Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

My absolute FAVORITE REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!


Says everything I have been saying about Outlander for twenty years, and why I love the books. A romance featuring a hot guy in a kilt, might not get me through even one read. But a strong, interesting, interested, courageous, complex woman at the heart of an adventure? A woman who nothing, not even the loss of two men she deeply loves, will take her down, or deter her from living a rich, engaged life, is worth ten reads.
Add an interesting man who loves and respects her for all of the above reasons, who enters into a long marriage between two equals, makes it even better.

Feminist, not a dirty word, not a word to fear or to run from. A word and a state of being to celebrate.
A glorious day when you type the word feminist into Google search, and a picture of Ron and Diana shows up attached to this article!!!!!!


Helps if you put the link into the post!!!!!


27 thoughts on “My absolute FAVORITE REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. terrydresbach

      I say it everywhere I can. I said on twitter some months ago, and started a fire storm. I am so glad others are saying it. Maybe it will take over, and the focus will start to be on the lead character, whom the show is actually about!!!!
      I wish more fans would see that…

      1. eeebailey

        I have been amazed at how many people (they’ve been pretty much all women) have been complaining about the sex that was shown in episode 1. Now I’m wondering if they have a problem more because sex is being shown in a way where the woman is strong, capable, and willing to initiate and make sure her needs are met, rather than because they think there’s too much? Are people just so used to either gratuitous and/or exploitive sex that they can’t handle it when it’s shown in a more balanced way?

  1. eeebailey

    I decided to also try googling “feminist” and the second item was this article!! LOVE IT!!
    Interestingly, I mentioned this article to another woman (Who looks at me like I’m nuts when I talk about Outlander, why doesn’t she just READ the book? Some people….), and she said she likes Game of Thrones because it has many strong female characters…I don’t know, I have not read or seen Game of Thrones.

    1. terrydresbach

      We watch it. I kind of like it, but not really. As a woman, I am mothered by the constant parade of naked women, often being raped or are prostitutes. And the only women who are not sexually exploited in one way or another are either dead, children or sexually ambiguous.

      It is, IMO, just another show where the women are sexualized, like just about everything else on one kind of a screen or another. Though there have been some cable shows lately that portray women with more depth.

      1. Edie Elerick

        Yay, Terry! At the start of filming my comment was that in at least one of the previous Starz series the sex scenes just seemed to be “thrown in” for shock value I suppose. And the men in these scenes…..I’ve never seen such uninvolved, bored, uninterested guys in my life. I am 72 years old, and while I can’t claim to be 100% comfortable with my own image, I was not offended by what was portrayed in the first Outlander episode. In my opinion Ron (and everyone else) got it right.

        I can’t wait for the next episode and only wish they were twice as long!!! The intelligence and acting ability is superb and the casting crew deserves a huge high five!!! So do you!

  2. EllenSpins

    Great review by someone who gets it and wants others to get it too. My husband, who only reads non-fiction, watched with me – twice! – and loved it. We are both waiting impatiently for Episodes 102+. Thanks for telling Ron about the book. 🙂

  3. Gail Harlow

    It would be an interesting study to poll the age of those women who feel the sex scene was inappropriate in Ep. 1. I’d be interested to find out if their views are driven by culture/norms of their upbringing. Women aren’t taught, usually, to be comfortable with their sexuality and to be confidant in self-expression. Most women who are confidant about expressing their needs have generally matured into that state of awareness. I’m hoping that with each generation women gain their voices and that men have the self-confidence to not be intimidated by a self-aware woman. That is why Claire is so rare in the 1940s let alone the 1740s. Apparently these types of women are not real common in the 2000s either within the general populace, excluding the female members of the Outlander fan base of course.

    Terry, I LOVE the work you’ve done for Outlander. Truly amazing.

    1. terrydresbach

      One of the things I have always loved about Outlander is the way Diana has chosen to write about Claire’s sexuality. She is a full engaged, active, sexual being. She is not passive or submissive. She does not engage in sex to gratify the sexual desires of men, but to gratify her own.

      And in turn by being in a relationship with a man who learns to accept her as an equal (the entire point of the belt beating scene and the confrontations that ensue as a result), is an equal sexual partnership.

      How rare a view is that?????
      I just really can’t think of many other places where I have seen or read about such a sexually healthy female view.

      I never see it today, and often think that women of today are in considerably more limited role than they were in the 40s. The biggest freedom we seem to have won sometimes is the right to dress and behave as characters in porn films. “We own our own sexuality!!” (Girls Gone Wild). Coincidentally it happens to be the only woman’s right that so directly serves the needs and desires on men.
      “You want to pole dance wearing latex??? Great, go for it!!!!” LOL

      Claire is so honest and refreshing, so healthy, in her sexuality. It is like a drink of water in the desert.

  4. Jan Albach Jewell

    Terry, you have hit the nail on the head. This story is worth ten reads, even more. It is unique, real and alive. “A strong, interesting, interested, courageous, complex woman at the heart of an adventure”. There are so many people, men and women who could learn from Diana’s tale, and fortunately now from your and Ron’s tenacity in creating a visual feast of said tale. Kudos to you all, cast and crew for creating a magical world in which to enrich all who take part.

    Chauvinism still exists – probably always will. But hopefully a broader audience (IE Male) who won’t take the time to read the books, but would watch the story unfold on television, will learn that it is actually beneficial to advocate and support the rights and equality of women.

  5. heartlikethe4thofjuly

    This was a great review indeed. I love the feminist perspective that is inherent in Claire, even if she existed (in the space of the story) before a time when this was a concept.

    I don’t agree with all of the reaction to Game of Thrones at times, though there is a great assessment here of how sexuality and honor tend to be used as a mechanism in that show.

    My absolute favorite part of this review is the accurate observation of how many men feel like they can’t connect to a female voice in media, when women do the opposite all of the time. As a former bookseller for a decade, I noticed all the time that men overwhelmingly bought books written by men.

    Thankfully there are exceptions, men like Ron who accept a good story as just that, without a gender bias (or help to bring strong women to the screen in their own right).

    I genuinely hope many men give this show an honest shake. I am certain they’ll grow to admire Claire and Jamie. Maybe they won’t fall thoroughly in love with each little detail like I (and so many of us) have, but that isn’t necessary to enjoy it and appreciate it.

    And… Breathe. 😉


    1. terrydresbach

      As I grow older, I continue to discover how powerful it can be to just, show, live or embody a principal, an ethical view or an ideal. People take it in without resistance. If I got up and gave a lecture on feminism, it would be so much less effective than my husband and his commitment to showing fully actualized, complex, powerful women in his television shows.
      I read a review yesterday that kept returning over and over to the reviewers confusion about why Ron of all people would be doing Outlander instead of a traditional scifi show. What was he doing on a “romance”?
      While another reviewer (WSJ?) drew a direct correlation between BSG and Outlander pointing out that they were both about a search for “home”.
      Ron would say that he writes story about what it means to be a human. That story is not limited to be told in one genre.
      The beauty of Ron doing this show, is that many eyes will see it, that never would of in the hands of someone else. And it Ron’s hands it will be a portrayal of women too in infrequently seen on screens of any size.

      1. heartlikethe4thofjuly

        Yes! I am hoping many people who simply trust Ron’s vision and substantial body of work, and will go along for the ride – even if they are hesitant.

        The other review you referred to was from Jeff Jensen at Entertainment Weekly, who cited Ron’s portrayal of the search for home. That’s the only other review that really stood out (so far) as being very thoughtful, and I really enjoyed the assessment.

        I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something outside of myself and family to succeed as bad as I want this to.


  6. Laurie Gregory Scarborough

    This season reflects Claire as a relatively young woman (~27 years.) Claire seriously evolves and matures in such wonderful ways over her life in the books, particularly from the feminist perspective. And yet, her essence stays the same – her compassion, her tolerance of diversity, her fearlessness, her loyalty and ultimately her ability to love deeply. I just hope we have the chance to see Claire through this evolution.

    On a different note, GOT – DH and I watch it. The story is pretty good, but the sex is simply gratuitous, randomly stuck in. Yuck! Like most people, I have only seen Episode 1 of Outlander, but the scenes between Claire and Frank were/are lovely – a perfectly appropriate response to their re-developing relationship. Bravo!

  7. Vicky Wurzbach

    Terry – I find the bewilderment of why Ron is doing ‘Outlander’ instead of Sci-Fi hilarious. Have these people not watched BSG? Two of the strongest women in television history were portrayed on that show. Laura Roslin and Kara Thrace were fierce, independent, strong and unyielding. When it was announced that Ron was going to produce ‘Outlander’ my reaction was – perfect, he’ll know exactly how to bring Claire to life!

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