Poldark is not as uniformly sumptuous in its style as Downton Abbey, but it captures life in the late 18th century along the English coast in a way that is both beautiful and tangible. Poldark is also just a grittier tale — there’s more fighting, more blood, and far more of a long-form narrative arc than Downton Abbey has ever had. But Poldark is still full of dramatic and romantic complications, which help layer the story, though occasionally make it feel like it’s flying by a little too quickly. (In one memorable subplot, a suddenly-introduced suitor shoot’s his lady love’s brother in a duel. The exchange then continues, without a hint of irony: “You see why it’s impossible for us to be together now?” “I do,” before he rides off forever).