When last we saw Aidan Turner’s Ross Poldark on screen his marriage was on the rocks and he had his sights set on a new role in Westminster.
Ross and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) had a rather stormy series three. A charming young man by the name of Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse) – who had been held captive with Doctor Dwight Enys (Luke Norris) in France – wooed the captain’s wife while her husband’s attentions were focused elsewhere.
Demelza gave into temptation with Armitage in the series finale, which ended with a bittersweet scene of Mr and Mrs Poldark in bed together contemplating their future. So, where will we find them in series four?
“They might start off a bit rocky and they might try to figure things out,” said Aidan Turner at the Radio Times Covers Party. “It’s a very real relationship, these things can happen in a marriage.”
Turner is hopeful that his and Tomlinson’s portrayal of the troubled couple’s attempt to get back on track in the “tempestuous” fourth series will resonate with viewers. “I think we tackle it in a very real way,” he said. “It’s something an audience will understand.”
The series finale also saw Ross nearly come to blows with his friends, as the people of Cornwall protested against cruel MP George Warleggan’s high grain prices. As an angry mob – including Demelza’s brother, Sam (Tom Yorke), and old Poldark family friend Tholly Tregirls (Sean Gilder) – descended on George’s grain stores, Ross and his militia held the line and when he finally realised just how much suffering George’s policies were causing, Ross agreed to stand for parliament himself.
Will Ross make a good politician? “You’re going to tell me when you see the speeches in the House of Commons!” Turner laughed, joking that there’s “not much room for the horse” in Captain Poldark’s new haunt. He’s rather excited to take the character to a new setting, which he believes is an inevitable next step. “It’s great, for Ross to do something different, to take it to London, to get involved, it’s where he was always headed I think.”
As the newly appointed man of the people, could Ross prove to be something of an 18th century Jeremy Corbyn? “I don’t know. What would Jeremy Corbyn be like in a tricorn hat? That’s what I want to see!”
The actor seemed confident that Ross had found his new calling in the political sphere, though. “It’s where his passion lies, it’s what he’s interested in, and that’s where he needs to fight George Warleggan (Jack Farthing), not in Cornwall any more but in the House of Commons. That’s where it’s at.”
Speaking of George, who enjoyed a number of deliciously terse exchanges with Ross in series three, Turner promised we’ll see a few more spats between the pair when the drama returns. “When they’re around we’re never too far away from some sort of scrap so there’s a little bit of that this year.”
But when will Poldark actually be back on our TV screens? We know that it’s probably due to air later this summer, but can Mr Turner shed any more light?
“Sooner rather than later, I imagine” said Turner. “I think it’s probably a different time to last year, it’s probably earlier from what I can gather. They need to finish post production and all of those sorts of things so that’s when I step out.”
Filming on series four has only wrapped this month, but everyone is eager to find out just how much more of Turner’s Cornish captain we’ll get to see on screen. Series four is said to draw on the final third of Winston Graham’s sixth Poldark book The Four Swans and all of book seven, The Angry Tide, after which there’s a 10-year time shift.
“Definitely we’re going to do season five, we’re going to shoot the fifth one. After that, I don’t know,” said Turner. “We’ll have to see how it all goes, but definitely for five. It’s kind of one step at a time.”