A Very British Person (AKA Joe Parkinson) Reviews: Poldark

Joe Parkinson

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eetings everyone! My name is Joe Parkinson, a very British person with opinions on things, that I hope might be of some minor interest to you! This month, my attention has been grabbed by the excellent BBC drama “Poldark”, set in 1780’s Cornwall.

I cannot deny that I immediately took against the protagonist, Ross Poldark when he was asked why the American Revolution had not gone well for the British Army: “because we were on the wrong side” he said broodingly. I was left sobbing into my Union Jack cushion at this monstrous betrayal, and after some outrageous remark about “liberty and tyranny”, Poldark himself was permanently cast from my good graces. However, my bitterness aside, Aidan Turner puts in an excellent performance as Poldark, ensuring that the character comes across as noble, honest and diligent (despite actually being a bit of a moron), and has now for me earned the epithet “fourth most famous guy to play a dwarf in “The Hobbit”” – a prestigious award.

While there is no doubt that Ross Poldark is a character with packs of popular appeal (6 packs – if you catch my drift), some characters are far less assertive, providing engaging and entertaining dynamics. For example, Ross’s weak-chinned cousin Francis, who in comparison to the lead’s macho appearance is about as beefy as a Findus lasagne, is a constant source of stress as he bungles his way through the local area. For me, this is the greatest flaw of “Poldark”; I find that the social embarrassment that befalls some of the characters is just too painful to watch.

Frankly, I think this is my fault rather than the programme’s as I am the kind of person who had to stop watching “Downton Abbey” because of the footling social embarrassment it presented, turning to “Spooks” instead. People being brutally murdered: Fine, I can deal with that. However, a butler dropping some cutlery in front of a posh woman: Nightmare. In one particularly trying scene, a woman – rightly irked by Poldark’s rudeness towards her – pointedly complains about servants “rising above their station”, fully-aware that Poldark’s wife Demelza is herself a former servant. Awkward. So awkward that I fled from the room in terror, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you what happened next, though I’m sure lightsabers were not involved.

In all seriousness though, “Poldark” has been a great series, not least for the beautiful Cornish scenery that forms a sumptuous backdrop to the programme. If you have a desire to visit places akin to those that feature in the series, I can highly recommend the Levant and Geevor mines on the north coast, the latter of which is still operation and open to the public.

Apologies for any inadvertent offence that I may have caused, and until next time, farewell!

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