'Poldark' returns for a new season of action, intrigue

Posted by Chip Chandler on
Eleanor Tomlinson & Aidan Turner star in "Poldark," returning Sunday.
Courtesy of Mammoth Screen

"Poldark" Season 3 first look

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Does George Warleggan finally have the upper hand against his archenemy, Ross Poldark? Can George’s growing power in Cornwall cement his control over the fate of his populist foe? Dream on!

Masterpiece presents the latest thrilling exploits of Ross Poldark and his fiery partner, Demelza, starring Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Death Comes to Pemberley) as the intrepid 18th-century duo, on Poldark, Season 3, airing at 8 p.m. Sundays in eight action-packed episodes beginning this Sunday and running through Nov. 19.

The new season costars Jack Farthing as the dastardly George and Heida Reed as his bewitching wife, Elizabeth, now estranged from her first love, Ross—or is she? Also returning are Caroline Blakiston as Ross’s crusty Aunt Agatha, whose passion in life is tormenting George; Beatie Edney as the irascible servant Prudie; Luke Norris as stalwart Dr. Dwight Enys; and Gabriella Wilde as Dwight’s secret fiancée, the fetching heiress Caroline Penvenen.

Critics have been enthralled with Season 3, which recently aired in the UK. The Independent (London) lauded the “action-filled opener,” with its panoply of plot developments that “helped the atmospheric drama gallop out of the starting blocks.”

And gallop it does. Episode One introduces fresh doubts about the paternity of Elizabeth’s impending baby, along with some consequential new characters, including Ellise Chappell as Elizabeth’s pretty cousin Morwenna. Hired as the governess for Elizabeth’s young son (by her previous marriage to Poldark’s cousin Francis), Morwenna is soon a pawn in George’s grand game to win political influence.

Morwenna would prefer to share company with Demelza’s strapping brother Drake, a lay minister played by Harry Richardson (Dunkirk), but George intends her to marry the recently widowed Reverend Whitworth, portrayed with unctuous piety by Christian Brassington (Elizabeth: The Golden Age). Whitworth gives every indication of being a rank libertine, to the horror of the upright and innocent Morwenna. Meanwhile, George manages to abuse every privilege he accrues in his ruthless climb to power.

Also enlivening the new season are a mysterious plague of frogs, a thwarted famine, and Aunt Agatha’s eagerly anticipated one-hundredth birthday party, which has a catastrophic catch. But the most stirring action involves the French Revolution, which manages to ensnare one of the program’s main characters in its Reign of Terror, prompting Poldark’s most dangerous mission yet.

Perhaps even more perilous—at least for his psyche—is Ross’s cooling attitude toward Demelza. Reckless to a fault, he appears to be throwing it all away—a magistracy, a seat in Parliament, his lands, and even his red-haired beauty. What on earth could he be thinking?

Poldark, Season 3 is a Mammoth Screen production for the BBC and Masterpiece. Based on the novels by Winston Graham, it is written and created for television by Debbie Horsfield, produced by Roopesh Parekh and Michael Ray and directed by Joss Agnew and Stephen Woolfenden. The executive producers are Debbie Horsfield, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece. It is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

 

 

Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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