Outlander: By no means thoughts the surroundings or the tales, Outlander is all in regards to the houghmagandie – NewsEverything Scotland

ICONS, eh? The phrase is over-used. Perhaps, at this level within the sequence, I ought to search for what it means. I’ve a number of prestigious dictionaries on my cabinets – Oxford, Chambers, Lidl – however as I can’t be bothered getting out of my seat to have a look at them, I’ll simply Google it.

“A devotional portray, normally on wooden, of Christ.” Crikey, so to say. That’s not it. “A small image or signal on a pc display screen.” Nope. Right here’s one thing: “An individual or factor considered a consultant image”. Nicely, it’s shut, I suppose.

Right here’s my definition from Rab’s Concise Dictionary for Dafties (RCDD): “One thing that’s recognised as, er, a factor in Scottish cultural or historic life, ken?” Thus: Outlander.

For those who haven’t heard of Outlander, good luck in getting out of your coma. It’s a sequence of books by American creator Diana Gabaldon, and a TV sequence primarily based on these. To chop an extended, eight-novel, five-season story brief, it’s about shaggin’.

In 1945, fairly English fight nurse Claire Randall is enduring a second honeymoon go to to Scotland when, like a daftie, she visits a set of standing stones and, not unnaturally, finds herself transported again in time to 1743, when she encounters good-looking Highlander Jamie Fraser.

READ MORE RAB: Go away our bagpipes alone

Cocky in his kilt, Jamie is about to affix the Jacobite Rebellion. Nevertheless, figuring out with the advantage of hindsight, that the Good Guys are going to get blootered, Claire tries to dissuade Jamie and the opposite incurable optimists from rising up. Within the meantime, an rebellion is going down beneath Jamie’s kilt. As Irish actress Caitríona Balfe has defined of her nurse character: “She fell by way of time 200 years and acquired discombobulated.” Sure, nicely that’s a brand new phrase for it.

The male half, because it had been, is performed by Sam Heughan, who grew up enjoying within the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, as did I, and who has been tipped to be the following James Bond, as have I (particularly the hospital scene, after he has change into an alcoholic and had his face smashed in by Smersh).


Heughan says of his iconic – no matter which means – kilt: “It’s totally free, it is acquired its personal aeration they usually’re very snug.” Sure, you’ll be able to pretty really feel the breeze round your Cairngorms. Ms Gabaldon has revealed she drew inspiration for her Jacobite character from younger Jamie McCrimmon, a Highlander from 1745, who discovered himself in Dr Who’s Tardis (lengthy story). Ms Gabaldon thought his kilt “quite fetching”

Fetching up some particulars from the remainder of the plot, there’s extra shaggin’ (a few of it disturbingly non-consensual), and the backdrop switches to America, slavery and the Revolutionary Struggle.

Now, it’s simple to slate stuff like this. So let’s start. No, solely joking. Aside from the rest, figuring out I used to be to write down about this, colleagues warned me in regards to the passionate and delicate following. “You’d higher get your details proper and never poke enjoyable otherwise you’ll remorse it.”

Regrets? I’ve had a number of million. Details? I’ll look that one up in a minute. Honest level, although. Over an extended and undistinguished profession in journalism, I’ve had it within the neck from people of all political persuasions, from sectarian bigots, specialists questioning my experience in everything, natives of assorted hellish localities, and – by far essentially the most deranged and threatening – cyclists.

Nevertheless, I’ve no intention of tangling with feminine followers of romantic fiction. They may significantly have your eye out. Sporting protecting goggles, then, let’s resist one reality – “a proper true factor” (RCDD) – instantly and on the danger of rousing The Woking Lifeless: the viewers for Outlander is fully feminine.


That’s to say, not one man on the earth has learn or watched it devotedly. All proper, nothing in reality-style life is so absolute. However in the event you’re a person and also you watch Outlander, here’s what you retain: quiet aboot it.

I let you know this in full confidence, due to this fact: I attempted watching the primary episode of the TV sequence a number of years in the past and gave up after 10 minutes. Clearly, it was chick-telly. Within the curiosity of science, nevertheless, I attempted it once more a number of months in the past, and truly appreciated it a bit higher. Whisky will do this to you, although.

It’s a must to admit there’s one thing on this outlandish palaver. The story-telling is nice, the creativeness admirable, the settings awe-inspiring. I comply with a number of worldwide vloggers – folks I respect; largely fairly younger ladies gambolling about within the nice outdoor (don’t choose me) – they usually and their feminine followers are all ardent followers of Outlander and consequently, too, of Scotland.

Feminine buddies of mine, ladies of excessive intelligence and distinctive kung fu abilities, have additionally instructed me of their nice love for the sequence. On one or two events, I’ve made the error of laughing at this level, and that’s why to today I’m at all times joyful to affix applause for the NHS.

Outlander’s affect has been nice. It’s mentioned that David Cameron’s Tory Authorities prevented it being proven till after the independence referendum of 2014, when a mix of some frightened previous folks, and a number of other hundred thousand proud-Scot-buts denied Scotland her freedom.

The present has additionally had an affect on tourism, with 1000’s of avid followers discovering their means, pre-Covid, to magnificence spots akin to Cumbernauld, the place many indoor scenes are shot.

READ MORE RAB: The Unicorn: How did Scotland undertake it as a nationwide image?

As for yon gallus Gabaldon quine, she’s understood to be placing the ending touches to her ninth novel within the sequence, Go Inform The Bees That I Am Gone. Positive to have a sting within the tail.

The books, by the way, have been revealed in 26 nations, with greater than 28 million copies bought worldwide. In the meantime, manufacturing is continuous on season six of the TV sequence, the place it’s reported that the pandemic has prompted challenges in capturing the “intimate scenes”. That’ll be the shaggin’.

All good, clear enjoyable. Finally then, Outlander: good icon, dangerous icon? Oh good, positively. Keep in mind, although, that in my lengthy journalistic profession I’ve by no means as soon as described myself as “fearless”.

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