Poldark: meet Sam and Drake Carne – Demelza’s brothers who could cause trouble for Ross

Actors Tom York and Harry Richardson on why they don't think Aidan Turner will mind them diverting the female attention

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With a new series of Poldark comes a batch of new characters and this year’s intake includes Demelza’s handsome brothers – Sam and Drake Carne. The pair are reunited with their sister in the first episode and it’s clear from the outset that the two chaps are very, very different.

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We caught up with actors Tom York (who plays Sam) and Harry Richardson (Drake) to tell us more about their characters…


What can you tell us a little bit about Drake and Sam?

Tom York: Sam is a devoutly religious character. He’s Methodist and I think that’s a really interesting texture to bring to the show because Methodism was a massive phenomenon in Cornwall at that time and it hasn’t really been touched on before. Sam’s perspective is to bring it from a point of love – and wanting to save his family and the wider community because that’s what saved him.

Harry Richardson: For Drake it’s boy becoming a man and trying to navigate head and heart. That’s something that you can see across the board whether it’s 1794 or today.

And what are they like as brothers?

Tom: I don’t know if they’re chalk and cheese but they’ve got some similarities for sure. They come from quite an extreme background together – the family dynamic with the father and the way he treated them – but they balance each other. Sam is very serious…

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Tom York as Sam Carne

Harry: They’re brothers and they work together as a team. At the start of the series all that they have in the world is each other. They have a really strong bond.

How do you come into the series?

Harry: Our father is sick so I get sent to visit our sister Demelza who we haven’t seen in many years and it goes from there!

What’s their relationship with Demelza like?

Harry: It was very strong between Demelza and Drake but she’s been away.

Tom: It’s a complicated situation obviously – they’re siblings and have a very strong connection and love between them. That’s a given in that situation where they all work together, but she did leave and I don’t think anyone could blame her for leaving that situation, but they are abandoned in a sense. I think that’s more so from Sam’s perspective, I think Drake is very different.

How do they get on with Ross Poldark?

Harry: I think the arrival of two young lads who are potentially going to cause trouble in the town might rub him up the wrong way but the relationship warms and has some twists and turns which is nice.

How do the two of you get on off camera?

Tom: We get on so well and we hang out quite a lot after work and everyone always assumes we’re brothers.

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Harry Richardson as Drake Carne

Did you watch Poldark before you got the roles?

Tom: I watched the first series and we got cast before the second series came out. I was aware of how big it was but not really – once you’re involved in it you realise how big a following it does have and the audience figures are amazing.

Should Aidan Turner be worried about you stealing the limelight when it comes to being a heartthrob?

Tom: I think if anything he’ll be grateful if we can divert some attention!

Harry: We’re definitely a lot more dorky than you think.

Tom: But I don’t think [that attention] is something you can prepare for or expect or anything.

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Poldark season three airs on Sundays, 9/8c, PBS Masterpiece