Thursday 25 May 2017

Dramatic Start to 'Poldark' Series 3

"Fourth!" Aidan Turner covers his mouth with his hand and gives this aside, then looks around with a boyish grin as the audience bursts into laughter. I'm at the press preview for Poldark series three and the Q&A panel (Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Luke Norris, Jack Farthing and Karen Thrussell) have just been asked if they're happy Poldark's going out in June. It catches them off guard. Has June been confirmed? Can they say? Then Aidan breaks the tension by pretending to know the date and teases Karen Thrussell.

Aidan Turner
We've just watched the first episode of Poldark and, boy, is it good! It's fast moving with lots of drama, tense scenes and a sprinkling of humour. It's set a few months after the end of series two with an uneasy truce between Demelza and Ross; Elizabeth pregnant and married to George Warleggan; and Caroline and Dwight finding love.

The episode opens with the dramatic scene of Elizabeth's horse bolting. The scene was shown at the BFI and Radio Times Festival and, yes, it still judders before your eyes. Talking us through it Aidan says, "There was quite a big horse scene at the beginning. I don't think I'm telling tales out of school to say we went back to shoot it again because it took so long to get it right. We had the stunt guys around for that scene. It was a difficult one to nail down. But it's always fun playing around with the horses."  So is he now known for his horse riding? "Yeah, "he grins, "I'm known for horse-action. That's meeee!"

Eleanor Tomlinson
Elizabeth's baby is born and, while there may be some question on the baby's paternity, executive producer Karen Thrussell assures us, "We don't know who the father is. In the books it's not clear."  "What about the little scar?" chips in Aidan to much laughter. Karen continues,"We don't know and neither does Elizabeth for certain and neither does Demelza and neither does Ross."

The episode moves on apace then all of a sudden, excitingly, there's a moment on the beach I'd expected to see in series two and its absence caused not a little disappointment. But here it is!  In a different context to what I'd thought but a thrill to see it on screen at last! Were the fans listened to? I like to think so!

Ross pays a visit to George Warleggan at his impressive bank. Will there be fisticuffs this time? "Certainly with Ross he's getting older and more mature," says Aidan,"There are only so many barroom brawls you can get in to before somebody loses his life. They have their families to consider. It's part of growing up." Does that mean George has improved? "He's definitely worse," says Jack, "But he's also got better because you see more of him emotionally: his angst, his vulnerability."

Jack Farthing
Ross's good friend Dwight Enys has his own joys and disappointments in this first episode. Luke says, "Dwight tries to be a fundamentally decent, wonderful man and fails quite a lot. He's a guy whose moral compass is really right on but circumstances conspire against him - a lot! He makes some bad choices too."

Several of the scenes I saw filmed on my visit to Bottleyard Studio last year are in this first episode, and those of you who've read my set report may pick up on Demelza saying "pudding" and letters arriving at Nampara without a seal!

It wouldn't be Poldark of course if there weren't waves crashing against the rocks and a gallop along
the cliffs although this time it's not Ross but Demelza speeding away!

Luke Norris
So who can you expect to see in this first episode? Well, in addition to the main cast there are some returning characters: Ray Penvenen (John Nettles), Tom Carne (Mark Frost), Captain Henshawe (John Hollingworth) and Harris Pascoe (Richard Hope). There are some new faces too. Ellise Chappell is Morwenna, Elizabeth's cousin and Harry Marcus plays Elizabeth's son Geoffrey Charles, who joins Aunt Agatha as another Poldark thorn in George Warleggan's side. Harry Richardson and Tom York play Demelza's brothers Drake and Sam. Eleanor says, "Working with them both was amazing. Tom York and Harry Richardson are my best friends now. I had such a blast and it's so lovely to have new people coming into the cast. It brings a real new energy."

Sadly, Jud (Phil Davis) is absent from series three. But there's a new character coming back into Ross's life: Tholly Tregirls (Sean Gilder). Tholly was around when Ross was a boy and was a good friend to both Ross and his father, Joshua Poldark. Sean says he believes Tholly knows Ross better than anyone. Debbie Horsfield explains, "With Tholly you can see where Ross got his bad lad tendencies. The problem is, Ross has changed in these 13 years. He isn't always the wild tearaway though there are still those tendencies. He is his right-hand man in many escapades."  Aidan enjoyed working with Sean, "Sean is such a cool fella. We just got on great."  And is it true they had fun in every scene? "We're really cool people to hang out with," he jokes.

Poldark will be back on our screens on BBC One in June. Get ready to fall in love with it all over again!

Photo credit: Evie Bowman for Poldarked

Please remember to credit Poldarked when reposting from this article.

Related links:
Letters, Puddings and Drama: On the Set of Poldark Series 3
Pics from Poldark S3 Preview Screening
Ross and Demelza: A Happier Time

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