- About the Author
- On Active Service
We are of the generation that watched the original series and under its spell avidly read all the Winston Graham books. And what a series it was. Those were the days when we didn’t have video recorders and no one would dare miss an episode. We were all memorised by the moody Ross Poldark, the feisty Demelza, the scheming Warleggans, the family feuding and the struggle for survival. It was a love story with a difference. As far as I was concerned nothing could come close to the original. When I read the books I saw Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees in my mind and I thought I could never visual them any differently. It seemed very brave to dare to re-make it with new actors, knowing many people will consider it a pale imitation of the original.
So it was with a sense of trepidation that I watched the first episode. Yet I have to say I have not been disappointed. At first it seemed strange to see all the people I knew so well, Ross, Elizabeth, Demelza, Verity, all with different faces but I’ve soon grown used to it. This new series seems to have more depth, to get under the skin of the characters more.
I could never really understand Ross hankering after the dreary Elizabeth when he had the fiery Demelza so close by, but in this version Elizabeth’s character is more sympathetically drawn. We understand her difficulties, difficulties that would have been unsurmountable in her time. How can she possibly marry Ross? He can scarcely provide for himself, let alone her. She has no choice but to bow to her fate and she does it with great dignity. It’s not as if Frances is an unkind man. He adores her and in her own way she loves him. In the original her decision irked me. In this version I feel sorry for her.
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark has an easier role. He simply has to be moody, dark and brooding and he does it all brilliantly. To my mind he’s not as good-looking as Robin Ellis but he certainly has the same charisma.
And so to Demelza. Could anyone ever match the minxy Angharad Rees who stole all the men’s hearts? The new Demelza, Eleanor Tomlinson, however is far more like the tall slim tomboyish Demelza portrayed by Winston Graham in the books and again the relationship between her and Ross is more subtly and accurately portrayed than in the original series.
As for the minor characters, Frances and Verity Poldark, Ross’s wicked uncle, the Warleggans, Judd and Prudie Painter, Pascoe, they’re all just perfect.
I’m absolutely smitten with it and I’m just so pleased someone was brave enough to re-make what is, to me, a great romantic story.
Bethany Askew is the author of seven novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days, Poppy’s Seed, Three Extraordinary Years and The Two Saras.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Two more women’s fiction books have been accepted for publication in 2020 and 2021 respectively and she is currently working on a new novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.