Thoughts of an Outlander Cheerleader
This blog contains some of my thoughts on Outlander (show and books).
I was inspired to write a blog (which I rarely do) because another blog (link below) brought up some points about Jamie and Frank in the “books vs. show” debate. Some things struck me about the blog. The blogger states that:
Outlander mentions Jamie 1636 times vs Frank’s 199 (a ratio of 87.83)
Dragonfly in Amber mentions Jamie 1832 vs Frank’s 133 (a ratio of 92.74)
and then says “It’s also quite obvious who is the more important character. Can’t dispute hard data, Ron.“ The problem with this is she uses these numbers to compare the amount of Jamie vs. Frank in the book vs show, but never actually says how much they appear in the show, which is a necessity of you are going to compare. So, I thought I would.
How I counted: Even if he is not in the shot, if he is in the scene I counted it. So when Frank was talking to the Reverend, even if the shot was on the reverend, I counted it as a Frank scene, because well, he was in the scene. Same for Jamie, except sometimes Jamie is in the background. So while I still counted the time he appeared onscreen, if the scene wasn’t on him (for example when they go to Castle Leach in the beginning of Ep 102)
Season 1: Jamie appears in 396:30 mins vs Frank in 50:56 mins, a ratio: 87.13
Season 2: Jamie appears in 380:05 mins vs Frank in 27:12 mins a ratio of 92.87
Virtually the EXACT same numbers!
There is as much of Frank as is in the books when compared to Jamie.
She was right in her quote “It’s also quite obvious who is the more important character” just wrong about who Ron gave more importance too. The more important character is Jamie in the show, And yes, we can’t dispute hard data!
Some people complain that there wasn’t enough Jamie compared to the books. Well, this is also false.
Total running time of season 1 is 14 hrs 28 mins.
Jamie was in 46% of season 1 this is much more than he appeared Outlander.
total season 2 is 12:09:55 hrs
Jamie in season 2: 52%, again more than he appeared in DIA
I really hope people stop exaggerating the amount of Frank in the show and minimizing the amount of Jamie. It is insulting the Sam and the production. If people re-read Outlander and DIA just reading Jamie parts (like I have), you will thank Ron and Company for adding more Jamie. If anyone knows how many pages actually Jamie appears in Outlander and DIA, please let me know for a full comparison (I’m going by rough estimate of the books and memory)
Now if you want to question the "type” of Jamie, that is a debate, but as so many people interpret the books in different ways, I’m not sure that can be solved. But I will say for myself, I have yet to see someone mention one single characteristic that Jamie has in the book that isn’t portrayed in he show. Not one. To me, it’s the same character and he is true to the book. I had a good exchange with the blogger regarding this. I understand that she wanted to see more of “her Jamie” in the show. And I feel bad that she and others feels like they missed out. But as a huge fan of the books and the show, I saw the Jamie I wanted to see. I saw the same Jamie that is portrayed in the books and I know many other people did too. Sam did an excellent job bringing him to life.
We get a TON of stuff from Jamie’s POV and what he was doing that wasn’t in the book, or it was just mentioned, something Claire tells the reader. But the reader doesn’t experience it. In the book the whole thing is from Claire’s eyes. She is in every scene, it is all through her experience (which as Diana has said is biased). The first two books have always been Claire’s story to me-she is telling it. In the show, halfway through season 1 and into virtually all of season 2, we see what Jamie was doing when he wasn’t with Claire. For me, from then on the show has become Jamie and Claire’s story (which isn’t how I experienced the book)
It is a fabulous show. Does it get every single detail “right”? No, I don’t think so. Claire starting to take off her ring in Ep 201 comes to mind. Not including the scaring in Ep 213 too. Not including flashbacks of Jamie in Ep 114. And why could the show not include some more iconic lines from the book, like “your face is my heart”? I can think of scenes in the show that could have been shortened to include 5 minutes of extra Jamie and Claire sweetness. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see many beautiful scenes between the two of them in BOTH seasons. Great moments that were not in the book. Their beautiful hug after Prestonpans. “It;s as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day, and suddenly the sun came out” in Ep 107. All the eye sex in Episode 103. “Come find me, come find us” in Episode 204.
I understand (but don’t agree) that there are fans that don’t like Frank, and complain that he is more likeable in the show. This seems like a strange complaint to me. Most of the supporting characters on the show have been adapted to make characters more likeable, Rupert, Murtagh, Angus, Geillis, Dougal and yes Frank. Why is Frank the one that gets bashed by fans? I have no idea. No one complained about Geillis getting dialogue of other characters and (SPOILER) she ends up doing a heck of a lot worse than Frank could or would ever do. The show is staying true to the story overall. Yes, they’ve missed a few points, I would have liked to see more intimacy between Jamie and Claire, not that it wasn’t there, but I would have liked more. Diana has even said they’ve stayed very true to the story considering all they have to deal with. Things that fans don’t understand or aren’t aware of unless they are in the actual production. She wrote a huge Facebook post about the complications of adapting when she wrote the script for Ep 211.
Some people say Outlander isn’t a “love triangle” between Jamie/Claire/Frank. Except it is, and that’s not my opinion, the author herself says it is in many interviews. The synopsis of the book clearly says “Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.” If this isn’t a triangle I don’t know what is. Seriously. She spends almost half of the first book trying to get back to Frank. I don’t think people should minimize that. In the book, once she makes her decision at the stones, that’s it, she chose Jamie. No more love triangle. There is no more Frank until she goes back to him. JUST like in the show.
I wouldn’t agree that Ron doesn’t get the books, when he pretty much sees it the way I do. And I get the books. We all read it differently, doesn’t make it wrong, just different. But people seem to think Ron and Company should do it exactly the way they want it, but what about many of us who don’t see it that way? That see it the way Ron does? Or see it completely differently? What about fans who love the show and have never read the books? Many of them now have said that the online experience of insulting them for not reading the book, or insulting them being happy with the adaptation has ruined the fun of social media for them. I have been insulted and “ganged up on” many times for liking the show. And this goes on in both “sides”. People insult fans for liking the show, people insult fans for not liking the show. It’s very sad.
There has never been show in history that has gotten every detail right for all the viewers. The book doesn’t always get it “right” either. Jamie calling patients at the hospital “scum”, Jamie snapping at Claire because of her morning sickness. Claire thinking of Frank as BJR is telling her about Wentworth. Jamie trying to justify him wanting to have sex with the whores. Claire never telling Jamie about Laoghaire (something I still don’t feel made sense for Claire’s character). But like the show, it’s as close to perfect as I have ever experienced.
Some people have called me “just a show cheerleader” as a way to insult me in some way. But the insult is on them. I’m proud to be an Outlander Cheerleader!
Here is the link to the very well written and thought out Blog I’ve been referring to. Just because I don’t agree with her does not mean I don’t resect her opinion. I just have a different point of view. https://justagirlwithspirit.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/looking-for-mr-fraser/