Honestly, I saw the differences from the book and somethings (who knows about the blood over the doors) seemed like unnecessary changes but honestly I don't care that much because it was such a great journey.
As a huge fan of the books, I know what is happening as I watch and even what is coming next. Before watching the show I kept thinking that no matter what we fans of the book see in the show, we will always know what is coming. There is no surprise for us. And yet the entire time I watched the free preview of Sassenach (episode one) I wondered what was coming next.
Honestly, from what I saw in this first episode both the acting and the story telling seem wonderful to me. I may be a little biased but I did fear what my favorite book would look like on screen.
Tobias Menzies was great and so believable as both Frank and Black Jack Randall that I found myself mesmerized by him. He's going to be one of the more fantastic aspects of the show but then I knew he was a great actor.
The other character and actor I loved was Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie. I loved the moments he backs up Claire's commanding nurse ways and when he's a nonsense leader to the band of highlanders he's traveling with. You can just see in his face that he's puzzled by Claire and trying to figure out who and what she is.
I'd listened to a podcast that talked about Caitrionia Balfe's performance as though they weren't sure about her ability to carry it off but I'm convinced she can. She seems to switch gears much like Claire without issue. There were a couple moments I wasn't entirely sure about specifically Jamie finding her again after the fight with the English but knowing the story these moments are bound to happen.
Sam Heughan did a wonderful job being Jamie. When Claire sets his arm, his reaction just seems so real. And the first time he calls her Sassenach made me more happy than swoonish... is that even a word? Oh well. I loved the show and I can't wait the next two weeks to watch the second episode.