What’s Worth Watching: A PBS Hero Reborn

Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen/MASTERPIECE

Poldark, “Episode 1” (Sunday, April 21, 9/8c, PBS)

Let the swooning begin. Masterpiece fans with four-decades-long memories may recall one of the franchise’s earliest hits, the period melodrama Poldark, which has been revived with swarthy, romantic vigor in a new version starring Aidan Turner (of the British Being Human and the Hobbit movies). He cuts a darkly dashing figure as Ross Poldark, brooding handsomely on the gorgeous cliffs of Cornwall as a soldier returning from Revolutionary War defeat to discover a depleted inheritance and a fiancée now pledged to another.

“I fear I possess few of the refinements of polite society,” he laments at a local ball later in the series, but who’s complaining? Poldark’s rough edges and rugged gallantry make for robust and fast-paced escapism, especially once he brings the headstrong ward/servant Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) into his home.