GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73
The premiere of Outlander, the television series, is rather convenient given that on Thursday, September 18th, the people of Scotland will be asked to cast their vote, “Yes” or “No” to the following question:
“Should Scotland be an independent country?”
You can read all about why the Scots should vote “Yes” according to the Scottish government’s website on the vote:
If you want to read why the Scots should vote “No”, check out the UK government’s response:
But here’s the irony of it all, the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK, haven’t been able to view the show (unless they have tried online streaming) because none of the television networks have picked it up yet! The fact that the entire show has been filmed in Scotland, and it’s a story involving a rather significant piece of Scottish history as it was the last attempt to force the English out of the country, seems not to matter.
Now before you start… , reminding me that the story is NOT real and it’s just a TV show, I know all of that….I haven’t completely lost touch with reality. But it does beg the question that if the Scots could see the show right now, with the most important vote they will ever participate in their lifetime in two days time, how would the show influence the voting?
In the first few episodes, the most inflammatory acts of British oppression, really only come from one man, Captain “Black Jack” Randall. We know from the first episode, that he is not a nice guy, (to say the least) and as Claire hears more about Jamie’s experiences with Randall, we realize just how bad he is. At that point, we just assume that he is evil incarnate and that he’s just one guy with too much power.
“The Garrison Commander”, S1, Ep6 paints a very disturbing picture of how little respect the English ruling class had for the Scottish people. The scene that I refer to involves Dougal, Claire and a room full of British high-ranking officers. I won’t give the away the details except to say that the appalling arrogance and disrespect demonstrated towards Dougal, was unbelievable. Again, as this a fictional story, and this particular storyline is meant to invoke sympathy for the Scottish clans in its viewers. The unmitigated display of disdain for the people of Scotland, is also the interpretation of the show’s writers and what I assume is loosely based on real events and journals about the attitudes of the time that would have been authenticated in part through research. But I know that as I watched the scene, I was appalled, and I cannot help but think that if I were a Scottish national, it would be a very difficult scene to swallow and not have some kind of reaction. Given the current political climate in the country today, I think that the “No” side is pretty lucky that no network has picked up the show yet.
How is it possible that the UK could be losing Scotland? Perhaps it is a 21st century version of that same English arrogance that is ushering the people of Scotland down a path to separation?
It is clear that David Cameron’s government has been blindsided by the increased support for Scottish independence and now at the 11th hour, his government is scrambling to turn the tide. What will be the final outcome? The polls are declaring it a tight race right now but it could be that after Thursday’s vote we see something that the highland clans could not achieve back in 1745, a free Scotland.
For further reading on the topic check out the following links: