Poldark’s shirtless scything
A is for cackling, gangsta Aunt Agatha, reader of the Tarot and dropper of the truth bomb, particularly if her 100th birthday bash is cancelled. (‘Please, please let me have my party, Full-On-Evil George.’ ‘No.’ ‘Well, Full-On Evil George, I can’t think how I might respond to that, except to cackle: VALENTINE WAS NO EIGHT-MONTH BABY!’). She is no longer with us, and we sorely miss her and her gangsta ways.
B is for Captain Monk Adderley, known to us as Captain Mad Badderly, who sought to bed Demelzabub, and sat on Ross’s gloves, which led to a duel. Not a great success, that mini-break in London, but no holiday is perfect.
C is for Caroline, doll-like heiress, niece of Bergerac, now married to Dr Eye Candy (sorry, Enys) and, OMG, their baby, Sarah. Let us never talk of her again.
D is for our beloved Demelzabub, with her tumbling red hair and green cat’s eyes and angry baking and never knowing if husband Ross is out there being all noble and good and defying authority or tapping at Elizabeth’s window, so to speak. We were always on Team Demelzabub, but Elizabeth, listen and listen good: not the potion. Stand clear of the potion. Oh, great. You’ve gone and done it now.
E is for Elizabeth, and the way we did all beg: ‘Stand clear of the potion. We do not trust this potion.’ But you could see no other way out, Elizabeth, and now you are no more. RIP, love, and may you be happy in the hereafter, where you are also working velvet teal?
F is for Full-On Evil George, who may be the show’s most fascinating character. He isn’t complex. But Jack Farthing brought depth and vulnerability. ‘Why would I want any of this if she is not here to share it with me?’ Fair do’s. But he could have thought of that a bit earlier.
G is for Geoffrey Charles, son of Elizabeth and Francis, who has taken up where cackling, gangsta Aunt Agatha left off. ‘Why have I not noticed this before? IS VALENTINE NOT THE VERY SPIT OF UNCLE ROSS?’
H is for writer Debbie Horsfield, who so skilfully adapted the books, and also Horace, Caroline’s pug, who has thus far escaped death by marzipan, miraculously.
I is for indoors, which is where we’ll be on Sunday nights for the entire fifth series.
J is for Judd Paynter, the drunken servant who disappeared after series two, although Prudie isn’t complaining. As she told Demelza, she misses him ‘like a ruptured spleen’.
K is for Kyle Soller, who so beautifully played Francis Poldark, and was lately interviewed on the radio and… he’s American! I never knew.
L is for ‘Lips to my lips unfold/Tale of our love is told/Hallowed by the sea and sand/Beauty was in my hand…’ This is the poem Captain Phoarmatige wrote for Demelzabub, proving what some of us had begun to suspect: the poor boy is a rubbish poet.
M is for perpetually pale, perpetually pining Morwenna, who finally married perpetually framed Drake. The couple now plan to open a pop-up shop in Truro selling seashell bracelets.
N is for the narrative loop, which has always essentially been: mines, mines, cliff, mines, love triangle, cliff, mines, ROSS IN TIN BATH, love triangle, mines, cliff, mines. Love triangle. Mines. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
O is for Ossie, the toe-sucking, revolting vicar who was bashed about by Rowella’s husband then dragged off by a horse and killed. For which perpetually framed Drake was… what was it? Got it now: framed.
P is for ‘Poldark’, the name that Winston Graham came to after initially calling the Ross character ‘Polgreen’ after a friend of his, then decided it didn’t sound mysterious or dark enough. You can see what he did there, right?
Q is for questions. Why hasn’t Verity had a proper storyline for ages? What did happen to Judd? Will Morwenna ever find ‘carnal love’ agreeable again? And who, this series, will do the most gazing out to sea? Demelzabub is currently in the lead, but can Caroline catch up?
R is for Ross, whose virtues are many. He befriends his tenants and workers, and labours with them in the fields and the mines. He speaks up for the poorest. He has a romantic scar from the war and looks wonderfully sexy galloping along the cliff on his horse. Just don’t mention the rapey business, is all. Seriously.
S is for shirt off, and shirtless scything, and we should not perve, apparently, as that is ‘sexual objectification’ and ‘reverse sexism’ and ‘double standards’. But my take on the matter is this: until men are draped semi-naked over bonnets at car shows and until men pole dance sexily for women in clubs I’m kind of fine with it. On occasion I have been known to perve, pause, rewind and perve again. It’s fun.
T is for t’aint right, t’aint fair, t’aint proper. Obviously.
U is for Ursula, Little She-Bear, whose mama is dead and whose papa will be off doing Full-On-Evil somewhere, so good luck with it all, Little She-Bear. Good luck.
V is Valentine, with his abundant black curls, ahem.
W is for weeping and wailing because this series is the last, so we will weep. And wail.
X is for when I played an ’xtra and was cast as a ‘poor passer-by’ and was not given a speaking line even though I had practised: ‘The pilchards are coming, the pilchards are coming!’ However, I was promoted to ‘stallholder’, selling hares, apples, eggs, and walnuts. I did tell the director I’d be better off specialising in one thing, like walnuts, but he was not interested. How about pilchards, then? That way, whenever I sold one, I could cry: ‘The pilchards are going, the pilchards are going?’ I have yet to be invited back.
Y is for the years 1800-1810 as covered by the new series.
Z is for… nope, that’s it. Tired now. Going for a nap. Zzzzzz!