Roscoff rescue | Poldark S3

Behind the scenes of Roscoff rescue. Including Aidan Turner, Luke Norris, John Hollingworth, Josh Whitehouse, Tristan Sturrock, Sean Gilder and Harry Richardson.

Poldark S3 Was A Huge Disappointment For Me and It All Boils Down To One Root Cause.

I had originally begun a draft of this post that devolved into everything that I cannot stand about how the show chose to move the character of Demelza into a different direction. That part of the post got really, really, really, really long.

Instead of sharing that really, really, really, really long post, I decided to write a new one. It’s also Sunday and the final episode of season 3 hasn’t aired yet as I begin this, but I need to write because for the past 10 weeks, I’ve been doing homework on Sunday mornings. I have no homework to type up because the summer term is finished. I find myself at a loss, so I began this post.

But I digress. You’ll find that I’m really good at that.

This is a really, really, really, really long post about the one reason why Season 3 was a disappointment to me. I’ve been able to distill my disappointment down to one root cause.

If you listen to the @poldarkpodcast​, you know that I regularly submit my opinions on the episodes that just aired. You probably also know that I’m not fond of the direction in which they took Demelza this season.

Actually “not fond” is putting it mildly.

I HATE what they did to her character. I hate, hate, hate it! The Powers That Be decided that Demelza wasn’t “strong” enough or “feisty” enough in the novels, so they had to make her more modern to appeal to modern audiences.

However, in doing so, they basically took a shit all over Winston Graham’s work and a character that was based on his own wife. They’ve taken the product of someone who is a very gifted storyteller and dumbed it down so much, I start to feel stabby.  

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[VIDEO] PBS | Poldark, Season 3: The Roscoff Rescue 

Source: Masterpiece PBS / YouTube

anonymous asked:

Ross is becoming so cruel, what with comments like “not every man in Cornwall is besotted with you” and “look elsewhere for a pet”. I’m hating him as much as I did in season 2. (In season 2 he was a fool and an ass, but he wasn’t saying cruel things like that.) I don’t remember Ross being that way in the books. But I know why they’re doing it…to make everyone root for Demelza having a fling

Don’t hate Ross, anon. Just don’t. He doesn’t deserve it.

comments like “not every man in Cornwall is besotted with you”

I was irritated by this first time around, but when I watched it again, I took more note of his tone of voice. He actually doesn’t say it cruelly, he says it with a measure of fondness.

What he doesn’t do, however, is match Demelza’s teasing tone. She is clearly a) slightly flustered by Hugh’s attention, and b) trying to have a teasing conversation with him along the lines of the conversation they had in bed after Ross’s return from Roscoff (about French beauties and whether he partook of them). She’s trying to draw him into that flirty, teasing banter that they’ve shared before. When he dismisses her with ‘I didn’t notice’, she’s the one to say perhaps she imagined it - and Ross doesn’t hear the way she suddenly sounds subdued, and so doesn’t respond to it. He makes a fond comment about not every man in Cornwall being besotted with her, but the implication in that is that he is besotted with her.

What upsets Demelza is that he doesn’t register her intention of flirting, and I think, also, it’s that it comes in the wake of what happened that day: he didn’t want to dance with her and he was so eager to get away from the party (which was, after all, the wedding reception for their dearest friends). Ross dislikes the attention he’s getting as ‘hero of Quimper’, but though I think Demelza knows that, she’s also very proud of him and so can’t really understand why he dislikes it (there is a difference between knowing something and understanding it). And also, she enjoys these events. One could argue that she should accept what he wants and agree not to go to them, but one could also argue that Ross could stomach them and behave better towards her on the extremely rare occasions when he agrees to them in the first place! We are literally talking a handful of occasions across eight years of marriage, at this point. I don’t think she would be asking for the moon in wanting him to at least dance with her when appropriate - though I can also understand Ross feeling that he’s getting attention he doesn’t deserve because of one risky adventure he undertook to save a friend, in the process getting another friend killed. I can see both sides here.

The problem is that they’re just not communicating well enough about it - which is frustrating to watch, both because that’s the same problem they had all through s2, and because by this point in the books they’ve both got a heck of a lot better about actually talking to each other.

On a side note to this - Ross actually does like taking her places in the books. He doesn’t like the events, looks for all excuses not to accept invitations, but he finds pleasure in Demelza’s happiness, and likes that she’s grown more confident. We got a bit of that in the episode, with Pascoe prodding Ross to take Demelza to Tehidy because she enjoys it (hi, Pascoe, Demelza’s biggest cheerleader!) but they could have added in a brief word, say in the entrance hall at Tehidy, between Ross and Demelza to the effect that he’s pleased she’s happy. Not those words precisely, but something to that effect. But that’s by the by, and not really relevant to the point, heh.

“look elsewhere for a pet”

Okay, agreed, that was a particularly harsh comment. Ross ought to have a better understanding of Demelza than that. She doesn’t want a pet, a husband content to do her bidding and acquiesce to her opinion over everything, she wants a partner, she wants her husband to remember that she is intelligent and capable and full of common sense. She doesn’t want him to do what she wants, but she does want him to at least consult her and listen to her opinions. He knows these things about her, he has already accepted and acknowledged her great sense and capabilities - for example, making it clear to everyone that she’s in charge of Wheal Grace while he went to Quimper. So many of the problems they had in s2 came from Ross not respecting Demelza’s intelligence and not consulting her about things - again, it’s not about her wanting him to do things her way, it’s about wanting him to treat her as an equal. Think about that conversation in the barn about building a cache under the library, in s2 - she demands to know how he dares ask for her permission when he’ll go ahead and do it no matter what she says. She’s not angry because he doesn’t do what she wants, she’s angry at the pretence at consultation.

So yes, a harsh comment and completely uncalled for given how well he knows her. However! I have two things to say in his defence.

The first is that Ross, when he’s angry or upset, has a sharp, cold tongue. He does that again and again. To Demelza particularly, but to others also. When he’s hurting, he lashes out and is very capable of finding a weakness and poking at it. Sometimes it’s direct, sometimes less so, but it’s a character trait that is not new. Think about 1.03, when he comes back drunk after failing Jim Carter - ‘If you don’t take it off this minute you can pack your things and go back to your father!’.

Or 1.07: ‘Your ignorance. Your arrogance. Your utter disregard for truth and consequence?’ ‘All I’ve done is make two people happy!’ ‘Oh, Demelza, do not underestimate the scale of your achievement.’

Or even the more casual, less deliberate/more provoked 2.03: ‘Just be careful his uniform doesn’t dazzle you. It has that effect on some people.’ ‘Especially a common miner’s daughter who don’t know any better?’ ‘That’s for you to demonstrate.’ (more provoked in the sense that he doesn’t actually say the words, but he certainly uses them against her).

So yes, this is not the kind of comment that particularly surprises me coming from Ross when he’s hurting and angry and backed into some corner. Unlike most of his comments, it’s not actually particularly based in an understanding of her character, which is unusual, but even so.

And that’s the second thing I would say in his defence: he is hurting. He is angry. He has just had a letter from George Warleggan to say that his great-aunt has died. The last of the Trenwith Poldarks, one of the last connections to a different life, a woman who Ross loved and cared for and respected. And, knowing George, it was couched in the plainest, most unsympathetic terms. Ross doesn’t ever deal with loss well: we know that. Think of Jim Carter, of Julia, of Carnmore Copper Company. Think of his struggle to cope with the loss of more intangible things, such as his idealised love for Elizabeth, and the family bonds at Trenwith. This is not a good day for Ross. Then Demelza comes after him and tells him that George doesn’t mention anything about funeral arrangements. That’s another weight to carry, another bruise to a bruised man, particularly since Ross must know, as we do, that George would never ever allow Ross to actually take care of funeral arrangements himself (and, on that note, George you do NOT get to do that, how on EARTH did Elizabeth not tell him what it would look like in the county, to quietly and without ceremony bury Agatha Poldark?!?! And what about Verity?!?).

And then Demelza raises the issue of the MP nomination going to George, and she argues with him about it. I won’t go into all the whys of why she argues for it, why she wants him to be an MP, because it’s not relevant to the point - which is that this is not a good time for anyone to be prodding at Ross’s open wounds. And one of those open wounds is the news of Agatha’s death, but another is George’s continued inability to just act as if Ross and all those around Ross don’t exist - which is, after all, what he and Ross had agreed to. Ross knows how George treated Agatha. He knows that George likely hastened Agatha’s death. And setting aside his feelings about not wanting to be in a position of having to bow to another man’s judgement, hearing more bad news about George is really not going to produce any other result than it does: Ross grows more angry, more hurt, and lashes out in typical fashion.

As I said, setting aside her reasons for wanting him to be an MP and his reasons for not wanting to, it’s bad timing for Demelza to bring it up then. So don’t hate Ross for it, anon. He’s just…reacting the way he always does. Trying to inflict hurt on others because he’s hurting himself.

I don’t remember Ross being that way in the books. But I know why they’re doing it…to make everyone root for Demelza having a fling

No, in the books Ross is rarely cruel to her. He has mostly grown beyond sharpening his tongue on her, because she can’t cope with it, it destroys her, and he hates doing that to her. But also their relationship doesn’t develop this strain, at this point. The way they were in the early part of the episode? Friendly and loving and teasing, supporting each other? That’s where they are for the vast majority of The Four Swans.

And yes, unfortunately it seems likely that they’re building up to the reasons for Demelza’s infidelity. Her muttered comment of ‘perhaps I won’t have to look too far’ seems to suggest that - using his (in-character) sharp tongue as a reason for her to look elsewhere for some kindness. I don’t want to speculate too much, though. What comforts me is the fact that Hugh Armitage, so far, is absolutely book!accurate. Somehow it comes across so unmistakeably clearly on screen that he is not in love with her, he thinks he’s in love with her. He’s a Romantic, he’s idealistic, he fancies the hell out of her, but he cannot be in love with her because he does not know her. So Hugh’s flattery, his deceit (it is a kind of deceit, to be wooing the wife of a man who he calls friend, a man who saved his life), is absolutely not being watered down. I just hope that it’s not all made so horribly black and white as it seems to be. Demelza doesn’t have sex with Hugh because of Ross. Ross basically has nothing to do with it. It’s her wish to be two women, just for a day - to be Ross’s wife, loving him and happy with him, but also to be able to share her happiness with Hugh, who is young and innocent and who appeals to her physically.

Anyway. I’ve talked about all that before, and I won’t bore you with it again, because this answer has grown quite long enough :D just don’t hate Ross, anon. The only character who deserves your hate is Osborne Whitworth, who is a vile, disgusting creature.

anonymous asked:

Hi read your post, D is diff in s3 but that is because she is struggling with all whats happened. 3.01 she was so sad ,then after Roscoff she was annoyed with him,he says one thing and does another,Dwight was his friend ,yes he had to go but one min he wants to be a country squire and next he in France. She gets snarky with him because he is stubborn

(2/5)  She knows what he wants before he does,he is blind to things, she deserves to be snarky after what he put her through ,it took him months to say sorry,now he is saying twice, you have married the wrong man, look else where,not all men are besottted, he cant see what L is really like,says she wouldnt allow G to behave bad, he knows L, (yes thats the prob). Know D knows he kissed L, would that sound good to a 25 yr old girl, she ought to hang the moon for R now and he still didnt change

(3/5)  He cant see that she is more vunerable now things that never bothered her before do now, she has lost her faith in him and herself,chink in her armour, she has been second best for most of her marriage . She has never had his unconditional love, he loves her but he just needed to show it more,one dance at the ball,tell her she looks nice, she doubts her self worth ,he is not honest with her,she feels unappreciated.he is s good man but takes her for granted, so yes glad she is modern

(4/5) He would walk all over her otherwise, think she deserved to be snarky with him at times ,didnt like the beach snark after Agatha died,he retaliated bad back as well, she knows that R should do this job not G,he knows it,it annoys her, agree that some dialogue from book D does not suit show D that gets mixed up, book D would not of suited todays audience,she was too forgiving after his vbt, then when with H while she was still happy with R, that was horrible,glad Deb changed that. D was sweet in

(5/5) She was sweet in s1 but she was young and blinded with love,she no longer sees him with rose rimmed spectacles, she had him on a pedestal . Circumstances have changed her. Going with H was wrong because of her beliefs but he is the first man thats loved her because he wants to,R married her out of obligation,Sparks helped me with understanding all this. Thats my take anyway,

Okay, Nonny. Since your ask was long, I’m going to try and tackle this the best I can. This answer will probably be long, too. Here goes: 

This is my take. Modern Demelza does not work in the show because they gave her 21st Century attitudes, but left everyone else in the 18th century. This is a period drama. It is not unreasonable to expect that the characters and the story are accurate to the time period. If modern people can’t accept that this is a period drama and that characters are going to act according to the mores and dictates of that period, then perhaps they shouldn’t watch the show. The other thing is that if DH wants a modern take on this, then, as @mmmuses said in another post, she should do a modern adaptation of Poldark and set it on the 21st century. 

One thing that people miss who love modern Demelza is that she can be as feisty as she wants, but it doesn’t change things like the laws at the time. A modern woman, in the same situation has the freedom to leave. In the 18th century, she did not. A married woman had zero rights under the law. In fact, the law did not recognize her as a person at all. She was part of her husband. In 18th century England, a woman could not obtain a divorce at all. A man could, but only if his wife had committed adultery. So hypothetically, Ross could divorce her after her thing with Hugh and she would be left with nothing. Not even her children. Being modern and feisty isn’t going to help you there. 

The thing about book Demelza is this: she is a more mature character. She is allowed to mature. Time and experience made her grow up. But in spite of everything she has gone through, she was still a sweet and kind person. That is not weakness. To maintain that in the face of some really tough things shows strength of character. She is wiser, but she is not bitter. What you’re describing with Modern Demelza is anger and bitterness. Those are not positive traits in a person.

There is a time gap between Warleggen and Black Moon where R & D’s reconciliation happened. Their reconciliation actually started in Warleggen, but it was very slow. Still, most of it happened between the two books. So no, she did not forgive Ross “too quickly”. Warleggen ended around Christmas time. Black Moon picked up a few months later. It may be your opinion that their reconciliation happened “too quickly”, but you are forgetting that R & D love each other deeply and they are meant to be together, which is their motivation to resolve things. The amount of time someone needs to resolve a problem is also subjective. It depends on the parties involved and how much effort they put into it. 

You’re also forgetting that Ross was sorry for what he did with E, even though he didn’t express it the best way. He showed regret and remorse right away because he damaged the trust between him and his wife. On the show, you see it in Aidan Turner’s acting and facial expressions. Ross is horrible at communicating things verbally, so on the show, you have to pay close attention to all those non-verbal cues, which Aidan does so beautifully. Demelza is also not very good at communicating, for that matter. Modern Demelza is even worse at it than Book Demelza. Modern Demelza has this nasty habit of never giving Ross a chance to explain or clarify things he says that don’t come out sounding as he may have intended. She reacts to the words. It also seems that Ross on the show is the one making the effort to change, where Demelza is not. 

This brings me back to the point about historical accuracy. Because Demelza is stuck in this marriage, the only option she has is to make it work. Being snarky and bitter and angry is not how you work things out like a mature adult. And as young as she is, people in those days grew up very quickly. They had no choice. Modern Demelza also does not work here because if she remains snarky and bitter and angry, then she’s basically stuck in a miserable marriage and contributing to its miserable state. What motivation does Ross have to stay faithful to her if all she does is bitch at him all the time? Plus now you’ve taken away the happy ending. As part of the audience, if she’s going to be bitchy and out of character all the time, then what motivation do I have to root for this couple to fix things and be happy? None. I can’t find anything worth cheering for if all she’s going to do is complain and be snarky at him and criticize him all the time. 

A successful marriage is about balance. Both partners are responsible for maintaining equilibrium. Things will happen that will upset this equilibrium. It is up to both partners to adapt and change to restore equilibrium. You cannot have equilibrium in a relationship when one person decides she’s going to do whatever she wants while the other person has to sit back and let her do it. This is also my problem with Modern Demelza. In the books, Ross and Demelza are perfect foils for each other. They also adapt and change to maintain that equilibrium in their relationship. I’m not seeing anything like that on the show. In fact, it seems like they’re trying to make Demelza more modern at the expense of Ross’s character. I also believe that making D modern also comes at Caroline’s expense as well. 

The other issue with modernizing a period character is that our modern culture defines strength of character backwards. Book Demelza is a stronger character than Modern Demelza. Book Demelza is a stronger character because she takes the time to think through and ponder what she does and how she feels about things before she acts. She doesn’t always do the right thing, but she is human. Modern Demelza is impulsive and doesn’t think things through. She acts on emotion and sometimes that emotion is spite or anger. Our culture mistakenly teaches us that to stop and think about things first is indecisiveness and therefore indecisiveness is weakness. Acting without thinking is weakness. 

Hugh Armitage doesn’t love her in an adult way. Hugh has basically a crush on her and because of who he is and his station in life, he can act on it and he does. 

The lines that Ross says about “you’ve married the wrong man” are an example of how Modern Demelza misinterprets things and doesn’t ask him to explain what he meant. At times during this past season, it felt like Modern Demelza was looking for reasons to take up with Hugh. This is an example of that. He was not pushing her away nor was he telling her he didn’t want her, as so many people are interpreting that to mean. Book Demelza struggled with her attraction to Hugh right up until the act itself. 

Modern Demelza is trying to make Ross into something he is not, and then she gets snippy when he won’t do what she wants him to do, while Book Demelza understands who her husband is and doesn’t push him or berate him for not taking the MP offer at first. 

If you have not read the books, I recommend that you do because there is so much context in them that is missing from the show. I felt that S3 was rushed and they tried to cram too much into 9 episodes. There was a lot of context missing from what we saw on screen. 

In the end, these two crazy kids, Ross and Demelza, do love each other. Deeply. They do not want to be without the other. And they do stay together because they love each other and they want to be together. That is the end goal, but with the changes that Debbie made, she’s going to have to do a lot of logical gymnastics in order to have the TV versions reach that goal. I can suspend my disbelief, but up to a point. Because if I were in TV Ross’s shoes, I wouldn’t want to stay married to someone who was snarky to me and did things out of spite towards me or never gave me the benefit of the doubt. That’s tantamount to emotional abuse. 

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