‘Poldark’ Season 1 episode guide

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BBC One’s new adaptation of Winston Graham’s acclaimed Poldark saga airs this spring.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the eight-part series stars Aidan Turner (Being Human) as Ross.

The cast also includes Eleanor Tomlinson (The White Queen), Heida Reed (Silent Witness), Jack Farthing (Blandings), Kyle Solder (Anna Karenina), Warren Clarke (Red Riding), Phil Davis (Whitechapel), Beatie Edney (Poirot), Alexander Arnold (Skins) and Robert Daws (Holby City).

> Order Poldark on DVD on Amazon.

Britain is in the grip of a chilling recession… falling wages, rising prices, civil unrest – only the bankers are smiling. It’s 1783 and Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. But Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it in the wild but beautiful Cornish landscape.


Episode 1

Sunday 8 March 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) joins the army to avoid charges of smuggling. He goes to fight in the American War of Independence, leaving behind his sweetheart, Elizabeth (Heida Reed), with the promise that he will return soon. Three years later, wounded and scarred, Ross returns home to discover that his father has died, his estate is in ruins and Elizabeth is set to marry his cousin Francis (Kyle Soller).

Elizabeth and Francis are married. Ross is surprised to see that callous banker George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) is at the groom’s side. Ross’s uncle, Charles Poldark (Warren Clarke) thinks that it would be better for the newlyweds if Ross were to leave Cornwall and he offers to pay for Ross to make a fresh start elsewhere.

Ross stubbornly refuses, determined to rebuild his family estate, Nampara. With only the help of his father’s useless servants, Jud and Prudie (Phil Davies and Beatie Edney), Ross takes on a new kitchen-maid, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), after he rescues her from a beating.


Episode 2

Sunday 15 March 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

When the local mine Wheal Reath is closed, hundreds of miners, including Jim (Alexander Arnold), find themselves out of work and desperately poor. Ross (Aidan Turner), having repaired the family home of Nampara, now employs Jim as a farm-hand, and thinks to resurrect his family’s mine (Wheal Leisure) with the hope of bringing prosperity to the area again.

Meanwhile, Verity (Ruby Bentall) asks Ross to accompany her to a ball at the Assembly Rooms, where she meets and falls in love with Captain Andrew Blamey (Richard Harrington). However, Blamey is hiding a dark secret that Verity’s brother Francis (Kyle Soller) and father Charles (Warren Clarke) are horrified to discover.

Ross, with the help of mine Captain Henshawe (John Hollingworth) and willing investor Horace Treneglos (Michael Culkin), manages to convince banker and friend, Harris Pascoe (Richard Hope) that Wheal Leisure is a viable business.

But it is Ross’ intimate dance with Elizabeth (Heida Reed) that causes a stir at the ball and gives the other guests a reason to gossip.


Episode 3

Sunday 22 March 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

Ross celebrates the opening of Wheal Leisure as rumours spread of a scandalous relationship between him and Demelza.

Francis and Elizabeth celebrate the birth of their new son.

Ross must fight to save his friend Jim, sparring in court with Reverend Halse.


Episode 4

Sunday 29 March 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

News of the marriage between Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) shocks Trenwith – with Charles’ (Warren Clarke) amusement at the union bringing on a fatal heart attack. On his death-bed he asks Ross to look after Francis (Kyle Soller) who is drinking, gaming and whoring his family’s money away.

Verity visits Nampara and despite Demelza’s worry that she is too common for Verity (Ruby Bentall), the two quickly become firm friends, and Verity teaches Demelza how to be a refined lady.

Wheal Leisure has still not hit copper and the money is running out. Ross turns to his investors, but finds they are unwilling to throw away good money after bad. They must hit copper soon or Wheal Leisure will have to close after Christmas.

Francis and Elizabeth invite Ross and Demelza to Trenwith for Christmas. Demelza is welcomed into the Trenwith Poldarks and appraised by Aunt Agatha (Caroline Blakiston), who never minces her words.


Episode 5

Sunday 5 April 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza welcome two new arrivals: Dwight Enys (Luke Norris), a doctor who plans to make a study of lung diseases at Wheal Leisure and their own baby daughter, Julia Grace Poldark.

At Julia’s christening, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) resolves to lift Verity’s spirits by reconciling her with her lost love Captain Blamey (Richard Harrington). Meanwhile, Mark Daniel (Matthew Wilson) has fallen in love with the capricious Keren (Sabrina Bartlett), who demands he find her a home before they are married. Ross helps Mark renovate one of his dilapidated cottages.

Ross sets about forming an alliance with other mine owners to build their own smelting company and break the Warleggan stranglehold that is driving copper prices ever lower. However, as Francis (Kyle Soller) is deeply in debt to George (Jack Farthing), he cannot join the venture. Deeply unhappy with his marriage to Elizabeth, Francis is spending what money he has left on lavish gifts for an ambitious prostitute, Margaret (Crystal Leaity).

Francis also secures Ross an invitation to George’s house party, a seedy affair of drinking, gaming and whoring. With Ross at the party, Demelza lures Verity (Ruby Bentall) into a trap designed to reconcile her with Captain Blamey.


Episode 6

Sunday 12 April 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

The Carnmore smelting company is a success and Ross (Aidan Turner) makes more of an enemy of George (Jack Farthing) by outbidding him for copper at auction. Meanwhile, Francis (Kyle Soller) is increasingly volatile now that he has lost his mine and is reduced to working the land, so Verity (Ruby Bentall) avoids speaking to him about her plans to marry Captain Blamey (Richard Harrington).

When Ross and Zacky (Tristan Sturrock) discover there is fever at Bodmin Jail just weeks before Jim (Alexander Arnold) is to be released, Ross asks Dwight (Luke Norris) to accompany him to the prison. Ross forces his way into the jail and discovers that Jim is near death. They break Jim out from the jail in a desperate attempt to save him.

Returning home, Ross is expected to attend George’s grand ball. He is sickened at the thought of going amongst the people responsible for Jim’s incarceration, but Verity persuades him that he must do it for Demelza and Julia’s sake; to remind everyone that he is one of their class so they won’t arrest him for the prison break.

However, at the ball Ross is fighting drunk and Demelza is aghast that she has been left to fend for herself at her first ever high society social event.


Episode 7

Sunday 19 April 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

Ross is struggling to keep the Carnmore smelting company afloat – and George Warleggan is determined to crush it. George’s agents are outbidding Carnmore in order to starve it of copper and George is trying to find ways to get to its shareholders, who all remain secret except Ross.

After a rockfall at Wheal Leisure Mark returns home early and finds that Keren is not there. He tracks her to Dwight’s house and discovers that they have been sleeping together.

When Verity runs away with Captain Blamey, Francis immediately blames Ross for helping to arrange the scandalous elopement. Ross is furious and denies any involvement, but Francis will not listen and the cousins break irreconcilably. George sees an opportunity and exploits Francis’ anger until he reveals the names of the Carnmore shareholders.

Demelza heads to Trenwith to confess to Francis and beg him to forgive Ross, but Francis flies into a rage and throws her out.


Episode 8

Sunday 26 April 2015, 9pm

> Read our review.

Ross (Aidan Turner) tries one last time to turn around the fortunes of Carnmore, but when he is outbid he reluctantly folds the company. George (Jack Farthing) has won and takes the opportunity to rub his face in it, showing off his new ship, the Queen Charlotte.

Consumed with guilt over Keren’s death, Dwight (Luke Norris) throws himself into work, dealing with an outbreak of the putrid throat. When Ross learns that all at Trenwith are stricken with the disease he tries to persuade Dwight to see them – but they are Doctor Choake’s patients.

Despite the estrangement Demelza rushes to their aid, but becomes infected and passes it on to baby Julia.

Ross is cheered to see George’s new ship being wrecked upon the rocks and leads the local poor, many of whom are starving, in looting the contents of the ship and exacting his revenge upon George.


> Order Poldark on DVD on Amazon.

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