A new article with some new Behind the Scenes photo of filming S3 of Poldark.
Looks like the promos for S3 are finally beginning.
Read the full article ..with more info (sidebars) and all of the Photos here:
Secrets from the Poldark set: Aidan Turner and a host of new characters tell their tales from the set before the TV heartthrob gallops back
*Update* We’ve added the photos of Aidan to our Poldark S3 Filming Album!The opening scene of the new series of Poldark will look familiar: a figure on horseback galloping along the windswept Cornish cliffs.
Yet this is not swashbuckling Captain Ross Poldark, the dashing but flawed hero of the BBC’s hit show set in 18th-century Cornwall. It’s Elizabeth Warleggan, Poldark’s first love and the woman he controversially forced himself upon in the last series.
It’s a risky enterprise for a woman just weeks away from giving birth but Elizabeth’s pregnancy is central to the first episode, the big question being just who is the father of her unborn child?
Is it her new husband, the banker George Warleggan, Poldark’s nemesis who she married after the death of first husband Francis in the last series? Or did that single encounter with Ross have unintended consequences?
‘I can’t say anything about that,’ says Aidan Turner, who plays Ross and is today sporting a few days of stubble and his own tight-fitting black coat as we chat about the show between scenes.
‘It’s never been revealed, nobody knows for certain and even the original book on which the TV series is based doesn’t make it clear – although I have my suspicions. When the baby comes out with a scar on its face that might be a bit of a giveaway!’
The new baby is just one more problem for Ross Poldark to deal with. The first series saw him return from battle in 1783 to find his father had died and the family estate had gone to ruin.
He brought his estate back to life, installed poor waif Demelza, played by Eleanor Tomlinson, as his kitchen maid and re-opened the family copper mine, Wheal Leisure. Ross and Demelza fell in love and married, but their baby daughter Julia tragically died of diphtheria.
Ross was soon beset by crippling financial worries, and in series two he faced the hangman’s noose on charges of theft, inciting a riot and attacking a customs officer after encouraging the local impoverished mineworker families to help themselves to the cargo coming ashore when his arch-rival George Warleggan’s ship was wrecked off Poldark’s land.
Elizabeth, Ross’s former lover, had to face up to the loss of her husband Francis, who drowned when he fell into a pool of water in Poldark’s mine when the ground collapsed beneath him shortly after discovering a vein of copper.
Elizabeth at least secured her financial future, and that of her son Geoffrey Charles, by marrying Warleggan. And then there was that sexual moment between Ross and Elizabeth…
The new series, filmed over the autumn and winter, is a nine-parter based on Winston Graham’s fifth and sixth Poldark novels The Black Moon and The Four Swans, and will see Ross trying to rebuild his marriage to Demelza as question marks hang over the new baby’s parentage.
‘Elizabeth’s covering all bases with the galloping horse ride, in case the child comes early which would suggest it’s not George’s but Ross’s because of the timing,’ says the quietly spoken Icelandic actress Heida Reed who plays her.
‘She’s doing all sorts of questionable things for a lady in her last term so that she can blame an early arrival on her activities rather than the time of conception. So she goes on long walks, lifts piles of heavy books, even fabricates a fall down the stairs, although it’s the horse-riding that’s most dramatic – and was most difficult to film.
‘We shot that opening scene quite a few times and I was wearing this huge pregnancy bump beneath a heavy wool skirt that got wetter and wetter as the shoot went on because it was raining so hard. I love riding but I didn’t enjoy that scene.’ She even used a stuntwoman for some of the trickier riding sequences.
Ross’s indiscretion with Elizabeth will have lasting repercussions as the new series goes on, when a frisson develops between Demelza and new character Hugh Armitage, a playboy aristocrat.
Not quite able to forgive Ross – who admitted what had happened with Elizabeth to Demelza when she confronted him and got a whack round the face for it – and seriously concerned that Elizabeth’s baby may be her husband’s, Demelza is flattered by Hugh’s attentions.
Josh Whitehouse, who appears as Armitage, reveals he landed the role partly due to the woman he’s trying to seduce.
‘I appeared with Eleanor in a movie last year called Alleycats and she suggested to the production team I’d make a good Armitage,’ says Josh, who’s as dashingly handsome in real-life as the character he’s playing.
‘When I first got the part I discovered all these online forums talking about my character and it became clear that in the books he’s a scoundrel. So I’ve tried to show his more innocent side and concentrate on the fact that he follows his heart, that he’s a poet and a romantic. Whether it works for the viewers or not we shall see.’
Ross, meanwhile, is too busy with work on his farm and at the mine to pay much attention to his wife’s wandering eye. ‘He suspects something might be going on, he can detect a certain energy between the two of them,’ says Aidan. ‘But to some extent it’s about Ross taking his eye off the ball.’
There’s more romance on the agenda as new characters are introduced including Drake and Sam Carne, two of Demelza’s brothers. Sam is determined to spread the Methodist word like his father, but Drake, a handsome young blacksmith, will have a significant impact on the Poldarks’ lives as he falls for another new character Morwenna.
She’s the governess to Elizabeth Warleggan’s son Geoffrey Charles, and their romance will further complicate ties between the Warleggan and Poldark families. ‘Although it’s quite hard to see what Morwenna finds attractive in Drake as he’s normally covered in grime from a hard day at the anvil,’ laughs Harry Richardson, who plays him.
Ellise Chappell, last seen playing the lead role in Sky’s Christmas fantasy-drama The Last Dragonslayer, plays Morwenna, and says it wasn’t entirely plain sailing as those tight-fitting corsets played havoc with her digestive system.
‘They put you in the right frame of mind for being part of that society but they can be painful,’ she says. ‘Thankfully there’s a little bit of elastic to help you breathe in the corset, but choosing the right lunch is crucial. Fish and vegetables are good, and peppermint tea afterwards helps the digestive process.’
Providing light relief and cracking one-liners at every turn is Ross’s housekeeper Prudie (Beatie Edney), whose hard-drinking husband Jud has disappeared. ‘She’s pleased to be shot of him,’ says Beatie.
‘There’s a line in the first episode where she says she misses him like a ruptured spleen. To an extent this is a new Prudie. I asked Pippa Woods, the make-up designer, if I could do something really mad with my character’s hair so it’s dyed pink in the new series.
‘And there’s a new character on the scene who Prudie has a past with, although she mainly ignores him. She doesn’t harbour any passion for anyone. As long as she’s comfy and has a drink, she’s happy.’
That new character is Tholly Tregirls, a larger-than-life friend of Ross’s late father who now becomes a friend to Ross. ‘He’s a bit of a rogue with a hook for a hand,’ says Sean Gilder, the actor cast in the role. ‘At one point he was going to have an eye patch as well and I was a bit worried he was going to look like a pantomime villain. I thought about turning up to the read-through for the series with an inflatable parrot on my shoulder.’
Tholly’s handy with his fists, which is useful as there’s plenty of fighting in this new series. It’s set in 1794, at the height of the French Revolution, and one of the main characters, Ross’s old friend from their days fighting in the American War of Independence, Dr Dwight Enys (who reunited with his love Caroline Penvenen at the end of the last series), becomes caught up in the conflict in France and is taken prisoner. Ross decides to lead a party of men to rescue him.
Cue a truly spectacular episode, perhaps the most ambitious in Poldark history, as Ross, Tholly and their team of mercenaries attempt to liberate Dwight from a prisoner-of-war camp.
‘We’ve been filming for four days here at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset, which doubles as a disused convent that’s been taken over by French revolutionaries,’ explains producer Michael Ray, chatting over coffee on the set.
‘We’ve had to rough the place up a bit – it’s a truly beautiful building – so we’ve put hay on the floor and old mattresses to show where the prisoners would have slept. All we have to do now is carry out this huge explosion as our heroes try to blow their way out. We only have two shots at it so there isn’t a huge margin for error.’
The actors involved in the fight scenes received specialised musket training as real weapons, complete with real gunpowder, were used.
‘A lot of soldiers at the time were injured by their own guns, and while I’m sure the production team wouldn’t take any chances with our actors, handling those weapons is slightly nerve-racking,’ says John Hollingworth, who plays Captain Henshawe, an old friend of Ross’s and a key figure at the mine.
‘There were experts around to talk us through what we were doing with the muskets and the scenes were exciting to do. It was like Poldark does The Three Musketeers and a real change from the norm for Henshawe. Previously he’d been the guy who talked about copper and tin a lot while the nation made its tea.’
For Dubliner Aidan it’s been a momentous few years, making him one of the most talked-about actors in the world. ‘It seems to be working out all right for me,’ he says.
‘Although I’m not sure I always know how people are perceiving Ross. My resting face is a bit intense. Sometimes I’ll play a scene and I’ll think I’m being nice and then I’ll see it back and think, “Jesus!” If that’s how other people see me when I’m being nice, goodness knows what they think when Ross is angry.
‘Would I go for a drink with him? Yes, he’s a good drinker, it would be a decent night out. He’s a good guy, a man of principle with a good sense of humour. He’d be good to hang out with. He’s flawed but he’s always on the front foot, always trying to figure out ways to make it work. He’s courageous.’
It’s not necessarily his principles that appeal to the viewers though. The Impact Award for the biggest TV moment of the year at the National TV Awards in 2016 went to Poldark’s famous topless scything scene, and the scene where he was being attended to by Demelza in the bath in series two had viewers in a similar froth.
‘You didn’t actually see a great deal of Aidan in the bathtub,’ says writer Debbie Horsfield. ‘It shows the power of imagination, audiences were imagining more than they were actually seeing!’
Executive producer Karen Thrussell adds, ‘When we were trying to source the right bath and looking at different sizes, we actually thought we’d see more of Aidan than we did, and yet it was still people’s favourite scene from last year.’
All of which leads to the big question, more pressing even than who the father of Elizabeth’s baby is. Does Ross go topless in series three? ‘You’ll have to wait and see,’ laughs Aidan, before letting Karen Thrussell answer the question.
‘Don’t forget we haven’t been filming in the summer this time around, and Cornwall in February is not a great time to be doing scything scenes. But if the story calls for it, if Ross and Demelza are in their bedroom perhaps, you never know…’
Poldark is returning to BBC1 in early June.