Poldark - Series 2
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Love, betrayal, and adventure in a timeless historic drama.
A sensation on PBS and based on the beloved novels by Winston Graham, Poldark tells the story of a gallant English army officer who finds the trials and travails at home every bit as perilous as what he faced in war. The much-loved miniseries follows two rival families whose fortunes cross in an unforgettable saga.
Captain Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis, The Good Soldier) returns in this acclaimed drama set against the spectacular backdrop of Cornwall and a time of upheaval in English history. Discharged from his regiment with marsh fever, Ross finds his home life in turmoil and relations with his wife, Demelza (Angharad Rees, Close to Home), often strained. The social order is in similar flux, with threats on all sides-from rioters and robbers, the hungry poor, and the ruthlessly ambitious George Warleggan (Ralph Bates, Dear John), Ross's sworn enemy. The second series also stars Jane Wymark (Midsomer Murders), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean), and Judy Geeson (Mad About You).
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Two families become rivals in Series one and continue the same through episodes (called parts on the DVD) filled with suspense, ambition, swashbuckling action, romance, humor, heroics, historical drama, betrayal, and just about any other element of passion and emotion possible by bickering families. A saga you will enjoy, and don't overlook Series One, now discounted to a very affordable value.
Series 2 is 13 parts, each almost an hour, all WITH SUBTITLES, and remarkably fine given the fact it was originally aired in 1977. BBC excellence. This second series also provides a different look at Jane Wymark (playing Morwenna) who is known for her role as Joyce Barnaby in "Midsomer Murders." She is good. Morwenna meets Drake (Kevin McNally-"Pirates of the Caribbean") & Judy Geeson is Caroline. Accolades could go on forever for cast and the story. Minimal musical background make "Poldark" seem something of a stage presentation with outlandishly sophisticated sets.
Part (Episode) details:
Part 1-Capt. Poldark returns from the military to find changes. Penrice Estate is now owned by George Warleggan, formerly Ross's Aunt Agatha's who yet lives there. Elizabeth, Warleggan's wife, if pregnant. Ross's wife, Demelza, causes a bit of family friction. Her 2 brothers, Drake & Sam, arrive as Methodists. Above all else, Poldark vs Warleggan hostility continues.
Part 2-Damelza's expecting a child. Her brothers and their church activity causes added bad blood between the rival families. Friend, Dr. Dwight Enys is missing after his ship wrecks.
Part 3-Ross continues his search for Dwight, almost loosing his life on French soil. Drake woes Morwenna who is promised to be wedded to another by Warleggan. Who will be successful?
Part 4-Drake unhappily learns of Morwenna's betrothal to a fat parson. Capt Poldark makes plans to sail and help Dr. Enys escape from a French fort prison.
Part 5-It's 1795 & Capt Poldark & the raiding party return from France but not all was success. Aunt Agatha is all agog over her 100th birthday plans. Some wedding plans also develop. But for whom?
Part 6-Marital bliss has its ups & downs for Caroline and Morwenna. George seeks truth about Aunt Agatha's surprising words. A couple of religious leaders discover hanky-panky.
Part 7-Warlaeggan runs for Parliament. Social status greatly interests Ross, Elizabeth, Vicor Ossie, and his wife's sis, Rowella.
Part 8-Rowella's fling with the Vicar is fruitful. Problems among and between the WArleggans and Poldarks continues. Plenty of jealousy-with reason? Blackmail?
Part 9-Rioters, mostly miners, steal corn and march singing hymns. As a Captain, Ross must help restore law but he also sympathizes with the poor. Elizabeth & Geo Warleggan have their own private battle. A delightful time seen of SawleFeast festival. Ross gets a huge offer.
Part 10-There is much blight in marital bliss. Ross vs Demelza; Morwenna vs Vicar Ossie. More non-marriage conflict between Geo & Ross. A tense episode.
Part 11-London society joins the Cromwellian elite for the Warleggan party extravaganza which includes an uninvited terrace meeting between Ross & Elizabeth. Oops. It's observed by a guest. Double oops. But there is an even larger tryst-OOPS.
Part 12-Money, murder, love, espionage all play a roll in relationships coming to an eruptive head. Even lives are at risk. Banking has Cornall in a whirl & Poldarks, Warleggins, and Enys are London bound. View high society in 1799 London.
Part 13-(Unlucky only because it is the last of "Poldark") A duel. A death. A murder according to the law. Elizabeth seeks a doctor's remedy to pregnancy. Demelza runs home from London. What will be Morwenna's final chapter?
YOU WILL LOVE THIS SAGA, SERIES ONE (16 parts) AND TWO.
IT IS INTERESTING TO READ ONLINE ABOUT THE ACTORS' LIVES TODAY AND SEE HOW THEY HAVE CHANGED. THE WINSTON GRAHAM WEBSITE IS INFORMATIVE ALSO. THE CHARACTER OF DEMELZA IS LOOSELY BASED ON MRS. WINSTON GRAHAM. SHE WAS FROM THE CORNISH COAST THAT FORMS THE WONDERFUL BACKGROUND FOR THE POLDARK SERIES.
FYI: MR. GRAHAM ALSO WROTE THE BOOK THAT THE MOVIE "MARNIE" WAS BASED ON. HE PERSONALLY CHOSE SEAN CONNERY FOR THE MALE LEAD IN MARNIE. THAT SUCCESS OF THAT ROLE HELPED LAUNCH SEAN CONNERY'S CAREER AS "JAMES BOND".
THE BBC IS FANTASTIC!!!
As for the story, the Graham novels were heavily abridged and condensed for both TV series, with some license taken as to chronology; but overall things flow fairly well. Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis, as suited to the heroic antihero role as Flynn and Bogey were to theirs in earlier decades) is maddeningly inconsistent as a character of his time or any other; he is not just a snob in his own way, but a self-deprecating and rogue snob at that. Even his facial scar seems to wax and wane according to his moods. His temper/actions generally get the better of him; but he seems not to learn from his mistakes in ways that are not totally convincing, given his other purported character attributes. In the second series, with financial stability taken pretty much for granted now (albeit with the occasional and mostly-shrugged-off flirtation with complete insolvency), the Poldarks are now on their way to becoming well-heeled bumpkin-gentry in their own right. Ross Poldark's relationship with irrepressible and resourceful wife Demelza (the sprightly Angharad Rees) is still central to the continuing storyline, with the additional plot devices in series 2 of Demelza Poldark's brothers, once/future flame Elizabeth Warleggan's cousin Morwenna, and the various interactions amongst the Poldark and Warleggan clans. A variety of other supporting characters (ancient and insightful Aunt Agatha, creepy Reverend Osborne Whitworth) makes this series even more rich a tapestry than the first. Judd Paynter--one of THE most authentic characters ever to grace a BBC production, and as played by the inimitable Paul Curran--serves again as one of the background binding threads along with his partner Prudy. Dr. Dwight Enys (portrayed in the second series by Michael Cadman, an actor with a quite different range of subtlety, compared to the original Enys as played by Richard Morant in series 1) figures in the early episodes mainly through his forced absence, until daringly rescued by Poldark, with some unforeseen and tragic consequences for Demelza.
Ross Poldark lurches through this second series from crisis to crisis (many of his own making, and involving some form of guesstimated paternity) via the machinations of his nemesis George Warleggan (an unflinchingly malevolent Ralph Bates) one way or another. The social climbing reaches much higher in this series, culminating in Parliamentary appointments for both Poldark and Warleggan, and with ensuing sparks. But the real moral denouement to the story comes in a set of nicely frank exchanges between Ross and family friend Caroline (nee Penvenen) Enys (Judy Geeson, never lovelier) in the last episode. Overall, it's a satisfying series--especially for the comeuppances that are duly received by the various dastardly types--and I'd give it a 5-star rating but for the very ending, which I felt was realized in incomplete and rather weak fashion, compared to the sweeping scope of the 29-part series as a whole, not to mention the historical tectonics of the traditional class-driven elements of 18th century British society headbutting against the unfolding 19th century, with its promise of Enlightenments to come.