How many seasons of poldark are there?

Table of Contents

How can I watch and stream Poldark? Who’s in the cast and what’s it about?

Romantic and rugged Poldark was a hit for the BBC, turning star Aidan Turner into a household heartthrob and inspiring flocks of tourists to visit filming locations on Cornish coast. The emotive historical drama, based on Winston Graham’s novels, was a sweeping, swoon-worthy Sunday night staple for five seasons.

Advertisement

Where can I watch Poldark?

Poldark is available on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, iTunes and iPlayer. You can also purchase the complete series on DVD.

How many seasons of Poldark are there?

There are five seasons of Poldark ranging from 8-10 episodes in length. The first season premiered in March 2015 and the season finale aired in August 2019.

Is Poldark based on the books?

Yes, Poldark is based on Winston Graham’s series of novels. They were also adapted into a BBC series in 1975.

When is Poldark set?

Poldark is set in the late 18th century, beginning in 1783.

What is Poldark about?

After fighting in the American War of Independence, handsome and dashing Ross Poldark returns home to Cornwall to find everything upended: his father is dead, the estate is in ruins, and his love is engaged to someone else.

Soon, however, he meets the mysterious and beautiful street urchin Demelza Carne, sparking gossip in the community and setting the stage for a tumultuous series-long romance.

Forced to confront his new reality, and now responsible for his father’s estate, Poldark decides to settle back into Cornish life, despite the protestations of his uncle. He quickly becomes a central figure in the community, which, as he soon discovers, is rife with drama, scandal, secrets and intrigue.

Who is in the cast of Poldark?

Aidan Turner (the Hobbit) plays the titular character. The Irish actor is also a trained ballroom dancer—though he has said he would never appear on Strictly.

Demelza, the redheaded street urchin, is played by The White Queen’s Eleanor Tomlinson.

Jack Farthing (Blandings) plays Poldark’s arrogant rival George Warleggan.

In a major departure from his guest spot as Jay’s friend on The Inbetweeners, Luke Norris plays Poldark’s close friend Doctor Dwight Enys.

Olivier winner Kyle Soller plays Poldark’s cousin, Francis, who marries Poldark’s sweetheart Elizabeth Chynoweth, played by Heida Reed.

Where was Poldark filmed?

Ross and Demelza Poldark (BBC)

Poldark was filmed on location in Cornwall in places like Charlestown, Botallack Mines, Holywell Bay, Bodmin Moor, Porthcurno, and Kynance Cove. The series inspired such an influx of visitors to Kynance Cove and Porthcurno that the local tourism authority was forced to issue a statement discouraging fans from visiting.

Advertisement

Some of our articles contain contextual affiliate links. You can support us by clicking on these as we may earn commission if you make a purchase. There is no extra cost to you and we never allow this to bias our content.

Poldark’s final season commences this weekend. Before you tune in, here’s everything we know about the story’s final episodes so far. (Fair warning, spoilers ahead if you aren’t caught up on the series):

Masterpiece recently released a first trailer for the show’s final season.

Watch the dramatic clip right here:

The season will premiere on Sunday, September 29 in the States, so set your DVR.

Masterpiece PBS revealed the news in an Instagram post.

View this post on Instagram

Hold on to your tricorns… #PoldarkPBS: The Final Season premieres on Sunday, September 29 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE @PBS!

A post shared by MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) on Jul 8, 2019 at 8:02am PDT

At this point, it’s unclear if it will air first in the U.K.

Filming officially wrapped on the season months ago.

Masterpiece PBS confirmed the news with an Instagram post.

View this post on Instagram

That’s a wrap 🎬Today was the final day of shooting on #PoldarkPBS season five… and we’ve got all the feels 😭

A post shared by MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) on Feb 1, 2019 at 4:19pm PST

“That’s a wrap 🎬” reads the caption. “Today was the final day of shooting on #PoldarkPBS season five… and we’ve got all the feels 😭”

The official Poldark account posted another photo from the last day on set. See that one below:

View this post on Instagram

‪And that’s our final wrap! Thank you for all your support, we can’t wait to show you #Poldark S5 later in 2019 🥳‬

A post shared by Official Poldark (@official_poldark) on Feb 1, 2019 at 1:53pm PST

Actress Eleanor Tomlinson, who played Demelza on the show also share a heartfelt goodbye to the series. ” Goodbye Poldark. Thank you to the incredible cast and crew that have made this series over the last 5 years. What a family we are ♥️” she captioned the photo:

View this post on Instagram

“Life is precious and should not be scorned. The thing is to find some purpose, to go on living.” Goodbye Poldark. Thank you to the incredible cast and crew that have made this series over the last 5 years. What a family we are ♥️ #poldark #theend #friends

A post shared by Eleanor Tomlinson (@eleanortomlinson) on Feb 3, 2019 at 5:34am PST

In season 5, viewers will see Ross “challenge the establishment again.”

“It is a new century and with it comes the promise of a hopeful future, but the past casts a long shadow over Cornwall. Following the death of Elizabeth, Ross Poldark resolves to put Westminster behind him and spend more time with the people he loves,” reads a summary of the season. “However, when an old friend emerges with a plea for help, Ross is compelled to challenge the establishment again.

Tomlinson, who plays Demelza on the series, has also said leaving the show is “bittersweet.”

“I don’t feel sad because I’ll carry Demelza with me as she’s shown me so much about who I am,” she said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK. “It sounds corny, but I don’t see it as a goodbye. We have to edit, do the post production, then there’ll be screenings. And also, because we’re best mates. I’ll see the actors and crew again, so it doesn’t feel like goodbye, more like see you on the next project or in the pub for a glass of wine rather than a wet Cornish clifftop. Maybe I won’t be wearing a corset.”

Poldark Writer Debbie Horsfield confirmed to Radio Times that the fifth season will be the show’s last last summer.

“As far as we’re concerned it’s going to be the last,” she said. Actor Aiden Turner, who stars as Ross Poldark in the drama has also shared that season five will be the final one, at least for the time being.

Turner told the Independent that he has “mixed feelings” about the Cornwall-set show ending.

“I think we’ve done really well with Winston’s books and I hope he’d be really proud,” Turner said. “But it’s nice when things naturally come to an end, you don’t want things to go on really long.”

That said, Turner would be open to coming back and reprising his role down the line. “I think next year might be the last one, certainly for a while,” he said. “We may come back, who knows. There’s a huge gap in the books, about 15 years.”

“I wouldn’t age up, I’d come back in 10 years,” he continued. “I’d revisit it the right way, I’m not putting grey in my hair or anything like that.”

Masterpiece PBS, which airs the show in the States, also confirmed the news.

“Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece have announced today that the fifth season of Poldark, which just began filming, will be the series’ last,” reads a statement. “Stars Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza Poldark) will both return for the final season.”

There will be some new faces in the cast in season 5.

Lily Dodsworth Evans, Kerri McLean, Sofia Oxenham, Vincent Regan, Peter Sullivan, and Freddie Wise will all appear on the show in new roles.

After Poldark, Horsfield will be developing a TV adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.

“There are several new projects I’m working on, but following our five-year collaboration on Poldark, I’m thrilled to be continuing my relationship with Damien Timmer and Karen Thrussell at Mammoth Screen by developing The Count of Monte Cristo with them,” she told Radio Times.

Need to catch up?

Previous seasons of Poldark are available to stream on Amazon.

Poldark amazon.com Caroline Hallemann Senior Digital News Editor As the senior digital news editor for Town & Country, Caroline Hallemann covers everything from the British royal family to the latest episodes of Outlander, Killing Eve, and The Crown.

Poldark’s set to bow out for good (Picture: BBC)

It’s a sad day for fans of Poldark as the long-awaited fifth series of the show comes to an end.

With the show’s 9pm Sunday night slot having been taken over by Peaky Blinders, the series will instead bow out on Bank Holiday Monday, following a dramatic penultimate episode bringing the drama between Geoffrey Charles (Freddie Wise) and Cecily (Lily Dodsworth-Evans) into focus.

Monday’s show will no doubt tie up those loose ends – but will we be welcoming Ross and Demelza back to our screens for a sixth series?

Here’s what you need to know…

Will there be another series of Poldark?

The short answer is – no. That’s your lot, folks – because the final episode of the fifth series will be the last Poldark ever, as confirmed by the BBC back in 2018 after the fourth series.

Advertisement Advertisement

The show first aired in March 2015 and has gone on to become one of the BBC’s most popular period dramas.

Aidan Turner has played the titular Ross since 2015 (Picture: BBC)

Based on the novels of the same name, written by Winston Graham between the 1940s and the 1990s, it’s also turned Aidan Turner into a household name in his role as the title character.

Turner has said of the show’s ending: ‘When we started Poldark we aimed to complete the majority of the books that we could, which would likely take us up to series five,’ he said.

‘During filming for this series there was a sense of completion and relief that we made it this far, that the show has been successful and that people enjoy watching it. ‘Hitting that mark and returning for the fifth series was always the goal and we are proud to have achieved that.’

Why is Poldark ending now?

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

The BBC hasn’t given an official reason for why Poldark is ending – but there has been some speculation that the door is being left open for a possible return in the future.

Advertisement Advertisement

Speaking ahead of the new series, Karen Thrussell, executive producer for Mammoth, said: ‘This will be the last series in the Poldark chronicle… for now. Who knows what the future may bring.’

Turner has also said that the end of the new series won’t ‘feel final’.

Speaking to Digital Spy he explained: ‘It doesn’t feel like an ending.

‘I don’t think that is the BBC being crafty and keeping it open-ended for another series in time, but it feels right, it doesn’t feel final.’

What time is the final episode of Poldark on BBC One?

The final episode of Poldark airs on BBC One on Monday night at 8.30pm.

MORE: Poldark series 5 episode 6 review: Shock character death gave this series the boot up the backside it needed

Advertisement Advertisement

Up in the Air

Ryan Bingham is the Organization Man for the 2000s. He never comes to the office. Technically, he doesn’t have an office, he has an address where his employer has an office. His life is devoted to visiting other people’s offices, and firing them. “Up in the Air” takes the trust people once had in their jobs and pulls out the rug. It is a film for this time.

Bingham describes himself as a Termination Facilitator. He fires people for a living. When corporations need to downsize quickly but hate the mess, he flies in and breaks the news to the new former employees. In hard times, his business is great.

This isn’t a comedy. If it were, it would be hard to laugh in these last days of 2009. Nor is it a tragedy. It’s an observant look at how a man does a job. Too many movie characters have jobs involving ruling people, killing them, or going to high school. Bingham loves his work. He doesn’t want a home. He doesn’t want a family. He gives self-help lectures on how and why to unpack the backpack of your life.

George Clooney plays Bingham as one of those people you meet but never get to know. They go through all the forms, and know all the right moves, and you’re “friends,” but — who’s in there? At his funeral, people confess they never really knew him. Sitting in a first-class seat one day, asked where he lives, Bingham says, “Here.”

He likes his job because he feels he performs a service. Nobody likes to fire someone. Someone has to. He has protocols. In a curious way, he’s like the two Army men in “The Messenger,” who notify the next of kin after a soldier is killed. Jason Reitman, the director, auditioned real people who had recently been fired to play some of the fired employees (others are played by actors). He asked them to improvise their words on learning the news. Would you want the job of listening to their pain?

There are two women in Bingham’s life. Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga) is also a road warrior, and for some time they’ve been meeting in dreary “Suite” hotels in East Moses, Nowhere — having meals, making love, play-acting at being the happy couple neither one will commit to. Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) is a bright, ambitious new graduate who has taken a job with Bingham’s company because it’s near her boyfriend. Bingham takes her on the road to teach her the ropes. Alex is him now, Natalie is him then.

Farmiga is one of the warmest and most attractive women in the movies, or at least she plays one. You may not guess all she’s thinking. Kendrick’s Natalie is so brim-full of joy at the dawn of her career that it shines even on ending those of others. Nothing better than making your boss happy.

The isolation of the road life is threatened by the introduction of firing by Web chat. This is in-sourcing, if you will. It may not be warmer than firing someone in person, but it saves a lot of money on airfare. Notice how Reitman likes to start with the way corporations justify immoral behavior and then apply their rationalizations with perfect logic. That method was at the core of his brilliant debut, “Thank You for Smoking” (2005).

Reitman also made the great “Juno.” Still only 32, the son of the Canadian producer-director Ivan Reitman (“Ghostbusters”), he grew up behind the counter of the family store, so to speak. With these three films at the dawn of his career, we can only imagine what comes next. He makes smart, edgy mainstream films. That’s harder than making smart, edgy indies. In a pie chart he compiled of questions he’s asked time and again during interviews, “How does your father feel about your success?” ranks high. Bursting with pride, is my guess.

Yesterday, a reader of Jeffrey Wells’s blog posited a theory that Up in the Air director Jason Reitman had once intended to keep the original ending of Walter Kirn’s 2001 novel, on which his movie is based. (Warning: This post contains heavy spoilers for both versions of Air.) He wonders if certain parts of the film aren’t vestiges of an earlier version whose finale hewed closer to Kirn’s and might’ve been more affecting. By the way, Reitman denied all of this last night, but it’s still interesting. Want to know what might’ve been?

Here’s the book’s ending: In the final pages, we learn for the first time that main character Ryan Bingham has been suffering from blackout seizures, will donate his frequent-flier miles to children’s hospitals, and is headed to the Mayo Clinic for a checkup he’s worried could yield bad news. None of this happens in the movie, but there’s a slight nod to it with that early line about cancer — “Would you like the can, sir?” — which was not in the novel, and in that scene in which George Clooney coldly explains to Anna Kendrick (whose entire character Reitman invented for the film), “We all die alone.”

Hollywood Elsewhere reader Matthew Morettini yesterday pointed out that, for the movie, such a reveal might’ve better explained Bingham’s obsession with accumulating 10 million frequent-flier miles and his doomed, out-of-character attempt to connect with Alex (Vera Farmiga), which betrayed his whole “What’s in Your Backpack?” philosophy: “I’m not arguing that movie needed the twist; it works brilliantly without it. But the threads of this lost ending are woven through the film, and I do think it was there at the start. I think the whole story was started down that path and I think Clooney played the character as a goner, and that Reitman had second thoughts in post.”

But Jason Reitman disagrees! In a conference call with with Peter Sciretta and Kris Tapley, he explained:

“You find out at the end of the book that the character is dying of terminal disease and that he’s going to the mayo clinic. That’s something I never really wanted to include in the movie. I never shot a scene that suggested that the character was dying. For me, at the end of the movie, he’s making a choice about where he wants to go for the rest of his life, and certainly he does have a rest of his life.

“The ‘Do you want the can, sir?’ scene came out of a real moment in which I was on a plane and I overheard a flight attendant ask someone, ‘Do you want the can, sir,’ and I literally did a double take, then I realized what she was saying. It’s inclusion had to do with two things. One, I thought it would be a cute nod to the people who’ve read the book, and two, more importantly, it kind of speaks to the idea of how he collects things and the way we obsess over travel in the sense that it’s a disease, being that addicted to traveling and the obsessiveness over miles or any kind of fruitless collection is like having a disease.”

For us, Kirn’s book was so drastically different from the movie — there’s no Natalie or teleconferencing or any threat of Bingham being called in from the road; Vera Farmiga’s character isn’t (surprise!) married and a mom, she’s actually someone Bingham fired and doesn’t remember (presumably owing to the seizures and his failing memory); and, despite that, the novel contains very little actual firing — that we never really wondered why Reitman hadn’t included the appointment at the Mayo Clinic, since there are so many other major plot points left out too.

We sort of like the ending Reitman went with, and giving George Clooney a terminal disease in the final minutes with only the “Can, sir?” line to warn us probably would’ve felt cheap (in the book, the foundation for the seizure thing is laid a lot better, obviously) — but it would’ve also given Bingham deeper motivation to do pretty much all the things he does. We guess that’s just one of the pitfalls of adapting a book and keeping only a skeleton of the premise.

Bingham vs. Cancer?
Jason Reitman Responds to Rumors of an Up in the Air Cancer Subplot

Series 2 of Poldark premiered on 4 September 2016. It was based on the next two novels in the series, Jeremy Poldark and Warleggan.

Plot

Set from 1790 to 1793, there is riot and revolution in the air. Ross Poldark must fight for his freedom when George Warleggan tries to have him hanged as a revolutionary.

Ross Poldark stands trial for murder and wrecking. Demelza Poldark and Elizabeth Poldark try to get support for him, with Demelza looking to Ray Penvenen and Elizabeth looking to George Warleggan, Ross’ arch-rival.

Ross eventually gets cleared. However, he faces financial ruin when his debt is demanded. The Warleggans have brought a share in Wheal Leisure meaning they now have a say in the running of it. The mine is not doing well – it is making very little profit and they haven’t found much copper. Ross thinks they should make a exploratory tunnel to find them but that would mean hiring more people.

Ross and Demelza have to take out a loan to pay their debt which means they have to sell some of their possessions. They attend a party in Trenwith where old feelings between Ross and Elizabeth return.

Elsewhere, Ray Penvenen’s heiress and niece, Caroline Penvenen falls in love with Dwight Enys, and he with her. Francis and Ross repair their kinship, while George starts to get closer to Elizabeth.

To try and escape the clutches of the Warleggans, Ross sells his shares in Wheal Leisure and opens a new mine with Francis, Wheal Grace. Verity tries to get close to Captain Blamey’s children and she and Francis begin to reconcile. Demelza tries to find her own food in light of the family’s financial issues and gives birth to the couple’s second child, Jeremy Poldark.

However, George Warleggan eventually demands Ross pay his debt, and with the death of Francis Poldark, things look dire. Elizabeth looks to Ross for help and comfort, while George tries to get closer to her to propose marriage. Fortunately, Caroline Penvenen becomes their secret benefactor to save them, to George’s dismay while Ross also becomes a secret benefactor for Elizabeth.

Ross joins a smuggling trip to Demelza’s dismay, to meet Mark Daniel. The trip proves to be disappointing and on their return, the army attempt to arrest them. An informer had been betraying Wheal Grace and when Dwight finds out who, he is nearly killed. Dwight had agreed to elope with Caroline due to Ray’s objection to their relationship. Realising Ross will be arrested, he helps warn them but is found out himself. Caroline leaves while Ross and Dwight stand trial for smuggling. However, with very little evidence, they go free.

A new tin lode give Ross new hope for Wheal Grace but when Elizabeth looks to George following her mother’s stroke, she agrees to marry him which upsets Ross and they sleep together. Demelza is hurt and looks to Captain McNeil for comfort while George and Elizabeth marry. Wheal Grace may be closed for good, while Dwight enlists in the navy. Ross think about rejoining the British Army while George sparks a riot.

Episodes

No. Title Directed By Written By Air Date Rating
9 Episode One Will Sinclair Debbie Horsfield 4 September 2016 7.29
Ross prepares for his trial as Demelza and Elizabeth try to help his cause. George does everything in his power to stop Ross going free while Francis wrestles with his conscience and Dwight clashes with heiress Caroline Penvenen.
10 Episode Two Will Sinclair Debbie Horsfield 11 September 2016 6.88
Demelza tries to influence the case by making a personal appeal to the judge, but George has a number of tricks up his sleeve as the day of the trial arrives.
11 Episode Three Will Sinclair Debbie Horsfield 18 September 2016 6.75
Ross and Demelza face financial ruin while George plans revenge on Jud. Meanwhile. Francis tries to rebuild his life and extends an invitation to Ross and Demelza.
12 Episode Four Will Sinclair Debbie Horsfield 25 September 2016 7.13
Needing money to open a mine free of George’s influence, Ross strikes a deal with a local smuggler. Dwight, meanwhile, tries to diagnose an epidemic and receives help from an anonymous benefactor.
13 Episode Five Charles Palmer Debbie Horsfield 2 October 2016 5.95
An informant in the smuggling group creates a serious threat while George buys Ross’s debt to finally crush him.
14 Episode Six Charles Palmer Debbie Horsfield 9 October 2016 6.16
Ross tries to financially support Elizabeth, but George calls in Ross’s debt. Demelza tries to protect all at Nampara while Dwight and Caroline continue to meet in secret.
15 Episode Seven Charles Palmer Debbie Horsfield 16 October 2016 6.14
Ross joins a smuggling trip in the Isles of Scilly in order to meet Mark Daniel. George moves in on Elizabeth. Elsewhere, Caroline convinces Dwight they must elope.
16 Episode Eight Charles Palmer Debbie Horsfield 23 October 2016 Unknown
Ross and Dwight stand trial for their part in the smuggling. A new tin lode gives Ross renewed hope, but it is George who is there for Elizabeth when her mother falls ill. Elizabeth and George become engaged.
17 Episode Nine Richard Senior Debbie Horsfield 30 October 2016 Unknown
Ross closes Wheal Grace for good. With Elizabeth dealing with a life-changing decision, Demelza’s world has been turned upside down.
18 Episode Ten Richard Senior Debbie Horsfield 6 November 2016 Unknown
Dwight enlists in the navy to forget Caroline, and Demelza visits Verity to spend some time apart from Ross. While Ross considers rejoining his regiment, Elizabeth and George settle into married life, but George’s plans sparks a riot.

Cast

Main

  • Aidan Turner – Ross Poldark
  • Eleanor Tomlinson – Demelza Poldark
  • Jack Farthing – George Warleggan
  • Heida Reed – Elizabeth Poldark
  • Kyle Soller – Francis Poldark
  • Caroline Blakiston – Aunt Agatha
  • Ruby Bentall – Verity Poldark
  • Luke Norris – Dwight Enys
  • Beatie Edney – Prudie Paynter
  • Phil Davis – Jud Paynter
  • Gabriella Wilde – Caroline Penvenen (debut appearance)
  • John Nettles – Ray Penvenen (debut appearance)

Supporting

  • Henry Garrett – Captain McNeil
  • Hugh Skinner – Unwin Trevaunance (debut & final appearance)
  • Sebastian Armesto – Tankard (first & last appearance)
  • John Hollingworth – Captain Henshawe
  • Ed Browning – Paul Daniel
  • Pip Torrens – Cary Warleggan
  • Richard Hope – Harris Pascoe
  • Matthew Wilson – Mark Daniel
  • Crystal Leaity – Margaret
  • Gracee O’Brien – Jinny Carter
  • Tristan Sturrock – Zacky Martin
  • Emma Spurgin – Mrs Zacky Martin
  • Michael Culkin – Horace Treneglos
  • Rory Wilton – Richard Tonkin
  • Sally Dexter – Mrs Chynoweth
  • Lauren Vandike – Beth Daniel
  • Lewis Peek – Ted Carkeek
  • Rose Reynolds – Betty Carkeek
  • Mark Frost – Tom Carne
  • Patrick Ryecart – Sir Hugh Bodrugan
  • Richard Harrington – Captain Andrew Blamey
  • Robin Ellis – Reverend Halse
  • Ross Green – Charlie Kempthorne
  • Nicholas Read and Max Willis – Geoffrey Charles Poldark
  • Amelia Clarkson – Rosina Hoblyn
  • Turlough Convery – Tom Harry (debut appearance)
  • Edison Spinola Scott – Jeremy Poldark
  • Stuart Davidson – Illogan Miner
  • Marc Danbury – Jim Vercoe
  • John Macneill – Jacka Hoblyn
  • Richard McCabe – Mr. Trencrom
  • Derek Frood – Captain Bray
  • Jason Gregg – Eli Clemmow
  • William Mannering – Jeffrey Clymer
  • Alexander Morris – James Blamey
  • Isabella Parriss – Esther Blamey
  • Sean Pogmore – Nick Vigus
  • Stephen Boxer – Judge Wentworth Lister
  • Ben Callon – Trooper Wilkins
  • Richard Dillane – Henry Bull
  • Samuel Valentine – Jack Tripp
  • William Husbands
  • Chris Gallarus
  • Daniel Ferguson
  • Andrew Mcgillan
  • Steve Jacobs
  • Boyd Rogers

Poldark

Episode Nine Season 2 Episode 9 Editor’s Rating 5 stars ***** Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza, Aidan Turner as Ross. Photo: Adrian Rogers/PBS

The pacing of Poldark has felt a bit like Game of Thrones, given the BANANAS STUFF that occurred in the episodes leading up to the finale, so I was eager to see how the show would handle this last hour. Would it take everything to an eleven? Or would it just tidy it all up?

Reader, it went to an eleven. GLORIOUS TELEVISION. Glorious. I am sitting here, my bosom still heaving.

George is going Full George, and I honestly regret that Elizabeth took my advice to seal the deal. His underlings are now shooting people on sight, which is frowned upon by most polite societies. Even Grima Wormtongue is like, “Dude, maybe take it down a notch with the evil.” George also plans to ship Jeffrey Charles off to Harrow, one of the more cartoonishly terrible and brutal of the great British public schools of its time, and not where you want your small child sent.

Ross, perky as a flower, continues to drastically underestimate the degree to which he has emotionally devastated Demelza, and delightedly pours a handful of coins into her hand like Judas Iscariot might have done. Where is my full and complete apology? WHERE IS MY FULL AND COMPLETE APOLOGY?

Meanwhile, the long-suffering Dr. Enys is diagnosing Pug Lady’s uncle with diabetes. The minute we heard his pee was overly sweet, I was like HE’S GOT THE SUGAR, continuing my streak of uninterrupted successful 18th-century doctoring. The uncle informs him that Pug Lady is to marry Lord Fanciest Name I Have Ever Heard, the heir to the Really Big Castle estate. So, of course, Enys takes to the sea in hopes that he will find valor or a swift death. He’s emo, but I do love him.

Hamilton fans will relish the flurry of A. Ham/A. Burr–esque letters exchanged by Ross and George as they fight out the question of his down-low gift to Elizabeth last year. It seems the sold shares are now worth a great deal of money, so George wants them back. You can see Elizabeth busily filling with regret as she overhears that Ross was her mysterious benefactor, a moment cut short by George’s decision to tell Ross to … wait for it … “GO BACK TO YOUR SCULLERY MAID.”

All those fisticuffs lessons aside, Ross is about to shove George’s head into the fire when the servants finally pull him off. He comes home to Demelza looking for sympathy, but that unreasonable bitch is still mad at him. “It was one night!” are the words that come out of this man’s idiot mouth. It would only take ME one night to yank out all of his fingernails and force him to eat them, but I doubt “one night” would be a mitigating defense in court. Demelza picks this moment to tell him about her near-adultery with Redcoat Malcolm, which he predictably uses to clamber back onto his high horse.

“I do not admire you for this!” — A literal quotation from the world’s most self-absorbed man, Ross Poldark.

Now we have TWO men taking to the sea, a development that treats us to the very welcome sight of Ross squeezing back into his old uniform. You have a family and a tin mine, but whatever, go sulk.

Demelza heads out to see a VERY PREGNANT Verity, who proceeds to go into immediate labor (and not die, which is a great relief to those of us who white-knuckle their way through all period-drama childbirth scenes). Speaking of pregnant, so is Elizabeth! She is too much of a dummy to think “Huh, I wonder whose baby this is?” but don’t worry, the old lady is on it. “Gonna go great for you if you give birth to a ten-pound baby who’s supposed to be two months early,” she says, and Elizabeth immediately turns pale. Okay, paler than usual.

Ross, choosing to do something useful for once in his sinful life, reunites Pug Lady and Enys. I would be very “whatever, fine” about this, were it not for Pug Lady deciding to ride him like a fine Cornish stallion in the few days they have left before he goes to sea. Good for you, Pug Lady! According to hundreds of years of English common-law tradition, if you said you were getting married, you were married enough to do it, so why stand in the way of love? Many congratulations to Pug Lady and Enys.

Okay, now everything starts to HAPPEN.

Our girl Demelza decides it’s finally time to square up with Elizabeth. Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t immediately lay Elizabeth out like she did Ross, but it’s always nice to see people blame the cheater and not the other party. Elizabeth contributes nothing of worth to the conversation, and the take-home is that Demelza elects to just pack her shit and go back to her dad’s place. That’s a terrible idea, but no one thinks it’ll actually happen.

As Demelza leaves Trenwith, one of Warleggan’s underlings literally SHOOTS HER IN THE ARM, which, as you can imagine, goes down a treat with the locals, who have been spoiling for a fight with the new-money usurpers for a while now. A drunk Jud proceeds to talk everyone into the full pitchforks-and-torches route, despite Demelza’s best efforts to diffuse things. Showing a degree of restraint that I personally do not possess, Demelza attempts to warn George and Elizabeth about the approaching mob and somehow manages to not respond to Elizabeth’s pregnancy news by ratting her out.

Of course, Ross literally rides in on a horse to act like A Good Man — acting, of course, because he is A BAD MAN. In short order, he disperses the crowd and scoops up Demelza, whom he has decided not to literally abandon as if that’s praiseworthy.

Returning home to the sight of Demelza’s packed bags FINALLY gives Ross the shot in the arm we’ve been waiting for. Confronted with the threat of a lasting consequence, he gives her a full apology and promises his fidelity. “My true, real, and abiding love isn’t for her,” he says. “It’s for you.” I’m still mad at him, but if Demelza is willing to move forward, so am I.

Meet you back here next season, where we shall see if Ross is prepared to put his money where his mouth is — and not, we hope, on Elizabeth’s.

Shirtlessness Report: Ross looks great in his old uniform, I’ll give him that.

Contains major spoilers for Poldark season 4.

It’s a bitter sweet time for fans of Poldark as a fifth season has aired in dramatic fashion, although it will be the last. Here’s what you need to know…

Poldark season 5: What’s the plot?

Series four drew on the seventh of Winston Graham’s Poldark books, so it was assumed season five might be based on the next novel in the series, The Stranger from the Sea.

However, Debbie Horsfield has revealed her final series follows the lives of the Poldarks and the Warleggans for two years (1800 to 1802) of the decade-long period between the events of books seven and book eight.

Related Story

She said: “In The Stranger from the Sea Winston Graham made many references to developments that happened in the ‘gap’ years. Much can also be inferred. There are, of course, also historical events and people of the time, both in Cornwall and in London. Series five will draw on all of these to follow the lives of the Poldarks, George Warleggan, the Enyses, and the Carnes in this intervening period.”

BBC

The BBC shared a synopsis for season five, which picks up only a few months after series four:

“It is a new century and with it comes the promise of a hopeful future, but the past casts a long shadow over Cornwall. Following the death of Elizabeth, Ross Poldark resolves to put Westminster behind him and spend more time with the people he loves. However, when an old friend emerges with a plea for help, Ross is compelled to challenge the establishment again. As the Enyses (Luke Norris and Gabriella Wilde) rally to join the cause, Demelza must contend with dangers close to home, while George (Jack Farthing) courts corrupt powers whose influence spans the Empire.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be Poldark without some Ross and Demelza-related drama.

“With this series we see lots of turmoil again but we also see growing up a bit, working as a team in many ways and once again, having realise the importance of honesty and teamwork. This series just dealing with so many new people, I think we have something like 21 cast that are really strong characters. It’s very different, which is nice,” Eleanor Tomlinson said.

“There’s a lot of love. There’s a lot of heartbreak. It’s classic Poldark,” she added.

Speaking of heartbreak, Morwenna is trying to overcome the trauma she experienced during her abusive marriage last series.

” is not that simple unfortunately Morwenna’s got this really horrific past,” said Ellise Chappell, who plays the character.

BBC

” the wall between them that is her past.

“There is joy there, they love each other so much and they’ve gone through so much to end up together. It’s really wonderful to see them together and see what their life is like,” she added.

Related Story

Jack Farthing, who plays George Warleggan has also spoken about his character’s heartache after the death of Elizabeth.

“We find him at the beginning of this series apparently back to normal – prolific, working hard, getting down to it. But obviously, avoiding , I think, is the thing. Totally avoiding, so taking down pictures of her, not wanting anyone to say her name, getting on with his job,” he revealed.

“There’s a great chunk of this series that is about him dealing with grief and about how hard that is. It’s profound, it’s significant,” he said.

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article

Amazon

BUY NOW Poldark seasons 1 – 4, £29.99, Amazon

Poldark season 5: Who’s in it?

Season five follows Ross and Demelza as well as other familiar couples including Dwight (Luke Norris) and Caroline Enys (Gabriella Wilde) and Drake (Harry Richardson) and Morwenna Carne (Elise Chappell). George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) also returns as the show’s villain, however fans will see a different side to him.

Starring in flashback form is Heida Reid, who played Elizabeth Warleggan who sadly died in season four.

BBC

A number of new cast members join Poldark for series five, including Lily Dodsworth Evans (Genius), Kerri McLean (Electric Dreams) and Sofia Oxenham (Grantchester). Vincent Regan (300), Peter Sullivan (Entebbe) and Freddie Wise (Maleficent 2) also star.

Poldark season 5: When’s it on TV?

The show aired Sundays at 9pm on BBC One, ending on 26 August.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

SIGN UP

Poldark returns this weekend – but there’s one major change this season.

Based on the series of historical novels by Winston Graham, the BBC’s hit Cornish period drama series first aired in 2015.

However, this year’s eight new episodes will, for the first time, not be based on Graham’s books.

Instead, the final season of Poldark will be set during the 10 year time gap that occurs between the seventh book, The Angry Tide, and the eighth, The Stranger from the Sea.

Here the show’s writer Debbie Horsfield introduces Season 5 and reveals why she decided to deviate from the books:

“When I first picked up the novel Ross Poldark in 2012 I had no idea that seven years later I’d have adapted seven books and completed five series (43 hours!) of Winston Graham’s extraordinary Poldark saga.

“In 2015, with great trepidation, we awaited the response to Series 1 – knowing that the 1970s adaptation had been massively popular, and praying that we’d done justice to these amazing stories, characters and Cornwall.

“Although none of us ever dared to look more than one series ahead, we found ourselves approaching the end of Series 4 (and book seven, The Angry Tide) with something of a dilemma. Our cast was optioned for five series – so what to do with an 11-year time jump and five more books?

“We knew we’d never be able to wrap up five books in a single series, but no-one wanted to call time just yet, so we looked at another option.”

“In book eight (The Stranger From The Sea), 11 years down the line, we meet Ross abroad on a special mission for the government.

“How did he go from restless, sometimes reckless, and somewhat disillusioned MP, who despaired of ever really ‘making a difference’ in the world, to Special Agent Poldark, sent by the Crown to report from Portugal on the Peninsula War against Napoleon?”

“Winston Graham had left plenty of hints in book eight about events which had happened in those intervening years, but he gives little away about how Ross achieved that transformation. So for me it was the starting point, the way to navigate through Series 5.

“Winston Graham’s son Andrew endorsed my wish to continue his father’s methodology: looking at the historical context (Napoleonic Wars, Act of Union, fast-approaching Abolition of Slavery) and using real events and real people to drive the narrative.

“So what would be our events and who would be our new characters? It seemed to me that one thing we had never met so far was a character to whom Ross really looked up to, even to the extent of hero-worship.

“So when I was researching the early 1800s I came across Colonel Edward Despard. Reading about him I was so reminded of Ross himself that I felt sure Winston Graham knew of him (though Andrew Graham thinks not).”

“Ned Despard was a war hero who, like Ross believed in justice, compassion, equality and liberty for all. His wife Catherine was a former slave from Jamaica. And her rise to be his equal, her determination in the face of prejudice and scorn was uncannily reminiscent of Demelza’s own journey. As was the love and devotion both couples felt for each other.

“I wanted Ned to be part of Ross’ journey towards greater maturity, to be the salutary lesson, his ‘there but for the grace of God’.

“Tracing Despard and Catherine’s real life story, intertwining it with Ross and Demelza’s and seeing them deal with the consequences of that entanglement, forms the spine of series five and introduces on the way other real-life characters such as James Hadfield (would-be assassin of George III), William Wickham (founder of the British foreign secret service) and Joseph Merceron (the ‘Godfather’ of East London).

“Inextricably involved with Ross and Demelza’s journey are Ross’s nemesis George Warleggan, as well as friends and allies Dwight and Caroline Enys, Sam, Drake and Morwenna Carne.”

“It feels strange, and a little sad, to be approaching the transmission of series five knowing that we won’t be returning to Cornwall, but it’s been an extraordinary journey for all of us and we feel truly fortunate to have lived with these characters and stories for so long.

“What’s next for me? A contemporary series. Watch this space. Not a tricorn in sight. I’m excited for the next project – but I’ll miss that Cornish surf!”

Season 5 begins at 9pm on Sunday night on BBC One in the UK and it will air in the USA later this year on PBS.

The first four seasons of Poldark are available on DVD on Amazon.

Poldark is a collection of twelve historical novels wrote by Winston Graham from 1945 to 1953 and then continued again from 1973 to 2002.

Each novel had the name of “A Novel of Cornwall”.

Production

Graham wrote and published the first four novels between 1945 and 1953. Graham himself moved to Cornwall, where the novels are set, when he was 17 and lived there for 40 years.

Graham stated that the character of Ross was, in part, based upon a fighter pilot he met on a train during World War II. His wife, Jean, helped him come up with ideas and the character of Demelza Poldark was based on her. Their daughter later stated that Graham “was the author but my mother helped with the details because she was very observant. She saw everything and remembered it all”. Following a hiatus, Graham wrote the final novels between 1973 and 2002.

Ross Poldark was an officer in the British Army who fought in the American War of Independence. He was presumed dead for three years back home in Cornwall and when he finally gets home, it had forever changed. His fiancé, Elizabeth Chynoweth was now engaged to his cousin, Francis Poldark and his father had died and left their estate in ruins. He goes in search of a new fortune by reopening one of the Poldark family’s derelict mines.

He eventually married a servant, Demelza Carne but their marriage was turbulent. He faces trouble in the form of arch-rival, George Warleggan, a ruthless banker and upstart in aristocracy who gets increasingly powerful and cunning.

Novels

Book Time period First published
Ross Poldark
1783 to 1787
1945
Demelza Poldark
1788 to 1790
1946
Jeremy Poldark
1790 to 1791
1950
Warleggan
1792 to 1793
1953
The Black Moon
1794 to 1795
1973
The Four Swans
1795 to 1797
1976
The Angry Tide
1798 to 1799
1977
The Stranger from the Sea
1810 to 1811
1981
The Miller’s Dance
1812 to 1813
1982
The Loving Cup
1813 to 1815
1984
The Twisted Sword
1815 to 1817
1990
Bella Poldark
1818 to 1820
2002

Reception

The novels were critically acclaimed, and have become beloved by many. Graham recognised that “that although literary fiction may be complex, great popular novels have the underlying clarity of a fairytale.”

Behind the scenes

  • Many productions have been made from the novels, including two BBC TV shows in 1975 and 2015.
  • The Poldark Mine in Helston Cornwall was renamed following the success of the novels.
  • Graham originally named the main family Polgreen in honour of a friend, but he believed that it didn’t sound strong enough so he invented the name Poldark.
  • While writing the novels, Graham researched the history of the time they were set in and spent many hours looking into old archives.

Notes and sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wikipedia – Winston Graham
  2. The Guardian – Is Poldark faithful to its literary origins?
  3. The Guardian – Poldark could be a goldmine for Cornwall’s tourist trade
  4. Margaret Abbett – From Polgreen to Poldark – developing characters
  5. Willow and Thatch – Poldark & Historical TV Drama Podcast

In the mid-1970s, I spent a summer sitting on the olive moorland that rolls along the Cornish coast, sketching picturesque ruins of tin mines. The fact that I could barely draw is an indication of how firmly Poldark fever had me – and countless others like me – in its grip. Truth be told, I don’t really recall now much of what entranced me: my childish memories are a blur of high leather boots, passionate stares and Angharad Rees’s tumbling tresses. But there was something magical in the BBC’s first adaptation of Winston Graham’s long series of novels, something more than the tang of the sea and the dash of a handsome hero.

Now, all these years later, the same Sunday night spell is being cast on up to 7 million households. Or at least on the women in them. If the comments on social media are any guide, then this is the night that men do anything they long to get away with (my boys stalk out muttering “We’ll leave you with your Cornish crap”), while their womenfolk (you begin to speak Poldark once you start watching it) remain glued to the television and to a romantic protagonist who seems to have trouble keeping his shirt on.

It’s a gratifying sign of how far we have come that it is Aidan Turner’s rippling pecs rather than Rees’s heaving bosom that is keeping a nation in thrall. But in all other respects the impact of Poldark in 2015 is exactly the same as its effect 40 years ago, and springs from a deep British affection for a nobleman with a heart of gold, an aristocrat who cares. Ross Poldark is – whether it is Robin Ellis or the dashing Turner who is putting on or taking off the flouncy shirt and the jaunty tricorn hat – the embodiment of an ideal Englishman.

His qualities are all laid out in Graham’s novels, to which Debbie Horsfield’s pacy adaptation is remarkably faithful. This is a man with a past, who has left his native Cornwall to fight in the American revolution under the shadow of gambling debts and an assault on an excise officer. He is not averse to a pretty whore or an evening gaming and drinking. His inner monologues are troubled and his dialogue argumentative. But as soon as he returns, we realise he is not only good-looking but also good. “The Poldarks had always been on good terms with their tenants. Distinction of class was not absent; it was understood so clearly that nobody needed to emphasise it; but … polite convention was not allowed to stand in the way of common sense.”

He stands for decency, for the rights of man. “He was not as concerned as about the return of Maria Fitzherbert from the continent, or the scandal of the Queen of France’s necklace. There were families in the district without enough bread and potatoes to keep them alive, and he wanted them to be given gifts in kind, so that the epidemics of December and January should not have such easy prey.” Poldark stands up for poachers, helps fugitives, fights cheats. Explicitly neither Whig nor Tory, he believes in fairness and tries to impose it on a society that is driven and riven by inequality.

Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) in the BBC1 adaptation of Poldark. Photograph: Mike Hogan/BBC

It is this natural impatience with the unkindness of the world – “wanton cruelty to children offended him” – that makes him save the 13-year-old Demelza from her brutal father, and, ultimately, once she is a safer 17, begin one of fiction’s most absorbing love affairs, where social and temperamental differences are gradually overcome by lust, love, devotion and self-knowledge. Now obviously Ross, particularly on TV, has other qualities than his instinctive egalitarianism. He is, as I may have mentioned, handsome – and good at racing around on horses. He drinks too much rum when he is miserable, and pulls Demelza by the hair when they argue bitterly about her actions – a scene notable by its absence from the TV adaptation, since it might have sacrificed sympathy.

Obviously, too, Poldark doesn’t aspire to be a socially accurate picture of conditions in 18th-century Cornwall, though Graham is careful to give his rollicking plot a well-researched historical setting. Much of the appeal of the TV series arguably derives from the fact that it has a twinkle in its eye as it sweeps you past technicolour waves, neatly dressed miners and artfully vivid sunsets. I joke with one Twitter acquaintance that I am watching it for its deep social realism, but we both know that is not entirely true.

However, I don’t think it is fanciful to suggest that the continuing power of Poldark is about more than the Byronic good looks of its hero. It offers an idealised vision of community that is deeply reassuring. Graham was an expert writer of thrillers – including Marnie, later filmed by Alfred Hitchcock – as well as of this historical saga, and like many prolific and successful novelists, he recognised that although literary fiction may be complex, great popular novels have the underlying clarity of a fairytale.

In this reading, Ross is the prince who rejects the isolation of the palace for a better life lived among his grateful subjects; Demelza is the beggar maid who is transformed thanks to her own good heart into his beautiful and wise consort. The forces ranged against them – from dastardly relatives to grasping bankers – will ultimately be vanquished. The fields of England will be green and full of bright flowers, the weak will be cherished and protected by men who are wise but humble and have gleaming chests.

Living, as we do, in a country divided, it’s little wonder that such a picture provides such a popular escape. When it vanishes from our screens, the world will be a little gloomier, and harder to cope with. Poldark is a consolation as well as a romance. That’s why this summer you shouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of dreamy-eyed women sitting on Cornish cliff tops, waiting for a hero to arise who will not only sweep them off their feet but sort out society while he is doing so.

• The final episode of Poldark will be screened on BBC1 this Sunday.

Ah, ’Darkers. Here ’twas. The end of an era. And so ’tis only right that there be many fireworks. “I may have used a little too much powder,” grinned Zacky. “Proper job!” And so ended our life in Nampara. Not so much with a bang or a whimper but with a series of bangs that left us with a bit of a headache. (I wish. Let’s not dwell on that metaphor.)

What a great deal of powder indeed was used for this episode! Was it too much powder? Or simply what was needed for a proper job? It’s hard to say. But I think a fair assessment is that there was enough going on here to last us another few years of Poldark, so it was kind of annoying that it had to end this way, wrapped up so abruptly, almost with the action on fast-forward to get through it all in time.

In the end it was pretty great television. There was just too much of everything. “The agony of never just a moment’s peace! It’s my faith that’s broken. It can’t be remade.” Well, we know how you feel Demelza. The first 27 minutes of this were agony, us not entirely knowing whether Ross had gone bad or whether he was just doing his James Bond act. It became extremely confusing knowing who was on what side and extremely stressful worrying about whether Sir Evil George and the slave traders would foil everything.

‘They also wanted us to think, “Has Ross really gone over to the dark side?”’ Photograph: Mike Hogan/BBC/Mammoth Screen

If the “Ross as double agent” storyline had one flaw, it was that they couldn’t decide whether to let the viewers in on the secret or not. They wanted it both ways. They wanted us to know that he wasn’t really cheating on Demelza and that it was all for the mission. But they also wanted us to think, “Has he really gone over to the dark side?” This is an incredibly ambitious effect to try to pull off and it didn’t quite work.

There were times when as a viewer you just didn’t know whether you were coming or going. We were told at the beginning that this was all “five months later”, which was supposed to explain Ross’s personality transplant. “Your wife asks no questions?” “My wife knows her place.” Er, hello, have you met Demelza? And what on earth is this liaison with Tess? And the business about being a humble country squire? But of course it was all a ruse. “You ’ad all them Frenchies fooled and me besides.”

Aside from this slightly messy masquerade, there were many exciting moments, some supremely joyous, some unbearably sad. We got to see some great scenes between Ross and Demelza, even if they were weighted with falsehood (because he was keeping his spying secret). “How needful would you say is honesty betwixt husband and wife?” Oh dear. We’ve been here before. We had poor, broken Demelza: “When did I lose you, Ross? When I look at your face, I see a stranger.” And then we had triumphant, wily Demelza: “I should like to see him humiliated before his dispatch.” How did her mind leap to such a plan! Because she is most excellent, that is why!

‘So many people got caught in the crossfire.’ Photograph: Mike Hogan/BBC/Mammoth Screen

It was irritating, of course, that so many people got caught in the crossfire of Ross’s patriotically well-intentioned lies. If it wasn’t bad enough that Demelza and Ross were at each other’s throats then here were Dr Enys and Sindy Doll doing the same thing. And Dr Enys was supposed to have been holding a candle for Kitty? Added to that the sadness of Sindy Doll holding the girl baby! Unbearable! (Morwenna’s baby!) But how very joyous to see their reconciliation and the opening of Caroline’s heart. “Without such opening, are we yet but half a life?”

And finally we came to the weird reconciliation of Ross and Sir Evil George. It’s never a good thing when Sir Evil George gets his hands on one, let alone two, pistols. But for once it worked out. “Dispose of both bodies. Who would know?” He might make a revolutionary yet. I thought they could have gone farther emotionally in these scenes. “Might I suggest a brandy?” “No.” “Think I might poison you?” “I wouldn’t rule it out.” But we stayed close to reality and just as we thought Sir Evil George might asked Ross and Demelza to take in Valentine, he pulled back.

Many thanks to all the ’Darkers who have followed this blog these many long years. And who have conjured up a below-the-line community that be joyfully affectionate and affectionately critical at same time. And congratulations to the writer, Debbie Horsfield, who created this great unwieldy anachronistic beast of a story for television and almost – almost – managed to tame it. I thought a flashback to Elizabeth was missing in this episode. And there definitely wasn’t enough Prudie. But still. “Where’s our faith? Where’s our gratitude?” It’s still here. “Two hearts. One beat. Can’t ask any more than that. There isn’t any more to ask.” Well, except for the utter destruction of Sir Evil George. But that, my friends, will have to wait for another day.

Pewter tankard award for bonkers brilliance as supporting actor

‘Ross and Demelza excel as a couple. But they are also both able to carry individual scenes with incredible poignancy and weight.’ Photograph: Mike Hogan/BBC/Mammoth Screen

This has to go to Demelza, of course. She had to go through approximately 197 emotional states in this episode from “woman scorned” and Mata Hari to Call the Midwife and Mr and Mrs. If it wasn’t enough that Demelza had survived (a) thinking that Ross was having it off with Tess (b) saving him by encouraging the nasty Frenchman to do the sword-fighting (c ) being a midwife two seconds later to Loveday Carne. (Silly name!)

Obviously we can’t praise Aidan Turner enough for his portrayal of Ross (who is himself sometimes very silly indeed and not an easy role to imbue with verisimilitude). But without Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza, I don’t think this show would have resonated in the way it has. The two of them excel as a couple. But they are also both able to carry individual scenes with incredible poignancy and weight. Demelza had to do this doubly in this episode: having to act out an eventuality that the viewer knew to be untrue but still make it look true to us. That is virtually impossible. Except for Demelza, of course, for whom nothing is impossible. Not even making the same green coat look fresh every time she wears it, despite owning it for 11 years.

Classic Poldark lines

‘Thank heaven for DVD boxsets is all I can say. And the “pause” button.’ Photograph: Mike Hogan/BBC/Mammoth Screen

  • “Some days I almost forget her face for two hours at a time.” Oh Geoffrey Charles, you are as soppy as your father.

  • “I got bigger fish to fry than ’e now, preacher.” Sure you have, girl. Tess was given a bit more nuance in her character in this episode and she did well with it, even making us feel a bit sorry for her. Beware hubris, ’Darkers! It don’t lead to marriage to a hot preacher.

  • “Do ’e not think ’e deserve as much joy? For who in this world have never gone astray?” Who indeed, Rosena? Ah, it would be a hard-hearted viewer who wouldn’t weep at this.

  • “My only thought was to protect you.” “Ross, I’ve always been indebted to you.” “My debt to you can never be repaid. But for the rest of my life, I will try.” I’m not crying. You’re crying.

Regulation reverse-sexism bare chest moment

Well, he’s coming back to bring in the corn so there’s always hope. Only we won’t be seeing it. Except for in our dreams, ’Darkers.

Next week

“I swear to you, my love, I will return.” But you won’t, will you? Thanks a lot, BBC. THANKS A LOT. Thank heaven for DVD boxsets is all I can say. And the “pause” button. Not that I’m permanently freeze-framing the scything on 65-inch plasma screen or anything like that. No, no, don’t be ridiculous.

Quick guide

Poldark: all our episode-by-episode recaps

Show Hide

Poldark series 5 episode 6 review: corruption and heartbreak

This review contains spoilers.

There we are then. Ned’s dead, baby, Ned’s dead.

Those of us with poor impulse control and access to Wikipedia knew it was coming, which flattened the effect of the courtroom and escape scenes rather. However hard Ross shook his curls to protest Despard’s innocence, if you knew this story ended on the gallows then it went there with foot-dragging inevitability.

There were highlights. The Wile E Coyote-style plot for which Ned was framed (turning a ceremonial cannon on the King! The looniest of tunes). The prison press-ups. Dwight finally telling everyone that in his considered medical opinion, Despard was off his trolley. Ned’s escape beanie hat.

For all that, it was a sorry tale that offered scant comfort. Corruption won, and idealism – however foolhardy – was left twitching on the end of a rope. The unscrupulous rich paid for their chosen outcome and proved the perennial truth that wealth puts people above the law. Who else had ‘searing indictment of the justice system’s vulnerability to corruption’ on their series five bingo card? Poldark: it’s not all pilchards.

Thankfully, it is still a bit pilchards. Silver ones made an appearance in Jeremy’s reprisal of the ‘Kosk Yn Ta’ lullaby his mum sang to him in series two. (Now we’re in the final straight, all the old songs are all getting a dust off.) And in the second instalment of Demelza Poldark: Rural Detective – weekdays at two on BBC One – there was something fishy going on at the mine.

After solving last week’s forgery case, Demelza took on the mystery of who was stealing ore. Typically, it was that ne’er-do-well Jacka Hoblyn and pals, a discovery made following a surveillance operation the tactics of which – crouching – left something to be desired. Lo, DC Poldark was spotted and chased off before she could book ‘em, Danno.

The villainy continued as Tess Tregidden threw a spanner in the works between Sam and Rosina, bringing the total number of spanners in that relationship up to two. Has there ever been a more guileless specimen than Preacher Carne? If he can’t see through Tess, they shouldn’t let him anywhere near the school finances. He’ll swap the autumn term staff budget for a handful of magic beans before you can beam like a dog with its nose in the custard and say ‘God’s work’.

Congratulations, by the way, to the Sawle Committee for Learnifying, which has broken ground on the inaugural village school. A pity of course, that the perilous cliff-edge location means that each term half the class will be tragically lost to sudden gusts, but it can’t be helped. They’ll just have to rewrite the committee mission statement so it reads ‘To bring knowledge and learning and a fear of high winds to all’.

Speaking of wind, George’s maiden speech in the House had left him about as popular as a fart in a barouche. He even managed to be heckled at his own wedding despite having taken the precaution of not inviting any guests. Geoffrey Charles and Cecily’s two-pronged attack (he pushed his step-dad’s buttons, she lied and declared herself soiled goods) caused the groom-to-be to turn tail and wash his hands of females altogether, pliable or otherwise. A lifetime of cold, lonely nights awaits.

Not so for Morwenna and Drake, who spent so long making up for lost time in the marital bed that it’s a wonder the blacksmith had the strength left to hammer straight. (The mystery of what Drake is doing with all those bent bits of metal will hopefully be solved in the series finale when he reveals Sawle’s very first Thunderdome.)

The real love story of series five isn’t the Carnes’, or Cecily and G-C’s – it was between Ross and Ned. Their feelings for each other – expressed not through lover’s gifts and secret smiles but raging speeches on injustice and democracy – ran deeper than any mine seam. The Colonel and the Captain: soldiers who tried to mend the world.

First, the Captain will need to mend his head after the whack it took compliments of waistcoat-of-evil Joseph Merceron. How will Ross escape that well? A human ladder? An parkour rescue by Prudie? A rope fashioned from Demelza’s red mane?

Escape he must, for only two episodes remain (we’re running out of time for Hanson to be kicked up the bum for the rest of his life. Make haste me little chivvies.) and a happy ending is sorely needed. After London’s grimy double-dealing, give us beaming beauty and glorious landscapes, cosy couples and frolicking children. For the finale, give us Guinea fowl for supper, four bottles of canary, and a gavotte.

Read Louisa’s review of the previous episode here. And read more about upcoming British TV dramas here.

Poldark season 5 episode 8 spoilers (PBS): The series finale

  • Next week when Poldark season 5 episode 8 airs on PBS, it will be the end of an era — and the end from the series at large. This is the finale, a powerful, devastating, and in the end (hopefully) romantic end to Ross and Demelza’s journey.

    Through this big episode, there are a number of different things you should expect from start to finish. Take, for example, a large time jump as Ross takes on a new mission. It’s a risky one, especially since it’s one that could shield him from some of his own friends and family. He may think that he is working with the greater good in mind, but there are consequences to this pursuit. Enormous consequences. Ross is on a mission that could destroy his entire legacy.

    Within this episode, be prepared to see relationships on the line, big surprises, and moments that will take your breath away. You may cry at times, but we hope that there is going to be a smile or two at the end of it.

    Want to get some more news on Poldark in video form? Then remember to check out our discussion all about episode 7 below! Once you do that, be sure to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for some other discussion.

    Below, CarterMatt has the Poldark season 5 episode 8 synopsis with some more information as to what’s coming up:

    Several months have passed. With their lives on the line, Ross and his friends must launch their most daring plan yet, to save themselves and the country from enemies both at home and abroad.

    Is there a chance still for a Poldark season 6 after this? For the time being, we wouldn’t make any huge assumption that there is a chance. There is an enormous hiatus in the Winston Graham source material and with that in mind, there is always a chance that Aidan Turner and the rest of the cast could come back down the road. It’s just a matter of them being open, and the writers and producers wanting to check out the next phase of the Poldarks’ lives.

    Related News – Be sure to get some more news when it comes to Poldark at the moment

    What do you want to see on Poldark season 5 episode 8?

    Be sure to share right now in the comments, and then also stick around for some other news when it comes to the series. (Photo: PBS.)

    Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!