Poldark is back for its fifth series, with a host of returning characters back on screens for the drama’s final outing. They’re joined by a clutch of troublesome newcomers, ready to add some roadblocks to Ross and Demelza’s attempts to lead a quiet Cornish life (pah).
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Who lines up alongside Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson? Here’s everyone you need to meet…
Aidan Turner plays Ross Poldark
Who is Ross Poldark? Our brooding leading man. Ross was once considered the black sheep of the family, but in series five we find him married to Demelza with several children, a profitable business and a reputation outside the rugged realm of Cornwall – making his mark on London and Westminster in recent years. He’s a natural-born leader of men, but trouble always follows him around – and this series he can’t resist leaping to the aid of his old army Colonel Ned Despard.
What else has Aidan Turner been in? Before Poldark came along, Aidan Turner starred as Kili in The Hobbit movies, Mitchell in the TV series Being Human, and Dante in Desperate Romantics. He played the role of Philip Lombard in the mini-series And Then There Were None, and recently appeared in The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot as well as 2016 movie The Secret Scripture.
Eleanor Tomlinson plays Demelza
Who is Demelza? Once Ross’s servant, since the end of series one she’s been his wife. The pair are devoted to one another but have a tempestuous relationship and their marriage has suffered bumps in the road – in large part thanks to the torch Ross held for first love Elizabeth (who first married his cousin, Francis, and then his greatest enemy, George Warleggan). But come series five, the pair have recommitted to one another – and Demelza joins Ross in his support of Ned Despard and his wife Kitty.
What else has Eleanor Tomlinson been in? The actress previously starred as Isabel Neville in The White Queen, and was Georgiana Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley. In recent years she has appeared in Agatha Christie adaptation Ordeal by Innocence and in Keira Knightley movie Colette. Eleanor Tomlinson is set to co-star in the long-awaited TV version of The War of the Worlds.
Jack Farthing plays George Warleggan
Who is George Warleggan? George has long seen Ross as the enemy. Once making their living as blacksmiths, the Warleggans have ascended the social ladder and made a fortune from banking. Along with his uncle Cary, George presides over a Cornish empire and – like Ross – has made inroads into Westminster. He was married to his arch rival’s childhood sweetheart Elizabeth, but since her death has been left to raise their children Valentine and Urusla.
What else has Jack Farthing been in? Jack Farthing recently starred as Donald Fraser in The ABC Murders. He played Freddie Threepwood in the TV series Blandings, George in 2014 movie The Riot Club, and John Lennon in TV mini-series Cilla.
Luke Norris plays Dwight Enys
Who is Dwight Enys? Ross’s old friend from his army days, Dwight is a doctor tending to the Cornish sick and injured. He spent much of series three suffering the effects of imprisonment in France, but eventually married heiress Caroline Penvenen. The pair welcomed their first child, Sarah, in series four but she died in infancy leaving both parents devastated.
What else has Luke Norris been in? Aside from his role in Poldark, Luke Norris has made a handful of other appearances – in Skins, The Inbetweeners, and Titanic. He is also a stage actor.
Gabriella Wilde plays Caroline Enys
Who is Caroline Enys? Married to Dwight, Caroline is no longer the entitled heiress we first met in series two. She’s fought for social justice and shown a steely core in the face of the various trials the series has lobbed her way, most recently the loss of her baby daughter, Sarah, which saw her (temporarily) decamp to London. At the end of series four she returned to Dwight to mend their relationship.
What else has Gabriella Wilde been in? The professional model and actress has previously appeared in St Trinian’s 2, Carrie, and The Three Musketeers. She was Vampire Girl in the Doctor Who episode Vampires of Venice. Gabriella Wilde is slated to appear in the movie Wonder Woman 1984.
Heida Reed plays Elizabeth Warleggan
Who was Elizabeth Warleggan? Elizabeth was Ross’s first love but married his cousin, Francis Poldark, while Ross was fighting in America. She and Francis shared a son, Geoffrey Charles, but after her husband’s shock death she went on to marry George Warleggan. A one-night dalliance with Ross produced another son, Valentine, and with George’s suspicions raised, Elizabeth plotted to use her latest pregnancy to convince him of Valentine’s parentage. But a potion taken to induce labour led to her illness and death at the end of series four – and her memory haunts the Warleggans and Poldarks in the fifth and final series.
What else has Heida Reed been in? Icelandic actress and model Heida Reed has also cropped up in episodes of DCI Banks, Toast of London and Death in Paradise. She appeared on stage in 2018 in the play Foxfinder with Iwan Rheon and Paul Nicholls.
Harry Richardson plays Drake Carne
Who is Drake Carne? Demelza’s brother Drake arrived in series four following the death of their father, Tom. A romantic dreamer, he fell for Elizabeth’s cousin Morwenna and looked destined to be forever heartbroken when she was forced to marry Reverend Osbourne Whitworth. But love prevailed – and when evil Ossy met his maker – they exchanged vows and became husband and wife. But it remains to be seen whether Morwenna can recover from the ordeal of her first marriage.
What else has Harry Richardson been in? Having played Frank Gresham in Doctor Thorne, the actor appeared in Dunkirk as a Private and popped up in an episode of Death in Paradise as the character Gabe Lee.
Tom York plays Sam Carne
Who is Sam Carne? Drake and Demelza’s brother Sam is more devout than his siblings. A pious Methodist, he shared a brief romance with Emma Tregirls but this series Drake’s one-time fiancé Rosina Hoblyn catches his eye. Could romance blossom between the pair? Or will newcomer Tess Tregidden throw a spanner in the works?
What else has Tom York been in? Before joining Poldark in 2017, Tom York played Hero in Olympus. He has also appeared in Death in Paradise, Agatha Raisin, and Midsomer Murders.
Ellise Chappell plays Morwenna Carne
Who is Morwenna Carne? Elizabeth’s cousin, Morwenna was initially introduced as Geoffrey Charles’s governess and quickly attracted the attention of Demelza’s brother Drake. Their fledgling romance was cut short by her marriage to Osbourne Whitworth – arranged by George – and Morwenna suffered greatly as his wife. A victim of emotional and physical abuse, she narrowly escaped being committed to a mental institution, but on her husband’s death she was finally wed to Drake. Nevertheless, she still bears the scars of the last few years.
What else has Ellise Chappell been in? Most recently, Ellise Chappell played Lucy in the rom-com Yesterday. She was also Jennifer Strange in The Last Dragonslayer and Wendy Roberts in New Blood.
Vincent Regan plays Ned Despard
Who is Ned Despard? A real-life figure from history, Ned is a colonel in the army who saved Ross’s life during his military service in America. But as governor of British Honduras, he has found himself targeted for his abolitionist views, and British settlers – eager to protect their wealth – have succeeded in landing him in trouble with the government back in London. Will Ross be able to help his old boss?
What else has Vincent Regan been in? Vincent Regan’s movies include Snow White and the Huntsman, 300, Troy, and Clash of the Titans. He recently played King Louis Philippe in the TV series Victoria, as well as King Simon in The Royals and Mason Elliot in Delicious.
Kerri McLean plays Kitty Despard
Who is Kitty Despard? Of Jamaican descent, much like Demelza, Kitty was once Ned’s kitchen maid before they fell in love and wed. With her husband now the target of powerful forces, it’s down to Kitty to enlist Ross’s help.
Sofia Oxenham plays Tess Tregidden
Who is Tess Tregidden? A new character for series five, Tess is a Cornish local and, like many, is short of work and food. But described as a “master manipulator”, she readily stirs up unrest within the community – and later targets Sam Carne.
Peter Sullivan plays Ralph Hanson
Who is Ralph Hanson? A businessman recently returned from British Honduras, Ralph has a vendetta against Ned Despard – and builds an alliance with George Warleggan. He hopes to make an advantageous match for his daughter, Cecily, but the pair have a strained relationship and she has ideas of her own…
What else has Peter Sullivan been in? Peter Sullivan has played Tate in Richard Gere TV series MotherFatherSon, Phil Dawkins in Marcella, and Sebastian Underhill in Curfew. His previous dramas include The Borgias, The Hour, and The Thick of It.
Lily Dodsworth-Evans plays Cecily Hanson
Who is Cecily Hanson? Daughter of businessman Ralph Hanson, Cecily spent half her life in British Honduras before returning back home with her mother, who has since passed away. She barely knows her father, and is uneasy with his ruthless business dealings. But she has caught the eye of Geoffrey Charles – and the feeling looks to be mutual…
What else has Lily Dodsworth-Evans been in? Like her Poldark co-star Sofia Oxenham, Lily Dodsworth-Evans will appear in Dracula. She has also played Ilse Einstein in the TV series Genius.
Freddie Wise plays Geoffrey Charles Poldark
Who is Geoffrey Charles Poldark? Now an orphan, Geoffrey Charles has dropped out of Harrow with hopes of pursuing a career in the army. But despite Ross’s efforts of persuasion, his stepfather George refuses to provide him with the requisite funds and so Geoffrey Charles must make his way in the world without any inheritance. Still, that doesn’t seem to stop him pursuing Cecilly…
What else has Freddie Wise been in? The young actor has a minor role in upcoming movie Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
Tim Dutton plays Joseph Merceron
Who is Joseph Merceron? Joseph is a magistrate working in London. He is a powerful figure and has a number of influential connections in his arsenal.
What else has Tim Dutton been in? Credits include Tom & Viv, The Bourne Identity, Genius, and DCI Banks. He is also an experienced stage actor.
Beatie Edney plays Prudie Paynter
Who is Prudie Paynter? Prudie continues to work as a maid at Nampara, Ross and Demelza’s home. Trusted by the Poldarks, she’s left to run the estate during their absences in London.
What else has Beatie Edney been in? She previously played Heather in the movie Highlander and follow-up Highlander: Endgame. In recent years, Beatie Edney has appeared in Wallander, Lewis, and The Coroner – as Judith Kennedy.
Pip Torrens plays Cary Warleggan
Who is Cary Warleggan? Uncle to George, Cary Warleggan is a mercenary banker who is forced to take the lead in the family’s business dealings while his nephew continues to grieve his late wife, Elizabeth.
What else has Pip Torrens been in? Prolific actor Pip Torrens has more than 180 screen credits to his name. Recent TV roles have included Maurice in Death and Nightingales, Herr Starr in Preacher, the ghastly Nicholas Pratt in Patrick Melrose, Tommy Lascelles in The Crown, and Cassel in Versailles. He has also appeared in The Danish Girl, The Iron Lady, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Pride & Prejudice.
Heida Reed plays Elizabeth Warleggan
Who is Elizabeth Warleggan? Ross’s former fiancé, and George Warleggan’s wife. She died in series four while giving birth to her daughter Ursula, leaving behind her son Geoffrey Charles Poldark (fathered with her first husband Francis Poldark, brother to Ross) and young son Valentine Warleggan. Despite being dead, Elizabeth appears in series five – but only in the mind of George Warleggan, who is suffering from delusions.
What else has Heida Reed been in? Iceland-born actress Heida Reed featured in David Nicholls book adaptation One Day in 2013, and also has roles in Silent Witness, DCI Banks and Death in Paradise on her CV.
Poldark airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC1