Behind the scenes secrets of Poldark’s fifth and final ever series exposed

There’ll be plenty more ooohs and arrrs before it’s over.

Nine million people are expected to be watching when the fifth and final series of Poldark starts tonight.

And to whet your appetite we have some great behind-the-scenes pictures taken by the show’s crew and cast.

The last series saw Ross, played by Aidan Turner, 36, ditch the mines of Cornwall for the House of Commons. Series five brings a return to Cornish soil.

He takes on the establishment again to help an old friend while Demelza, played by Eleanor Tomlinson, 27, contends with dangers close to home.

Executive producer Karen Thrussell said: “Ross still has a lot to learn. His heart is in the right place but he isn’t this complete ­person.

“He needs to learn more from Demelza, as usual.

“Dwight and Caroline have a rocky road as well. Then we’ve got lots of great new characters who are bringing in a new, exciting story. It takes on the slave trade.

“I’ve just been watching episode eight with all the music and final bits – and I was ­weeping.” Here Karen shares with us some of the show’s ­secrets.

Wild weather

The unpredictable Cornish weather was so bad during filming that the crew had to go to great lengths to keep the cast warm and healthy.

Karen said: “We had very bad weather in Cornwall.

“We ended up having to go down in November, which is not the best time.

“There’s a lovely celebration scene at the end. When we were filming that, I’ve never seen rain like it. It is actually unbelievable that the actors could talk.

“You have the crew standing around in big puffer jackets, and the cast are there in their 18th century clothes, trying to act. Then you’ve got the sea whipping and the wind and the rain coming at you.

“We had to bring down caravans and cars for the cast to sit in.

“The crew ran in with blankets, umbrellas, hats, hand warmers and hot water bottles between scenes.

“It’s important – we don’t want anyone getting hyperthermia.”

This year, key plot lines were kept from the cast, to ensure the ending remained a secret.Karen added: “Usually the cast get their scripts before we start filming. This time they got episodes seven and eight a little bit later.

“But if a character was going to die, we talk to them before we give them the script. It would be a massive blow to read that in a script!”

Unexpected audience

Filming was thrown into chaos as more fans flocked to Cornwall to catch a glimpse of the actors.

Karen said: “We started to get ­hundreds of tourists turning up to watch the filming.

“When we were down at Charlestown harbour there were people five deep around all the barriers.

“It’s quite tricky for the cast. They love their fans but they are doing these TV scenes and suddenly it’s like being at the theatre. There’s a massive ­audience watching.

“We also had photographers coming down, shooting stuff with a long lens.

“They gave away a major plotline. So that was difficult.”

Horsing around

Aian is very competitive when it comes to riding and even told Karen a little white lie about his abilities.

She said: “The funny thing is, Eleanor’s horse is slightly bigger than Aidan’s horse. I remember standing on set, watching them. They were cantering along together and Eleanor’s horse started to take the lead. The look on Aidan’s face was hilarious, he didn’t like that at all. He was trying to get his horse to go faster.

“Aidan told me early on that he used to ride all the time when he was in New Zealand, so he was a really good horse rider. Then he admitted a few years later that he hadn’t been riding there at all. He just made it up.”


After four years together the cast and crew have grown close so Karen hopes some of them can join her at her home to watch one of the final episodes.

She said: “My husband and I always watch it together when it goes out – lots of the cast and crew like to watch it with their loved ones. Maybe we’ll do an episode seven party, so that we can weep into our loved ones’ shoulders for the final episode – episode eight.

“They’re all such lovely people. Aidan has become a close friend – a lot of them have. Eleanor is one of the most ­delightful people in the world. Jack Farthing, too. They are all such kind, lovely, professional people who are also fun to be with.

“There’s nothing better than a dinner or a fun night out at the end of the shoot. The wrap party went on until the early hours.”

Tears on set

Aian and Eleanor couldn’t control their emotions on the last day of filming.

Karen said: “Eleanor was in tears. Then we did a shoot with Aidan as the very last thing.

“I’d not been emotional up until that point because there was so much to do. But I suddenly burst into tears and I think that made Aidan a bit teary. He shed a tear in a very manly way.”

All the cast took a souvenir.“Aidan kept his famous hat. He also took the kitchen table and the benches. It’s quite funny. I said to him, ‘Would you like the sink as well, Aidan?’”

Fun and games


There were plenty of laughs and activities to keep the team busy on the long shoots in Cornwall.

The actors and crew, men and women, formed a football team that played on Sundays.

While Harry Richardson, who plays Drake, seemed to be always standing on his head and doing cartwheels, according to Karen.

There were other light moments on set. Karen said: “The cast get the giggles. I think there’s bloopers coming out on the DVD extras. Aidan is very funny on set. Heida Reed was the absolute worst for it. She set everyone off giggling.”

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