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Cherry Pop

'Masterpiece: Poldark' [Blu-ray]
(Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Kyle Soller, Heida Reed, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2015 / PBS)

Overview: Ross Poldark rides again in a swashbuckling new adaptation of the hit series that helped launch MASTERPIECE in the 1970s. Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) stars as Captain Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the American Revolution and finds that his fighting days are far from over. Robin Ellis, who played Poldark in the 1970s PBS adaptation, appears in the role of Reverend Halse.

Blu ray Verdict: Taking you back, if I may, the original Poldark was from what I would describe as the "golden age" of UK television. Poldark sat happily alongside wonderful series like Upstairs and Downstairs, The Duchess of Duke St and War and Peace. I grew up watching it, but moreover because it was set where I was living at the time with my parents re: Cornwall.

Set in 18th century Britain, nay Cornwall, Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, is a nobleman who shuns social convention. Ross's warmth and his ability to see the true humanity in people, is in stark contrast to the callous, class based snobbery of many of his supposedly, noble peers. Poldark is at its core a romance, but it avoids the "bodice ripper" label by maintaining a very grounded approach to romantic storytelling mixing in a strong social commentary and wry humor.

The cast of Poldark are to a man and women excellent. Turner is exceptional as Poldark. As is Eleanor Tomlinson who offers up an at times very funny but also deeply touching performance, as Demelza. The remaining cast which is both UK and international, are also extremely talented and well suited to their respective roles.

Given that this is beautiful, coastal Cornwall, we are treated to en mass of the cameraman's preoccupation of showing us said Cornish coastlines from the saddle of Poldark's horse, but we can forgive him for that - as the cinematic visions are beautiful. Indeed, Poldark is throughout visually stunning and the period enhances the feel of a young man returning from war to an uncertain future and trying to resurrect the family fortune in a disused mine. In summary, this is a superb series. It recaptures the golden age of UK television, for those of us old enough to remember it. For those who do not, you are in for a real treat here in the first season of the remake. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Interviews with Main Cast, Directors, Writers & Producer
Episode One Commentary
Poldark: The Man, The Icon
The Making of Poldark
The Women Behind The Man