Outlander 3.11: Uncharted (AKA Turtle Soup)

Welcome back, people!

Spoiler alert, by the way, about Outlander 3.11 and the book “Voyager.”

Wow, that was not what I was expecting! I don’t know about you guys, but I was pretty rapt for the entire first fifteen minutes of that episode, which was basically just Survivor: Claire Island.

chrome_2017-11-26_11-05-05The red ants, the snake, the dehydration. (Seriously, I’m going to have nightmares about the ants for weeks.) This beautifully paced sequence of events, written so well by Karen Campbell and Shannon Goss, and acted so perfectly by Caitriona, really made me forget about everything for a minute, not sure if Claire would survive or not.


So then we get into some plot with Father Fogden. Now the story here is basically the end of my MOCK SEVEN and the beginning of my MOCK EIGHT. Although, frankly, at this point so much of the story is being omitted and/or changed, we might just have to start throwing the book out the window.

We’ve been discussing since the beginning of this season that the whole last third of the book would need to be amalgamized and curtailed in some ways to make it all fit, and sure enough, that’s what we’re now seeing.

Are we going to get the slave trade in this series? Doubt it. Temeraire? Probably not. Lawrence Stern? Eh, who needs him anyway? I do, however, strongly feel that a reunion with Lord John Grey is probably still going to happen, but maybe not as we had anticipated. At least we still got our favorite bat-brained priest, Father Fogden.


And you know what? I’m super fine with that. One thing my co-blogger Chris and I have been throwing around since starting this website last year is that, as much as we love the art of adaptation, at a certain point, knowing what’s going to happen next is just a buzzkill.

So here we have the bare bones of the novel “Voyager,” twisting itself into a new entity, and becoming a story that, for me anyway, still has the ability to shock. How about that?

Some highlights here, aside from the glorious first fifteen minutes of the episode, were this look on Claire’s face when she took the most deserved bath ever…



…the reintroduction of the concept of Abandawe which, as book readers know, is about to become very important…




…whatever it is Sam is doing to that mast that requires his shirt to fall open in this way.

Other than that, I think the writers are doing a neat job of keeping certain plot points in place (ie: Claire rips her arm open, thus requiring stitches, thus requiring turtle soup, thus requiring…well, you know), even though they’ve excised some of the B story that had originally caused that plot point in the first place (in this case, Pirate Invasion!)

And while I’ll personally be a bit disappointed if we end up skipping the slave trade, because the theme of slavery versus freedom is so central to “Voyager” (as I discussed in my first article on the book), and the horrors of the slave trade really drive that message home, I will understand if they end up skipping it. It’s such a sensitive subject, obviously, and would have been very hard to film in a conscientious way.

Besides, at least they haven’t skipped the two most important parts of this sequence of the book. Namely, this:



And of course, one of my favorite moments of the book, this:


All together now: Awww!

I’ll hopefully be sitting down for my interview with “Outlander” writer/producer Anne Kenney in the next couple weeks, but in the meantime, I can’t wait for next week’s fancy-dress ball! (And to see Ian, Jr., again?) In any event, should be dramatic.

What did you guys think of this episode? Disappointed at the changes? Or excited to be surprised by the new events? Let us know in the comments.

To keep up with season three of “Outlander” on STARZ, follow Rebecca Phelps on Twitter @DownWorldNovel, “like” us on Facebook at Novel2Screen, or just follow this blog.

To read my Voyager series in its entirety, click here. Also, be sure to check out my writing on TV Topik.

Don’t miss Chris’s fabulous interview with romance novelist Elsie Moody!

And if you’re looking for Outlander-themed jewelry, here’s the link:  Sassenach Jewelry



10 thoughts on “Outlander 3.11: Uncharted (AKA Turtle Soup)

  1. We saw flashes of slaves being branded in next week’s episode so perhaps slave trade is not completely skipped??
    I have to say I really enjoyed this episode and the changes to not bother me at all. And…after over 20 min of just Claire, that first glimpse of Jamie on the beach had me swooning. 🙂
    Love reading your reviews!


    1. By no means the book is great but watching the series with these great actors is all that matters. I think they habe done a great job in writing to make it interesting and flowing. Claire and Jamie just keep you mesmerized


  2. Can I say I missed the pirates and original story of how Claire hurt her arm? Just my opinion, I still love the show and always will. I feel the danger Claire was in was additional bonding moment for Marsasli and Claire, the drama of Jamie realizing that the blood on him arm wasn’t his and her recuperation time bonded Claire more completely to everyone else, not just Jamie. I personally feel if they were doing 16 episode’s as they did the first season we wouldn’t miss so much. I feel that sometimes they cut a little too much because of shorter season. Missed Lawrence Stern, would like to see some of the additional real historical people Diana intertwined into the story.


  3. I’ve read a lot of complaints about how long the scene of Claire wandering in the jungle was. But I think it demonstrated how time stretches to an eternity when you are lost in nature. I totally sympathized with the oppressive heat and claustrophobia she must have experienced! I used to live in Florida and was allergic to mosquito and ant bites so I quite identified with her agonized itching from the ant bites! There’s nothing worse! It drives you mad! I had to get cortisone shots and almost lost a toe from an ant bite! I loathe the tropics!


  4. I had no problems with the changes. Am over pirates anyway. And while I am not needing the aphrodisiac propensities, would really love some turtle soup – it has been a long time since I’ve had any.


  5. Knowing that there aren’t Mangroves in South Africa, it was easy to except that the jungle would fill in, but I was missing Lawrence Stern who I thought they needed to get to the cave. Previews show Ian Jr. and possible the slave market. I can’t see how they can change the whole storyline with a certain main character involved in Ian’s disappearance. It’s too bad that they weren’t given at least two more episodes to allow more time to cover those parts. My guess is they will still have to travel to the plantation, will they cover the secret of the gemstones, the Fraser prophesy and Mary Campbell? Will the British Man ‘o War still chase them into the storm? At least we know that know matter what they change for the last two episodes, they will end up in the America. Enjoy reading your blog, here and in my email. Thanks


  6. Well that got my husband back…….but the snake part made me “bu.. s..t” out loud….thought that was a little over the top…….Lawrence Stern I thought was important in finding the cave, so that should be interesting…… but I am starting to get use to the idea (on two episodes left)” that the writers took a left turn in the second episode away from the book…….also I forgot to watch it again on Sunday night…sorry……. hopefully the next set of writers will stick a little closer to the books but if not, Oh well it was nice but I can always read again for the millionth time…….


  7. I totally loved this episode and your review. As a true fan, I love how they have brought the story to the screen and understand changes are needed. The changes have not taken the true story away and for that, I am thankful!


  8. Lawrence Stern could still show up to lead the Frazers to the cave. He may be at the slave market, Blue Mountain plantation, Rose Hill or even the Governor’s ball. Who knows? Regardless, the cave will be found with or without him. Yes, the beach reunion was wonderful. However, I also think it was a little campy. To me, it seemed to feed into the “harlequin romance” genre, an unfair description that the Outlander novels have been dealing with since the beginning. To shorten Jamie’s soliloquy about what he wanted to do to Claire was disappointing. Maybe it’ll happen once they reach Jared’s plantation … fingers crossed. What’s with Fergus’s scarf at the wedding? LOL. Is it an homage to his French heritage? Just asking. Finally, don’t misunderstand, I am an obsessed fan of both the books and the TV series! 💙


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