August 25, 2015

5 Reasons to Love Captain Poldark

This summer's PBS series, Poldark, is based on the novels (Poldark) by Winston Graham about a British army captain who returns home from the American Revolution. He finds the copper mining gentry of Cornwall in debt and the poor starving literally to death. Featuring Aiden Turner of The Hobbit fame and Eleanor Tomlinson as his sweetheart, this historical story has friendship, romance, tragedy and political intrigue. If you haven't caught up with the episodes in this 8 part mini-series, it is available on Netflix (streaming) and will hopefully be played again on your local PBS station or Masterpiece. Here are 5 reasons to fall in love with Captain Poldark, his family, his friends, and a great story.

Although my sewing talents range from basic bean bags to perhaps a Halloween costume, I appreciate the costuming in period dramas because of the accent of reality they add to the story. Where would Mr. Darcy be without his fine cravat? How could Scarlet O'Hara have been belle of the ball without her hoop skirts? Costuming in Poldark is interesting in this series because of the subtle nuance they have on the storyline. The clothing is relatively accurate but with subdued colors that do not distract from the drama. Read an interview with the series' costume designer here.

Okay,  I admit by the third episode we were joking about scene transitions that featured the same path along a windswept cliff that overlooked the ocean. It was beautiful at first, but by the end of the episodes the only variation included walking characters or folks on horseback. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful setting and the unique coastline beats shots of tired old Regency London any day. The location of this series gives us home bound Americans some views of England we don't get to see everyday.

One of the best elements of this series (or novel) is the large cast of characters. There's not too many, but just enough to divide the main plot into interesting and interwoven story lines. Captain Poldark's ex-lover is a classy chick, which is a refreshing change from the old cliches. His cousin, Verity, allows us an intimate look into a world of arranged marriages where love was approved or denied. Her journey to find the courage to put the love of her life ahead of her family's opinions is riveting. There's a slew of other colorful personalities from bankers and mistresses to miners and drunken servants, and together they make for a fun story with lively, true to life people who lived not too long ago in our distant past.

Yes, he's a character, but Ross Poldark deserves his own category. Turner does a brilliant job bringing to life a character who is moral and manly. He is not infallible though, and we cringe with his friends and love when he drinks too much or overestimates his opponents.  Besides achingly beautiful on the outside, he is moody and reflective and will stop at nothing to make sure the right thing is done--even if it's beneath the law. I'd love to see some swashbuckling swordplay or a couple good punches, but Poldark is a classy act. He uses brain over brawn almost every time. Unless you're asking for it.

Not Just a Chick Flick
As a married woman and mother of 4 boys, my life too often revolves around entertainment that includes explosions, blood, cars, monsters and science experiments. Imagine my surprise when my family began following the Poldark series with me weekly, checking in on the weekends to see when it would air. I attribute this to the brilliant story plotting focused on survival and fortitude, with romance settling for the secondary plot line although you'll hear no complaint here. This series is historically educational, sweetly romantic, and entertaining enough for the whole family--if you want them around while you're soaking up costuming, scenery, and the swoon worthy Captain Poldark.

In other Sea Captainy news...
My beloved, I mean, our beloved Captain Jack Sparrow returns in 2017 in Dead Men Tell No Tales According to IMBD, Orlando Bloom will be returning as Captain Will Turner, and the boys are off to discover the trident of Poseidon. This girl CAN. NOT. WAIT!

Stay balanced,
Danielle Thorne

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