The new Ronald D. Moore TV series Outlander will not be like anything the science fiction icon has worked on before. Unlike his past TV shows featuring futuristic space battles or humanoid cyborgs, Outlander will feature conflict between warring 18th Century Scottish clans and a passionate romance…with time travel. The TV adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling Outlander book series will hopefully put Moore back into the pop culture limelight, but in the meantime we’ve got the first look at the upcoming Starz TV series.
Pictured above is the actor Sam Heughan, portraying chivalrous Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser, who is described as:
a natural leader of men, who has no political ambitions or desire for battlefield glories. Instead, he wishes to remove the price on his head and return to his family’s ancestral farm.
Outlander will follow Jamie Fraser and his passionate love affair with a married World War II-era combat nurse named Claire Randall, who has been mysteriously sent back in time to the year 1743. While Claire has a husband in 1945, she is drawn to Jamie Fraser in the 18th Century. Irish actress Caitriona Balfe will play the role of the transplanted Claire Randall. Outlander is based on Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels, the first of which was released in 1991. So far there have been seven books in the series, with an eighth expected in March 2014.
Outlander is blending together elements of romance, time travel, and historical fiction, so it is likely that it will be a mix between Game of Thrones, The Tudors, and Highlander, only with time travel elements. The series is definitely not hard science fiction, so some Ron Moore fans should go into the series with caution. Moore wrote the first two episodes of the series, and he’ll also serve as its executive producer with Jim Kohlberg. John Dahl (Dexter, Breaking Bad) will direct the pilot. Considering the popularity of Game of Thrones and Moore’s name being attached, it seems likely that Outlander will find ratings success.
While Outlander will not be your typical Ron Moore TV series (such as Battlestar Galactica), the 49-year-old producer assures his fans that the show will still have the same high quality as his past work.
Moore also has another TV series in the works for 2014 that might play better with fans of Battlestar Galactica. Helix will air on Syfy and follow a group of CDC scientists stationed at a secret laboratory in a remote area of the Arctic. Sent to investigate a possible global outbreak, they soon discover something terrifying just beneath the icy surface. Helix stars Billy Campbell, Kyra Zagorsky, Mark Ghanimé, Jordan Hayes, Meegwun Fairbrother, Catherine Lemieux, Neil Napier, and Jeri Ryan.
Outlander will premiere on the Starz Network with 16 episodes for its first series sometime in early 2014.