After nearly dying whilst fighting in the American Revolutionary War, Ross Poldark makes his merry way back to his native Cornwall, only to find his dad has popped his clogs, the family estate has gone belly up, and to top it off, his lover has gone and got engaged to his wet flannel of a cousin. Naturally the only solution is to gallop along the cliffs looking brooding in a pair of terrifyingly tight trousers.
At this point, middle-aged mums across Britain were completely sold, swooning in their armchairs and wondering whether their balding husbands might somehow be able to grow locks as luscious as Ross’s. And this serious swashbuckle continued for a full five seasons of ridiculous romantics, family feuds, handsome headshots and Cornish coastline.
If you can’t already tell by that opener, the show is fairly ludicrous and shamelessly melodramatic, with plot twists happening at every given opportunity, and then with a few more squeezed in on top. But that’s not to say the series is bad, in fact, quite the opposite.
Poldark is the perfect costume comfort watch – full to the brim with painfully attractive characters, beautiful shots of rocky landscapes, and a storyline that’s as senseless as it is saucy.
The Guardian’s Sam Wollaston was charmed by the “tousle-haired Aidan Turner,” but even more so by the filming location. He says, “The other major star – also rugged and gorgeous – is the coastline along which Poldark gallops…It’s all about Cornwall now.” And it seems that the serieswent down well across the pond – maybe because Ross fought for their independence – with Mike Hale of The New York Times saying: “The virtue of Poldark…is that it never gives you time to stop and think, and it avoids predictability through its abundance of plot.” We agree, there’s plot aplenty. And this continues through the seasons, it seems, as The Telegraph’s Gerard O’Donovan said of the fourth season, “there’s still nothing like it for heart-stoppingly, breathtakingly big drama.”
First shown March 2015. You can watch the trailer here.