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Poldark (2015)

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Historic, Reviews, TV series

Poldark (2015) is based on a series of novels by Winston Graham. There was also another tv series made in 1975.

The first episode starts out with a man – Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) – coming back to his home in Cornwall from the American Revolutionary War. Defeated and wounded, he expects a different welcome than the one he gets. He finds his father dead, his home in the hands of lazy, neglectful servants and – worst of all – his beloved fiancee about to be married to his cousin. No one except his other cousin Verity, an old maid at 25, who is being used as an unpaid housekeeper by her family, is happy to see him. Believing him dead, his uncle and cousin had expected not only to have the fiancee but also Ross’ father’s mine and land. After repeated efforts by the uncle to buy him out Ross decides to stay on, mostly to support his tenant farmers, who are struggling to make ends meet. He tries to start up the mine again, in a time when the competition from the Welsh mines are keenly felt. To do that he needs capital, which means he needs to convince others to invest in his venture. Cornwall is going through a difficult time. Fishing is failing as well as the mines and people are risking starvation. Even the ‘wealthy’ classes aren’t doing as well as in the past.

To me, Ross Poldark is very much the star of the show. He’s dark, handsome and brooding and exactly the sort of man I like to see in a tv series. None of the other characters come across as real or as developed as he is. Out of the others, his cousin Verity is the only one you really seem to get to know, at least to begin with. After a while, Ross finds and rescues a young girl (dressed as a boy) and takes her in. For several episodes, Ross is still obsessed with his former fiancee and doesn’t have much time for his new young housekeeper, but eventually they begin to get to know each other and Demelza (Cornish name?) learns new skills and turns out to be very intelligent and prepared to take on new responsibilities.

At times it seems Ross’ own family are his worst enemies, but the Warleggans (moneylenders who have done well for themselves and managed to join the gentry) work against him for reasons not quite clear. I get a vague feeling there’s been some enmity between Ross and the younger Warleggan in the past, but you don’t find out much about that in the series, at least not so far.

I have just finished watching the first season and I’m glad to see that there will be a second one. If I will ever write fan fiction again, this is one of the series that has definitely inspired me to several different (mainly angsty, but also slashy) ideas. Naturally, that’s because of Aidan Turner. He’s one of the few actors these days that can totally captivate, beguile and bewitch me and for that I’m grateful.

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