Saturday TV: An Almost Outstanding ‘Outlander’ Adaptation


Fans of the Diana Gabaldon series of romantic books have already taken to the handsome adaptation of “Outlander” (Starz, 9 p.m.). More than 1 million have watched the debut online; it also showed as a preview last week. In the gulf of “Game of Thrones,” it’s likely to attract swords and fantasy crowd with its strong storytelling.

This is due to the adaptation by Ronald D. Moore who kept “Battlestar Galactica” from being a bad 70s remake and especially tie casting of Caitronia Balfe as the central character Claire, a happily married nurse during World War II who is suddenly jolted back to 1743 after touching a ancient monument in the Scottish Hiland.

She has to find a way to survive so she’s taken under the wing by some hunky highlander which gives cause for much kilt-dropping and unnecessary whipping. Yet Moore knows what he’s doing and keeps the action from getting too silly. Those who think they might not enjoy such a story certainly will. And by avoiding the pitfalls of previous original series, Starz has come up with its first surefire hit.

In an original made for TV movie, Vanessa Marcil plays a laid off executive who is hit by a hurricane when in Puerto Rico, where she meets James Denton in the romance “Stranded in Paradise” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.).

Reruns and newsmagazines litter prime time with “Dateline” (NBC, 8 p.m.), “20/20” (ABC, 9 and 10 p.m.) and “48 Hours” (CBS, 10 p.m.) among the latter.

Cullen challenges the Swede while a new adversary arrives in Cheyenne on a new “Hell on Wheels” (AMC, 9 p.m.).

The trail leads to Taos, N.M. for the bounty hunters of “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt” (CMT, 9 p.m.).

Paula Patton, Adam Brody, Taye Diggs and Jill Scott star in the romantic comedy “Baggage Claim” (HBO, 8:15 p.m.).

“An enormous shadow creature” is investigated on “The Dead Files” (Travel, 10 p.m).

Before he decided to get serious with his acting, “Failure to Launch” (USA, 9 p.m.) was one of Matthew McConaughey’s many forgettable parts.

The dapper William Powell is the star all day on Turner Classic Movies, with “The Road to Singapore” (6 a.m.), “Jewel Robbery” (7:30 a.m.), “Lawyer Man” (8:45 a.m.), “Double Harness” (10 a.m.), “Manhattan Melodrama” (11:15 a.m.), “Libeled Lady” (1 p.m.), “Double Wedding” (2:45 p.m.), “I Love You Again” (4:30 p.m.), “Love Crazy” (6:15 p.m.), “The Thin Man” (8 p.m.), “After the Thin Man “ (9:45 p.m.), “Crossroads” (11:45 p.m.), “Mister Roberts” (1:15 a.m.), “The Girl Who Had Everything” (3:30 a.m.) and “High Pressure” (4:45 a.m.).

Preseason football has Cleveland at Detroit (NFL, 7:30 p.m.).

Baseball includes Cleveland at Yankees (Fox Sports 1, 1 p.m.) and Dodgers at Milwaukee (MLB, 7 p.m.).

Emeli Sande and Michael Kiwanuka play a replay of “Austin City Limits” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).

The Edward Norton-hosted “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 11:30 p.m.) with Janelle Monae gets a rerun.

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