Outlander Season Two (Starz)

Adam Lenhardt

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Season One Thread

Season Two of "Outlander" premiered on Starz last night, which is being adapted primarily from Dragonfly in Amber, the second novel in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

The season premiere had to juggle a lot, both structurally and emotionally, and it mostly pulled it off with aplomb. The episode opens with Claire, having just passed through the stones at Craigh na Dun, miserable and desperate in what she quickly learns is 1948, with the first stirrings of the Cold War starting to seize Britain.

We spend the next forty minutes in 1948, as Claire and Frank face each other for the first time since her disappearance. Tobias Menzies's performance is extraordinary, as Frank grapples with an immensely difficult situation and a flagrantly preposterous story that nevertheless has indications of being true. For her part, Claire -- shellshocked and desperate for information about Jamie's fate -- actively works to drive Frank away. But it is not that easy for either of them.

As the terms of their life together in the aftermath take shape, a transatlantic journey causes Claire to flashback to a previous ocean journey, the one the first season ended on.

The production quality is as strong as ever, with beautiful music from Bear McCreary and incredible production design from Jon Gary Steele -- both returning from the first season -- and gorgeous cinematography from "Battlestar Galactica" DP Stephen McNutt (who takes over from David Higgs and Neville Kidd). The visual effects work also continues to impress, with the skylines of 1948 New York City and 1745 Le Havre particularly striking.

But it's the intricate character work that continues to be the main attraction.
 

Adam Lenhardt

Director
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,140
Location
Albany, NY
Last night's episode inspired more loud-out-loud moments than most comedies for me. How lucky we are to have Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr on the same writing staff again.
 

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