'Poldark – Season 5’
(Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ellise Chappell, Tim Dutton, Beatie Edney, Jack Farthing, Kerri McLean, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: Following the death of Elizabeth, Ross Poldark resolves to put Westminster behind him.
But when an old friend pleads for help, Ross is compelled to challenge the establishment again, drawing the Poldarks into greater danger than ever before.
DVD Verdict: Personally, I loved the first four seasons and have also read all the books (and loved them too), so I was pleased to see this series stick so closely to those books along the way.
However, come this fifth season and suddenly the whole run seems to have been a complete and utter fabrication by the writers! There was a 10 year time jump in the books between book seven - The Angry Tide, which ends with Elizabeth's death, and book eight - The Stranger From The Sea.
So, the writers decided to tie up loose ends by making up a final season here, and ending things early within this fifth season.
They also wanted to avoid the difficulties involved in that time jump, for example explaining how Ross become a spy in Portugal. I really wish they had not bothered, because the result is dire, sorry.
For some reason Ross and Demelza's children have not grown older, neither have the other characters - except for Geoffrey Charles who seems to have missed the memo about no time jump, because he has aged years and is now a young man, not a schoolboy!
Also, whilst I'm on this rant, the plot reuses tired old devices from earlier seasons - another mine disaster, another famine, another prison break - but does, at least, introduce new characters.
Ned Despard was a real historical character, so was his wife, but they don't seem to have ever visited Cornwall! Horatio Nelson testified at the real Despard's trial, but doesn't get a gig here!
They also introduce a silly young female "revolutionary" who brings a wealth of nastiness to what plot there is! They also created a stupid romance for Geoffrey Charles, which was pointless and not worthy of the writers time and effort (let alone the poor character!)
So yeah, this fifth season focuses on the sort of dark nastiness you might find in a bad American soap, without the inevitable rescues in the nick of time.
Heaven knows what Winston Graham would have made of all this because, in my humble opinion, this fifth and now final season completely ruins all that went before it.
In saying all that, and playing journalist Devil's Advocate here, in general, 'Poldark' is brilliant because of the great locations it is filmed at; like the shire county of Cornwall.
Overall though, it is well written and the characters are well portrayed by the actors, and the cinematography is amazing and the music is a treat also.
And whoever cast Aidan and Eleanor deserves the top prize as they are both so attractive, so distinctive-looking and so right for the parts! The man has become a heart-throb for many, even though we may not realize it's Aidan as Ross that we are all in love with, of course!
So much heart, and warmth, and passion, and emotion! Magnetic smile and voice. Demelza's natural beauty is a treat for the eyes also. Tender, yet strong. Simple, yet incredibly wise.
In closing, the fifth and final season of 'Poldark' is action-packed, albeit not anything close to the books or the script laid out for it a long time ago, that gives us viewers an exciting (albeit not correct book wise) ending to the beloved series. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.