‘Outlander’ Set For The Small Screen
With over 20 million copies sold, Diana Gabaldon’s hugely successful series of novels set in the Highlands has been greenlit for televison. Outlander centres around a love story between an 18th Century Mackenzie clansman and a 20th Century WWII nurse, and has received a 16-episode order from American cable network Starz.
The Outlander series spans the genres of romance, historical fiction and sci-fi, and follows Claire Randall who is transported back to Scotland circa 1743 after she touches part of a stone circle near Inverness. While there, she meets a Clan Mackenzie warrior named Jamie Fraser and is torn between him and her husband back in 1945. Their journey leads them throughout Scotland (including the 1745 Jacobite Rising), France, the West Indies and America. The series currently spans seven books, with an eighth due for release later this year.
The television series is due to begin filming in October in the Highlands, and is slated for broadcast in April 2014. Gabaldon is expected to be a consultant and co-producer, with the entire series masterminded by Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore. Gabaldon was inspired to create the central character of Jamie after catching a repeat of a Dr Who episode from the 1960s, in which Frazer Hines played a kilted character of the same name from the same era.
Gabaldon previously said: “That’s where I began, knowing nothing about Scotland or the 18th century, with no plot, no outline, no characters – nothing but the rather vague images conjured up by a man in a kilt.” Meticulous background checks and fact finding missions are incredibly important to Gabaldon’s writing process, saying she feels a large amount of responsibility to her readers and the people of the past to maintain historical accuracy.
Lord Jamie Sempill said Gabaldon’s work captures the highly appealing romantic element of the history of the clans. “I believe (the) series has been instrumental in raising awareness of the clan system which has been beneficial in complementing the hard work done by the clan commissioners to increase their membership in North America”. Lord Sempill invited Gabaldon to The Gathering in 2009, where she was invested as a Lady of the Garrison of the 78th Fraser Highlanders.
Gabaldon also recently visited the Mackenzie seat of Castle Leod, where along with clan chief John Mackenzie the Earl of Cromartie planted a Rowan tree in the grounds. Gabaldon is a guardian of Castle Leod, which is said to be the inspiration for the book’s location of Castle Leoch. The books have developed a loyal fan following, with various companies running ‘Jamie and Claire’ tours of Scotland. Starz also recently announced plans for a series centered around Phillipa Gregory’s War of the Roses trilogy entitled The White Queen.Tagged