Aidan Turner, BBC One, Demelza, Eleanor Tomlinson, Heida Reed, Jack Farthing, Jason Thorpe, Kyle Soller, Luke Norris, Matthew Wilson, Poldark, Poldark Series 1, Ross Poldark, Sabrina Bartlett, TV recap, Winston Graham
A new doctor arrives in Cornwall to the delight of Ross (and audiences). Dr Dwight Enys (Luke Norris) is the man responsible for patching up Ross during his time at war in America. He has arrived in town to study mine diseases, something which Dr Choake deems to be unworthy of his time. After all, those who suffer from such illnesses – the poor miners – cannot afford to pay him. “Isn’t the saving of a life payment enough?” Dwight asks. Apparently not.
A travelling troupe also arrives in the district to provide some much-needed entertainment. Mark Daniel (Matthew Wilson), Ross’ old friend and right-hand man at the mine, is particularly smitten with one particular member of the troupe, an actress named Keren (Sabrina Bartlett). Their courtship is brief and they quickly marry. It is immediately obvious that Keren’s desire to marry Mark is driven more by her assumption he could provide for her than her desire for him. The way she frowned with disappointment at the sight of the small cottage that Mark has spruced up for her speaks volumes. The fact she is already flirting with Dwight at her own wedding feast foreshadows bad things to come for poor Mark.In the meantime, Ross and Demelza have their own reason to be happy: the arrival of baby Julia. As the new parents hold their newborn and remark at the miracle in their arms, the following exchange has my heart soaring with happiness along with them:
Ross: “I promise you I will make the world a better place for her. I will be a better man for her sake.”
Demelza: “And for me?”
Ross: “I am already a better man because of you.”
OK, for all the mothers-to-be out there reading this, I will give you a moment to show this to your partner and let them take this in and remember the words to say when the baby arrives.
The baby’s arrival is celebrated with a christening. Despite Demelza’s wish for there to be separate parties for “his” people and hers, Ross invites everyone to Nampara to celebrate together, including his in-laws. Tom Carne’s arrival with his new wife brings little joy to anyone, least of all Demelza, and it takes all of Ross’ diplomacy to calm him down without all-out brawls.
With her own happiness seeming to have no end, Demelza finds it painful to see Verity continuing to pine for her lost love, Captain Blamey. She takes it upon herself to play matchmaker and seeks out Blamey to gauge his feelings. Demelza’s plan works and she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that will eventually result in her own downfall.
Dr Choake continues to show his disapproval of Ross’ marriage to someone beneath his class and sells his shares in Wheal Leisure to the Warleggans. Ross knows that the Warleggans have been putting pressure on all the mines by buying up all the copper with no competition and driving the price down. He makes an offhanded remark to Dwight that his fellow mine owners should form their own smelting company and buy their own copper to start bidding up the price. This proves to be not such a bad idea after all as other investors agree.
Meanwhile, George invites Ross and Francis to a “party” which is not so much a party with music and dancing as it is a roomful of rich men playing cards and gambling away their inheritances. Francis, who by now is spending more time with George and the town prostitute than he is at home with Elizabeth and their son, Geoffrey Charles, ends up staking Grambler on cards against Matthew Sanson (Jason Thorpe) and losing.
Upon closing down his mine, Francis dismisses his workers, now with even less hope than before. Elizabeth tells Ross that she refuses to feel sorry for Francis’ self-inflicted pain and is determined to make do with what they do have left.
Demelza, seeing Francis write “Resurgam” on the bell post at Grambler, asks its meaning. “I shall rise again,” explains Ross. One hopes that Francis, who, up till now, has shown very little backbone, will somehow find it in him to do just that.