To the Scottish lasses in my life, Outlander is the first in a series of historical novels by Diana Gabaldon. It is focused on a WW II nurse, Claire Randall, who time travels back to 18th century Scotland and there finds adventure and romance. Her multi-genre novels feature science fiction (time travel), romance and history. Now Outlander is a Starz TV series. The first episode debuted last weekend and is now available for free online. Dan and I watched it together and we both gave it two thumbs up! I first became aware of Gabaldon’s work when Anne began devouring her novels left and right. Now her work is available on the small screen, which is really an archaic and demeaning term, what with Game of Thrones and its ilk. We watched Outlander online, which has a much higher resolution screen than are TV. As any first episode should do the one that we watched laid out the main characters and set the basic parameters for the serialized story to come. Caitriona Balfe plays the haunting and haunted Claire Randall. Through hints in the opening episode and the series poster art she becomes conflicted, between loves present and past.
The ghosts portrayed in this opening episode spurred Dan to tell me about his own occult experiences while he was interning at Ox-Bow in 2011. Apparently the cabin that he roomed in was haunted. He didn’t get the back story right away, but it goes like this. Two women paramours were in the cabin. This was back in a time when everything like this was covert. One of them had a dog. During the winter, the dog broke through the ice. Its women owner waded in and rescued her dog, but eventually succumbs to hypothermia, but the dog was saved. Dan said that there were scratch marks at the foot of his bedroom door in this 100-year-old cabin from the dog. His first encounter was through the cabin’s screen door. He saw an older woman who was looking right back at him, until she just vanished before him. After this experience he learned of the history of the cabin. The next event involved wet barefoot footprints in the communal bathroom into a locked stall that was empty. Finally, Dan was awakened one night only to find another old woman, all dressed in black. He chose not to deal with this and pulled the covers over his head and went to sleep.