it seem too much to see him like that with a woman who isn’t Claire?

Maybe I’m paranoid, but I really hope they will manage to do this scene justice, without any viewer mistaking it for a rape or assault. Geneva did say “Stop, take it out!” at one point after all. But I think in the context of the whole scene it’s very understandable that Jamie didn’t stop! And Geneva didn’t feel assaulted. Rather the opposite in fact. But still…. I know some viewers had difficulties grasping the “wife beating” in season 1 and that had always been a very straight-forward scene to me in the book and the show. Like I said… paranoid!

Once again Sam’s got so many various emotions to play – in this scene alone there is tenderness, pity, rage, fear & lust *g* – but in the beginning there also is the strained relationship with John and his emotions of having left his fellow prisoners and of having to leave the Highlands.

And as a huge fan of John, I really hope he’ll get his fair share of moments in this episode(s) at Helwater as well. He did Jamie a huge favour with not sending him into indenture in America, but let him stay in Great Britain. Working with horses on a huge estate. Of course John did it for a selfish reason – if you can call love selfish – but it probably saved Jamie’s life, so there’s that. I very much appreciate what John did for Jamie. But I appreciate John regardless, so….

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