Monday 17 March 2014

Aidan Turner Not Appreciated by Poldark Society

I guess it was inevitable but still...

It seems all is not happy in the Poldark Appreciation Society. Val Adams, founder of the Society, told The Cornishman that fans of Poldark - "at least 85 percent of them"- are not pleased that Aidan Turner has been cast in the leading role in the new BBC TV series. Val said, "He looks as though he's just finished college and nothing like a soldier returning from war-torn America. I've got a great imagination but it doesn't stretch that far.
“It goes without saying that any actor would have a hard task following Robin Ellis' interpretation of Ross but an older and a more masculine actor would have stood a better chance. A lamb to the slaughter comes to mind."

The story, posted on Twitter, caused a flurry of comments in favour of Aidan. I particularly enjoyed @MancVamp's quip, 

@CornishmanPaper Tell Val that 100% of Aidan Turner's many, many fans are thrilled to bits!

and was delighted to receive this tweet from @AntheaBarteau

@mammothscreen @Poldarked as Winston Graham's granddaughter, I think Aidan will make a fabulous Ross!

The odd thing is, the Society are unhappy with Aidan because of his age: yet Aidan is 30 years old, much the same as Robin Ellis was when he took on the role. And Poldark is in his early twenties when he returns to Cornwall from the war, so Aidan seems hunky dory to me. 
Perhaps it would help the Society to listen to the writer of the new series, Debbie Horsfield, who says that one reason Aidan was perfect for the role was that, should they be lucky enough to adapt all twelve Poldark books, Aidan is an actor who can age successfully with the role.  Of course, fans of Aidan's are well aware that, in the film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Aidan played a 37 year old - no problem!

As for Aidan not being masculine enough - really?
Aidan in Being Human filmed 2010

However, the most telling part of Val's comment is when she says, "I am sure he is a great actor, although most had never heard of him...". Would it really have been that much trouble to have found out a little about Aidan before judging him so thoroughly? He is quite a private person who is interested in being an actor rather than a "celebrity" so chances are, if they haven't seen any of his work, they won't have heard of him. But they might at least have tried.

I do, however, understand how painful it may be to have a TV show you've loved, be remade. But then, if a story is so good, why not let a new generation enjoy it in their own way?

Finally, to the 15% of the Poldark Appreciation Society members who are waiting to see the new drama before they pass judgement, well done. I salute you!


  1. There is only one thread over there on the New Poldark and the tone is very accepting, urging those in doubt to get to know Aidan and give him a chance. I'd like to know where these 85% are and where they expressed these negative opinions. I'm guessing it's the disgruntled founder who does not like him and she's just going to have to get over it.

  2. Great post!

    It's such an unnecessary and rather mean-spirited headline and that comes down to the editor. Hopefully the next headline will be 'Poldark author's family are 100% thrilled to bits with casting'.

    On reflection I hope it isn't a sign that the local press are aiming to stir up controversy where there is none and have bounced this lady into giving them the spicy copy to do it. The last time Poldark was attempted in the 90s there was blood on the streets (I may be exaggerating a little) and inevitably the press enjoy that more that sunshine and rainbows.

    I can understand if a fan has been cherishing a different casting choice for years it can take time to adjust, and perhaps the temptation is to 'rationalise' that personal disappointment. I really hope over the next few months love for the books will enable concerned fans to at least give the new adaptation a chance, while of course having every right not to like the choices at the end of the day! The production company has a great pedigree and the promise of sticking closer to the books shows respect for the material.

    I'm sure there'll be a flood of positivity and good will - maybe that could also make a few tweetable headlines.

    Having said that, I'm still laughing at the thought that Aidan is not masculine enough. I doubt there'll be much lamb-to-the-slaughter meekness in his Ross. Anyway, I asked my friends (male and female) and 85% said it was genius casting, and the other 15% said 'what's Poldark?'. I reckon that's an equally scientific poll!

    I feel better having got that off my chest. Thanks xx

    (Oh, p.s. City of Bones :))

    1. Ah yes! City of Bones. Thank you!
      Those are some interesting points you make. I enjoyed reading them. I do think the papers like a bit of argy-bargy. And I am not entirely unsympathetic to the Society feeling "their" Poldark under threat. It's just a shame the papers/Society chose Aidan to focus on in a way that seems - well - odd.

    2. Cheers m'dear. I was trying to have a rational conversation with myself, while my protective instincts were yelling 'no no no, not fair' and 'barmy'.

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  4. There is only one Poldark....Robin Ellis.


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