Television Review: Poldark, Series 2


Poldark 1Series 2 of Poldark opens with Ross facing justice for looting and inciting a riot. If George Warlaggen has his way, it will be the hangman’s noose for him.

But the ex-soldier has faced tougher spots and lives to fight another day. But there is no end to the fighting for Ross: a failing mine, destroyed family relationships, grief and a wife who wants nothing to do with him are all trials he must overcome.

Ross is not the only one who must confront pain. Demelza questions her husband’s loyalty while Francis debates if his life is even worth living.

Show: Poldark. Series 2

Channel: BBC

Date: 2016

Rating: 3/5


poldarkI mainly watched Poldark, series 2 on my commute to university each week. I have to admit that if I wasn’t trying to kill an hour of a train journey, I’m not sure I would have stuck with it.

While individual episodes had their own strengths and weaknesses, I felt this series lacked character development and the plots never really went anywhere.

The opening episodes were the strongest, probably because there was a sense of danger. The Poldark’s were united in the face of Ross’ trial and knew what they were fighting for.

That sense of unity certainly didn’t last!

Having Ross and Francis unite finally felt like their storyline could move past bickering. But while they progressed, Demelza and Ross’ relationship became stagnate. Trust disappeared and Elizabeth came between them several times – a story arc that I thought had been resolved in series one.

The lack of progression in the story meant there was little chance for the character’s to develop. Demelza continued to be the strongest character, overcoming anything that came her way. But Elizabeth – despite the friction she caused – was aimless and annoying and Ross’ stubbornness started to detract from his likeability as a character – Demelza held my sympathy the whole time.

The one character who did progress was Dwight Enys. Given his own love story (compared to the fling of series 1) and a chance to prove himself as a doctor and a man made him a highly likeable character. This is a spoiler free review but I’ll just say I thought he got what he deserved in the end.

Some episodes were stronger than others. A particular strong one for me was episode 7, where once again Ross was in danger of being caught in a smuggling operation. The tension remained high throughout the episode and it gave the audience the chance to empathise with the characters over something other than their failed relationships.

I know the series follows the books, which would explain the storylines and the lack of progression. That being said, I hope the third series allows events to move forward other than this constant cycle of revenge, love and bitterness that undercut series 2.

Series 2 left me disappointed compared to series 1.

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