North & South - - Review - JENNY NI­CHOLLS

Fan­tasy/ his­tor­i­cal TV series ( R16)

Och! Per­haps no TV series has made such a meal of the Ja­co­bite re­bel­lions as this gor­geous Bri­tishAmer­i­can drama, based on Diana Ga­bal­don’s his­tor­i­cal time-travel nov­els. Pa­gan magic hurls Claire Randall, a mar­ried World War II nurse, from the In­ver­ness of 1945 back to 1743, as Scot­land finds it­self in a wee bit o’ bother with a scourge of mur­der­ous “Sasse­nach” (lit­er­ally, Saxon) red­coats. Claire’s sur­gi­cal skills come in all too handy – and, de­spite know­ing the hope­less­ness of the cause, she is swept off her feet by a hunky young Ja­co­bite laird. The award-win­ning series has made stars of its lead ac­tors, Ir­ish ex-model Caitri­ona Balfe and Scot­tish red­head Sam Heughan – also of the rav­ish­ingly filmed High­lands land­scape. As US critic So­nia Saraiya noted, the series “does for 1743 Scot­land what Down­ton Abbey does for 1912 Eng­land”. Sea­son two out now.

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