6 tantalising things we can tell you about Poldark’s final season

The passionate British period drama Poldark is galloping across the cliffs of Cornwall to an explosive conclusion in S5.

1. Sexy shirtlessness

Yes, we watch it for the story – of course – but what is an adventure drama without a dashing hero from a bygone era, suddenly appearing without his top on as if he’s stepped right off the cover of a Robyn DeHart historical romance novel? Rest assured, Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) will once again flash the abs.

2. A more grown-up feeling

“There is a lot going on this series; there is an influx of exciting new characters. There’s a lot of tension,” Aidan Turner revealed just before the final season. “There is a great pace to the show this year that feels different, and overall it feels slightly more grown-up. That is something I believe people have loved about Poldark – that it does change every season and there are always new and interesting characters that alter the feel of the show.”

3. New faces

New characters who’ll show up as part of the cast include Vincent Regan (300) as Ross' old Army Colonel, Ned Despard, and Kerri McLean (Electric Dreams) as Ned’s wife Kitty, a former slave. Sofia Oxenham (Grantchester) is the treacherous Tess Tregidden, and Peter Sullivan (Entebbe) is the wealthy merchant, Ralph Hanson. Ralph’s daughter Cecily, played by Lily Dodsworth-Evans (Genius), befriends Geoffrey Charles, played by Freddie Wise (Maleficent 2).

4. The story this time

The final season will fill in the missing events leading up to “The Stranger from the Sea” (the 7th book in Winston Graham’s novel series), which begins in 1810. In “The Stranger from the Sea”, Winston made many references to developments that happened in the “gap” years, so the final season will draw on these to follow the lives of the Poldarks, George Warleggan, the Enyses and the Carnes in this in-between period.

The late Winston Graham’s son Andrew, who is a consultant on the series, says, “No-one can know what my father would have felt about the forthcoming season, let alone what he might have written. However, Debbie Horsfield, the Poldark screenwriter, has demonstrated such an extraordinary affinity with his work and shown such remarkable skill in bringing his Poldark characters to the screen, that we know we are in safe hands. Indeed, without her, the Estate would not have agreed to season five in this form”.

Following the death of Elizabeth, Ross puts Westminster behind him when an old friend, wrongfully imprisoned, needs help. As the Enyses (Luke Norris and Gabriella Wilde) rally to join the cause, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) must contend with dangers close to home, while George (Jack Farthing) courts corrupt powers whose influence spans the British Empire.

5. A surprise return

To say who you’ll see again – and didn’t suspect, and in what way, would be a massive spoiler. But we can give you this hint: from the second episode onwards, a major and beloved character will be seen again, by someone, which will leave fans who have followed the show absolutely delighted.

6. It might not be the end

The windswept melodrama of Cornwall might not end with this season after all – there’s a chance we could see more in the future! Andrew Graham said in an interview that his dad never planned a “tidy” conclusion to his story. “My father once wrote, 'I don’t think I shall ever of my own volition write a tidy ending.' And the word tidy was underlined. That is where we could be at the end of this season.” Andrew hinted that if the main cast were willing to come back to the series at some point, it could definitely continue.

Season 5 of Poldark starts Tuesday 13 August on ITV Choice (123) at 20:00