Tough love in Highlands
In what is being hailed as the second golden age of television, adaptations of books to the small screen are proving all the rage. The Sookie Stackhouse novels gave us the hit vampire series True Blood and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has become a TV phenomenon.
So it’s no wonder Diana Gabaldon’s series of epic Outlander novels (originally published as Cross Stitch) has also been tailored for TV and, like other book-to-small-screen adaptations, is proving a hit with viewers.
Gabaldon’s books — which have sold 26 million copies — follow the adventures of Claire Randall, who during a second honeymoon in 1945 is transported back to Scotland in 1743, where a Jacobite rising is brewing and she falls in love with Highlander Jamie Fraser.
Unlike the TV series, the books have a mainly female fan base so it’s no surprise that Scottish-born Sam Heughan hadn’t heard of Gabaldon’s work when he was asked to audition for the role of Jamie.
“I bought the book and read the appropriate scenes, I didn’t have time to read the whole book as I was auditioning the next day,” Heughan says by phone from Sydney, where he is promoting the second season of Outlander.
“I just felt very close to the character and felt I understood where he was coming from, then realised what an amazing world it was and how many fans it had.”
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