Episode 20

Episode 20: Through the stones of Craig na Dun

We are back with another episode for intermediates and advanced students.

In this episode, Jennifer discusses the series Outlander. The series already has 3 seasons and season 4 is on its way. Do you know Outlander? Do you also cheer for Jamie and Claire? Are you excited for the next season?

From now on we will have episodes for intermediates and advanced students every 2 weeks again. Hope you enjoy it! By the way, ideas on topics are more than welcome! Do you have any favorite movies and series for me to watch and talk about?

If you want to read the transcript, just click bellow.

Read Full Transcript

Good morning! It’s been a long long time, people! How have you been? How is the new year treating you? Are you improving your English? Did you maybe start classes? Point is, never stop having contact with the language and learning new things.
Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite series, Outlander. I wanted to talk about it for quite some time already, but somehow Always decided to talk about something else. Or maybe it’s because there is so much to tell, that I’m afraid I won’t do a good job of it. And the series and the books are so great! They deserve a well thought review.
So, what’s it all about then? Why do I like it so much? When you first hear or read a summary about the story many men go like, this is a romance. So, it’s just for girls. And they are not completely wrong. But the story goes way beyond just a love story. In the beginning of the story we basically have 2 lines of time: 1945 and 1743, so 200 years in the past.
The story begins with the end of the Second World War. Claire, one of the main characters is a nurse. She hasn’t seen her husband for years. They had gotten married just at the beginning of the war. Claire and Frank decide to go to Scotland on a second honeymoon, so that they can get to know each other again and Frank, who is a Historian, can research about his family history there. This is also around the time for Halloween.

They are enjoying each other and Scotland very much. It seems like life is going to get back to normal after all. Even after Claire saw so many awful things during the war, while Frank had to work with the intelligence department. They visit many historical places, some of them where a member of his Family, Jack Randal, supposedly stayed or had been at some point.

Frank also gets acquainted with the local priest, as he is a history buff and has gathered many documents about the local history over time. They spend a lot of time together, trying to find documents about Frank‘s great grandfather and discussing history. Meanwhile, Claire talks to the housemaid. We find out later on, that she is some sort of druid. She is also focused with her new passion: botany. On Halloween night, they follow a group of druids to a circle of stones, a bit similar to Stonehenge called Craig na Dun. There they see them perform a ritual, dancing around the stones. In the books, she forgets a handkerchief there. In the series she wants to collect a plant and that’s why she decides to go back alone later that day.
That’s when the story begins. When Claire touches one of the stones she gets unconscious. When she wakes up again she realizes that her car is gone, as well as the road that she took to get there. She doesn’t know it yet, but she just travelled 200 years to the past. The world she knows is gone. Her husband doesn’t exist yet. She is alone in a time that’s not hers. She hears guns being fired and she starts running. At some point she meets a man by the river who looks just like her husband Frank. To her surprise, that’s not Frank, but his great grandfather Black Jack Randal. And he has nothing to do with the kind and gentle Frank. As he was attacking her, she was saved by a stranger. He is one of the Scots that were fighting the British soldiers. By the way, Claire is British. She is also sort of their enemy.
This stranger takes her with him to a cabin, where his friends are gathered. That’s when she finally meets Jamie. The second or third main character from this story. The first book and season of the series are focused on Claire trying to figure out how to survive and get back home to Frank. Claire but also we get to know during this time a little bit about how it was when there were still clans in Scotland. How their society was divided, their habits.
I love history. So for me, series like this or stories like this are a gift. Because I can learn and at the same time enjoy a nice story. When there is a good dose of romance, battles and intrigue it’s even better! Many found the second season a bit boring after all the excitement from season 1. And I can understand. In book and season 2 the focus is more on the political side of things. Claire will also try to change the past in season 2. Will she succeed? She wants to avoid the death of many people. But I found season 2 fundamental for season 3. It helps understand a lot of decisions made by the main characters.
So yes, if you are watching season 2 and thinking: man this is boring! Just hold on! Get over it and get ready for season 3! It is totally worth it! My favorite book so far is book 4, so I am looking forward to see the new season this year. Right now I am reading book 6 and it is good! Book 5 was very long and the first half was quite boring. But towards the end it got very interesting again! You will see that season 2 is basically in France. And the focus is around the whole Jacobite movement. Claire and Jamie try to avoid a war. If you ever wondered how life in the French court was, you will like this season too. The rhythm of season 2 is a bit like Downton Abbey. We see a lot of daily life. I found it quite interesting nonetheless.
In season 3 we will see quite a few different places: USA, England, Scotland, the Caribbean… And in season 3 time goes by very quickly, we see a summary of what happens in something like 20 years of their lives. And we will meet quite a few different people who will be very important for the future of the story and that will cross paths with our main characters quite a few times.
So, what do you think of Outlander? Have you watched it yet? If yes, what did you think? Are you anxious for season 4? And if you have never watched it. Do you think you would give the series a chance? Oh, by the way. If you are watching season 1, you better be prepared for episode 15!
I wish you an amazing week! Talk to you soon everyone! Bye bye!


About the author: jdb

She is a language teacher since 2001, an English teacher since 2007 and an on-line language teacher since 2011. She is the founder of the OLC Clube, your Language Club. Jennifer loves watching movies and series, reading, travelling, meeting new people,learning about other cultures and world history, learning in general and teaching.

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