Keeping Me on My Toes

Outlander: The Garrison Commander

Who is this version of Black Jack Randall? This is not the version from the book (I know, I’m starting to sound like a broken record) BUT I think I like this one better. At first I was thinking “what the hell is going on? why is Claire trying to humanize our villain? don’t do that!!” but then seeing the excellent way Tobias Menzies played the sympathy card and then turned it on it’s head in the blink of an eye, was impressive. I liked that Black Jack wasn’t the authority in the room when he first entered the dinner party too, that added dimension to his character, making him appear more the rogue. In the book he’s dolling out punishments left and right at his leisure but now he’s rebelling against the hierarchy.


I could have done without the extended edition of seeing the flesh literally flayed from Jamie’s back *ick* very well done scene though. the way that Jack was psyching himself up like he was in a boxing ring, and the way that Jamie slipped in his own blood and then hung limply in the shackles at the end. very hard to watch but it brought home not only the cruelty of Captain Randall himself, but the reality of the time period.

Jamie's father was there! Diana pointed this out
Jamie’s father was there! 


So although I initially wondered why a whole episode was spent on this series of events that could have been covered in half the time, I liked that they were establishing this alternate version of Captain Randall. I’m intrigued to see where they will go with him next, as opposed to what I “know” from the book.


Just don’t mess with Jamie. “tweak” any other character but him, and we’ll be okay.



7 thoughts on “Keeping Me on My Toes

          1. Thinking about this some more — and again, as a nonreader of the books after the first one — I am intrigued by the whole idea that one can build something into a character on screen that can’t be put in a book, an additional piece or depth or whatever — I always like the book better and tend to think that you can do much better in a book most things that are done on screen these days. But Gabaldon’s involved in this somehow — so maybe she’s trying to expand her own perception of the characters? You would know more about that than I would, but she wrote that book a long time ago. Maybe her own idea of how to tell a story has changed in the interval.


          2. although she is a consultant, I’m not sure if she’s added anything herself. there are currently 8 books in this series and a few off-shoot books as well, and these changes just don’t feel like her doing to me. but I could be totally wrong 😛 I do like the “twists & turns” that often show up in adaptations b/c sometimes they just make more sense. like in this episode, Claire trying to fabricate a “jilted lover” story to explain her whereabouts seems much more plausible then saying I was robbed on the road and my servant was killed. oh, and my husband is dead. oh, and btw, I’ve never met any of the relatives I’m so desperate to “return” to. I would have gone with an amnesia story myself, but that’s probably too cliche 😀


          3. Nah, all lies should be as simple as possible. 🙂

            Interesting re: Gabaldon. I haven’t had time to stay even with it but I will eventually if it shows up on Netflix. Looking forward to continuing to read.


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