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Masterpiece: Poldark — The Complete First Season (Full UK-Length Edition) Blu-ray Review

poldark-s1-bluray-coverU.S. Release (Region A Locked)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

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Poldark is a romantic drama based on the novels of Winston Graham. This series, being revisited by British television for the first time since the sensation that was the Poldark series in the mid-70s, follows main character, the firebrand Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner, The Hobbit), a soldier returned home from the American Revolutionary War in 1783 to his home in Cornwall only to find his father dead, his family copper mines in financial ruins, and his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth (Heida Reed) engaged to marry his first cousin Francis (Kyle Soller). Still reeling from heartache, Ross turns to the abandoned copper mine on his father’s much less desirable portion of the Poldark estates and launches into a risky business venture to resurrect it. Meanwhile, Ross also manages to find love in the most unexpected of places, with his young firey maid, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson, Death Comes to Pemberley).

A beautifully filmed series set on the Cornish coast, filled with imagery of breezy pastures and rocky coastlines, this series, despite its wont for melodrama, finds a way to examine the age old problems of British society, mainly class distinctions, the poverty of the lower classes, and the hypocrisies of the upper classes.

While Aidan Turner gets top billing here and does turn in a superb performance, it is the painfully beautiful and talented Tomlinson who manages to steal the series as the “low bred” maid who manages to move up in status through her surprising love story with the upper class, but very sympathetic Ross Poldark. She really shows her abilities in the later part of the series when an unexpected tragedy strikes the couple.

The series ends on a cliffhanger, leaving Ross’ fate hanging in the balance, and I for one am waiting with bated breath to find out what happens next in this addictive series.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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Poldark is an original high definition production that arrives on Blu-ray from PBS in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement. It offers a generally pleasing image with only a slight bit of digital video noise. The color reproduction and contrast is strong, particularly during the numerous scenes of sunrises and sunsets along the coast this series seems overly found of.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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Poldark comes to Blu-ray from PBS with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) stereo soundtrack. The sound would have been well serviced with a 5.1 mix given the sweeping orchestral score, the numerous outdoor scenes and the coastal scenes featuring windswept shorelines. That said, this stereo track works well, with strong stereo imaging, good dynamics and clear dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

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  • Part One cast and crew commentary
  • Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:42)
  • Poldark the Man (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:54)
  • Poldark – The Women Behind the Man (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:01)


The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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If you like series like Outlander, then Poldark will definitely be for you. In fact, it may be even better than Outlander. You’ll be swept away by the romance and drama of Poldark.

Additional Screen Captures

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