Poldark : About the books...

About the books...

I've read that season 1 of Poldark covers books 1 and 2 of the series, is it safe to assume that season 2 covers books 3 and 4: Jeremy Poldark and Warleggan? I want to pick up from where the TV show left off and read the books but I want to make sure I won't miss anything plotwise (like if the TV show didn't completely finish the entire book 4)

For anyone who hasn't seen the trailer for season 3:

Thanks so much for the help!

Re: About the books...

The TV show did portrays up to the end of Warleggan, if you wish to read the upcoming season, you can start reading The Black Moon.

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thank you!!

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Series 3 will cover Black Moon and half of The Four Swans. If they are going to move forward with a fourth season, I would guess that would cover the second half of The Four Swans and The Angry Tide.

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The BBC have confirmed that this will go to a fourth. The third is in post-production now and is scheduled for screening next spring. The fourth will be shot next year and presumably go out towards the end of 2017 or sometime the following year.

The remaining five novels have a question mark over them in terms of this particular cast. They'll have to wait several years if they want to cover novels eight to twelve, because of the time jump involved in the narrative; and the focus on a middle-aged Ross and Demelza, and the next generation of Poldarks as their children move into adulthood and their own adventures.

The eighth novel The Stranger From the Sea was actually filmed in the 1990s by ITV, with a different cast to the 70's BBC version. It was an unmitigated disaster of a production, of historical interest only because it gave the now much renowned actress Kelly Reilly her first leading role as Ross's daughter, Clowance. There was nothing else to recommend it!

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I think that's a bit unfair. ITV's Poldark suffered mostly from being adapted from a much less interesting story than the earlier series. Novel 8 is disappointing imo.

Mel Martin and John Bowe are both great actors who have done really excellent work in other productions and are never given a fair shake for their stint in Poldark, mostly because they aren't Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees, but also because Ross and Demelza spend 99% of the program apart.

Most of the cast give decent performances. The biggest disappoinment was Caroline Enys. The actress had no charisma, ebpven less than this version's Caroline, and that's saying something. I loved Lady Harriet.

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Well to each his or her own taste.

Frankly John Bowe was miscast as Ross (even with a middle-aged Ross). He didn't have the looks or the charisma to pull off the role, and he was rather too rotund and tubby to be playing Winston Graham's gaunt, still handsome ageing protagonist. Bowe is fine in other roles, but both he and Mel Martin were poorly cast here and fatally lacking in chemistry. They just didn't click, and audiences picked up on this instantly.

It wasn't that Robin and Angharad not playing the roles ruined it, it was simply the fundamental lack of star quality with the two new leads, and also a distinctly lame and unmenacing version of George Warleggan. It was also badly adapted and rife with banal dialogue which didn't derive from the original novel.

I found book eight to be a fine continuation of Winston Graham's saga when I read it (many years ago), and looked forward to the adaptation in the 90s. I wasn't the only one rather disappointed by what ITV had done with it. Audiences loathed it and laughed at it, the critics absolutely murdered it, and the programme controllers at ITV pulled the plug on any plans to adapt the remaining novels. It was a soggy dead-end of an adaptation, and is now a largely (and IMO justifiably) forgotten corner of the Poldark franchise. Only Kelly Reilly has any real reason to be grateful to this project, giving her as it did her entreé into bigger casting opportunities.

But if you're one of that small but loyal band who really enjoyed this one-off version, then fair enough. I'm glad it gave somebody some viewing pleasure.

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You're putting words in my mouth that I never said. I don't have any particular fondness for the ITV film. I was really disappointed when I first watched it, but then I hadn't yet read the book so I didn't know yet what a dud that book was. Jeremy and Clowance are not nearly as interesting as their parents were in the early novels. Ross and Demelza have barely any scenes together. Steven should have drowned in the first chapter imo. I chose not to continue reading the books when I found out he would be included.

I just don't think fans of the 70s series are fair to the actors in the program, which imo suffers from being adapted from a far inferior novel. Imo Martin and Bowe are performers of the same calibre as Ellis and Rees. Martin's performances in The Pallisrs and Love for Lydia were wonderful -- as good and even better than anything I've seen Rees do. Martin's Demelza is much closer to Graham's Demelza, amd IIRC, Graham was extremely pleased with the portrayals of his protagonists in that film. As for Bowe, I've only seen a couple of his performances, and nothing that would make me feel he was not as good an actor as Ellis. Notably his role in Precious Bane.

I don't have a particular fondness for the ITV film, but apparently WG did. He liked what they did with his story and characters, esp Demelza. Given how far the 75 version strayed from Demelza of the books, I think he has a point.

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I'm more an admirer of the original novels than I am an outright fan of any of the three television versions. I early on recognised the flaws of the 70's version, just as much as I then observed the flaws of the one-off 1990's show (and come to that, the new BBC version as well).

The novels have something that IMO none of the adaptations have managed to quite capture. If you haven't ever read the remainder of the novels after The Stranger From the Sea, please do so. They really are worth sticking with. Once you get into the lives of the next generation, the story becomes as compulsive as ever. And Valentine Warleggan develops into the most fascinatingly neurotic, Byronic and tragic character. The dark side of Ross.

John Bowe is an actor I have nothing against. He's a solid character actor, but (and this is the clincher) he's just not a romantic lead. Robin Ellis (for all the drawbacks of the 70's version) very much was.

None of the three actresses who have attempted to play Demelza have (IMO) managed to quite capture her as written on the page. Why could they never cast the role as Winston Graham wrote her - raven haired and dark eyed, both fiesty and ethereal? I never felt that Angharad was an exact fit for the role (although she was a lovely lady), so it's not as if I was ever ferociously loyal to the 70's BBC version, or dementedly loyal to the Robin/Angharad pairing in the way that some of the outspoken fans of that version were.

Winston Graham's seemingly positive attitude to the 90's adaptation was more that he was glad to have been consulted over the script, unlike with the '75 series. He actually had the producer of the '75 BBC series sacked and replaced for taking liberties with his texts! He made positive comments in the media about the ITV version because he had agreed to do some PR interviews for them as they provisionally hoped to launch a new franchise of adaptations of the remaining Poldark novels. This of course came to nothing. The critics slaughtered the adaptation, and ITV dropped the idea like a hot potato.

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John Bowe is an actor I have nothing against. He's a solid character actor, but (and this is the clincher) he's just not a romantic lead.

One of my favourite romantic heroes in all fiction is Kester Woodseaves in Mary Webb's Precious Bane. John Bowe played him to perfection.

However, I was one of those who watched the adaptation of Stranger From the Sea with resentment because Ellis and Rees had not been permitted (for whatever reason) to reprieve their roles. I didn't give it a fair crack of the whip.

If there aren't any skeletons in a man's closet, there's probably a Bertha in his attic.

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As I said, I've nothing against him, and he's fine in other roles. He just wasn't right for Ross Poldark. He didn't look the part and he didn't have the right presence for that particular role. He's been more successful (and more successfully cast) in other roles before and since then .

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If you haven't ever read the remainder of the novels after The Stranger From the Sea, please do so.

While s1 was running on BBC last year, I did start to think I might give them a go.
But then I found out about Butto, Valentine's pet ape, so chances are extremely slim. Practically non-existent.

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Oh well, fair enough.

They are super novels though. A cast of really interesting new characters come to the fore; not just the Poldark family at Nampara, but the new characters among the local villagers and the gentry.

My favourites of the new generation were always Music Thomas and Katie Carter (the late Jim Carter's daughter - Jim being the doomed young lad whom Ross took out of jail in the very first novel). The relationship between Music and Katie showcases Winston Graham (I find) at his finest - a storyline both recognisably human and hilarious in its tragi-comic farce. Well worth reading if you should ever reconsider giving the other books a go.

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But then I found out about Butto, Valentine's pet ape

Oh dear. I can't blame you there.

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It would be fascinating if WG actually continued the series in the hopes that the later novels would be adapted.

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The novels were a financial and critical success in their own right, decades before they were first adapted for the screen.

Graham was happy enough to continue writing them for the sheer pleasure (and lucrative high book sales) of being able to write an enormously popular sweeping saga spanning three generations. Any considerations about screen adaptations of his novels would probably have just been seen as something to be considered on an ad hoc basis.

The novels are the complete and definitive Poldark in and of themselves. He just loved writing them, and having such a wide canvas upon which to tell his story between writing the first novel in 1945 and the finale in 2002.

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Ioan Gruddfurd is also likely pretty thankful for the role. Don't forget that he'd be getting his role as Horatio Hornblower only 2 years later. I'm guessing that playing Jeremy helped get him noticed.

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and Hans Matheson.

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