From now until mid-June, I’m counting down my ten favorite SF/F TV shows – ranking them from least to most. Least favorite doesn’t mean it’s bad though. If it’s on my list, it means I liked it enough to watch beyond the pilot. My thoughts on each are included and, for once, these are SPOILER FREE posts. Because these are the last two, and because many of you are likely watching them already, I’m doing a spoiler-free description followed by my slightly spoilery thoughts in orange.

2. Outlander [time travel]: I’ve mentioned my love for this show and the books they’re based on before. For anyone who isn’t familiar with this series, the main character is Claire Randall, a WWII nurse who travels back in time through a stone circle to Scotland 1743 right before the last Jacobite rebellion. Although she’s happily married, she meets a young Scotsman with a dislocated shoulder and a price on his head. He’s also handsome, honorable, and easy to talk to. Yes, there’s a love triangle, but I’ve never heard anyone joke about being Team Jamie or Team Frank. It’s just not that kind of story.

What I loved about the books: the multi-layered, well researched writing; the mix of genres (historical fiction, romance, science fiction); the characters; and the way the author, Diana Gabaldon, brings Scotland (and other places) to life.

What I love about the show: The casting! The costumes! And it’s a faithful adaptation. Ronald D. Moore, the show’s developer, seems to have struck a nice balance between the needs of TV (visual, episodic structure, etc.) and his source material. It can’t hurt that Gabaldon is a consultant.

Other random thoughts: Tobias Menzies as Black Jack! How much do you hate him?! I remember him from Rome. A skilled actor. I thought the cast & crew did a great job of taking the show to France for a while. The meticulously detailed costumes were amazing! And I liked that composer Bear McCreary (who worked on Battlestar Gallatica with Moore) tweaked the Skye Boat Song for S2, layering in French words and a viola de gamba.

Gabaldon is writing Episode 27 (“Vengence is Mine”), which is THIS WEEKEND’S EPISODE if you’re caught up. It’s the first one she’s written so I’m interested. (She cameoed in E4, which was fun to see).

Are you watching Outlander? What did you think of S2? Did you like how all the changes were handled?

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Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.


  1. Okay so we like the same shows, clearly. LOL Read the books LONG, LONG ago and loved them. Love the casting, too. Can’t wait to see this week’s but I’m sad it’s ending already. Bring on the rest of S2, Starz, and hurry!

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