Poldark TV miniseries: a review

 

I recently finished watching the new Poldark BBC miniseries on PBS and absolutely loved it. It is a period piece starring Aidan Turner as the titular character, Ross Poldark. He has been a favourite actor of mine ever since I laid eyes on him in the UK version of Being Human and he was one of few reasons I sat through the entirety of the 2nd Hobbit film (still haven’t watched the 3rd). So I approached this with some bias.

Ross Poldark is a young man who has just returned home to Cornwall, England after serving in the British Army for 2 years fighting the American Revolutionary War. His father is dead and Ross has inherited a derelict estate and his true love has moved on. Ross is a complex character with a renegade sensibility and yet a deep sense of loyalty. This series follows him as he takes responsibility for the tenants on his estate and learns to find happiness after heartbreak.

 

 

This series is beautifully filmed on location. The costume design is exquisite. The themes involve love, jealousy, loyalty, building communities, class structure and capitalism. The success of this production is also attributable to some great acting. Turner is perfectly cast as Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson is an enchanting Demelza.

I enjoyed this series so much I obtained the books it was based on and have read ahead to satisfy my curiosity. The TV miniseries is based on a beloved series of 12 books written by Winston Graham (1908-2003), remarkably  published over the course of decades (1945-2002). The first season of 8 episodes follows the 1st 2 books pretty faithfully, albeit at a breakneck pace at times (that is my only complaint about the production, time jumps by weeks and months). It has been a while since I approached a book series with such enthusiasm. I tried the Outlander books but they were too wordily descriptive for my tastes. The Poldark books are more my speed. I am almost 1/2 way through the series and I am starting to slow it down, just to savour it a bit more as I wait for the second TV season to air.

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