Why 'Poldark' Season 1's Christmas Special Is A TV Must-Watch

Poldark Demelza Carne Poldark Eleanor Tomlinson Ross Vennor Poldark Aidan Turner PBS
ITV plc (ITV Global Entertainment Ltd)

Of all the TV Christmas specials, one sets itself apart from the pack, and that is “Poldark” Season 1, Episode 4. It is an extraordinary episode for Ross and Demelza’s heartwarming romance, fans of the pairing, and the series as a whole as it allows Ross to lean into his burgeoning marriage to Demelza. At this point in the TV show, Demelza’s feelings for Ross are obvious, Ross’s for Demelza’s are less clear.

Season 1’s Christmas special occurs as Ross and Demelza are newlyweds still navigating their relationship on “Poldark.” So, when Demelza accompanies him to Christmas at Poldark family headquarters to celebrate Christmas, it is a true test for their marriage. At last, it seems that Demelza is poised to fully win his heart with a song and her overall lovely being. It is an ethereal and poignant turn of events.

The Christmas episode sees Demelza gain the acceptance and love she so mightily deserves from Ross. Rest assured he is never better as a character. The “Poldark” Christmas special is a tender, beautiful moment in time, a breath of sweet air between the heart-rending drama that encompasses its ensuing plots. Finally, Ross allows himself to see in Demelza what the audience has long glimpsed.

In doing so, Eleanor Tomlinson and Aiden Turner’s chemistry is as profound in this installment as in most. “Poldark” is at its best when the attention turns towards Demelza and Ross’ relationship during an upswing. They make the most sense when they are equally in love. Their fiery romance catches hold in the Christmas special in a deep and abiding way thanks to a scene reminiscent of “The Family Man.

The “Family Man” Connection

Viewers of the 2001 Christmas classic will recall that Nicolas Cage’s Jack embraces his love for Kate (Tea Leoni) by watching back a video of his alternate-universe-self singing to her in a pivotal scene. The decimated expression of the neighbor who tries to have an affair with Jack is shown in the background. Elizabeth handles Demelza singing for Ross with a lot less overt jealousy in “Poldark.” 

For all of Elizabeth’s claims of wanting happiness for Ross, she acts the part too, honestly welcoming Demelza into Trenwith. Why does that matter? Because it is only when Ross is willing for Elizabeth to see his love for Demelza that it genuinely counts on “Poldark.” In truth, due to his behavior, the Christmas special is a turning point for the show. Or at least, it feels like it is going to be.

Beware of what lies ahead.

The ending of the Christmas episode does not mean it is all rainbows and butterflies for Ross and Demelza from there. The couple’s troubles are far from behind them as far as triangles go. His decisions in the romance department eventually worsen to an unexpected and downright depressing degree that borders on OOC (out of character). “Poldark” Season 2, Episode 1 is as far as any Ross and Demelza fan should venture if they value their heartstrings.

For this moment in time, though, the Christmas special gives fans a magical episode amid its magnificent soundtrack. It is an installment so powerful it made this fan giddy with a lovely feeling that rubbed off on them after initially watching it. Half of Season 1 builds to this installment, keeping it from feeling like some bizarre one-off to jam a Christmas special in somewhere.

If you have watched a lot of TV shows, chances are you have seen more than one Christmas special. For every “Full House” where Uncle Jesse brings “snow” in for a San Francisco-bound Aunt Becky who misses Nebraska’s white Christmases, there is a non-“Full House” Christmas special. Luckily for fans, “Poldark” Season 1 contributes an installment worthy of the “Full House” category.

With an Amazon Prime Video membership, you can stream “Poldark” Season 1 through Season 5 for free.