'Outlander': 11 Reasons to Tune In When the Kilt Drops

Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) in 'Outlander'
Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) in 'Outlander'

All the Highland hullabaloo of the past year has led to this moment. Well, to this Saturday, Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. to be exact. The series premiere of Starz's Outlander — the TV adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's wildly popular book of the same name that mashes up history, love, time travel, men in skirts, feminism, druids, war, adventure, and farming — is finally here.

We're guessing the incessant and clever marketing campaign of Pocket Jamies and pop culture-referencing hashtags that Starz has been running for months, the generally positive reviews and media coverage, the full-court Comic-Con press by the charming actors with accents, or the smug guy at work who feels superior because he read all the books years ago have persuaded you to give the show a chance and mull over the central thesis: What if your future was the past?

[Related: 1945 or 1743? The 'Outlander' Cast Picks Which Year They'd Most Like to Visit]

But just in case you are still uncertain you want to join the Clan MacKenzie in 1743 Scotland, we've come up with 11 more reasons to give this love triangle a look:

1. Nearly a million people already perused the Episode 1 sneak peek in the week since Starz made it available for free viewing, and almost unanimously praised it. The network can't possibly have paid them all off.


If you've already devoured the novels and count yourself among the fervent followers, you needn't worry that everything will be lost in the adaptation. The author was consulted regularly, she's given all tweaks her seal of approval, and she even has a cameo in the fourth episode. Also executive producer-screenwriter Ronald D. Moore has already proven himself worthy of running and reworking titles with rabid fanbases. His résumé includes Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Roswell, and the Battlestar Galactica reboot. He is also a self-professed Outlover.

3. If the books never made it to your bedside table because you learned nothing from Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or Game of Thrones, now is the time to catch up so you can fake it with the aforementioned smug co-worker.

[Related: Who's Who on 'Outlander']

4. The series' title credits tune "Skye Boat Song" by Emmy-winning composer Bear McCreary is the catchiest medieval-fantasy jam since GoT's "The Bear and the Maiden Fair." And who couldn't use a little more bagpipe in their life?

Jamie Fraser (Sam Heugan) in 'Outlander'
Jamie Fraser (Sam Heugan) in 'Outlander'

5.Speaking of Game of Thrones, one of Gabaldon's best friends and biggest fans is George R.R. Martin.

6. It stars the hottest ginger to hit screens since Michael Fassbender. And like Das Fassbender, great Scot Sam Heughan is a foreigner so he should have fewer hangups about being bare-arsed.

[Related: 'Outlander' Comic-Con Premiere Photos]

7. Don't do red? There's also adorkable and self-conscious brunette history buff Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) and the very manly bald babe Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish). Can you be considered a silver fox if all your gray has migrated to your beard?

8. And never fear Outmanders, the Lady Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is a nice piece of eye candy in her own right and her lady bits are on display before the halfway mark of the premiere. They definitely haven't skimped on the bodice ripping.

Tobias Menzies on the set of 'Outlander'
Tobias Menzies on the set of 'Outlander'

9. Learn a nearly dead language: There are whole chunks of the show in Gaelic — the cast all endured hours of lessons and voice coaching — and the producers made the artistic choice to skip subtitles. At first, you'll be as confused as Claire, but listen closely and you'll pick up some old-timey Scottish slang and phrases such as "Sassenach" (a derogatory nickname for a person of English descent) and "mo chridhe" ("my heart," a term of affection).

10. You'll get to brush up on your history because even if you were taught about Jacobite uprisings, Scottish-British relations, or who succeeded whom and when on the British throne, you probably, if you're being honest, have forgotten all of that.

11. As it was shot on location in the kingdom of kilts, you can jot down plenty of points of Pinterest in time for your next trip across the pond.

Outlander premieres Saturday, Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. on Starz.