It's 1783 and Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. But Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it.
Oh, I just love this. I've already watched the entire season elsewhere, I wanted to own this- it's such a great story. Ross Poldark is such a wonderful man - certainly not perfect but hard working and fair minded, and Aiden Turner is perfect in the role. I have enjoyed following his body of work since BBC's Being Human, when he played one of the sexiest vampires EVER.
The entire cast of this show is phenomenal. The acting, costumes, and settings really bring this period of history to life, but the dialogue seems so modern that I don't find myself thinking of it as a 'period piece' at all.
The love scenes are steamy, in spite of being modest and fleeting. Poldark has his heart broken by a love that had sustained him through the war, only to come home and find that she had wed his cousin, Frances, a richer man, but certainly not a better one. Poldark is truly a man of the people though, and he's very egalitarian minded, though he's been raised with an awareness of his status in the upper class.
I think one of the best scenes is when he goes to fetch his young servant wrench, Demelza, and he encounters Elizabeth on the path, and he tells her "I lost sight of something that I lost, and now that i found it, I am going home."
I never quite warmed to Elizabeth, though I felt sympathy for her. Demelza is a character that I loved through and through from her first appearance on the screen. Deeply caring and loyal, and willing to work as hard as it takes, she is an excellent match for Ross's love of home, and determined spirit.
If you had the slightest enjoyment of the writing, acting and production of Downton Abbey then Poldark is a slam dunk for your television addictions. Aidan Tumor is entirely captivating until they introduce Eleanor Tomlinson which happens soon into the series. Eleanor will steal your heart away. Kyle Soller on the other hand should have had better rearing. I'll spare you the spoilers but only because my wife would punish me but be assured that Poldark will top your list of intelligent and well accomplished entertainment.
I watched this the first time as a hopeful replacement for Downton Abbey. I loved it from the start. I have heard that this is the British "Gone With the Wind" , that there were 12 books, and had been a series in the 1970s. After watching, I was wondering why I hadn't heard about it before. Eleanor Tomlinson is lovely and has an angelic voice. Aidan Turner SMOULDERS. He is a great actor , but also disturbingly good looking. I was surprised he wasn't far more famous than he is (he will be soon). The cast is stellar, lots of faces you will recognize if you watch Brit TV... Phil Davis as Jud, Warren Clarke as Charles Poldark stand out.
Lest you think this is just a bodice ripper, I can tell you that there are romantic elements, to be sure, and plenty of them, but also deeper plot lines. Add brawling and gaming and dueling and other such things that the menfolks like, and you have a crowd pleaser. I have recommended this to many friends, all of them loved it, including the couples. Most of us have re-watched at least once. . . and we are all desperate for the second season. I read somewhere that PBS has options on five more seasons (six seasons total) and I certainly hope they exercise that option.
In writing a review it is hard to know where to begin since there are so many aspects of this series to rave about - the actors, the writing, the cinematography are exceptional. Don't spend any more time reading reviews, just watch it.
... might not like this so I put it off for some time, but the mood to watch a period soap opera came upon me and I watched both seasons. I was pleasantly surprised. This program drags on occasionally, there is a little more fleshing out of some things than is necessary, but that is a hallmark of soap operas. All the usual cast of villains, heroes, gentle souls, harmful souls, those raised from penury, those reduced to penury, loyalists, rebels and poor decision-makers are here as well as a tarot reading elderly aunt. Treachery, loyalty, unrequited love, requited love, mean-spiritedness, affairs and near misses abound. The directing is extraordinary. The cinematography is astonishing. The coastline of Cornwall is the spectacular backdrop for many scenes and well it should be. Even the greenscreen is well done. The actors are convincing, though the protagonist is an almost incredibly poor decision maker and it is his bungling that really spins the fabric of the series. I just wasn't prepared for the protagonist to be that kind of character, even if the first half of the first episode sets the tone for his capabilities. He allows himself and his men to be ambushed by the colonials as they play cards in enemy territory. Still, I watched the entire series and was satisfied with the way things worked out, but I see how the end of the second season was left such that it could be continued. This is definitely worth a look, even if it is a soap opera, the sets, scenery, costumes and camera work set higher standards.
PBS may have been hoping that their "Mercy Street" would be the next "Downton Abbey", but that one fell far short of its potential. "Poldark" on the other hand, is a series that I am enjoying even more than I did "Downton". I saw the first season here and then went in search of the novels by Winston Graham that the show is based upon - I am thrilled to report that the show and the novels truly complement each other (I just finished book 6). This first season of Poldark corresponds almost precisely with the first two books in the novel series, there is dramatic television liberty taken of course, but interestingly enough there are elements of the show that "fix" problematic areas in the book - for instance (slight, tiny spoiler maybe) the whole set-up of Demelza finding the pretty dress in the chest, and Poldark discovering her with it, is much better done on the show than it was as written. Strongly recommend both to fans of period dramas.