Poldark Review – Episode Two

Rena George Cornwall, Poldark 11 Comments

Musket Hole GodolphinDemelza, the scruffy young urchin Ross rescued, is now an accepted member of the Nampara household, even though tongues are wagging about the proprieties of the situation.
Elsewhere mines are closing and Ross sees the chance of resurrecting the Poldark fortunes and providing work for local workers by raising cash to re-open his mine.

When Poldark hit our TV screens last Sunday we all loved it – well most of us did. Some purists are still chuntering about the accents, and Ross’s scar looking more like a mascara run, but basically it was a big thumbs up.

But then it had to be. It had to grab its audience right from the start, make us love it, and leave us breathless for more. And this it did.

Episode two would be the one to tell the programme makers if Ross, Demelza and the rest of the gang had really pulled it off.

In that first iconic BBC series 18th century Cornwall was more dark and gritty. Graham’s novels were masterpieces of historical accuracy, and in those days in poverty-stricken Cornwall, life was hard, people were dirty, ragged and starving.

So I was hoping the new series would manage to steer itself away from any hint of soapy glitz. After all, writer Debbie Horsfield told us she’d based her scripts on the books – and the series did have the approval of the Graham family. Judging from last night’s episode, I have nothing to worry about. Poldark was dark when it needed to be, and gritty and bloody and violent when it needed to be.

It was also endearing. Demelza is blooming and forming an attachment for Ross, who is still hankering after the now pregnant Elizabeth. Nampara’s two disgraceful servants, Jud and Prudie, were as lazy and booze-swilling as they were in the books.

And next week, the first Ross Poldark, Robin Ellis, is to make an appearance as the nasty Reverend Halse. Good things can only get better. I just hope Cornwall can cope with all the new visitors the series will be sending its way.

Visit Cornwall has already seen a 65% rise in hits to its website. Industry bosses are cock-a-hoop at the new business they see coming, and house prices look set to soar even higher. I can’t help wondering though how ordinary Cornish folk, who have no involvement in tourism, feel about that.

The network of twisting, high walled lanes that criss-cross Cornwall are already jam packed during the busy summer months, and further escalation of property prices will put any chance local youngsters might have of affording to buy a house in the village where they grew up totally out of reach. Or is this just me being alarmist? I do hope so.

Comments 11

  1. I’ve been thinking about the price of houses soaring also, Rena. We will have to see. But as tourism is so important for Cornwall, that alone will be good. Hope we can keep the quiet parts of Cornwall though and theyarent turned into theme parks. x

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      I think you have to balance up the good with the bad for things like this. I know we’ve only seen two episodes of Poldark, but it’s already obvious that it will be a massive success – and then it gets sold all around the world. It will undoubtedly be wonderful for tourism. Maybe it’s time for Cornwall Council to set up some kind of extra protection for those special and much loved places.

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  2. I’ve never read the book and I’ve never seen the previous series so this is my first exposure to Poldark; forgive my ignorance but I don’t understand what ON EARTH Ross sees in Elizabeth!

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      Ha! I think all female Poldark fans are thinking the same thing, Nicole. It was exactly like this in the first series, too. Elizabeth is far too stuck up for Ross. What’s the man thinking? Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment.

  3. Thank you, Rena, for your wonderful blog which I’m so happy to have stumbled upon!

    Happy new blog follower here,


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  4. Why do so many readers have to be so hostile toward Elizabeth? Many seemed to harbor this belief that it is her fault that Ross continued to pine over her. She is simply different from Demelza, not better or worse, as far as I’m concerned.

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      You’re touching a sore point, Liz. Elizabeth married Ross’s cousin because he could afford to keep her in the style to which she had become accustomed. She comes to regret that, of course, but there’s an awful lot still to happen…
      Elizabeth isn’t a bad person, but she is weak and selfish. Demelza was a much better choice for Ross.

  5. Wow! I think you really hate Elizabeth. Weak and selfish? I believe her problem was that she was too pragmatic for her own good. Besides, when you consider what Demelza resorted to in order to remain at Nampara and the reason why Ross married her, you might not judge Elizabeth so harshly.

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