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Masterpiece: Poldark Premiere Preview 

Masterpiece: Poldark Premiere Preview
Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE
Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE
Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

WARNING: Poldark spoilers

What’s old is new or maybe it never went out of style. A heroic hero, wearing a Tricorn hat rides again.

Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) returns in the new adaptation of the 1970s mega-hit series, Poldark.  It’s been 40 years since the original British Drama aired on Masterpiece Theater. Based on the novels, by Winston Graham, Poldark is back and it’s not lacking anything. It still provides viewers with plenty of drama, love triangles, tragedies, and all of the challenges facing the main character, Ross Poldark.

Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.
Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Irish actor, Aidan Turner (Being Human, The Hobbit), brings his good looks, charm and steamy hot body to the role of Captain Ross Poldark. Turner is guaranteed to have women swooning and men wanting to be him or should I say, Ross? Aidan is easy on the eyes. You’ll get to see plenty of him during the next seven episodes. Just to be clear, when it originally aired earlier this year in the UK, there were eight episodes; however, PBS is running a two-hour season finale on August 2.

During the first episode, we meet Captain Poldark in 1781, while he’s serving time as a soldier in Virginia during the American Revolutionary war. Ross, who is a bit of a rebel, joined the army to avoid being sent off to prison. When we first see Ross onscreen, he’s gambling and giving an earful to another soldier. Ross never minces words. Soon afterwards, bullets fly and Poldark is injured.

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE
Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

The story then picks up a few years later when Ross returns home to Cornwall. Sadly, not only does Ross learn that his father has died, but the once propserous mining town is now destitute. The Poldark mines are no longer thriving, leaving many town folk out of work.

Anxious to let everyone know that he’s alive, Ross pays an unexpected visit to his Uncle Charles Poldark (Warren Clarke) at his estate, Trenwith. Upon his arrival everyone is shocked to see that Ross survived the war. He was presumed dead. No one is more surprised to see Ross than his love, Elizabeth (Heida Reed) who is now engaged to his cousin Francis, played by Kyle Soller.

Although his cousin Verity (Ruby Bentall) welcomes him home with open arms, everyone else is uncomfortable with his mere presence. After hearing the news of the engagement between Elizabeth and Francis, Ross decides to leave, but not without toasting the soon-to-wed couple. Of course, if you are a Poldark fan of the original series or the books, you already know that Ross is a gentleman…most of the time.

Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE
Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Brooding over the loss of his love, Ross borrows a horse from his Uncle and decides to return to his home, Nampara. When he arrives, he finds that his deceased father’s estate is in complete and utter ruin. Along with the dust, live chickens and rats running around, he finds Jud and Prudie (Phil Davies and Beatie Edney) doing what they do best, hitting the booze and doing absolutely nothing. Ross is determined to make Nampara a place that he can all home once again, no matter what it takes.

Meanwhile, as their wedding day approaches, Elizabeth who is still pining for Ross decides to tell Francis that she loves him. Despite not wanting to see the love of his life marry his cousin, Ross decides to attend the nuptials. There he meets up with his former classmate and soon-to-be archenemy, George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) who is at the groom’s side.

In an effort to convince his nephew to leave town, Charles offers Ross money to start a new life elsewhere.

Ross who is as stubborn as ever and even more determined, gathers some of his father’s personal treasures from Nampara and decides to sell them at the local market place.

As many of you know or will soon find out, this is where the real story begins. Ross Poldark meets Demelza Carne, who is portrayed by the lovely and talented, Eleanor Tomlinson.

Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE
Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Demelza finds herself in a quite a bit of trouble. Horrified by the sight of such a young person being beaten, Ross steps in and saves Demelza. This incident leaves everyone talking. It’s only the beginning of what the folks in Cornwall will be saying about Captain Poldark and his new kitchen maid Demelza.

If you are fan of the original Poldark series from 1975 and 1977, you will find that there are some differences in how the story is told. The new series was created and written by Debbie Horsfield and follows the books very closely.

Photo Credit: (C) Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Although you may be tempted to compare Aidan Turner to Robin Ellis the original, Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson to the late, Angharad Rees who portrayed, Demelza, please don’t. Although the actors and the adaptation may not be the same, a great story stands the test of time.

The first novel, Winston Graham wrote was Ross Poldark in 1945, followed by Demelza a year later.  The new adaptation follows the characters and their adventures through these first two books.

Don’t worry, if you are missing Robin Ellis, you’ll get a chance to see his outstanding acting in a few weeks. Think of it as Poldark vs. Poldark in an episode you won’t want to miss.

This time around, Robin Ellis appears as Reverend Halse, a cranky judge who takes Ross to task for something he’s done and probably shouldn’t have. Keep this in mind, one thing hasn’t changed, Ross Poldark was born into a Gentry family, but he’s not always a gentleman. In fact, Ross is usually looking out for the less fortunate, no matter what the cost.

One final note to viewers who watched Poldark in the ’70s: although, we will not hear the voice of Alistair Cooke and the thrill of the booming music that opened the show every Sunday night, Poldark 2015 is as adventurous and even more exciting the second time around.

Poldark airs on Masterpiece Theater, Sunday’s at 9/8c on PBS.

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