DVD Reviews

Poldark: The Complete Collection – DVD Review

By June L. Jan 4, 2013, 19:39 GMT

Poldark: The Complete Collection – DVD Review

One of the 10 most popular shows in Masterpiece Theatre history, this epic saga is a British Gone with the Wind. Set in 18th-century Cornwall after America\'s War for Independence, it stars Robin Ellis as Capt. Ross Poldark, a young hero who returns home to find his estate in ruins, his inheritance gone, and his beloved Elizabeth (Jill Townsend) engaged to another man. This DVD is Subtitled for the Deaf ...more

Acorn has the two seasons of Poldark on DVD for individual purchase, but now offers the series in a single complete set.  It is newly packaged and accompanied by a multipage color illustrated booklet containing among other bits of Poldark legend, the first chapter of star Robin Ellis’s book MAKING POLDARK.  This is a wonderful addition to any collection. 

Based on the novels of Winston Graham, the quality of the literary drama has held up through the years.  It is just as compelling a saga as it was when first aired.

Long before there were nighttime soaps, people were rushing home on Sunday evenings to catch Masterpiece Theater on PBS and to watch compelling multi-episode series such as The First Churchills and Poldark.  Poldark is the story of a veteran’s return home after his tour of duty, and his often desperate attempts to pick up life where he left it before he was deployed. 

The veteran here is Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) a landowner from Cornwall, England and the war is the American Revolution. Things have changed while Captain Ross Poldark has been away fighting for King and Country, and suffering in a French prison camp. 

Not the least of what he now faces in his life is the marriage of his adored fiancée Elizabeth (Jill Townsend) to Francis (Clive Francis) who is Ross’s cousin.

It is the end of the 18th Century and American bid for freedom is spreading ideas of democracy for all people.  It doesn’t help that the ruling class in Poldark’s part of the world is cruel, greedy, and determined that the lower classes will never succeed in achieving anything, especially equality. 

The tin mines that Ross Poldark owns are faltering, the business has been mismanaged and due to the power and avarice of the privileged Warleggan family, smuggling is rampant in Cornwall.

George Warleggan (Ralph Bates) becomes Ross’s sworn enemy and is set on destroying Ross’s life.  Into this brew of troubles comes Demelza (Angharad Rees) a spitfire urchin, who will ultimately help Ross move on with his life and plans. 

Fans will enjoy reliving these dramatic stories and new audiences will respond to the often turbulent but deeply passionate romance of Ross and Demelza, as well as become emotionally engaged with other characters.  Not just a drama of emotions, the elements of the story have their basis in historical struggles and political scenarios of the time. 

In addition to that element of veracity, each actor or actress portrays the character as a real person, not just a fancy prop in a costume drama.  From the beginning we care what happens to these people, we mourn for their losses, share their tragedies, hope for better times, fall in love, experience happiness and suffer heartbreaks as the story unfolds. 

Poldark: The Complete Collection is presented on eight discs with all 29 episodes of the series.  Specials include the above mentioned booklet, cast biographies and background information and history of Cornwall.  If you have never seen the Poldark series, now is your chance to get this beloved classic. 

Fine acting, well-written scripts, and scrupulous detail to time period make this a cut above most costume dramas.  This edition was released in January of 2012, but is so good it bears being brought to the attention of audiences again.

Visit the DVD database for more information.

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