Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer



Thank you Terry for bringing this discussion to this forum! I agree with the predominant consensus regarding the depiction of sex in the Wedding Episode-a particularly good example of a creative team (from actors, writers, director, costume (!), art dept, editors camera) achieving a vision. The vision of a man and a woman discovering each other, and if we want to discuss the balance of power in this particular episode, it seems fair to suggest that whatever dominance there is in the bedroom, it sits firmly with Claire. (Herself plays with this bedroom dominance in further chapters!!) For while she is being forced into a marriage that is a direct result of the insidious and all encompassing patriarchy that rules sway in 18th century, she comes to that wedding bed a woman confident in her ability to feel, give and embrace desire. Teh framing, editing and a thousand other formal choices communicated Claire’s power to us, the viewers. As Terry so wonderfully put it with regard to a slightly different topic, ” I hope women get that, not just what his ass looks like.” I could go on and on about the wedding episode, it has stayed with me like no other piece of television (if we can even call it that!) has.

What really struck me about the mid-season finale was the depiction of the “almost rape”-while I suppose one could argue there were two. Im more interested in the scene with the redcoats. There were some interesting formal choices made there that, I feel, did a fine job of depicting sexual assault from a feminist/female gaze. What did other’s think of the depiction? More largely, what does it mean to visually depict rape? How can one do this without perpetuating violence on the female viewer, or it that the point?