The first eight-part series premiered on BBC One on 8 March 2015. On 8 April 2015, the BBC announced a second series which premiered on 4 September 2016. On 6 July 2016, before the second series started, it was announced that there would be a third series, which premiered on 11 June 2017. The fourth series premiered on 10 June 2018. The final series aired in 2019.
In 1783, Ross Poldark came home from the American War of Independence. He found Cornwall changed in the time he spent away - he finds his father dead, his estate in ruins, and his old sweetheart Elizabeth engaged to his cousin Francis. He saves a young woman, Demelza, from a brawl and takes her on as a kitchen maid.
He helps the people of Nampara and attempts to gain control of family mines sought after by his rival, the arrogant George Warleggan.
Horsfield became involved with the project when she was approached by Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer at Mammoth Screen. They wanted her to adapt the first two novels—Ross Poldark and Demelza. The BBC originally ordered a six episode series but they knew they would need at least eight to tell the story so they asked and the BBC agreed.
While making the story, Horsfield did a lot of background reading to get an idea of life in the 18th century. They included books about mining, pilchard fishing, smuggling, and listened to music from the time. They hired the help of historical adviser Hannah Grieg, a Lecturer of History at York University, with whom Horsfield shared a knowledge of the vocabulary, idioms, phrases, manners, etiquette and traditions of the time. Andrew Graham, the son of Winston Graham who wrote the novels, was also supportive and he reads the scripts to give feedback.
Poldark is filmed in both Bristol at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Cornwall. One of the main locations where they film is Bodmin Moor where exterior shots for Nampara and scenes on horseback are filmed. Botallack to Levant is also a popular place, with Levant Mines being the role of the fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill and Owles and Crowns being the role of Wheal Leisure along with the cliff edge of St Agnes Head. St Agnes Head also played the role of Nampara Valley, part of the Poldark Estate.
Porthgwarra, Charlestown, Holywell, Kynance Cove and Padstow are also used, with the latter being used for cliff scenes, and the beach of Porthcothan is featured in scenes for Poldark's Cove. Church Cove of Gunswalloe was used to film the ship wrecking scenes from series one and Portcothan portrayed scenes from Nampara.
- Series 1 - eight episodes (8 March 2015 - 26 April 2015)
- Series 2 - ten episodes (4 September 2016 - 30 October 2016)
- Series 3 - nine episodes (11 June 2017 - 6 August 2017)
- Series 4 - eight episodes (10 June 2018 - 29 July 2018)
- Series 5 - eight episodes (15 July 2019 - 26 August 2019)
- Aidan Turner - Captain Ross Poldark (35 episodes)
- Eleanor Tomlinson - Demelza Poldark (née Carne) (35 episodes)
- Heida Reed - Elizabeth Warleggan (previously Poldark, née Chynoweth) (35 episodes)
- Jack Farthing - George Warleggan (35 episodes)
- Kyle Soller - Francis Poldark (13 episodes)
- Phil Davis - Jud Paynter (16 episodes)
- Beatie Edney - Prudie Paynter (34 episodes)
- Ruby Bentall - Verity Blamey (née Poldark) (15 episodes)
- Luke Norris - Dr Dwight Enys (31 episodes)
- Caroline Blakiston - Aunt Agatha Poldark (26 episodes)
- Gabriella Wilde - Caroline Enys (née Penvenen) (27 episodes)
- Tristan Sturrock - Zacky Martin (34 episodes)
- John Hollingworth - Captain Henshawe (20 episodes)
- Ed Browning - Paul Daniel (14 episodes)
- Matthew Wilson - Mark Daniel (11 episodes)
- Richard Hope - Harris Pascoe (11 episodes)
- Pip Torrens - Cary Warleggan (11 episodes)
- Crystal Leaity - Margaret (9 episodes)
- Gracee O'Brien - Jinny Carter (née Martin) (8 episodes)
- John Nettles - Ray Penvenen (7 episodes)
- Sally Dexter - Mrs Chynoweth (7 episodes)
- Henry Garrett - Captain McNeil (7 episodes)
- Mark Frost - Tom Carne (6 episodes)
- Richard Harrington - Captain Andrew Blamey (5 episodes)
- Robin Ellis - Dr Halse (5 episodes)
- Hugh Skinner - Unwin Trevaunance (5 episodes)
- Ross Green - Charlie Kempthorne (5 episodes)
- Max Willis - Geoffrey Charles Poldark (5 episodes)
- Warren Clarke - Charles Poldark (4 episodes)
- Amelia Clarkson - Rosina Hoblyn (4 episodes)
- Edison Spinola-Scott - Jeremy Poldark (4 episodes)
- Sabrina Bartlett - Keren Smith (3 episodes)
Poldark was critically acclaimed, with a rating of 8.3 on IMBD based on 22,082 opinions in October 2019.
Notes and sources
- Official Poldark on Twitter - #Poldark Series 2. @BBCOne. 4th Sept 2016. The countdown begins...
- BBC - Poldark will return to BBC One for a third series
- Radio Times - Poldark season 3: cast, air date, filming and everything you need to know
- The Guardian - BBC to broadcast Poldark adaptation
- The Bottle Yard Studios - BBC One drama Poldark begins filming at The Bottle Yard Studios
- Poldark - Q&A with screenwriter Debbie Horsfield
- BBC - Poldark's Cornwall locations
- Poldark on IMBD