What’s Worth Watching: ‘Poldark’ on PBS for Sunday, August 2

Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza in Poldark
Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen
Poldark Sundays, June 21 - August 2, 2015 on MASTERPIECE on PBS Part Seven Sunday, August 2, 9:00 - 10:00pm ET When Verity makes her move, Poldark gets blamed and events spiral out of control. An epidemic leads to tragedy. And a shipwreck is both a blessing and a curse. Shown: Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza

Poldark, “Episode 7” (Sunday, Aug. 2, PBS 9/8c)

There’s a full season’s worth of scandal, tragedy, financial skullduggery and peril—including a deadly medical “putrid throat” epidemic and a fateful shipwreck—bedeviling the dashing Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) and his spirited bride Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) in Poldark‘s sweeping two-hour climax of high melodrama. This Masterpiece Classic remake of one of the franchise’s earliest hits in the 1970s, adapting Winston Graham’s novels set in the late 1700s, has a timelessly romantic quality, epitomized by frequent shots of Poldark galloping across the scenic cliffs of Cornwall to confront one crisis or another.

In the finale, the elopement of Ross’s dear spinster cousin Verity (Ruby Bentall), facilitated without his knowledge or consent by a well-meaning Demelza, triggers a series of betrayals and reversals of misfortune (most from the connivance of the villainous Warleggen banking family). “I’m afraid you’ll be unhappy for a very long time,” Ross warns his mate, and by the season’s cliffhanger end, the escalating calamities have us wondering if and when fortune will smile again upon the Poldarks. Well, there’s always next season—and happily, there will be one.