Like many Outlander superfan(atics), I was a teeny bit worried when I first heard the book was being made into a TV series. My fears were mostly that the powers that be might turn it into the Heaving Bosom/Pelvic Thrusting Extravaganza seen in most American made TV shows and movies while leaving out the essence of the story.
Let’s face it boys and girls, most movies are filmed from the man’s point of view. Whether it’s sex, family, business or the world, it usually comes from the male’s perspective. Exhibit A. Love/Sex Scene #1….Action! Woman with perfectly formed, giant orbs of goodness, concave stomach, glistening mouth, wild hair, no cellulite (basically my looks, 30 years ago) gleefully gyrates around bedroom, performing endlessly choreographed circus tricks while wearing a slightly nauseated expression, bosom’s heaving in time to an invisible drum. Cut and Print! And, P.S. she’s usually 15+ years younger than the man she’s performing for and her character has little back story or purpose other than to support the male lead as his wife or mother of his children.
So imagine my delight when the first episodes of Outlander began to air and the gorgeous Caitriona Balfe appeared on screen, not like the Victoria’s Secret glamazon she is, but with a very realistic portrayal of a real woman who finds herself in an unreal situation. Claire Randall Fraser is strong, she is mouthy/pushy/intimidating/caring/loving/passionate, compassionate and a healer, but most of all she is her own woman and bless those in charge, they actually got it right. They wrote, produced and directed it the right way and let Caitriona Balfe deliver the goods. (Personal note: I still have no idea how she works non-stop, perhaps this is a ‘Bionic Woman Situation’, but that’s for scientists to discover and me to report on in a later blog.)
So, when this year’s Women’s Image Award nominees were released and FOUR women working on the Outlander series were nominated, there was much jumping for joy in my Twitterverse world. Among the Outstanding Outlander Women nominated are Anne Kenney, Anna Foerster, Toni Graphia and the one and only Caitriona Balfe.
I began to wonder how it came to be that so many intelligent, skilled women could be affiliated with one show so I began poking around and the answer I came up with was Ron D. Moore. Ron has shown us that he is unafraid of strong, intelligent women by repeatedly hiring, casting and working with them. When you have women in these positions, the perspective changes, it has to, because we come from a different place than men. Not better or worse, just different. So I applaud Ron D. Moore for doing what most men in power don’t do and that’s hire qualified women. Until more men give qualified women the opportunity to show what they can do, nothing will change and careers will not progress. And for that matter, other women in power need to do the same as sometimes we are our own worst enemies. So thank you Ron we appreciate your intelligence and applaud your strong, forward-thinking attitude.
By the way, in the future I would suggest that other men in the business begin doing the same. What’s the worst that could happen? You could wind up with a hit show that millions of people watch and live a rich and fulfilling life.
Note: Not nominated but still greatly appreciated and respected is Maril Davis, Executive Producer and Ron’s Producing Partner of many years.
17th Annual Women’s Image Award,
Anna Foerster, Director, ‘The Wedding’
Anne Kenney, Writer, ‘The Wedding’
Toni Graphia, Writer, ‘The Devil’s Mark’
Caitriona Balfe, Actress, ‘The Garrison Commander’
Outlander, Best Drama Series