Thoughts on Adapting Outlander for TV: Voyager 17 – 20

17: Monsters Rising 
Part Five: You can’t Go Home Again
18: Roots | 19: To Lay a Ghost | 20: Diagnosis

I have no idea how much of Claire’s, Bree and Roger’s trip down to Loch Ness they will actually have in the show, if any at all. They left out the whole monster scenes from book/season 1, so that alone makes it unlikely they will incorporate something similar in season 3.

Chapters 18 – 20 bring Claire back to Boston in 1968, where she also remembers events from her life there during the past 20 years. As I’m now convinced that doing a chronological split-timelines portrayal of these years on the TV show is the ony way to go, I’m sure we’ll see quite a lot of these memories play out in real time so to speak. Maybe not the same scenes as in the book, because some might just not work on TV.

Scenes I expect to see – besides the ones mentioned in earlier chapters – are Claire starting her medical training and definitely how she will have stood out in this group of American males, younger than her. It’s hinted at when she remembers what made her bond with Joe Abernathy, the only black man among her fellow interns. Both so different from the rest. There is potential for a few short scenes where she has to stand her ground against prejudice from fellow doctors, patients and anyone else in the hospital setting.

I’m really curious who they will cast as Joe. A young and the older one? Or just one actor who will be made look younger for his first few appearances? He will be reappear in the story later, so one 30+ years old actor might be the better choice.

I’m on the fence still, if I consider the forensic examination of the bones from the Caribbean island an essential part of the story. In the book it was a neat hint of things to come, but I’m not sure if it will work that way on TV or if it’s necessary from a story-telling point of view. There also is the issue with Claire’s kind of supernatural ability to detect something from just touching the patient or bones in this case. Nothing like that has been addressed on the show yet, so it might be a stretch to include it on the TV show. Which now makes me wonder what is left of the scene with Joe then, if you cut all that ;-)? There is Claire asking his opinion about her appearance and her confiding into him about Jamie, at least to some extent. It’s going to be interesting either way.

Then there all the scenes with Frank. They might scatter a few hints of him having affairs all through the various scenes of the almost 20 years they will include in the show. They will definitely focus a huge part of one episode on that last conversation and fight in the bedroom one night. Frank telling Claire he will be moving back to England and planning to take 17 year old Brianna with him. The huge fight this will entail. All these emotions and anger guilt those two have suppressed for years. Frank taking off in his car, the crash, Claire mourning him in the hospital. They might also include additional scenes of Bree mourning him, the funeral as well maybe. I know many book fans think the show focus too much on Frank and added too much of his side of this story to the TV show, but I don’t mind. In fact in most instances I considered it well done so far. And Frank is an essential part of this story and I think it’s important to do him justice.

Which leaves me with the question how in Claire’s part of the split timeline they will go from that event – Frank’s death – to the “present time”, i.e. when Claire and Bree come over to England and later Scotland for the reverend’s funeral in 1968. And even more important how they will then bring the story back to the moment on Craigh na Dhun at the end of season 2? In that final scene Roger and Bree had found the first traces of Jamie in history. Will we in early season 3 learn that they have already traced him further through history and have found him as A. Malcolm, printer in Edinburgh in 1766? Claire on the show is right away determined to go back. Unlike Claire in the book, who isn’t so sure, because she doesn’t know if he is actually still alive 20 years after Culloden, even if he had survived the battle itself. I get why they might have wanted to end season 2 on a hopeful note, but to me it might seems too easy, if Claire really just made up her mind in that instance already. And if they don’t have to search for Jamie a bit more in history. I have no idea how they will solve that “problem” on the show. I’m looking forward to it though.

And now up for my re-read are the remaining three chapters of Part Five and then Part Six: Edinburgh. Chapter 24: A. Malcolm, Printer. *deepsigh* :-)


This entry was posted in Archive and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.