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Outlander

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“Outlander” got me through COVID. It probably also saved my marriage. After 35 years together, 30 days isolated in the house in 2020 almost broke us. Then we stepped into the time-traveling world of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser and our days had purpose again — not to mention adventure, intrigue, passion, and danger. I have always loved stories of time travel, but I had not read Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series (my well-read friends are gasping). I had heard about the TV series, and had friends who had become obsessed with men in kilts and sword-fighting, but I had a vague idea that it was too violent and “sci-fi”-ish for my liking. I was wrong.

The story, streaming on Starz, follows Claire, an English WWII nurse (Caitriona Balfe), who visits Scotland and finds herself thrown back in time 200 years, from 1945 to 1743. After being captured by Scottish rebels, she meets the love of her life, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). It is a time of great and complicated turmoil between Scotland and England, which I understand a little better after watching the show — basically it was a fight for the throne of England that caused wars between clans and between noble families. We follow Claire and Jamie through many trials and tribulations, each one more unimaginable than the last. Claire’s knowledge of medicine and history is both a blessing and a curse for her. As is her love for Jamie, which keeps her trapped between two worlds. Through their adventures, they gather a cast of unforgettable characters. The story takes them (and us) through history, from 1740s Scotland to 1960s Boston and back to 1770s North Carolina. The acting is superb, the costumes and scenery are breathtaking. Each episode takes you from the edge of your seat to a puddle on the floor. Yes, there is violence, and there are also lovemaking scenes for the ages. I highly recommend that you start watching now, so you can get through six seasons before fall 2022, when Season 7 will begin. I envy you, to be starting this journey!

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