No one can throw insults with as much class as a Brit.
Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), returns home after the Revolutionary War, only to find his father dead, his family home in ruins, and everyone in his hometown of Cornwall believing he is dead. On top of all this, his true love Elizabeth (Heida Reed) is engaged to another man. Instead of being defeated by all this, Poldark takes on the difficult task of rebuilding his life, and his family’s legacy.
Poldark: The Complete First Season is based on the novels by Winston Graham, and stars Aidan Turner as the brash, young hothead who returns to his hometown of Cornwall, England, ready to break the status quo that rules the small seaside town.
Aidan Turner is fabuloso as Poldark; he has this Michael Hutchence/Jim Morrison brooding sex appeal that smolders on screen. Beyond his obvious good looks, Turner is a wonderful actor and becomes Poldark through and through. The character is at one moment a caring man who will give anyone the coat off his back, but on a dime can switch into an angry, cold character, ready to fight at a moment’s notice. The Poldarks are one of the most respected and oldest families in Cornwall, but Ross doesn’t care about any of that. He never thinks that he is better than anyone because of his family name, and takes on the role of protector of the men and women who were loyal to his father, and work as well as live on his land. But that’s not the way things are done in 18th Century England, or anywhere else at the time for that matter, and this makes Ross the enemy of many of the elite citizens in town. He begins the task of repairing his father’s home, and reopening the copper mine that had supported Poldark’s for generations. But Ross is obstructed in all directions by those who look down on his familiarity with the common folk, and resent that he dare go against the traditions of the time.
If only that were all Ross had to deal with; turns out his true love Elizabeth is not just marrying any man, she is betrothed to his cousin Francis (Kyle Soller, Fury). Francis’ father Charles (Warren Clarke, A Clockwork Orange), is the older brother of Ross’ deceased father, and resents Ross because he is a far more competent man than his inept son Francis will ever be. Verity (Ruby Bentall, Robin Hood) is Francis’ sister, the one person Ross trusts implicitly, and also the only person who accepts him as is. The 25 year old spinster is practically a servant to her family, but longs to find love and start a family of her own. And when Ross helps Verity meet up with her sweetheart, Captain Andrew Blamey (Richard Harrington, Hinterland), this is an unforgivable betrayal in the minds of Francis and Uncle Charles. And the cherry on top of Ross’ dung sundae are the vile Warleggans (Isn’t that a great name for ones nemesis), an Uncle and nephew duo who are in a one sided battle with the Poldark’s. Along with gaining wealth and power, their second greatest desire is to ruin the entire Poldark family —and you think you have a lot on your plate.
Let me tell you, this series has everything —drama, plague, duels, sex, and romance. The acting is topnotch from everyone involved, the writing sublime, and the directing splendid; all of this results in a first rate series. Favorite bad guy award goes to the man you love to hate, Mr. George Warleggan (Jack Farthing)—scum ball. He’s a multidimensional a-hole who believes the Poldarks look down on him because of his background, and all he seeks is vengeance against them. This is a guy whose face you’d love to punch at least a dozen times, and Farthing portrays him in the most understated and brilliant way. Favorite good guy (besides Poldark), isn’t a guy at all, but a woman by the name of Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson, Jack the Giant Slayer) —yes Demelza, a poor wretch who was doomed to a life of poverty, if it were not for Ross Poldark. This is a woman whose home life consisted of a disgusting drunk of a father, who repeatedly beat her. Still she possesses a strength that she has no business having. Demelza not only overcomes her miserable upbringing, but that awful moniker as well. And it’s her uncharacteristic strength that draws the attention of Poldark, who hires her to work at his family estate. Demelza is gutsy, kind, and selfless —just the type of person that keeps Poldark grounded. She does for Ross, what Dr. Who’s companions do for him; Demelza keeps Ross from giving into his dark side, and getting consumed by it. She is a fantastic heroine, and Tomlinson is wonderful in the role.
This 3 disc set of Poldark: The Complete First Season, contains 8 episodes whose 1.78:1 widescreen presentation highlights the beautiful English seaside. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, makes it easy to understand some of these thick English accents, and allows us to enjoy the beautiful soundtrack by Anne Dudley. Extras include, Interviews with the main cast and crew, an episode 1 commentary, and 3 featurettes; Poldark: The Man, The Icon, The Making of Poldark, and The Women Behind the Man.
If you can’t tell already, I love Poldark: The Complete First Season. If there is any doubt after reading this review my friend, you just weren’t paying attention. Now we settle in to what I fear will be an inevitably long wait for a second season to reach our shores. Hurry it up already!!
Well it stars Aidan Turner, so…
Poldark (DVD) 2015, Universal, 480 minutes, NR (2015)
VIDEO: 1.78:1 AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English) SUBTITLES: English SDH EXTRAS: Interviews, Commentary, Featurettes ACCOMPLICES: IMDB