Poldark season 1 review

Poldark tells the story of Ross Poldark, a gentleman and mine owner living in Cornwall who is trying, against all odds, to raise his business from the ground and help the poor people of his hometown to have a better living condition. His estate and house were in ruins after he returned from the american revolutionary war. As if this weren’t enough, his fiancee became engaged to his cousin during his absence, believing him dead.

poldark

Despite all this, Ross is determined to make his life decent and respectable, not wallow in despair. Which is so refreshing, believe me. I come from the Twilight generation, I’ve had enough of two acting like they’re addicted and can’t live without one other. And Elizabeth, the fiancee, is also determined to move on.

Poldark; Sundays, June 21 - August 2, 2015 on MASTERPIECE on PBS; Part One, Sunday, June 21, 9:00 - 10:00pm ET; After fighting for England in the American Revolution, Poldark returns home to Cornwall and finds wrenching change. He loses one close friend and gains another. Shown from left to right: Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark and Heida Reed as Elizabeth; (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE; This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

Ross and Elizabeth during happier times

The most engaging aspect of Poldark’s character is by far the combination of traits in his personality. Poldark is noble, honest, direct, well-spoken, and loyal, but also sharp-tempered, intense, and impulsive. You may always count on him to do the right thing, even if the right thing to do sometimes is not the same as the proper thing to do.

TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- Poldark   Sundays, June 21 - August 2, 2015 on MASTERPIECE on PBS   Ross Poldark rides again in a swashbuckling new†adaptation of the hit series that helped launch MASTERPIECE in the†1970s. Aidan†Turner (The Hobbit) stars as Captain Poldark, a redcoat who returns to†Cornwall after the American†Revolution and finds that his fighting days are far†from over. Robin Ellis, who played Poldark in the 1970s PBS adaptation,†appears in†the role of Reverend Halse. Eleanor Tomlinson (MASTERPIECE ìDeath Comes to Pemberleyî) plays the spunky Cornish minerís†daughter taken†in by the gallant captain.†  Shown from left to right: Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza and Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark  (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE  This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

Ross and Demelza – star-crossed lovers

Poldark is also a romance. Ross marries his kitchen maid, Demelza, after a couple of years of service. He slowly grows to love her as he realizes what a generous, warm heart she has, and how devoted she is to him. And she slowly blossoms from a street urchin into a charming, sweet lady. In fact, one of the best things in the season is seeing Demelza’s transformation from scullery maid to a Lady, and she does rise to the occassion, even though she will always lack the education and wit that Elizabeth has.

Which brings me to the love triangle. Ross may be deeply in love with his wife, but that doesn’t mean he has forgotten Elizabeth. It just means his affections have somewhat dimmed. It’s difficult to watch this show and not think that all of the heartache, all of the defeats, and difficulties, and tragedies that happen could have been avoided had Ross and Elizabeth married each other, just as they had promised to before Ross went to the war.

They do seem perfect for each other. Elizabeth is such a refined lady who always does and says the right thing, who is always on her best behavior, and who is also capable of deep love and sentiment. Ross’s sharp temper would have been appeased through time with her influence, while his passion may have made her infinitely more happy than she is with Francis, her husband and Ross’s cousin.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until: 24/02/2015 - Programme Name: Poldark - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:   - (C) Mammoth Screen - Photographer: Mike Hogan

Francis Poldark

Francis is a disgusting character, and played so well by the actor. He is weak, and flimsy, and incompetent, and prideful. Add to this the fact that he also has the Poldark temper and you have a recipe for disaster. No wonder his marriage is an utter failure.

george warleggan

George Warleggan

And of course, this wouldn’t be the brilliant show it is if it weren’t for the villain: George Warleggan. The Warleggans have made their fortune and entered the gentry in just two short generations, as opposed to the long-standing Poldark name, which hasbeen around for centuries. For some reason George seemed intent on destroying Poldark from the get-go, and of course Ross catches on to this and doesn’t back down from the fight.

Which makes it ironic that George asked Ross at the end of the season why he is so insistent on them being enemies. It seems as if he has forgotten he was the one who started this whole fight in the first place.

Poldark is a good, engaging show that shines because of the level of relational complexity between the characters. It feels human, real, true. Which makes what happens at the end of the season so utterly heartbreaking.

I will definitely be tuning in for season 2.

Rating: 5/5

2 thoughts on “Poldark season 1 review

  1. Which makes it ironic that George asked Ross at the end of the season why he is so insistent on them being enemies. It seems as if he has forgotten he was the one who started this whole fight in the first place.

    Actually it was Ross’ dismissal of George that started this mess.

    • I disagree. Ross doesn’t like George, but so what? It’s not the end of the world for anyone. It’s tough luck for George if one of the aristocrats that he admires clearly doesn’t want to associate with him, but he doesn’t have to be such a baby about it. He could have moved on, easily, instead of scheming to take Ross down just because Ross doesn’t like him.

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