PBS Sundays will feature a new show in their Masterpiece series. This time the selection is based on a novel set in the 18th century. The new version of the English sensation Poldark is coming to America this summer.
The television show is based on a set of 12 novels written by Winston Graham. According to his official website, the books are set in Cornwall during the late 18th century. The story is focused on five main characters and covers their trials and tribulations with love and business. The main character of the stories is Ross Poldark.
Graham was born in Manchester, England in 1908. According to his website he has published over 50 written works. Many of his more popular pieces were turned into films, among these was Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Graham did not complete the Poldark series until 2002. He died shortly thereafter in July 2003. His site claims that the author never quit working, and when asked would avoid talking about his age.
Poldark is no stranger to the television screen. In the 1970s, the BBC aired the original version of the series. The Los Angeles Times reports this was a 25-hour long showcase that boosted the tourist industry of Cornwall with its popularity. They explain this is a story driven by characters more than anything else.
The story starts when Poldark returns from fighting in the Revolutionary War to find his estate a disaster. His fiancé is now engaged to his cousin, and he ends up rescuing a girl from an abusive father. PBS describes the series as delightful and exciting.
Poldark is an English sensation and will be coming to America’s PBS this summer. This version will take place over eight episodes. Aidan Turner, of The Hobbit, steps in to play the starring role. Eleanore Tomlinson, Death Comes to Pemberley, plays Demelza the woman rescued by the hero.
PBS’ Masterpiece series premiered in 1971 and was hosted by Alistair Cooke. Cooke hosted the show until 2004 when he retired. The host describes what is about to be presented to the viewer. Since Cooke, the show has had several hosts including Laura Linney and Gillian Anderson. Vincent Price has hosted for Masterpieces’ mystery collection as well.
For the 40th anniversary of Masterpiece, PBS established the Masterpiece Trust in which fans can donate to keep the series running. Most of the shows are set in England and often are based on popular literary works.
This new series of Masterpiece airs on Sunday nights at 9 PM Eastern Time on PBS. Episode one will start it off on June 21, 2015. The New York Times reports the eight-episode season covers the first two novels in the series and a second season has already been ordered.
In The New York Times’ review of Poldark, they say the show plays on the audience’s emotions and is full of plot twists. They explain that packing two full novels into eight episodes makes for fast paced story telling. Each night is going to be loaded with action.
Their review describes Poldark as a noble, kind-hearted man who takes care of those in need and befriends those who work under him. When the show is not focused solely on the characters, it details a changing English society and rising competition in the mining business.
Poldark has already been released in April of this year in England, Australia, and New Zealand. According to some sources, the series already has about seven million viewers. They claim the new version has the same hold over the audience as the original had in the 1970s. Viewers are inspired by a nobleman who cares for the people. Poldark has been a sensation in England and is coming to America this summer.
By Megan Hellmann
Winston Graham Official Website
The New York Times- Review: ‘Poldark’ on PBS’ Masterpiece
The Los Angeles Times- Review: ‘Poldark’ Mines a Reliable Literary Source
Photo Courtesy of George Thomas’ Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Vagueontheshow’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License