EXCLUSIVE: Death Comes To Pemberley and The White Queen star Eleanor Tomlinson has been set as one of the female leads in BBC One’s upcoming 8 episode Poldark reboot, which is being toplined by Being Human alum Aidan Turner.
Poldark is set in late 18th century Cornwall when Ross Poldark (Turner) returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. But Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it in the wild but beautiful Cornish landscape.
Tomlinson has been cast as Demelza, a role played by Angharad Rees in the original 1970s series. She is the only daughter of an impoverished and brutal miner who is rescued from a life of violence and drudgery by Ross (Turner), who subsequently employs her as his kitchen maid. Outspoken and free spirited, she gradually becomes indispensable to all at Nampara, Ross’ ancestral home.
“I am very excited to have been asked to play Demelza in the BBC’s new adaptation of these classic novels. I am conscious of the fact that the original series had a huge following and was tremendously popular”, said Eleanor. “All I can promise is that I will do my utmost to do justice to the spirit of Winston Graham’s iconic character. Demelza was so brilliantly portrayed by Angharad Rees and I will do my very best to try not to disappoint the army of Poldark fans out there.”
Rounding out the cast of Poldark is Ruby Bentall, who most recently had a starring role on both seasons of the BBC period drama The Paradise; and Silent Witness alum Heida Reed. Bentall will play Verity, Ross’ cousin who has lacked suitors but Ross’ return allows her an opportunity to venture into society, escaping the watchful eye of her family; while Reed is playing the part of Elizabeth, who was promised to Ross as a young girl but after three years apart and rumours of his death abroad, has agreed to marry his cousin.
This new 8 part series, based on the series of novels by Winston Graham and the 1970s television series, is being adapted by Debbie Horsfield, directed by Endeavour helmer Ed Bazalgette and produced by Mammoth Screen. Eliza Mellor is serving as the series producer; while Polly Hill, Debbie Horsfield, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer are executive producing. Production on Poldark begins next month in Cornwall and Bristol, with BBC One eyeing a 2015 premiere.
“The wonderful combination of our talented and stellar cast and Debbie Horsfield’s well crafted characters will ensure Poldark, our new epic and romantic drama, will be a real treat for the BBC One audience”, said Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.