Big news of the week was the Beeb signing Ross and Demelza – Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson – for a new series. Phew! Now we can all heave a sigh of relief, and Aidan can get on with renewing that gym membership.
The new Poldark has been with us for only six short weeks, and already it feels like forever. Seeing the enigmatic Ross riding across the windswept Cornish cliffs, treacle-coloured curls and coat tails flying, has become a Sunday night ritual for millions.
We’ve watched on tenterhooks as our hero’s affections began to move from Elizabeth to Demelza, worried as the fortunes of his copper mine, Wheal Leisure, continued to plummet, and we have smiled at the saintly Verity’s touching support for Demelza.
Last week was all about setting-up new storylines – Verity and her Captain Blamey getting together again – Ross’s smelting company being set up – Mark Daniels’ new wife, Keren, giving Dr Dwight Enys the eye – and poor Francis and Elizabeth facing poverty as the family mine is forced into closure. It all got a bit heavy. This week, writer Debbie Horsfield redeemed herself as those stories began to unfold.
In the novels, and the original Poldark series, I always enjoyed the strength of that friendship between Ross and Dwight. It is still shining through. This week, after hearing that pestilence is rife in Bodmin Jail, the two friends plan a jailbreak to free their sickly friend, Jim Carter. But they were sadly too late to save poor Jim – Ross went on a five day drinking spree.
Meanwhile Demelza was hoping Ross didn’t discover her involvement in helping Verity and Captain Blamey get their romance back on track.
Her sights were firmly set on the exciting soirée over at George Warleggan’s place. It’s her first high profile ball…her first proper introduction to the Cornish gentry, but she is left to cope alone as Ross shows another side to his character and, angry at his failure to save Jim, he takes to the brandy bottle – and the longest card game in history.
Ooooh, it’s all happening now – and only two more episodes to go.
There was even a brief glimpse of the original Captain Ross, Robin Ellis, back on the screen as nasty Judge Halse.
It is quite incredible that an actor is still held in such affection for a role he made his own over 40 years ago. But when that actor is Robin…well, maybe not that incredible after all.
One contributor to my Poldark blog post last week summed it up, “Robin Ellis and Angharahd Rees set the whole television screen on fire.” That pretty much explains why that original series had such an impact, and why so many of us are still talking about it now.
And this is Robin’s lovely book, just in case you missed it first time around. I believe he also has an audio version coming out around now. Enjoy!