Happy Birthday, George Gershwin!

"The Scarlet Pimpernel"/"Poldark"

Scarletpimpernel The Scarlet Pimpernel

We just finished watching the The Scarlet Pimpernel (right), an enjoyable swashbuckler which takes place during the French Revolution.  Ian McKellen, whom I had known only as Gandalf, was excellent as the bad guy, and Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour were also excellent as the heroic/romantic leads.

I was surprised by Robespierre, one of the minor roles - "It's Dr. Enys from Poldark! (Richard Morant)"


Anyone else remember Poldark?  It was my all-time favorite Masterpiece Theater series from the 1970's.  WUNC-TV played it twice a week, Sunday Night and Thursday night, and I watched them both.  Plus reruns over the summer.  And read all the books (by Winston Graham).  More than once.

Robin Ellis was wonderfully intense as the hero (right), and Angharad Rees was enchantingly gamine and spirited as Demelza (right, middle), the street urchin he marries and turns into the lady of the manor.Demelza   She has the harder job - to keep him from getting all stuffy and full of himself.  And to keep him away from the classy and aristocratic, (and boring and spineless) Elizabeth (right, below, with the bad guy) Plus enemies, mine workers, smugglers, family intrigues, lots of romance, lots of jealousy, and the rocky, stormy coast of Cornwall. 

Some things that I've watched again from the late 70's/early 80's haven't held up so well.  "Romancing the Stone" was fun to watch again, adventure-wise, but I'd forgotten about the language!  We turned off "Nine to Five" by the time we got to the pot-smoking scene because we just weren't interested enough to continue.  I'm not even going to try to watch "Airplane" again.  "I Claudius" was still excellent, but I'd forgotten how brutal it was (You won't look at Captain Picard in quite the same way again).

So, I was cautious when we watched Poldark again a few years ago.  I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time.  This year, for an anniversary present, dear husband got me "Making Poldark," by Robin Ellis.

Elizabeth_1Poldark Links:

Poldark:  The Winston Graham and Poldark Literary Society:  The most complete website I've found about Poldark - including pages about the books, both the series, and Cornwall. 

UKTV Drama:  Poldark:  About the making of Poldark.

Masterpiece Theater:  Poldark I:  The PBS site for Poldark, including Alistair Cooke's introduction to the first episode.

Masterpiece Theater:  Poldark II: The PBS site for Poldark, including Alistair Cooke's introduction to the first episode.



Jeff was just wondering if "I, Claudius" would be as good the second time around. I remember Poldark, although not very well. Very enjoyable and deliciously endless. Also enjoyed Anna Karenina quite a bit. Ah, Masterpiece Theater! It never seemed quite as good to me once I got older.

M Light

I've tried watching it a few times, and it doesn't grab me like it used to. I don't know if it's the show, or me - though I still enjoy the older ones.

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