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Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Ellis, Jill Townsend
  • Directors: Roger Jenkins, Philip Dudley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 816 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002TY78P0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,395 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "POLDARK, SERIES 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Cast filmographies
  • Historical background on Cornwall.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As seen on Masterpiece Theatre “Romantic adventure, complete with raging ambition, terrible betrayals, frustrated loves, daring deeds, and a marvelously dashing hero” —The New York Times

Hailed as a British Gone with the Wind, Poldark created a sensation on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre with its dashing, romantic hero and his infamous exploits. Based on the novels by Winston Graham, this classic miniseries demonstrates the enduring appeal of a gripping storyline and unforgettable characters.

Returning to Cornwall after the American Revolution, Capt. Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis, The Good Soldier) finds his life at home has fallen apart. His estate is in disarray. His former flame, Elizabeth (Jill Townsend, Cimarron Strip), is engaged to his cousin. And his family’s copper mines have become targets for the Poldarks’ bitter rivals. Duels, smuggling, and attempted murders unfold as Ross strives to resurrect his fortunes and find true love. This spellbinding saga dramatizes the deep rifts in British society on the brink of industrialization, played out against the rocky, ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast.

16 episodes; approx. 821 min.; 4:3 full screen; color; British drama; not rated; SDH subtitles


Originally released in 1977, Poldark is a sweeping drama that is just now being released on DVD for higher-quality viewing. While it does look as though it were made in the '70s, because of its video soap opera sensibility, to call Poldark dated is a moot point. This historical tale is set in Cornwall's distant past and features heroic Brit Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis), just back from fighting in the Colonies after the Revolutionary War. Broken into 16 parts on four discs, Poldark opens with mayhem. Ross returns to his small village to discover his father has died, corrupt businessmen threaten to confiscate his properties, and his house has fallen into disarray. Worse, his love, Elizabeth (Jill Townsend), has become engaged to his cousin, Francis (Clive Francis), out of desperation. The first four episodes chronicle Poldark's determination as he digs himself out of the financial and romantic holes he's been forced into. But as in any good melodrama, as soon as one set of problems is resolved, another arises: Poldark meets a young orphan girl, Demelza Carne (Angharad Rees), who is to become, alongside Elizabeth, his female counterpart throughout the series.

As with its contemporary equivalent, Cranford, Poldark vividly portrays the lifestyle and language of its historical period. The sets and costumes are beautiful. Yet while Cranford is told from the female perspective, Poldark represents a male view. Far from conventional or conservative, however, Ross's views sometimes shock his community, and politics enter heavily into the latter half of the series. A rivalry between Ross and greedy landowner George Warleggan (Ralph Bates) grows steadily, until revolution ensues. Constant battles between the Warleggans and the Poldarks, including Ross and his cousins Francis and Verity (Norma Streader), get tiresome and are not as riveting as the love dramas that unfold concurrently. By the last episode, each family is so war-torn, and the characters so aged by their hardships, that it's difficult to understand why property and financial success was so crucial in this culture. As Ross, in the very opening sequence, votes for a Native American point of view, to the shock of the landed gentry he accompanies in a horse-drawn carriage, it becomes clear that Poldark, while rooting itself in romance and intrigue, gently chides the society it portrays for the avoidable follies that were its pitfalls. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

Excellent transfer to DVD.
Harold Wolf
I hope Series 2 will come out soon after!
Therese Bohn
Great story and characters.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Flight Risk (The Gypsy Moth) VINE VOICE on December 23, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I challenge anyone to watch this series and not be moved, amused, intrigued, and glued to the screen. Faithful retellings of Winston Graham's unforgettable characters, coupled with a setting that makes me feel as though I am in Cornwall in reality, make this production of POLDARK an absolutely unmissable story. I chanced upon the series years ago (I wish PBS would rerun it) and had the forethought to tape some, but not all, of the episodes. The quality of my tapes, however, is not exceptional, and I've been hoping the DVD would come along.

Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark, Angharad Rees as Demelza, Jill Townsend as Elizabeth, Ralph Bates as Warleggan, and others make this fully-fledged epic of Cornish history and the people who made that history come alive in a story at once part soap opera, part action adventure, and all wonderful. Demelza is fiery, vulnerable, intense, steadfast in her love for Ross; Ross is headstrong, volatile, proud, but highly intelligent; Warleggan is everyone's imagined perfect villain, who actually had promise at one time but now is eaten away by jealousy. Jud Paynter, played with wicked, hilarious understanding by Paul Curran, was one of the most memorable side characters in the production; he has me laughing on the floor at nearly every appearance. The interweaving of all the lives in this tale - Ross, a member of landed gentry who has the odd trait many of the overlords don't - compassion for the working class - is so intricately done that it is hard to believe they aren't the actual characters. The accents are just right (it is almost worthy of a college course to try to unravel what Jud is saying sometimes) and the heartfelt performances by everyone in the cast are amazing.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By LeGreatOne on December 17, 2009
Format: DVD
Regarding the new release of Poldark, Series 1, I hope the visual quality is up to the original broadcast standard. When on PBS, Poldark appeared to have been filmed on video tape, that is to say, very much like daytime soap shows, very clear and lifelike, given the TV definition quality of the time.
I own a complete set of DVDs Series 1 and 2, that was produced (legally licensed) by an Ebay seller. The episodes are wonderful, but unfortunately, the visual quality is poor, as the DVDs were made by transferring VHS episodes to disc.
With this NEW distribution of Poldark Series 1, I am hoping the DVDs have been created as remastered from the original tapes (and possibly enhanced) so that the visual quality will be much higher.
For anyone not aware of Poldark, the series is indeed unique and is among the finest of shows ever brought to television. All I can say is that few small or large screen movies or series even approach it in its impact on one's memory. A magnificent series, superb cast, great drama, youthful exuberance, deeply affecting, and characters so powerfully developed that one cannot forget them... Ever!
If there is one TV series that I would have liked to author or work on, it would be Poldark.

UPDATE: December 23, 2009
I ordered this set directly from Acorn Media at a higher price; it arrived last evening. I'm very happy to report that the DVD picture quality is much better than that of the DVDs I'd purchased from the Ebay seller. The picture is CLEAR and just as it was when first broadcast on PBS. If you like Poldark, then THIS is the DVD set to buy! Highly Recommended. BTW, you'll save about $[...] if you wait for Amazon to have it available. [...] is the producer (Acorn Media) so they have exclusive distribution until March 2010.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By HelenPearl on November 30, 2009
Format: DVD
Count me in! I too have been waiting forever for this series to make its appearance. It's the kind of romantic swashbuckling entertainment they don't make any more. Hooray!!! Can't wait for Series 2 to be announced.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on January 18, 2010
Format: DVD
Get swept into the 18th century amidst the gentry & poor of a romantic saga from TV CLASSICS. The DVD series (originally BBC, PBS) was based on the 13-book Poldark series (1945-2002) by Winston Graham, explaining the saga length. Of course only a fraction of the books are included, but what a stellar delight the film version is--and its historical enchantment is timeless. It has been ranked among the all-time top-10 of Masterpiece Theatre, making it a "masterpiece" in itself.

There is suspense and drama in abundance throughout this 16-episode DVD version of "POLDARK". Many would call it romance due to the ongoing relationships involved in families. Others consider it primarily historical drama due to its period artistry in costuming, sets, and dialogue. Yes there is the temptation to also list it under documentary, because of the Cornwall location and the picturesque travelogue-like camera vistas constantly across the screen. Of course being the 1700s, post American Revolutionary War, it's a bit of time travel, very realistically done footage.

Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) returns to Cornwall (extreme SW England) to rebuild a life on the Nampara estate. Lover Elizabeth (Jill Townsend) thinking Ross killed, is spoken for by Ross' cousin. Demelza (Angharad Rees) a street-wise rag-a-muffin offers to undress for a coin. Thus the saga begins. There are financial struggles, shipwreck, family situations, fights, smuggling, murders, fires, babies, dances, and all the assorted 18th century attributes of a saga. This DVD set covers only 2 generations, not counting babies born and lost.
___Favorite quote from this DVD set: "It be a hard life, Captain. Thank God it do last no longer than a lifetime, or I couldn't live through it." Jud.
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Topic From this Discussion
Poldark run time
I wouldn't assume that Acorn's version is edited based on such a small (and indeed unconfirmed) discrepancy. Differences in stated run-times across different region's releases seem pretty common and often seem to be based on nothing more than whether the company listing the information chose to... Read More
Nov 30, 2009 by Never the Twain |  See all 20 posts
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