Poldark (2015 TV series)
Poldark is a British-American drama television series that was first broadcast on BBC One on 8 March 2015, starring Aidan Turner in the lead role. The first eight-part series (aired in seven parts in the U.S.) was based on the first two Poldark novels by Winston Graham, adapted by Debbie Horsfield and directed by Edward Bazalgette and Will McGregor. An earlier television series of the same name was based on Graham's first seven Poldark novels, broadcast by BBC One between 1975 and 1977.
|Created by||Debbie Horsfield|
|Based on||The Poldark novels|
|Written by||Debbie Horsfield|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||27 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Mammoth Screen
|Picture format||16:9 1080i|
|Original release||8 March 2015– present|
On 8 April 2015, the BBC announced that a second series had been commissioned which premiered on 4 September 2016, and contained content from the third and fourth Poldark novels. The BBC announced on 6 July 2016, before series 2 had begun, that a third series had been commissioned based on the fifth and half of the sixth novels. A fourth series has been confirmed and is expected to air in early summer 2018.
In the late 18th century, Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his Cornish mineral lodes - tin, copper, zinc, lead and iron with some silver/copper mines after spending three years in the army to avoid charges of smuggling. When he gets home, he finds his father dead, his estate in ruins, and his old sweetheart Elizabeth engaged to his cousin Francis. He rescues a young woman, Demelza, from a beating, and takes her on as a kitchen maid while trying to help the people of the village and attempting to gain control of the mines sought after by his rival, the greedy and arrogant George Warleggan.
- Aidan Turner as Captain Ross Poldark
- Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza Poldark (née Carne)
- Heida Reed as Elizabeth Warleggan (previously Poldark, née Chynoweth)
- Ruby Bentall as Verity Blamey (née Poldark)
- Jack Farthing as George Warleggan
- Luke Norris as Dr Dwight Enys
- Beatie Edney as Prudie Paynter
- Caroline Blakiston as Aunt Agatha Poldark (series 1–3)
- Kyle Soller as Francis Poldark (series 1–2)
- Phil Davis as Jud Paynter (series 1–2)
- Warren Clarke as Charles Poldark (series 1)
- Gabriella Wilde as Caroline Enys (née Penvenen) (series 2–)
- John Nettles as Ray Penvenen (series 2–3)
- Christian Brassington as Reverend Osborne Whitworth (series 3)
- Ellise Chappell as Morwenna Whitworth (née Chynoweth) (series 3)
- Sean Gilder as Tholly Tregirls (series 3)
- Harry Richardson as Drake Carne (series 3)
- Josh Whitehouse as Lieutenant Hugh Armitage (series 3)
- Tom York as Sam Carne (series 3)
- Rory Wilton as Richard Tonkin
- Richard Harrington as Captain Andrew Blamey
- Robin Ellis as the Reverend Dr Halse
- Richard Hope as Harris Pascoe
- Gracee O'Brien as Jinny Carter (series 1–2)
- Tristan Sturrock as Captain Zacky Martin
- Emma Spurgin Hussey as Mrs Zacky Martin
- Ed Browning as Paul Daniel
- Matthew Wilson as Mark Daniel
- Pip Torrens as Cary Warleggan
- Sally Dexter as Mrs Chynoweth
- John Hollingworth as Captain William Henshawe (series 1–3)
- Henry Garrett as Captain MacNeil
- Mark Frost as Tom Carne (series 1–3)
- Crystal Leaity as Margaret Vosper
- Patrick Ryecart as Sir Hugh Bodrugan
- Michael Culkin as Horace Treneglos
- Jason Thorpe as Sanson (series 1)
- Robert Daws as Dr Choake (series 1)
- Alexander Arnold as Jim Carter (series 1)
- Sabrina Bartlett as Keren Daniel (née Smith) (series 1)
- Harriet Ballard as Ruth Treneglos (née Teague) (series 1)
- Mary Woodvine as Mrs Teague (series 1)
- Daniel Cook as John Treneglos (series 1)
- Jason Squibb as Reverend Odgers (series 1, 3)
- Sebastian Armesto as Tankard (series 2)
- Hugh Skinner as Unwin Trevaunance MP (series 2)
- Ross Green as Charlie Kempthorne (series 2)
- Amelia Clarkson as Rosina Hoblyn (series 2)
- Lewis Peek as Ted Carkeek (series 2)
- Rose Reynolds as Betty Carkeek (series 2)
- Alexander Morris as James Blamey (series 2)
- Isabella Parriss as Esther Blamey (series 2)
- Turlough Convery as Tom Harry (series 2–)
- Richard McCabe as Mr Trencrom (series 2–)
- Harry Marcus as Geoffrey Charles Poldark (series 3)
- John Hopkins as Sir Francis Bassett (series 3)
- James Wilby as Lord Falmouth (series 3)
- Ciara Charteris as Emma Tregirls (series 3)
- Esme Coy as Rowella Chynoweth (series 3)
- Will Merrick as Arthur Solway (series 3)
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Average UK viewers
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||8||8 March 2015||26 April 2015||8.11|
|2||10||4 September 2016||6 November 2016||6.94|
|3||9||11 June 2017||6 August 2017||6.68|
Series 1 (2015)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers
|1||1||"Episode 1"||Ed Bazalgette||Debbie Horsfield||8 March 2015||9.51|
|Ross Poldark, a British veteran of the American War of Independence, returns home to Cornwall to discover his father has died. He calls at his uncle's home to discover his inheritance in ruins and his sweetheart Elizabeth betrothed to another—his cousin Francis Poldark. Having sold some of his family's possessions, he goes to market and comes across an urchin, Demelza Carne, being attacked by ruffians who want to steal her dog. Demelza has left home after being beaten by her father. Ross's uncle tries to persuade him to leave Cornwall; Ross becomes more determined to stay and work his inheritance.|
|2||2||"Episode 2"||Ed Bazalgette||Debbie Horsfield||15 March 2015||8.74|
|Bailiffs are closing mines, putting hundreds out of work. Ross hopes to go into business with Francis to reopen a mine, but Francis declines after tensions between him, his wife Elizabeth, and Ross are fanned by business rival George Warleggan. Ross manages to obtain financing for his mine from other businessmen. At a dance, Ross's spinster cousin, Verity, falls in love with disgraced sea captain, Captain Blamey. Ross assists her to meet Blamey secretly, against her father's wishes, leading to a duel between Francis and Blamey. When Francis is wounded, Elizabeth announces that she is pregnant.|
|3||3||"Episode 3"||Ed Bazalgette||Debbie Horsfield||22 March 2015||8.42|
|Ross opens his mine and the search begins for a vein of copper. Elizabeth bears a baby son, but her relationship with her husband deteriorates. Young employee Jim Carter, whom Ross helped when Jim's girlfriend was pregnant, continues to poach pheasants after they are married and is caught red-handed; his punishment is transportation, and Ross's pleas for leniency result in two years' imprisonment despite Jim and Ross's hopes for acquittal. Rumours circulate as to Ross and Demelza's relationship, and her father, now a reformed character, demands that she return home. Ross and Demelza become lovers. Feeling she is in an impossible position, Demelza decides to return to her family, but Ross goes after her, and they marry.|
|4||4||"Episode 4"||Ed Bazalgette||Debbie Horsfield||29 March 2015||8.29|
|The gentry and locals are shocked by Ross and Demelza's marriage; his judgment is questioned when he seeks more financing from his shareholders for his mine. Ross' uncle, Charles Poldark, has a heart attack and on his deathbed asks Ross to look after his family, realizing that Francis is not cut out for business. Verity, still pining for Captain Blamey, comes to stay and teaches Demelza the finer points of society, so that she is able to make a good impression when she and Ross are invited for Christmas to Francis and Elizabeth's home. The occasion, initially strained, is spoiled by the arrival of the uninvited Warleggans. Copper is finally discovered in Ross's mine, and Demelza announces to Ross she is pregnant; Ross finally tells her he loves her.|
|5||5||"Episode 5"||William McGregor||Debbie Horsfield||5 April 2015||7.56|
|Ross's friend, Doctor Enys, arrives to study lung disease in miners. Demelza gives birth to a girl. George Warleggan buys shares in Ross's mine. Low copper prices from the smelting companies force the mine owners to secretly organize their own smelting company with Ross in charge. Demelza tries to organize a reunion between Verity and Captain Blamey. Mark, one of Ross's workers, falls in love with a travelling player, Keren, who has expectations that outweigh his means. Francis, deeply in debt from his mismanagement of the mine, gambling, and spending on prostitute Margaret, finally gambles his mine. He loses, forcing its closure.|
|6||6||"Episode 6"||William McGregor||Debbie Horsfield||12 April 2015||7.68|
|Mark's new wife, Keren, sets her sights on Dr Enys. Deadly jail pestilence sweeps Bodmin Jail, and Ross and Dr Enys illegally remove Jim Carter to treat his fever, unsuccessfully. The Warleggans hold a ball at which Demelza blossoms, while a drunken Ross becomes involved in a card game with the judge who incarcerated Jim Carter and the gambler who took Francis' mine. Verity is horrified when Captain Blamey also attends the party, and she is forbidden to see him again. George Warleggan discovers where the mine owners have been secretly smelting their copper.|
|7||7||"Episode 7"||William McGregor||Debbie Horsfield||19 April 2015||6.84|
|Verity elopes with Captain Blamey, and Francis blames Ross. George Warleggan, seeking to undermine Ross's smelting operation, returns some of the money out of which Francis was cheated when gambling with Warleggan's cousin. In return, Francis gives George the identities of Ross's partners, most of whom owe money to the Warleggans, and George then calls in their debts. Dr Enys is seduced by Keren, who is then confronted by a distraught Mark about her infidelity, with tragic consequences. After learning of Francis' anger towards Ross, Demelza confesses her part in Verity's elopement, and Ross realises how Warleggan has gained the information to bankrupt his business partners.|
|8||8||"Episode 8"||William McGregor||Debbie Horsfield||26 April 2015||7.86|
|Warleggan's plan to close Ross's smelting company comes to fruition when the company is outbid for the available copper. George Warleggan celebrates by buying a ship. An epidemic of putrid throat (diphtheria) strikes down peasants and gentry alike, including Francis, Elizabeth, and their son. Demelza goes to their aid, and she and her own baby, Julia, also contract the disease. This results in Julia's death and Demelza's lengthy illness, though she recovers with the help of Dr Enys. Warleggan's ship is wrecked off the coast of Ross's land, and starving mine workers descend upon the beach to take food and cargo that washes ashore. Ross rescues the surviving passengers and crew, and takes them to his home. George's cousin Matthew died in the wreck, and Ross is arrested for murder and wrecking, leaving Demelza distraught.|
Series 2 (2016)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers
|9||1||"Episode 1"||Will Sinclair||Debbie Horsfield||4 September 2016||7.29|
|As Ross awaits his trial in Bodmin, Demelza and Elizabeth try to rally support for him. Ross refuses all aid. Francis sinks into depression and attempts suicide. Dr Enys meets a colourful heiress, Caroline Penvenen, whose fiancé Unwin has arrived to contest local elections.|
|10||2||"Episode 2"||Will Sinclair||Debbie Horsfield||11 September 2016||6.88|
|Francis survives his suicide attempt. Demelza attempts to influence the judge in Ross's trial, but is thwarted by George Warleggan. George's agents also bribe potential witnesses, including Jud, and spread material damaging to Ross's reputation. Despite these events, Ross is found not guilty. Demelza discovers she is pregnant a second time.|
|11||3||"Episode 3"||Will Sinclair||Debbie Horsfield||18 September 2016||6.75|
|Francis and Elizabeth hold a harvest party, at which Ross indicates he still has feelings for Elizabeth. Demelza is wooed by Captain McNeil, but rejects his advances. Jud is beaten by Warleggan's men for testifying in Ross's favour at the trial. Ross and Demelza are forced to sell nearly all their belongings to pay an urgent debt. Dr Enys and Caroline are attracted. Francis and Ross reconcile, with Ross realizing their enmity aids George's machinations.|
|12||4||"Episode 4"||Will Sinclair||Debbie Horsfield||25 September 2016||7.13|
|His debts force Ross to sell his shares in Wheal Leisure (bought up by George) and to enter into a deal with smugglers. Ross uses the money to re-open Wheal Grace mine, in partnership with Francis. George informs Ross that Francis gained the money for the venture by betraying him (Season One, Episode Seven), and Ross punches George. Ross later uses the information to pressure Francis into blessing Verity's marriage to Captain Blamey. Caroline and Dr Enys's growing relationship faces some hurdles over their differing values. Caroline is forced to return to London. Demelza gives birth to a boy.|
|13||5||"Episode 5"||Charles Palmer||Debbie Horsfield||2 October 2016||6.60|
|George buys up Ross's debt, forcing Ross to Truro to seek a loan. An apparent informant in the smuggling ring makes Demelza nervous about Ross's involvement. Caroline returns to Cornwall, apparently to announce she is engaged to Unwin; but she rejects him and pursues Dr Enys. Elizabeth suggests she has feelings for Ross. Francis is drowned following an accident in the Wheal Grace mine.|
|14||6||"Episode 6"||Charles Palmer||Debbie Horsfield||9 October 2016||6.72|
|Ross faces debtor's prison, but is saved by an anonymous loan from Caroline Penvenen. Ross spends time with the widowed Elizabeth and uses his little remaining money to buy the Wheal Grace shares owned by Francis's son, Geoffrey Charles, angering Demelza. Thwarted in his plan to imprison Ross, George turns his attentions to Elizabeth, to the dismay of Aunt Agatha. Caroline's uncle and benefactor disapproves of her marrying Dr Enys.|
|15||7||"Episode 7"||Charles Palmer||Debbie Horsfield||16 October 2016||6.77|
|Ross joins a smuggling party, hoping to gain information about Wheal Grace from Mark, formerly a miner and Keren's husband. But it proves a dead-end. Caroline and Dr Enys plan to elope, but Dr Enys experiences doubts and is called away by a medical emergency. Upset, Caroline returns to London. Dr Enys learns the identity of the smugglers' informant and warns Demelza. With her aid, Ross narrowly escapes the soldiers intercepting the smugglers, but is recognized.|
|16||8||"Episode 8"||Charles Palmer||Debbie Horsfield||23 October 2016||6.94|
|Ross and Dr Enys face trial for their part in aiding smugglers. Dr Enys's relationship with Caroline appears ended, and he considers joining the navy. Following a fatal cave-in, the apparently worthless Wheal Grace may be closed. Under pressure from debt and bogus tin prospectors (hired by George), Elizabeth agrees to marry George Warleggan. Enraged, Ross rides to Trenwith and forces himself upon Elizabeth.|
|17||9||"Episode 9"||Richard Senior||Debbie Horsfield||30 October 2016||7.10|
|Ross and Demelza's relationship founders following his tryst with Elizabeth. Elizabeth postpones her wedding to George, expecting Ross desires to become her husband, but Ross does not contact her in the days after "that night". Angered and heartbroken, Demelza accepts an invitation to a ball where she attempts to seduce Captain McNeil, but conscience prevents her. Ross digs past the cave-in at Wheal Grace and discovers an enormous tin deposit.|
|18||10||"Episode 10"||Richard Senior||Debbie Horsfield||6 November 2016||7.19|
|Elizabeth marries George and informs him she is pregnant. Ross is summoned to Trenwith by George, who regards the sale of Geoffrey Charles's Wheal Grace shares as fraudulent. George plans to pursue the matter through the courts; he and Ross fist-fight until George's servants intervene. Dr Enys learns Caroline is engaged and decides to join the navy, but Ross arranges for them to meet in a tavern before Dr Enys embarks, where Caroline and Dr Enys pledge their love. She promises to wait for his return. George erects wooden fencing and barriers around Trenwith, barring a common path, and has his men beat and shoot at 'trespassers' including Demelza. Ross attempts to re-enlist in the army, but withdraws at the last moment upon hearing of a planned attack on Trenwith by angered villagers, led by Jud. Ross talks the villagers out of their attack, sweeps Demelza upon his horse and carries her home where the two are reconciled.|
Series 3 (2017)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers
|19||1||"Episode 1"||Joss Agnew||Debbie Horsfield||11 June 2017||7.29|
|Elizabeth Warleggan pretends that having fallen down the stairs has induced the birth of her baby. George Warleggan names the boy Valentine. Aunt Agatha describes the boy as cursed, born under a black moon as Demelza and Elizabeth separately ponder the true identity of the child's father. George hires Morwenna Chenowyth (Elizabeth's cousin) as governess for Geoffrey Charles. Dr Dwight Enys marries Caroline Penvenen during a brief shore-leave, but is called away shortly after to deliver Elizabeth's baby. On his death-bed, Caroline's Uncle Ray gives their marriage his blessing. Demelza's brothers Drake and Sam arrive and Ross takes them in. Ross and George have reached an apparent truce in their feud, agreeing to not see each other's families.|
|20||2||"Episode 2"||Joss Agnew||Debbie Horsfield||18 June 2017||6.59|
|Drake and Sam Carne ignore Ross's warnings and become George's tenants. Drake and Morwenna are falling in love while Sam wishes to use the church to preach. After the Carnes and their Methodist followers provoke George during a service, George has them banned from the church. Ross is offered the position as local magistrate, but rejects it; George ultimately becomes the magistrate. The French revolution leads to a number of English navy ships reported missing, including those of Captain Blamey and Dr Enys. Ross engages an old friend of his fathers', Tholly Tregirls, to find out more. It emerges that Capt. Blamey is safe, but when Ross learns that Dr Enys's ship was captured by the French, he sets out with Tholly to search for his friend.|
|21||3||"Episode 3"||Stephen Woolfenden||Debbie Horsfield||25 June 2017||6.49|
|Ross and Tholly arrive in revolutionary France, gaining information that Dr Enys is alive in a French prison. They are eventually forced to flee after being accused of spying. Sam leads his flock in loud song just outside the church, and George retaliates by evicting the Carnes from his land. Demelza, angered by Ross's prolonged absence in France, allows her brothers and their followers to use one of Ross's Nampara barns. Drake and Morwenna's relationship advances. George, Elizabeth and Valentine move to Truro in association with George's magistrate position, leaving Geoffrey Charles behind with Morwenna and Aunt Agatha. George frees an aristocrat charged with rape, in order to curry favor with Lord Godolphin. An unhappy Elizabeth begins to take opium.|
|22||4||"Episode 4"||Stephen Woolfenden||Debbie Horsfield||2 July 2017||6.46|
|An exceedingly poor harvest leads to widespread famine. George stockpiles grain and uses his power as a magistrate to punish heavily those caught stealing food. Meanwhile, Ross rallies the local gentry to feed the starving miners and farmers and clashes with George. The repugnant, libidinous and recently widowed Rev. Osborne Whitworth, a member of the Godolphin family, set his sights on Morwenna and the ambitious George encourages their union. In France, Dr Enys tends the wounded in prison including a young lieutenant, Hugh Armitage. Demelza gives birth to baby girl, Clowance.|
|23||5||"Episode 5"||Stephen Woolfenden||Debbie Horsfield||9 July 2017||6.61|
|Ross takes a small raiding party to France and, amid gunfights, rescues Dr Enys and Lt. Armitage. Drake joins the raiding party after being rejected by Morwenna, advised that Drake is socially unacceptable. Valentine Warleggan contracts rickets, much to George's chagrin. George attempts to win the favor of local political kingmaker Lord Falmouth, but is thwarted when it emerges Lt. Armitage is Lord Falmouth's nephew, bringing Ross to the Lord's attention.|
|24||6||"Episode 6"||Joss Agnew||Debbie Horsfield||16 July 2017||6.61|
|Dr Enys struggles to adjust to civilian life with Caroline, following his ordeal. He is counseled by Lt. Armitage. Ross gifts some land to unemployed miners. Drake resumes his pursuit of Morwenna, who realizes she is in love with him. George has Drake falsely arrested for stealing, a capital offence, and forces Morwenna to marry Rev. Whitworth in exchange for Drake's freedom. Geoffrey Charles is sent to boarding school.|
|25||7||"Episode 7"||Joss Agnew||Debbie Horsfield||23 July 2017||7.11|
|Aunt Agatha looks forward to her 100th birthday party. The desperately unhappy Morwenna is pregnant with Rev. Whitworth's child; her sister Rowella comes to stay with them. Ross is asked to stand for the vacant local MP position by both the rebellious Whig politician, Sir Francis Bassett and his Tory equivalent Lord Falmouth, but rejects them both as he views MPs as 'puppets'. Eventually, George becomes Sir Francis's candidate. Demelza is frustrated by Ross's apparent lack of ambition, and is flattered by the advances of the poetic Lt. Armitage. Ross sets up Drake as the local blacksmith. George, upon learning Agatha is only 98, cancels the party. In a fit of anger, Agatha shouts at George that he is not Valentine's father. Agatha dies shortly afterwards.|
|26||8||"Episode 8"||Joss Agnew||Debbie Horsfield||30 July 2017||6.42|
|Ross, alone, buries Aunt Agatha. George is elected MP for the district; he is suspicious of Valentine’s parentage and makes inquiries with Dr Enys, while acting coldly towards Elizabeth and his son. Ross secretly meets Elizabeth regarding the matter. Ross and Demelza’s marriage comes under further pressure as Hugh Armitage continues to openly pursue Demelza. Ross considers talking through his feelings with Demelza, but does not. Morwenna gives birth to a son and her health suffers, particularly from Rev. Whitworth’s immediate resumption of marital relations, which outrages Dr Enys. Sam Carne struggles with his religious faith and his attraction to free-spirited local girl Emma Tregirls. Rowella seduces Rev. Whitworth.|
|27||9||"Episode 9"||Joss Agnew||Debbie Horsfield||6 August 2017||6.50|
|After French ships are sighted off the coast, Ross is asked to organize and lead the local militia. George has his henchman vandalize Drake's blacksmith premises; when Drake complains to Elizabeth, George's men beat him savagely. Following a confrontation, Elizabeth swears that George is Valentine's father; George swears never to doubt Elizabeth again. Rowella informs Rev. Whitworth she is pregnant with his child and extorts 500 pounds from him so she can marry Arthur Solway, a local librarian. Drake's treatment and the high price of grain leads an angry mob to storm George's grain stores; Ross's militia is ordered to defend the stores. Ross avoids a potentially violent confrontation by promising to stand for parliament. Hugh Armitage learns his eyesight is rapidly failing, and asks Demelza to make love with him. Ross lies in bed alone; Demelza joins him eventually.|
The series was one of the final commissions by former BBC One controller Danny Cohen. Filming began in Cornwall and Bristol in April 2014. The production company is Mammoth Screen.
Filming locations include the north Cornwall coast at St Agnes Head, which represents the 'Nampara Valley', and the Botallack Mine near St Just in Penwith, which is featured as 'Wheal Leisure', the mine that Ross Poldark attempts to resurrect. The beach of Church Cove, Gunwalloe on the Lizard Peninsula was used as a location for a shipwreck scene. Town scenes were filmed at Corsham in Wiltshire. and in Frome, Somerset. The underground scenes were filmed at Poldark Mine in Cornwall. Some interior scenes were shot at Prior Park College in Bath, Somerset. Charlestown near St Austell stood in for the city of Truro. Other film locations include Porthgwarra on the St Aubyn Estates, Porthcothan beach near Newquay, Bodmin Moor, St Breward, the coast between Botallack and Levant, cliffs in the Padstow area, Porthcothan near Newquay, Holywell Bay, Porthcurno, Kynance Cove, Predannack Wollas on The Lizard and Park Head near Porthcothan, all in Cornwall.
In the United States, the series began to be broadcast in June 2015 on PBS, shown as part of the series Masterpiece. Poldark commenced screening on ABC TV in Australia on 12 April 2015, and in New Zealand on 22 April 2015 on Prime. The series has also been airing since 2015 on the UK-based Persian language satellite television network Manoto 1 which beams into different areas in Europe and the Middle East for Persian speakers. It was shown on SVT in Sweden, first season autumn 2015, second season spring 2017, and on YLE in Finland, first and second season shown October 2016 to February 2017. And the series was also shown on NRK in Norway, starting September 2015.
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