Film & Television

PBS Brings Books to Life in September

Two other PBS series, rooted in beloved books, will have season premieres at the end of this month.

Poldark, with the dashing Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) in the title role, moves into its fourth season. Based on a dozen novels by Winston Graham, the series tells the story of British officer Ross Poldark, who returns to Cornwall after fighting for king and country in the American Revolution. Faced with an estate in ruins and his lover Elizabeth (Heida Reed) engaged to another man, he must rebuild his family’s fortune and his own future. Although he marries a penniless (yet spectacularly beautiful) servant, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), and reopens derelict copper mines in an attempt to earn money for his late father’s tenants, he has to face any number of obstacles, including intrigues, infidelities, and the underhanded dealings of his rival George Warleggan (Jack Farthing).

Poldark’s story may take place in the 1700s, but there is much for a modern audience to relate to. In the trailer for the new season, Ross resolves, “I must sell my soul and become a politician.” Viewers from either side of the aisle may find themselves nodding at that.

Lighter fare, The Durrells in Corfu, returns for its third season. The series dramatizes the youthful memoirs of author Gerald Durrell. Widowed and out of money in 1935, Gerry’s mother, Louisa (Keeley Hawes), packs up the family and moves from England to start a new — and hopefully less expensive — life. The colorful crew includes the eldest brother, Larry (Josh O’Connor), who is an aspiring author; middle brother Leslie (Callum Woodhouse) who has an obsession with firearms; daughter Margo (Daisy Waterstone) who is boy-crazy despite going through a rather awkward adolescence; and young Gerry (Milo Parker), who loves any and all creatures and establishes a veritable menagerie in the family’s picturesque, if crumbling, seaside villa.

The scenery is a delight (you may be tempted to move to Corfu yourself), and the family’s romantic tangles provide constant entertainment. And, with zoology lessons built into every episode, the real Gerald Durrell, who grew up to be a respected naturalist and conservationist as well as a writer, would surely approve.

Both Poldark Season 4 and The Durrells in Corfu Season 3, premiere Sunday, Sep. 30. Check your local PBS listings for additional airings, and catch up on past seasons online at


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