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Interestingly enough, the original Poldark also screened on Masterpiece Theater in the 1970s, and starred Robin Ellis in the title role. Poldark was one of the BBC’s first costume dramas and remains beloved on both sides of the Pond.
Set in Cornwall in 1793, it tells the story of a man named Ross Poldark, a brooding British officer returning from the American Revolutionary War who finds his home life much changed. He finds his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin.
A man of contradictions, Ross has a strong sense of social justice but a contempt for authority. He’s a man of principle yet frequently a rebel. Reckless yet full of integrity. Charismatic but down-to-earth. Volatile yet fiercely loyal. Torn between two women and two social classes. A hero to most, a scourge to many.
Basically, this character is (or ought to be) the poster child for period dramas everywhere.
Actor Aidan Turner has been cast as the new Poldark, and he will be joined onscreen by his predecessor Ellis, who will play Reverand Halse. (I love it when shows purposefully go for the meta symmetry like this!)
Turner played broody vampire Mitchell in the first three seasons of successful BBC Three sci-fi series Being Human, and has most recently been seen as Kili in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. In all honesty, he was probably the best part of Being Human and despite its best efforts the show never really recovered following his departure to go play a dwarf in Middle Earth. But his performance as Mitchell really was wonderful and, quite frankly, is more than convincing that he’s a worthy leading man.
Turner will also be joined by The White Queen’s Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza, along with a cast that includes several other recognizable faces, including Blandings’ Jack Farthing, Whitechapel’s Phil Davies, Warren Clarke, Kyle Solder, Heida Reed, Beatie Edney and more.
Filming on the new eight-part series is currently underway in England, with a 2015 broadcast slated for both the UK and the US.
"I'm very proud to say that after 44 years, MASTERPIECE continues to make news, win awards, and attract new audiences," said Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. "How many other television series have the great good fortune to make that claim?"
Are you excited the new Poldark is coming to America? Were you a fan of the original?