The last series of Poldark began One on Sunday – and the first episode has gone down well with the critics.
The Daily Telegraph’s Gerard O’Donovan said it was “a thoroughly enjoyable start” to series five.
Giving the opening episode four stars, he added that the series was “almost certain to be an emotionally draining but hugely entertaining final run”.
Around 4.6 million viewers tuned in – roughly level with the 4.7 million who saw the start of series four last year.
But Sunday’s episode was beaten One ratings by the men’s Wimbledon final and Countryfile, according to overnight figures.
Spoiler alert – minor plot details may be revealed below
The Guardian’s Emine Saner also gave the first episode four stars, writing: “There’s something deeply comforting about it all – it’s as cosy and familiar as a candlelit supper at the Nampara kitchen table.”
She added: “The story gallops along like Seamus the horse on a Cornish clifftop. It’s all faintly ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
The Independent was a little less glowing, awarding three stars. Its reviewer Ed Cumming wrote: “The more I think about the programme, the more it reveals itself as a jamboree of toxic masculinity.
“Maybe there are some viewers who still care deeply about the specifics of who does what to who, but who are they kidding? It’s pure windswept melodrama.”
He concluded that: “Finale seasons can suffer from being laps of honour, which new plot elements help to mitigate against.
“The irony is that Poldark need not have worried: it has always been a lap of honour, shameless twaddle chocker with troublesome characters and absurd plots, and all the more lovable for it. We will see its like again, but clap it in anyway.”