British officer Ross Poldark returns to his native Cornwall after the Revolutionary War after escaping as a prisoner of war. He finds that because he was believed dead, his home has fallen into ruin and his estate has shifted to his mercenary uncle following the death of his father. His uncle has committed to selling the family copper and tin mines to a ruthless local land baron while his former fiancee has agreed to marry his cousin in his absence.
Skip this, watch the 2015 and especially 1975 versions instead
What a mess and a waste of a talented cast. Easily the worst 'Poldark' adaptation, and that is saying a huge amount seeing as the 1975 version is a masterpiece and the 2015 series while with minor flaws is otherwise great and often magnificent.
The only redeeming merits of this adaptation are some beautiful scenery and costumes and a highly credible Demelza in Mel Martin, played with plenty of fire and emotion. The cast is a talented one on the whole but are practically wasted, waste of talent is a big bugbear of mine and is just unacceptable. John Bowe has the looks but not the charisma for Poldark, and his chemistry with Martin nowhere near sizzles, instead as bland as soggy sandwiches.
Ioan Gruffudd is very awkward and doesn't look comfortable in any way, while Kelly Reilly's performance is devoid of any expression of any kind. The worst asset is the storytelling, which is rushed, very jumpy and often abrupt, giving a sense of incompleteness, and it makes most events and subplots very difficult to follow. The editing is also all over the place, sometimes choppy, sometimes chaotic and sometimes sloppy, while the direction is ham-fisted and heavy-handed and the script is dreary and startlingly amateurish.
All in all, watch the 1975 and 2015 versions instead. This is easily skip-able and best forgotten. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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