Meet the cast of Poldark series three

New faces and familiar friends – Aidan Turner leads a stellar cast for the new series of the hit period drama on PBS Masterpiece

THE RETURNING CAST

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Ross Poldark – Aidan Turner

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Our Cornish hero is on a more level footing as we catch up with him in series three. Last year saw his illicit night with Elizabeth result in a schism in his relationship with wife Demelza. But fast-forward nine-ish months and the couple are back on track. How long that lasts remains to be seen as Ross eyes up adventure across the channel…

BBC3 drama Being Human was the springboard to great things for actor Aidan Turner, with The Hobbit director Peter Jackson casting him as dwarf Kili in The Hobbit trilogy. “I got a call out of the blue asking if I wanted to spend a year and a half in Middle-earth? There was a fair bit of screaming on my balcony at half-eight in the morning in Cardiff: ‘Yes! Yes! Oh yes!'” he told RT back in 2012. However, playing Poldark on BBC1 has made Turner a household name – even if show bosses originally didn’t think he was “attractive” enough for the role. Really?

Demelza Poldark – Eleanor Tomlinson

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Demelza has faced immense tests in her marriage to Ross. First the couple lost their baby, Julia, and then Ross’s eye wandered back to his former love Elizabeth. But – after threatening to leave her errant husband – Demelza forgave him and enjoys a degree of domestic bliss as we rejoin the series. Although her two brothers, Sam and Drake, soon arrive on her doorstep to stir things up…

Even before Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson was a BBC1 regular, with key roles in period drama The White Queen and literary adaptation Death Comes to Pemberley. But don’t forget her early star turn as Jas in teen adaptation Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

Elizabeth Poldark – Heida Reed

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Whereas last year saw Elizabeth grow closer to first love Ross, resulting in that night together, the new series sees the pair ostracised after she made the decision to wed George Warleggan, Ross’s arch rival. As we begin the third run, Elizabeth is heavily pregnant – but who is the father? Her new husband or the man she really loves?

Iceland-born actress Heida Reed featured in David Nicholls book adaptation One Day in 2013, and recently appeared in a Silent Witness two-parter and as a guest star in BBC1’s Death in Paradise.

Apparently her starring role in Poldark has turned the series into a breakout success in her home country of Iceland: “It’s almost too much!” she says. “They’re such a small country and so they’re very proud of their people and they sort of blow everything up when someone is doing well outside of Iceland. It’s a bit crazy but it’s so nice.”

George Warleggan – Jack Farthing

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Ambitious banker George and his uncle Cary are at the head of his family’s prestigious financial empire – and avowed nemeses of Ross Poldark. Over two series George has made every attempt to ruin his rival culminating in his successful wooing of Elizabeth whom he eventually married – much to Ross’s chagrin. 

Actor Jack Farthing takes particular pleasure in playing the villain of the BBC1 piece. “I love playing people who are cleverer than I am. He’s really good at his job, he’s so meticulous and ambitious, driven and motivated,” he says. Farthing also played the dim-witted Freddie Threepwood in the BBC1 adaptation of PG Wodehouse’s Blandings, as well as George Balfour in feature film The Riot Club.

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Poldark season three airs on Sundays from 8/7c, PBS Masterpiece