Programme: Poldark, series 4
Synopsis: 1796: To defend Cornwall and those he loves from an empowered George, Ross must learn to play the political game on a journey that takes him to the nation’s capital. While Demelza manages the Poldark’s affairs at home, Elizabeth moves to further secure her marriage but Drake struggles in resigning Morwenna to life with Osborne, and the Enyses are tested as never before.
I deliberated whether to write this review. When I reviewed series 3, people weren’t happy I wasn’t gushing with praise. Heaven forbid there were things I didn’t enjoy!
But I’ve always prided myself on being an honest blogger. If something makes it onto my schedule, then I’m going to review it regardless of how I feel. I’ve spent the time watching/reading etc, why shouldn’t I write down my feelings?
That being said, I thought series 4 of Poldark was stronger than previous series. The introduction of the next generation/younger characters previously meant different storylines were taking place, different struggles and different themes to follow rather than it being limited to the same characters as the beginning.
It was these secondary developments that held my interest throughout the series: I wanted to know how Dwight and Caroline’s relationship would grow and if Drake and Morwenna would find a way to be with one another.
I also felt it was sub-plots where the most character/relationship development which took place, which is why they were more interesting.
I love the Demelza/Ross relationship. But I can’t help feeling its stagnated. We’ve literally had the same plot for about the last four series: do they love each other or is there someone else? We finally left behind the Elizabeth/Ross/Demelza triangle last series, only this time, they spun it on its head and continued with the mistrust and arguments due to another affair.
I think there was only one episode where they weren’t either apart/arguing. It was my favourite one! The pair of them together are an unstoppable force and if the writers developed that, the interactions would be entertaining and the drama could be something other than whether they’re still going to be together at the end of the episode. I feel like there has literally been no development in their relationship since series 2, other than one step forward, two steps back.
I watched the majority of this series on my commute. I’m honestly not certain it would have held my attention if I was watching it at home; this lack of development really irritated me. Imagine another series where the characters literally do not move on in four series – they don’t tend to last.
I enjoyed the split location between London and Cornwall and the fact that the plotlines had, in some ways, moved on as Ross becomes an MP. It’s not the same mining story that has been the underlying theme previously. There were also a few moving stories and there seemed a good balance between how much attention was paid to each character arc.
It makes it more frustrating in a way. It started to move on, but due to a lack of development in the main characters’ relationship, these new stories weren’t given the justice they deserved.
Given how the series ended (no spoilers, please), it will certainly be interesting to see how things are stirred up in the future.
I enjoyed it, but I was also frustrated by it.