Poldark series 1, episode 3 review: Aidan Turner gets frisky with Demelza and looks buff in the hayfield

The makers of Poldark continue to make the most of their heartthrob leading man but there's some social commentary in 18th century Cornwall this week too

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Well, well, well. Demelza finally did it. The serving girl looks set to become mistress of the house after giving herself to Aidan Turner’s Ross Poldark.

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With local gossips assuming that Demelza and Ross were already at it, the two clearly decided they might as well be. And that wasn’t all. Bathing in a post-coital glow, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) then got to watch her hero scything hay in a field which proved, if nothing else, that there appears to be a branch of Fitness First in this part of C18th Cornwall and that Ross Poldark is one of its regular patrons.

Aidan Turner fans can’t complain. Last week he went skinny dipping (also watched by Demelza) and this week he showed he could pull off the horny-handed-man-of-the-soil schtick with sweaty aplomb.

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Things had already got off to a steamy start at the beginning of the episode when Ross opened his mine. The enraptured look Demelza was giving him as he addressed his workers told you the whole story of how she feels.

And no wonder. Is there any end to his heroism? This week it was as if he were seeking to solve the unemployment problem in Cornwall almost single-handedly. And that wasn’t all he did for the workers. He gave young Jim Carter a home after he got Jinny pregnant and, later in the episode, did his best to try and get the poor lad off a poaching charge. How does he find the time to run his mine?

Along with Ross being all buff and heroic, this series has not stinted on the social commentary. As well as the dastardly bankers who don’t care whose lives they ruin as long as they make a profit, this week’s political lesson focused on poor Jim. He was sent off to the assizes by the landowner simply because the braying toff wanted to go hunting early.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the workers rise up like lions after slumber very soon. They should.

Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that the man playing Judge Halse, the stern bloke in the wig who adjudicated in Jim’s case, was none other than Robin Ellis, 1970s-era Poldark himself.

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Back in the posh house, Ross also had to look on as Elizabeth (Heida Reed) gave doofus Francis (Kyle Soller) a son, thus pleasing the irascible Charles but not before the jowly patriarch keeled over just as he was celebrating the continuation of the Poldark line. Last we saw he was on his sickbed and I am not too sure how he will get on. He is being looked after by a physician called Dr Choake which doesn’t sound enormously promising.

As for Francis himself, he did not quite live up to his billing of virile procreator as his jealousy came to the surface. If he’s going to get so worked up all the time why does he always leave Elizabeth and Ross alone?

Still, he can at least draw some comfort from the teaser trailer for next week’s episode which showed Ross and Demelza at the altar (see main picture).

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Demelza had suggested that after she went to bed with the Master it probably wasn’t done to expect her to continue to work as his servant. And although we didn’t quite hear Ross say ‘I do’, he’s too decent and honourable a man to disagree with that….

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