I have to confess I was slightly underwhelmed by the first episode of Poldark. Granted it’s been a while since it was last on, so they probably thought a recap was in order, but it felt like over half of it was reminding us what had happened in the last series.
So we have Ross (of course), just as gorgeous and brooding as ever. Demelza, feisty and spirited, still righteously cross about Ross dipping the Poldark toe into Elizabeth, so to speak, although slightly less cross due to her own dalliance with Very Pretty Hugh, who looks like he’d be more at home on Made in Chelsea. Elizabeth, considerably less attractive since her adoption of her husband’s snootiness, George, mouth still like a cat’s anus. Cornwall’s very own Romeo and Juliet – the exceedingly baby-faced Drake and perpetually mournful Morwenna, forever under the watchful eye of the oily Rev, who is like a Christopher Biggins gone bad.
While I was waiting for something to happen and marvelling at how much galloping on horseback across the countryside there seemed to be (it could have rivalled a Lloyds bank ad), I fell to wondering if you put the combined hair of the cast members together, how far would it stretch? For they are all an astonishingly hirsute bunch, man, woman and horse. And there’s always a strong wind, so the locks are blown madly hither and thither. Demelza’s hair has definitely got redder, which is interesting because I don’t think L’Oreal stretched to Cornwall in the eighteenth century.
Finally, some action happened. There was a skirmish on the dock between the merchants, who were shipping grain abroad, and the starving locals. George’s hitman Tom, who looks like a demented Jaffa cake, witnessed the demise of a merchant due to cracking his head on a bollard. Seeing as Drake and Pious Sam, Demelza’s brothers, were in the vicinity; and knowing how his owner, sorry, master, doesn’t like ANYTHING to do with Ross (bit of a pisser as his master's son is Ross’ as we all know), he went scuttling back on his piggy legs to stitch them up.
In the blink of an eye, they’re a noose away from meeting their maker. Of course, at the eleventh hour, Ross gives an impassioned speech and the brothers are saved. Not the other one though. Can’t remember his name. He didn’t kill the merchant either, but he was involved in the fighting. George struts off in a huff, resolving to try harder next time. Jaffa wouldn’t let it lie either. In episode two, he challenged Sam to a wrestling match. Seeing as he’s the size of about five Sams, this is monstrously unfair, but no-one blinks an eye as the ring is set up, ready for all the children to witness a nice piece of brutality. Jaffa wins by insinuating he’s already had Sam’s crush Emma, then literally knocks the stuffing out of him. He proceeds to get drunk as a skunk much to George’s embarrassment, who promptly fires him.
Elsewhere, Demelza and Caroline-whose-face-never-moves, manage to sort out the spat between the gentlemen about which bit of land belongs to who. I’m a bit hazy about this, but then I’m only a silly girl. Which was precisely the argument the women used. Demelza also found time in her busy schedule to hold Hugh’s hand on his deathbed. He wanted to know if he had another chance with her. She is still wracked with guilt over the last time, so declined and he literally had nothing left to live for. Poor guy, he’d already been subjected to a whole load of leeches, she could at least have lied to him.
A new candidate had to be found to contest George The Nasty, who will only be happy once all the rabble have been silenced. I’m surprised the production team haven’t made his face orange and given him a blonde quiff to be honest. Ross is chosen, naturally, and wins by the slightest of margins, despite George having greased enough pockets to fry a whole vat of potatoes.
‘I have been treated with contempt because my ancestry is inferior to his,’ he humpfs before doing his customary flounce out. George, you’ve been treated with contempt because you’re a massive thundering turd, but you’ll never see it. So Ross is off to London, leaving Demelza unguarded. Might be a risky move. Hugh may be gone, but there’s bound to be others in his wake. Or even at his wake….