I thought it might be a good idea to explain how I see the series so people will understand my perspective when I do posts about Outlander.
I last read the books through again just before MOBY came out. I haven’t cracked one open since. Ok that’s not entirely true; I was looking up a specific passage for an earlier blog so found it on my Kindle – but I don’t sit with the books open and compare back and forth! Likely I will read the current 8 again when the release date for book 9 is announced. I will own I am a book fan – but I’m also a series fan and they are TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES. I chose going into this whole thing to view them that way – another facet of a beloved story.
This is an ADAPTATION of Outlander….not an exact copy going from page to screen.
adaptation ad·ap·ta·tion (ād’āp-tā’shən) n. The acquisition of modifications in an organism that enable it to adjust to life in a new environment.
By the very definition there are going to be differences. That is just fact. The BOOK of Outlander is the base for the series which is a completely different medium.
So far I have really, really enjoyed the differences between the book and the series. It’s a new way to see things, new perspective, and deeper ideas. I went in to this understanding that there would be differences and embracing that idea. I also have this perspective and have had since all the hoopla over casting. This is Diana Gabaldon’s creation. These are HER characters and HER story. She is very involved in this process and if SHE says Sam IS Jamie – then that is good enough for me. Same with Cait or any of the other casting. Same with the story.
As a writer working on my first novel, I can tell anyone that cares to listen there are volumes of backstory that are in my head or in my notes that are not in the novel itself. As big as the ‘Big Books’ for Outlander are, I’m sure this is still true. Diana may have events and history in her head which lead the characters to certain places that we as readers know nothing about. She may not, but given how complex and layered this lady tends to be, I think it’s a good guess that she does. There is just no way to get it all into a single book – there is so much stuff going on that the reader just doesn’t know about.
Given this bit of knowledge, I have to think that if Diana is ok with the changes in the show we should be too. Do we trust her or not? I mean…..while we are fans it IS her story.
Terry, Maril and Matt at least have all read the books. Ron has read up through the third book. Diana is very involved giving input and insight from her perspective. Ron has these people around him to let him know what repercussions certain changes might have on the overall story. I am trusting that they:
a) know what they are doing since they are quite successful in their fields
b) have a vision that will move things forward in a way I might not be able to see yet
c) will give us the very best show they can
So, when I blog or make comments about the show, this is the perspective I’m coming from. I understand that it is not going to follow the books word for word. I also understand that not everyone sees things the same way. Jamie does something in the series that person A thinks is totally out of character while person B thinks it’s absolutely in character and C hadn’t thought about him ever doing such a thing but are ok with it and thousands of variations. The creative team can’t please everyone. Diana doesn’t please everyone – she just writes the story as she sees it. When people don’t like something she’s written she pretty much says ‘tough’. I’m ok with that – it’s HER story. We can give our input to the creative team via emails and twitter and blogs and such – but they can’t please everyone nor should they try to. Watch the show and enjoy it, debate it, compare it to the book where it varies – open dialog and debate is a great thing. I just get sad when people get nasty and they are so busy tearing things apart that they can’t enjoy this new and wondrous facet to and old and faithful friend.