7 Reasons You Should Watch Poldark

There are some television shows that just seem to gather a legend of loyal fans. They blog about them, tweet about and talk about them to anyone who will listen. Shows such as:

Breaking Bad

Games of Thrones

Downton Abbey

[And you know how I feel about Mad Men!]

In the throes of my Mad Men withdrawals, I found a new TV obsession…


This PBS Masterpiece Theatre and Mammoth Film production, starring Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson is just what the doctor ordered.

The remake of the 1970’s show was a smash hit on BBC earlier this year and on PBS Masterpiece Theatre this summer. The cast is currently filming season 2.

The first season of Poldark is based on Ross Poldark and Demelza, the first two novels of Winston Graham’s 12 book Poldark saga.

A Hero Returns

Poldark in america - Your RingPoldark is the story of Ross Poldark, a country gentleman from Cornwall, England. Because of some youthful hijinks (gambling and smuggling to name a few), he is conscripted into the British army to put down the rebels in the American colonies.

Everyone back home thinks he’s dead, including the beautiful Elizabeth, the girl he left behind.

When Ross returns from the war with an injured leg and a jagged scar on his face he learns that his father has died, and his estate is in debt and in ruins. (Warning: Spoilers ahead)

He wasn’t back in Cornwall one whole day before he learns that his sweetheart, Elizabeth is engaged to marry his cousin, Francis.

What Ross does after this is what makes Poldark so compelling. He is a complicated man who does not conform to the rules of society or tolerate injustice. In each of the eight episodes, you see Ross struggle to make his way in the world, no matter what trouble that may bring him.

In a time when class distinctions were very clearly drawn, Ross Poldark straddled the lines between the gentry and the working class. His stubbornness causes Ross constant problems.

We follow Ross’ adventures, from his impetus marriage to his scullery maid, Demelza to his destain and squabbles with for the newly rich Warleggans.

If you missed this fantastic period drama, here are 7 reasons you should watch Poldark:

1. Windswept Cornwall

Poldark is filmed on location in Cornwall. I have to admit that I am not that familiar with English geography, but apparently Cornwall is along the northern coast. Throughout the eight episodes of Poldark, the Cornish coast plays a supporting role with its lush rolling landscapes and rugged coastline.

The beautiful and windswept cliffs of Cornwall keep Aidan’s naturally curly hair in almost constant motion.

2. Demelza

Demelza wildflowersWhile well-deserved praise is heaped upon Aidan Turner for his portrayal of Ross Poldark, let’s not overlook the beautiful Eleanor Tomlinson who plays Demelza.

Ross finds Demelza, a half-starved teenager and her dog, Garrick at the Redmouth Faire. He soon hires her as a kitchen maid. Through the eight episodes, you see her character go from uneducated street urchin to the belle of the ball.

3. The Love Triangle

Like I said, when Ross returned from battle, the lovely (disloyal) Elizabeth is already engaged to Ross’ rich cousin Francis. Money talks. For Ross, Elizabeth is his first true love. She is beautiful, elegant and refined. He is devastated and drinks almost all of the brandy and port in Cornwall. But before he knows what hit him, the wild and wonderful miner’s daughter, Demelza warms her way into Ross’ heart.

You never forget your first love and Elizabeth (played by Heidi Reed) continues to hold a spot in Ross’ heart. But will it last?

Will he ever truly love Demelza?

Or will he still long for Elizabeth.

These are the moments that will make you fall in love with Poldark.

4. Beautiful Gowns & Lavish Balls

Do you love period dramas, with their lush ball gowns, powdered wigs and, fancy balls?  From Jud and Prudie’s ragged servant’s outfits, the miner’s work clothes to the beautiful silk gowns at the Warleggan’s ball and the fitted velvet waistcoats and tricorn hats, the costumes in Poldark a fabulous.

5. Fortunes Won and Lost

When Ross Poldark left to fight in the American War, his father was a rich country squire with lands and two thriving copper mines. But as we all know, the economy can change quickly. Ross’ father, Joshua fell ill and didn’t handle his business.

The mines are not being worked and Ross is so broke he has to pawn what few family treasures he has left. But don’t count him out yet. Over the course of the 12 Poldark novels, Ross goes from poverty to riches more than once.

6. Aidan Turner’s Hair

IMG_0247From riding his horse along the rugged and windblown cliffs of Cornwall to getting in fights with Illogan miners, Aidan Turner’s hair is a vision to behold. Truly. His luscious, dark and curly hair is a force of nature and should have been listed in the credits. In fact, it was incredible enough to inspire me to create a Twitter account dedicated to his lovely locks. Join the party @AidansHair.

7. Aidan Turner

Aidan Turner in flightAidan Turner is an extremely talented and extremely good-looking Irish actor. He was their first and only choice to play the main character, Ross Poldark.

You may recognize him as Kili in The Hobbit movies. My readers in the UK know him as Mitchell, the sexy vampire from Being Human and as Dante Gabriel Rossetti in Desperate Romantics.

You know how I feel about vampire movies, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of Aidan Turner.

If you missed Poldark the first time around,  catch up on it before season 2 begins.

Watch Poldark on iTunes
Poldark is available on DVD on Amazon
Read the novels: Ross Poldark and Demelza
All About Aidan Turner
About Clara Mathews

Clarabela (Clara Mathews) is freelance web content copywriter, professional blogger and Hugh Jackman fan. In addition to writing about her love of movies at JustChickFlicks.com, Clarabela is also a regular contributor to DignityZine.  Follow Just Chick Flicks on Facebook.