|Worth every penny of the licence fee...|
I already know the storylines from reading the books and watching the 1970s series, but have been very good and not tweeted spoilers to friends. It's fun to see their likes and dislikes of characters, and what they hope or fear will happen. I love the scope of Poldark: yes, it's a romance, but author Winston Graham was keenly aware of history, and the story is set in the early Industrial Revolution. The vagiaries of the mining industry and the way working-class people lived is as much a part of the tale as emotional relationships. Unlike so many costume dramas, it doesn't ignore the working classes, use them purely for comic relief, or turn them into forelock-tugging fools happy in their subservience. So, without spoiling things for you, here's how I feel the major characters from the two series compare.
Ross – no comparison. Robin Ellis was pleasant enough, but Aidan Turner is just dreamy. It says something for the BBC that they managed to find him an engaging...
|Verity and Demelza. They're nice.|
|Elizabeth moping. As ever.|
|Francis. Good for something, but I'm not sure what.|
|George, scheming, with some help from Riff Raff... erm, his uncle.|
To my shame that I have no memories of Francis' sister Verity at all from the original series, even though she's one of my favourite characters in the books. Shame on me! She seems to be very popular with viewers this time round. I'm much harder on Verity than Elizabeth, but perhaps it's because Elizabeth is pretty and gave up Ross to be pampered by someone who would love her if only she'd love him back, whereas plain Verity gave up her love and everyone continued to take her for granted, forcing her into the passionless role of the person who looks after everyone else. You have to be a pretty awful person not to like Verity and want better for her.
|Demelza is impressed with Trenwith. Who wouldn't be?|
Have you been watching Poldark? Am I unfair to Elizabeth and Francis? Do you think George's Snidely Whiplash mentality is justified or t'int fit, t'int right, t'int proper? And for people outside the UK reading this, do look out for it on whatever channels you have that get British costume dramas.