THE GUARDIAN – Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson will reunite for an extended 10-part run of BBC1’s Poldark, two more than the first series of the most talked about drama of the year.
Filming on the second series began in Cornwall this week, with the BBC hoping to build on the success of the first run which peaked with nearly 10 million viewers and prompted an unlikely national debate about topless scything.
New additions include former Midsomer Murders star John Nettles, who will play one of the county’s wealthiest landowners, as well as Gabriella Wilde (Endless Love) and W1A’s Hugh Skinner.
Debbie Horsfield will adapt all 10 episodes from the acclaimed novels by Winston Graham, set in 1790, with “riot and revolution in the air. Ross Poldark must once again fight for his freedom … Can Demelza save Ross from himself?”
Turner said the new series “presents a whole new set of challenges for both him and me and I can’t wait for it to kick off again”.
Polly Hill, controller BBC drama commissioning, said Horsfield had done a “magnificent job once again, bringing the next two books to screen – so much happens she needed a further two episodes”.
Horsfield said: “We’re thrilled that that the BBC has given us an extended run of 10 episodes so that we can really do justice to books three and four of Winston Graham’s saga.”
The first series, which aired in BBC1’s Sunday night drama slot, ended in April with an overnight audience of just under 6 million viewers, having launched with nearly 7 million viewers in March.
Damien Timmer, managing director of Poldark producer, ITV-owned independent production company Mammoth Screen, adds: “Poldark’s first series struck a chord with audiences around the world, and we are determined to make series two just as memorable, with a whole new raft of characters entering the saga and brilliant stories for Ross and Demelza.”
Filming will take place across Cornwall and Bristol over the coming months and the series will air next year on BBC1.