The pivotal nuptials in the period drama starring the Monaghan actress was named as the best TV viewing of last year alongside episodes of Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Sherlock by the world’s No. 1 movie website, IMDB, which pulls in 200m visitors every month.
The series sees Second World War combat nurse Claire Randall suddenly transported from 1945 back 202 years, where she is forced to marry charismatic Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser for her own protection.
The stunning scenes of Balfe, a former supermodel, in her 18th century wedding gown pulled in 8m viewers in the US.
Melanie McFarland, TV editor with IMDB, said the highly anticipated wedding night scenes did not disappoint the 25m fans of the eight-book Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon.
“This moment to which the entire first half of the season has been building was not only delivered as promised, but genuinely earned by the episode’s writer and director — both of whom, unsurprisingly, are women,” McFarland said.
“What makes this episode unique in a premium landscape filled with gratuitous female nudity and sex for the sake of titillation, is the palpable awkwardness these two share in the moments leading up to the love scene.”
Balfe, 33, said the closed set helped her feel more comfortable filming the bedchamber scenes in her arranged marriage. “It’s very technical and you’re wearing your modesty pouches and you know it’s kind of a lot of illusion but at the same time because we shot pretty much all in sequence there was a lot of time for these characters to build that relationship.
“It was nice having that sort of body of work behind us where we felt we’d really developed the characters and the storylines to the point where you know it felt easy enough to do those aside from the awkwardness factor.”
Meanwhile, Irish actor Jack Gleeson also got the nod from IMDB for his acclaimed role in the ‘Lion and the Rose’ wedding episode of Game of Thrones, which was No 9 on the list of best TV episodes.
His character of evil King Joffrey Baratheon was killed off during the wedding episode, stunning fans of the medieval series which has become the most popular show in the history of HBO.
The wedding was described as a “visually stunning event” by IMDB, featuring the “long-awaited comeuppance of one of the worst people in Westeros”.
Home-grown series Penny Dreadful was also included in IMDB’s top 10 TV episodes of the year.
1. Sherlock – His Last Vow
2. Hannibal – Mizumono
3. Transparent – The Symbolic Examplar
4. Fargo — Buridan’s Ass
5. Sons of Anarchy — Suits of Woe
6. Penny Dreadful — Closer than Sisters
7. The Waking Dead — No Sanctuary
8. True Detective— Who Goes There
9. Game of Thrones — The Lion and the Rose
10. Outlander — The Wedding