Watching and Reading: Outlander

Despite it being the year of no Doctor Who, I’m still extremely giddy about all the awesome SF/F and historical fiction television that is starting up again this Spring.  Lets just say there has been a couple of squee moments when I’ve realized that things like Outlander, Orphan Black, and 12 Monkeys have started being recorded by our PVR.

CowlI’m super happy to see that Outlander is back for another season and I’m looking forward to seeing that play out. Though I admit I’m a bit sad to see the show moving on to being set in France.  This sadness is a slightly odd reason — one of my favourite parts of the first season was the amazing costuming of the cast and the beautiful Scottish knits.  With the change in era and country we’re entering a complete different type of costuming, it’s still pretty awesome as far as historical clothing goes, but not quite as ‘wow I want to make that’ as knitwear.  Though all the knitwear from season 1 that I loved is still on my to-knit list, so despite all the inspiration I’m still not quite there.

(Briefly gets distracted by looking at patterns for Outlander inspired knitted cowls for the umpteenth time).

So far I’ve only watched the first episode of season two, but already I’m thinking I need to take another pass at Dragonfly in Amber.  The first book in the Outlander series stuck in my mind fairly well and I remembered enough of it do have a sense of how things were being adapted in the first season.  But after the first book things get a bit fuzzy and the plot starts to blur a bit between books.  I remember reading and liking the books. I can recall the major plot points but the intricacies and the order in which things happen are a bit muddled.

Long story, I’m probably going to reread the books.  I often struggle with tv/film adaptations of books I love and find myself being fairly critical about what is included in the adaptation.  But, the tv show is reminding me how much I enjoyed the books so I think it’s worth rereading even if it does contribute to viewing annoyance later….I just need to remind myself to appreciate the show for it is, that a 300 plus page book is a completely different medium, and that of course the picture in my head is always going to be cooler.

Reading: Chicks Unravel Time

cut_cover-web-194x300As I mentioned earlier my Doctor Who love has recently ratcheted up into overdrive and I’ve been on a consume all the cool Doctor Who things.  Well, maybe not all the things as there is a huge world of fandom and a unbelievable number of official/unofficial writings, comics, and audio recordings relating to Doctor Who.

A few years ago I got hooked on via a Doctor Who bundle. Until recently that handful of books were the only ones I read that related to Doctor Who.  This limited reading was recently expanded when I picked up Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who.  I came across this book via the Verity Podcast which I can’t speak highly enough of. Chicks Unravel Time is a collection edited by Deborah Stanish and L.M. Myles which brings together female writers to examine each season of new and classic Doctor Who from individual perspectives.  The book features essays by award-winning authors, media professionals, and academics.  I was particularly impressed by the range of perspectives in this book and the different ways women have experienced and reflected on Doctor Who.

Some of the highlights for me included “The Doctor’s Balls” by Diana Gabaldon where she describes how campaign Jamie McCrimmon inspired her Outlander series; Jennifer Pelland’s challenging and thought provoking essay on “The Problem With Peri”; the humorous look at the sexualization and objectification of the Doctor in “David Tennant’s Bum” by Laura Mead; and Emily Kausalik’s look at the use of stock audio and the importance of music in season five in her essay “The Sound’s the Star.”

I didn’t love every essay in the book – but I appreciate the breadth of viewpoints shared and the ability of the collection to look at Doctor Who critically from so many different perspectives and the integration of so many distinct female voices. I can see myself returning to some of the essays in the future as I continue to learn more about Doctor Who and continue to watch more classic Who. In the meantime I’ve just started to read Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It.