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The Most Shocking Moments in Poldark

Have you seen the latest stunner from MASTERPIECE, Poldark?! We were hooked on this tragic romance from the moment they flashed backed to Ross and Elizabeth frolicking on the cliffs of Cornwall. So much has happened in the first two episodes. We will focus on the moments that made us jump out of our seats. First, a bit of background…

All About Poldark
Handsome rogue Ross Poldark is in the midst of the American Revolutionary War when we meet him, where we learn that he had enlisted to avoid being imprisoned for smuggling. During a poker game, his unit falls under siege and Ross is badly wounded.

Memories of his beautiful fiancé Elizabeth help Ross survive. He returns home to Cornwall three years later, to a great shock – his father has passed away, leaving him penniless, and his true love Elizabeth is now engaged to his cousin Francis (ouch!).

While Poldark struggles to get over his heartbreak, he must work to rebuild what his father left him—not easy when that inheritance is a crumbling estate and long-abandoned copper mine. Especially not easy when it’s within spitting distance of Francis and Elizabeth’s future home.

For more background, explore the World of Poldark as provided by MASTERPIECE, including character biographies, behind the scenes photos, and much more.

We jumped out of our seats when…

The Engagement Dinner
Poldark arrives at his uncle’s house just in time for a celebration—of what, he’s unaware. The look on his face when he sees Elizabeth for the first time in three years is priceless: he’s beaming with happiness the second he sees her. But his happiness is torn away when Elizabeth’s mother reveals the impending nuptials of Elizabeth to his cousin, Francis! Poldark tries to recover by making a congratulatory toast, but one look into his eyes and you can see his shattered heart.

A Toast!

An Accident in the Mine
Though Poldark plays it cool about Francis and Elizabeth’s engagement, a nervous Francis tries to get Ross’s blessing by accompanying him into the copper mine. While there, Francis falls into a deep pool and sinks beneath the surface. Instead of helping him out immediately, Poldark stands by, watching Francis very nearly drown… Ross even admits as much when he pulls him out!

The Wedding
We were convinced Elizabeth would not actually marry Francis, when the passion between her and Ross was clearly still burning! But we were proven wrong when we saw Elizabeth walking down the aisle toward Francis, with Ross glowering at them from the back row. Ross even suffered through the reception, swallowing his grief and congratulating the newlyweds.

The Rescue of Demelza
When Ross stumbles upon a dog fight in the town square and rescues a young boy and his dog from the fray, he’s shocked to see the boy is actually a runaway girl, Demelza. Intending to send her back home, Ross changes his mind when she details her father’s cruelty, and he instead hires her as a kitchen maid. Demelza's father isn’t willing to let that stand and sends a mob of angry family and friends, who do a brutal bit of battle with Poldark’s own mob in defense of Demelza and the Poldark name. Poldark and Co. win the day, Demelza is allowed to stay, and we are left to ponder her future role in Ross's life.

A dance!

One Dance Too Many
After his spinster cousin Verity convinces Ross to supervise her at a ball, he is beside himself with distraction when he sees Elizabeth, who is still of course married to his cousin Francis. Having been a gentleman thus far, Ross makes the shockingly poor decision to ask Francis if he can dance with Elizabeth. With everyone agreed to this obviously bad idea, Ross and Elizabeth dance and intimately, considering the boundaries of an 18th century ball. Their chemistry could have won a Nobel Prize, if there had been one in the 1780s. The night ended in jealousy, frustration, and further poor decisions following on the dance that was one too many.

A Very Skinny Dip
In need of a cold shower but lacking modern facilities, Ross Poldark took a dip in the cool, clear waters of the Cornish coast. The waters were very clear, and our chiseled hero was taking a very skinny dip, while Demelza was very much watching from a nearby cliff. This scene (and perhaps its naked ambition) surprised everyone, including Demelza; but no one was complaining, including Demelza.

A duel!

Cooler Heads Do Not Prevail
Verity had fallen in love with a disgraced sea captain, and unsurprisingly, her uncle forbade their marriage. Somewhat surprisingly, after that Ross helped Verity meet with the man secretly. Her uncle and brother, Francis uncovered it and while jealously raging in front of Ross, Francis challenged the captain to a duel. Everyone knew it was mad but cooler heads did not prevail. Francis was soon shot and fighting for his life. Adding one more twist to this plot, Elizabeth appeared and pleaded that Francis must live, because she was pregnant! Another dagger in Ross Poldark's tender heart.

We cannot believe it all happened in the first two episodes! It seems impossible to think Ross and Elizabeth might be separated forever… but what of young Demelza and her fiery red hair? Will Ross find a new love? Will he finally win back Elizabeth?

Or will his heart be broken forever? We can’t wait to see what happens, in the rest of this series and in series two, which has already been commissioned and will be filmed in Cornwall this September.

Ready for more? MASTERPIECE: Poldark airs on Sundays at 9pm, with encore presentations on Tuesdays at 4pm in "Tea Time," our British programming weekdays from 3-5pm. While the season is airing and for a limited time after, you can catch up by watching Poldark online (available online in the US only, please accept our apologies for this limitation required by the copyright holder).

Further plot synopses are available in the World of Poldark as provided by MASTERPIECE, also including character biographies, behind the scenes photos, and much more.


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Having watched the original Poldark series (twice) I keep comparing this one to that. This Verity seems too young to have been overlooked for marriage. Also, wasn't there a question about Elizabeth's baby being born "early" suggesting that Ross might be the father?
And when will we meet young Dr. Ennis and Lady Pendragon? Can't wait!

That was Elizabeth's second pregnancy, when she was married to ...