Controversial Poldark 'rape' scene will be a consensual act in new series

Aidan Turner, Poldark
(Image credit: Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock)

A much-debated scene in the Poldark novels in which some believe Poldark raped his first love, Elizabeth, will be a consensual love story in the new BBC1 series

A scene in the Poldark novels during which some believe Ross raped Elizabeth will be a consensual tryst in the new series of the hit drama.

Instead, Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, will have a romance with first love Elizabeth, played by Heida Reed, in the second instalment when it returns next month.

Eleanor Tomlinson, Aidan Turner and Heida Reed

Eleanor Tomlinson, Aidan Turner and Heida Reed at the Baftas (Ian West/PA)


The Sun quoted Aidan as saying: “It seems consensual, and it just seems right. He goes to talk. He doesn’t go to commit a crime.

“They talk and it seems like there is still this spark between them, this unfinished business emotionally. He doesn’t force himself upon her.”

A spokesman from Mammoth Screen said: “Winston Graham’s version of events is open to interpretation. Ours is not. Many fans haven’t read the books and don’t appreciate spoilers, so we invite all viewers to watch the episode when it comes out and then make up their own mind .”

Aidan Turner in Poldark

Aidan Turner in Poldark (BBC)


Six million viewers tuned in to the emotional final episode of Poldark’s first series last year.

The finale featured the sudden death of Ross and Demelza’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) baby daughter Julia and ended with a cliffhanger which will run into the second series.

Meanwhile, Eleanor told Vogue magazine that she and her co-star disagree constantly.

“He’s beautiful to look at, so it’s hard not to fancy him, but fortunately we don’t feel like that about each other!” the actress said.

“We’re great friends, but we disagree all the time. We’ve both got a temper, we’re both strong people – there are definitely similarities between us and our characters.”

Poldark star Aidan Turner

Poldark star Aidan Turner (BBC)


The BBC is already planning a third series of the drama, set in Cornwall.

Based on the novels of Winston Graham, the drama was originally made for TV in the 1970s when it attracted audiences of 15 million.


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