It’s guns, romance and rivalry as Poldark returns to Prime.
Poldark returns with a bang, bold new storylines and new characters, as Jim Maloney reports.
Watch out, Ross – there’s now a love rival for Demelza in the shape of dashing Hugh Armitage, as a third season of the 18th-century Cornish saga returns.
Many fans feel, frankly, it would serve Ross Poldark right if his wife did have an affair, especially after the way he did the dirty on her last season with his first love, Elizabeth.
And that could have long-term consequences as Elizabeth, now married to Ross’ deadly enemy George Warleggan, has another baby on the way. But is it George’s or Ross’ baby? “Nobody knows,” laughs Aidan Turner, who plays Ross, when I ask him the burning question.
“There is a part of him that is growing up a bit more and learning from his ways. He’s understanding and realising where he’s at and what he’s in and that he could lose Demelza.
“He nearly lost her last season when she almost walked out on him. He’s conscious of not making the same mistakes and he’s not fighting with his fists like he was.
“But then sometimes he does things that are outrageous and that’s why we love him.
“He’s flawed. He’s not a perfect human and he doesn’t try to be a perfect person. But I like him because he’s courageous and always kind of on the front foot. He’s making decisions and I guess he’s helping people too.
“He’s not selfish or lazy. That’s what I admire most about him. He’s always doing stuff, getting things done and thinking ahead.”
This season, set in 1794 during the French Revolution, promises more action, romance and jealousy than ever before, in particular an explosive scene when Ross rescues Dr Dwight Enys from a POW camp in France, and fellow inmate, Hugh Armitage, played by Josh
Whitehouse, also takes his chance to escape. He later turns out to be an aristocrat and takes a shine to Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson).
“I don’t know that Ross suspects there is anything between the two of them,” says Aidan. “Hugh is a much younger guy than Ross and he likes him a lot.”
But just how much Demelza likes him, remains to be seen.
“There’s a lot in store for Ross this season and a lot of new characters,” Aidan, 34, adds. And so there is. Demelza’s brothers cause a stir when they turn up to tell her that their father is dying. They then settle in the area and quickly integrate with the locals.
While Sam (Tom York) is a devout Methodist who wants to spread the word, brother Drake (Harry Richardson) is a free-spirited romantic and poet.
There is a definite attraction between him and another new arrival, Elizabeth’s nature-loving 19-year-old sister, Morwenna (Ellise Chappell), who is hired to act as a governess to Elizabeth’s son Geoffrey Charles.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) and Dwight (Luke Norris) is to prove a rocky one because when the doctor returns from war he is a changed man.
His experiences have caused what would now be identified as post-traumatic stress disorder and he is distant and uninterested in Caroline, much to her anguish.
As for Elizabeth (Heida Reed),
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and George Warleggan (Jack Farthing)
George may not be the love of her life but she is growing closer to him every day and has settled for a contented marriage that will keep her financially secure. George (Jack Farthing) may be nasty and have it in for her beloved Aunt Agatha (Caroline Blakiston), who he wants out of the house and Geoffrey Charles farmed off to boarding school, but the cunning swine always manages to be charming in his wife’s presence. However, her relative happiness is wobbled by the anxiety of her forthcoming baby. If it arrives too early then she will have a lot of explaining to do. “The new characters have strong plots and storylines that aren’t necessarily connected directly with Ross and that makes for rich storytelling,” says Aidan. “Ross himself is learning that there is only so much fighting he can do on the ground and that if he really wants to change things and get things done then he needs to get into parliament. And we see him heading in that direction towards the end of the series.”
Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner)