Poldark is now my new favorite series

Poldark is now my new favorite series

It’s probably because I’m a borderline shut-in without TV that I never heard of the series Poldark until this fall – just in time for the fifth and final season.  That always happens to me.  I discover awesome shows just as they’re ending.

Back in September, I was reading something – I don’t remember what – that mentioned the BBC series Poldark.  And something about it piqued my interest.  So I went onto IMDB.com and read up on it.

It’s based on a series of novels by an English author named Winston Graham that take place in late eighteenth century Cornwall.  The main character is Ross Poldark, a young man who after fighting in the war against the American colonies, returns home to Cornwall only to learn his father has died and the young girl he loved, thinking Ross was killed in the war, is engaged to marry his cousin.

It sounded intriguing, so I downloaded the first season from iTunes.  By the end of the first episode, I was hooked.

I’m a sucker for well-done period dramas.  And Poldark is brilliantly written and the acting is superb.  It’s also a feast for the eyes — the cliffs, the sea, the vast expanse of beauty that is the Corish landscape.  It really is beautifully shot.  It only took one or two episodes for me to want to travel to Cornwall and walk those cliffs.

In the last couple months I have watched all five seasons of Poldark so many times, I can’t even remember how many times I’ve watched them.  It has to be at least ten, probably more.  There were actually a few occasions when I got the final episode and started right back at the beginning again.

I’d try to find something else to watch or maybe a book to read.  But after a a week or two I found myself thinking, “Hmm.  Maybe I should watch Poldark again.”

It’s the characters.  They are so vivid and complex, I can’t bear to be away from them for more than a few days.

I love character-driven stories.  And Poldark is most definitely that.  It’s the depth and breadth of the characters that makes them so compelling.  They are all so rich – full of foibles, conflicts, aspirations, imperfections.  It’s wonderful to watch their lives and journeys unfold.

Now, I don’t know if the guys will love Poldark as much as I do.  I wouldn’t exactly call it a chick-series or anything.  But it can occasionally delve into romance and love stories that might not be to a guy’s liking.  Though nothing about those love stories could be described as campy or frivolous.  The characters are far too complex for something so sappy and cheap.

Speaking of characters.  Poldark has the perfect villain – George Warleggan, the man you love to hate.  He’s like a young, passive/aggressive Ebenezer Scrooge.  He’s such a loathsome man, actually — shifty, scheming, cruel.  You watch him plot these schemes hoping he fails, but more often than not, he doesn’t.  George rarely gets his comeuppance.  But when he does, it’s a very satisfying experience.  Especially because he’s such a effete little prat.  In the fifth and final season, due to certain events, George briefly becomes a rather sympathetic character.  For four seasons I had grown to loathe him so deeply, it irritated the crap out of me that I felt any pity for him at all, however briefly.

You just can’t help becoming enamored and invested in the characters of Poldark.  They’re written and acted so well, it’s hard not to. Main characters, secondary characters, supporting characters — it doesn’t matter. They are all so well-done.

The series has everything, adventure, romance, strife, conflict, class struggles, history.  Though, I did have to find a website that provided commonly used Cornish expressions and words so I could understand things like “I’ll give you such a scat in the chacks.”

If you haven’t seen Poldark, you should check it out.  The series has ended, but it is available streaming.  Plus, you just might find your library has the DVDs to loan.  I know my library system has them.  I checked just in case my Mom and Dad wanted to see it.

And if you watch it, I guarantee you too will want to travel to Cornwall and walk those cliffs.

Here’s a kind of campy trailer from BBC for Season 1 of Poldark.  Ignore the goofy music used.  The score of the show is so much better than this goofy music.  But it at least gives you a little idea of what the series is like.

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7 thoughts on “Poldark is now my new favorite series

  • December 23, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for this! I’m going right to watching this after I finish third season of the crown. I don’t have cable either. I watch a lot of acorn tv. It’s $4.99/mo and has fabulous shows made in England, Australia and New Zealand. You would adore 800 Words. It’s about a writer and cast and setting (Coast of NZ) are amazing!

    • December 24, 2019 at 3:03 am

      I, too, have this autumn found Poldark — except I wanted a good novel to read so I am reading it. Then I had to get the second novel, Demelza, of course.

      The author, Winston Graham, has written many other books, too. I was sorry to hear he died before I was born. Such a good writer!

  • December 24, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve been a Poldark fan since the 1970’s. The original series is still the best. This current series, while very good, can no way top the original series with Robin Ellis as Capt. Poldark and Angharad Rees (deceased) as Demelza. I have the entire collection of books, DVD’s (from both series), special commemorative books, calendars, Christmas ornament, you name it. Without question, no TV series hooked me like Poldark. In fact, when the first episodes of the original Poldark ended and we learned that the second series of episodes was coming on (in the 70’s), we held a “Welcome Back Poldark” party at my house. Made sure we had the proper British food for the event (had to ask my English friends what to make for this).

    This current series missed much of what was in the original, MOST ESPECIALLY (and shockingly) George Warleggan’s FINAL words in the last episode (before the producers decided to do a 5th series which is not based on any books). In the original series, when Elizabeth dies, George’s final angry words were “Agatha Poldark, may you rot in hell!”. In the current production, I was waiting for it and he never said it. I was shocked.

    For anyone who just got hooked on Poldark, take my recommendation and get the ORIGINAL series. It is far better than the current (although I will say that Aidan Turner is one hot Capt. Poldark).

  • December 24, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Addition to my comment above. The original Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) shows up 3 times in the current series. He plays a judge.

    • December 24, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      Much more than 3 times. But, yes, he is in this series.

  • December 24, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Here’s a great source for British TV series. acornonline.com

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Will give it a look.
    If you like Cornwall, and well developed characters, and tons of subtle humor, try Doc Martin.
    Longmire, Wyoming, the same.

Comments are closed.