Tag Archives: TV

A new Poldark means…a new Warleggan.

Aidan Turner as Poldark.

Photo from pbs.org.

I’ve loved the Poldark saga for decades now. Fell in love with the original series, read all the books.

And now I’m on Cloud Nine because not only is there a new production of Poldark for Masterpiece/PBS/BBC, but it’s starring Aidan Turner as Poldark.  I can pretend I’m watching Jamie from Summer’s Winter on an acting job, because Aidan Turner comes closest to my mental picture of Jamie.

But for now…let’s talk George Warleggan.

I’m enjoying the new Poldark adaptation and most of the actors, but I’m having a hard time with the new Warleggan. Not because Jack Farthing doesn’t seem to be a perfectly capable actor, but first, because he seems miscast. George Warleggan, the slimy nemesis to Ross Poldark, was described by author Winston Graham as always looking too stocky and bullish for his elegant clothes–as though he never could escape his common blacksmith origins.

Ralph Bates as George Warleggan in the 1970s adaptation of the Poldark saga.

Ralph Bates, in the 1970s adaptation, was in my humble opinion, perfect. Cold, calculating–and physically powerful. Yes, he could have come from a family of blacksmiths.

And now, take a look at the new Warleggan. He looks and acts like nobility, like an elegant fop. This character does NOT communicate to me a man who is so insecure about his low-class roots that he’s never comfortable in his expensive, tailed clothes–and that he’s consumed with envy of the Poldarks and their ilk.
George Warleggan played by Jack Farthing in new PBS/Masterpiece/BBC production of Poldark.In last night’s episode, I also had trouble with the implication that he was consorting with a Truro lady of ill repute. In the novels (and earlier adaptation), one of the things that telegraphed George’s coldness was his frigidity around women. Except for wanting to take an elegant woman of the higher classes for his wife as a sort of trophy, he really wasn’t interested.  George Warleggan wouldn’t be caught dead with a common, well…you know.

I just looked at the two Warleggan pictures I shared. At least they both look surly. 🙂

Are you watching the new Poldark? What do you think?



Lady Mary and Dealing with Grief

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary on Downton Abbey.
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary on Downton Abbey.

Last night’s Downton Abbey was a shocker. I’m still reeling from what happened to my favorite character, Anna–and worried what it will do to my favorite couple, Anna and Bates.

But in the midst of all that, there was a quiet moment from Lady Mary that really struck me. She was talking to Anna about her grief over losing her husband, and said she was mourning not only Matthew, but also for the person she used to be when he was alive.

That’s not something I recall hearing before, but oddly enough, I said something similar about myself a couple of months ago.

I lost my father back in March, and I spent a lot of time taking care of him for several years before then. Life became very busy, and crammed with my full-time job plus caregiving. Somehow, the imaginative Robin with her head full of stories got crowded out. There wasn’t time to think, let alone to dream.

I went through a period of mourning back in the fall when I almost felt dead, myself. Most of the time I felt flat and not at all creative, and I would remember the “old Robin” with a kind of sadness. But then there would come times when a song, or a sunny day, or something unexpected would revive me, and then that hurt, too, because the memories would come flooding in. Then–like Lady Mary–I would feel grief for the old Robin with her family intact, and with her funny, fun dad.

I’m better now. I thank God I have my book coming out soon. It’s forcing me to think of stories and be creative again, and that’s a very good thing. And most days, I feel revived. But grief is an up and down thing.

I’ll be watching Lady Mary’s journey (and Matthew’s mom, Isobel) with interest this season. I trust the Downton Abbey writers to handle it with sensitivity and to keep it real.

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