Next year’s fifth series of Poldark will be its last, and will be based on the unwritten lost decade between 1800 and 1810 in Winston Graham’s books saga.
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Writer Debbie Horsfield has confirmed that her final series will follow the lives of the Poldarks and the Warleggans in the ten-year period between the events of books seven and book eight.
Season four finished with the climax of book seven – the main story being the death of Elizabeth (Heida Reed). But while original writer Graham leaped forward ten years for the start of the eighth book, The Stranger from the Sea, Horsfield will fill in the gaps from this period and end the series there.
She said: “In The Stranger from the Sea Winston Graham made many references to developments that happened in the ‘gap’ years. Much can also be inferred. There are, of course, also historical events and people of the time, both in Cornwall and in London. Series five will draw on all of these to follow the lives of the Poldarks, George Warleggan, the Enyses, and the Carnes in this intervening period.”
Karen Thrussell, executive producer for production company Mammoth, added: “We hope our audience will continue with us on the next stage of the journey. We are confident that fans of the novels will appreciate the care with which Debbie Horsfield is continuing to adapt Winston Graham’s saga. This will be the last series in the Poldark chronicle… for now. Who knows what the future may bring.”
These remarks suggest that the final five novels in the saga could still be open for adaptation at some point.
These last books mainly concern the lives of the Poldark and Warleggan children and could conceivably be made with new older actors playing the parts of Ross and Demelza. Horsfield’s decision on how to tackle series five means however that characters including Aidan Turner’s Ross Poldark will not have to be ‘aged up’ for the final series. By the time of book eight in 1810 Ross is in his fifties.
Andrew Graham, son of Poldark author Winston Graham and series consultant on behalf of the Winston Graham Estate, said: “No-one can know what my father would have felt about the forthcoming series, let alone what he might have written. However, Debbie Horsfield has demonstrated such an extraordinary affinity with his work and shown such remarkable skill in bringing his Poldark characters to the screen that we know we are in safe hands. Indeed, without her, the Estate would not have agreed to series five in this form.”
Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson will return as Ross and Demelza Poldark for the fifth series. Also back are Jack Farthing (George Warleggan), Luke Norris (Dr Dwight Enys), Gabriella Wilde (Caroline Enys), Ellise Chappell (Morwenna Carne), Harry Richardson (Drake Carne), Tom York (Sam Carne) and Beatie Edney (Prudie).
The BBC gave a flavour of series five, saying: “It is a new century and with it comes the promise of a hopeful future, but the past casts a long shadow over Cornwall. Following the death of Elizabeth, Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) resolves to put Westminster behind him and spend more time with the people he loves. However, when an old friend emerges with a plea for help, Ross is compelled to challenge the establishment again. As the Enyses (Luke Norris and Gabriella Wilde) rally to join the cause, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) must contend with dangers close to home, while George (Jack Farthing) courts corrupt powers whose influence spans the Empire.”
The BBC also revealed a number of new cast members, including Lily Dodsworth Evans (Genius), Kerri McLean (Electric Dreams) and Sofia Oxenham (Grantchester). Vincent Regan (300), Peter Sullivan (Entebbe) and Freddie Wise (Maleficent 2), will also feature, with confirmation of their roles due to be announced in due course.
Poldark series five will be on BBC1 in 2019
This article was originally published on 10 September 2018