A time travel epic featuring history and romance, Outlander--unlike most adventure series--is aimed at women audiences. The kilted male characters, the female narrator, the fantastic period costumes are atypical of male-gendered television. Both the show and the novels on which it is based address issues most series shy away from, like breast feeding, abortion and birth control. Role reversals are common--the powerful Claire rescues her virginal husband Jamie from sexual abuse. When the villainous Black Jack Randall displays his genitals to the heroine Jenny, she laughs.
This collection of new essays examines Outlander as an exploration of what it means to be a capable 18th century woman and what it means in the modern world. As Claire explores different models of strength in both periods, Jamie comes to understand the nuances of male honor, power and alternative sexuality through the contrasting figures of Black Jack and Lord John. As the heroes negotiate the complications of marriage and life, they make discoveries about gender that resonate with modern audiences.