Justice for Poldark! Free the Hendrawna Beach One!
Yes, it’s time for the trial of the (18th) century, as people the length and breadth of the cast list congregate at Bodmin to see if the deliriously popular leading man in the hit series named after him might just make it to next week alive.
Thinking about it coldly and logically, Ross’s manly neck was obviously not in any real danger – after all, it’s not as if Francis is suddenly going to take over principal shirt-shedding duties. But cold logic (as opposed to swooning, squealing and squeeing) is very, very far down the list of skills I tend to rely on when watching Poldark so, in spite of the obvious, I was still quite worried for the big handsome eejit, especially when witness after witness for the prosecution (represented by the aptly-named Mr Bull) came in and lied their faces off without being subjected to any cross-examination whatsoever. Except when our hero got up and did it himself, that is, defence counsel’s main role apparently being to sit there and panic rather than, you know, defend.
Not that the rest of Team RP were much more helpful. Demelza, bless her, despite Uncle Bergerac doing his darnedest to talk her out of it, did her best to soften up the judge in advance, but Warleggan the Weasel went the extra furlong to ensure that plan backfired in fairly spectacular style, throwing in an insult or two at the beleaguered (and pregnant – OOOOOOH!) Mrs P just for good measure. “You will always be a blacksmith’s daughter, whereas I am a gentleman,” hissed George, having bribed witnesses, suborned perjury and generally done everything he could think of to try and have an innocent man hanged. Um, ok, George. “Gentleman” is one word for it, I suppose.
While the Weasel manipulated things behind the scenes, however, the increasingly attractive Dr Enys put himself front and centre with a spot of well-intentioned defence evidence, but instead of confirming that our hero couldn’t have been leading a riot because he was home tending to his sick wife, he decided to introduce a defence of temporary insanity instead.
I suppose our favourite clinician had a lot on his clipboard himself this week, mind you, what with worrying that Worst Roommate Ever Francis might try and kill himself again, and flirting with intent with Caroline, a woman on the cusp of betrothal to the country’s most boring, tiresome politician (now there’s a high bar) and therefore looking at the delectable Dr Enys like he’s a giant bar of luxury chocolate in a world full of brussels sprouts. How long before the doc and the debutante stop sparring and start snogging? Not that long, I’d imagine, given that Trevaunance has now added “smells of s**t” to his list of attributes, in a literal sense rather than just a metaphorical one.
With that brief, manure-based riot, a crazy-eyed guest turn from Demelza’s dad and Warleggan’s rent-a-ruckus all combining to make the stern Judge Lister even more anxious to match up necks and nooses, then, it was left to our own beloved Capt Ross to save himself with a very fiery, very Poldarky speech about the plight of ordinary people which struck more of a chord with the jury than it did with me, to be honest. I mean, it was all very fine, and Aidan Turner delivered it in intense, electric fashion, but I can’t quite believe it worked. Unless, I suppose, Poldark was right about Cornish juries and shipwrecks all along.
No matter though; the verdict delighted everyone at Casa Cregg almost as much as those on the Cornish sands and, although it took about 50 mins to get there (are the horses now working part-time? They used to be in every second scene!) and nobody took their shirt off, everyone eventually got a lovely ride across the sand, an impromptu picnic on the beach and some no doubt tasty
cake ale by the ocean sea as their reward. Aww. Ross and Demelza reunited and swoonsomely happy, Francis and Elizabeth reconciled and content …. I’d be flabbergasted if all this cheeriness carries on past next week, but it’s lovely while it lasts, eh?