Alistair Cooke introduces a 1977 America to Captain Ross Poldark


In just two short weeks, it’s safe to say that life hasn’t been very kind to Captain Ross Poldark. As he returns to Cornwall from the battlefield, he not only finds his father dead, but is also confronted with an estate in ruins and sweetheart Elizabeth engaged to another. And that’s just the beginning of episode one! We’re just getting started…

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The new Poldark has taken America by storm. Present day fans of the PBS Masterpiece series have been re-introduced to Captain Ross Poldark, brilliantly played by Aidan Turner (Being Human, The Hobbit). I say re-introduced because Poldark, with Robin Ellis as Captain Ross Poldark, actually had its’ PBS premiere on the then-titled Masterpiece Theatre in 1977 where it was first introduced to American fans by series host, Alistair Cooke. Cooke, who hosted the series from 1971 to 1992, was Masterpiece Theatre.

At the time, Upstairs Downtairs had come to an end in 1975 and fans were desperate for the ‘next Upstairs Downstairs‘. Well, it seems not much has changed since 1977 as we fast forward to 2015. It seems pretty clear that history is repeating itself with viewers, well aware that the doors of Downton Abbey are set to close after this season, desperate to find ‘the next Downton Abbey‘.

Two weeks into a 2015 Poldark and a with second series already commissioned for 2016, we may just be on to something…