On this day in Outlander history: The first ever episode of Outlander

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /
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Sam Heughan
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

On this day in Outlander history, the Season 1 premiere aired. That’s right; Aug. 9 is the date the first ever episode of the epic love story of Claire and Jamie aired.

Aug. 9 will forever be in the memory of many Outlander fans. It was on this day in Outlander history that the very first ever episode of the series aired. Those who had spent years reading the books and delving into Claire’s story of Jamie Fraser finally got to see what it would be like playing it out on screen.

It’s hard to believe what it was like back then. The fanbase was much smaller than it is now. Those who tuned in were mostly those who had read the novels unless they’d been pulled in by the pilot. Thanks to the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and the Starz app, more people are finding out about the story. Many are now only show watchers or they’ve watched the show before reading the books.

Going back to where Outlander began

More from Outlander Fandom

Since it’s the anniversary of the premiere, it’s the perfect time to delve back into this first episode. Let’s celebrate Outlander history today by looking at thoughts and opinions of the episode.

On IMDb, it currently holds a rating of 8.6/10 stars. That’s good for a premiere episode.

As Den of Geek pointed out in their review of the very first episode, pilots aren’t made for the viewers. They’re made for the TV executives to sell the whole series. Fortunately, that’s exactly what Outlander Season 1, Episode 1, titled “Sassenach,” did. It sold Claire and Jamie and the start of their love story enough to create a full series.

There were plenty of changes from the books. The pilot gave us flashbacks of Claire’s thoughts about Frank. We got to see some of what was happening in the 1940s, while Claire found herself trapped in the 1740s. Instantly, we got more character development on the side characters than ever in the books, because it wasn’t just told from Claire’s point of view.

Most importantly, we got to see the ghostly Highlander. In the first book, this Highlander is only ever described to Claire by Frank. However, in the series, we get to see just who Frank is looking at–without seeing Jamie yet.