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Poldark Series 5- Top 16 things we should expect to see

Poldark Series 5 is coming !!!!!!!!!

Top16 things to watch out for

Poldark Season 5 ross and Demelza

Series 5 of Poldark is airing in the UK on BBC1 on 14th July 2019. Aidan Turner stars as Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza Poldark. Series 4 took us to the end of the book 'The Angry Tide' which was the 7th book in the Saga. The next book 'The Stranger From the Sea' is 10 years ahead and rather than have the actors age up screen writer Debbie Horsefield has written series 5 to document what went on during the first 2 years of that 10 year gap in the story. This would be 1800 to 1802. She had said that she would use the hints in the later books and references made to events that happened in that period in order to help her construct a story. So for the first time she has a much freer reign to present us a series of Poldark based more on her own creative ideas than being constrained to the detail of a story as told by the books author Winston Graham.

This is my top 15 points of what I expect to see in series 5 based on the books. Therefore this is filled with spoilers galore in respect of the later books. I hereby insert a disclaimer alert as the chances of any of this top 15 making the cut really depends on the free will of the series 5 writer and her interest in keeping to the spirit of Winston Graham's writings or taking a different road.

1.       Ross becomes an 18th Century James Bond

The books document that although Ross initially wanted to turn his back on politics and lead a quieter life after the Angry Tide (the end of series 4), he almost immediately falls into work as a government agent with missions to the West Indies, Norway and to France (with Dwight) in just that first two year period alone. So he's hardly ever home. Poor Demelza! I expect that Ross, the renegade will revel in this slight change of career and this should bring much suspense and tension to Series 5.

2.   Serious theft at the mine (1802) 
While Ross is saving the world on a mission to France, a group of pesky miners decide to take advantage that the boss is away. Villainy at Wheal Grace ensues and this group partake in robbing the mine of tin and selling this off to France. Typically when Ross finds out his big heart prevents him from ordering for their arrest. Instead he sacks the four ringleaders and Saint Ross Poldark decides to leave the rest to continue working for him simply because he does not want to put them out of work. 

Presumably with Ross being away so much, just like in series 4 Demelza will continue as de facto boss and will be running the mines in Ross’ absence. There is therefore scope for Demelza to be central to this story line and  how the Poldarks become aware that this theft is taking place.   

3.       Baby Isabella Rose is born (1802)
Most likely and indeed true to form, in between missions Ross takes the opportunity to impregnate his wife and hey presto Baby Isabella Rose (aka Bella) is born. This is some time between April and June 1802. She is their four child and I am hoping that we get to see a pregnant Demelza and that Bella's birth is what closes the series out. That would represent a new beginning but yet a lovely ending for the series.

4.       John Treneglos makes an indecent proposal to Ross about Demelza
In 'The Stranger From the Sea' we are told that John Treneglos (who has always had an eye or even two eyes for Demelza) has the nerve to suggest to Ross an indecent proposal concerning Demelza. They were both staying overnight at a venue following a fancy dinner and John lamenting on how he could give Demelza a good time between the sheets and swearing that he had just missed out on his chance with Demelza years before at Hugh Bodrugan's party, suggests a wife swap that night. Ross would enjoy the delights of Ruth Treneglos nee' Teague, whilst John would sample the delights or Demelza. He is lucky not to have sampled the delights of Ross' fist in his right eyeball. Though Ross was more peaceably unimpressed with this proposal adapting this scene would surely make for some comedic relief and I'd love to see Ross' scowl of annoyance once again.

5.       George in mourning
It is obvious that George will surely be in mourning for much of series 5. The porcelain beauty and trophy of Elizabeth is dead (unbeknown to him by her own misadventure). This through child birth and delivering their one and only true spawn Ursula Warleggan. Sorry Valentine! Maybe this series we will not get to see a mean and nasty George always trying to get one up on Ross. He'll either go full throttle with this and also in his business wheeling and dealing, or he'll go the other way and turn into a shell of his former self. The latter is quite a possibility as the books document that the unwritten 10 year period is a time of peace between Ross and George and they stay out of each other's way.

6.       Ross negotiates Geoffrey Charles' income from George
Ross being a good uncle to Geoffrey Charles is reported to have negotiated a yearly income for him from George. This is despite Geoffrey Charles wanting nothing from George and reluctantly accepting this when bullied by Ross to do so. This would be a great opportunity to bring Ross and George together with the much loved frostiness we love to see from them. Indications are that the negotiations are not straightforward. George's purse strings remain tight even in mourning.  

7.       Baby Sophie Enys is born (1801)
Following the tragic loss of their first child Sarah, Caroline and Dwight get a second chance at parenthood. Baby Sophie Enys. According to the books she is born in 1801  and it will be lovely to see Caroline in the role of mother again. Plus Baby Sophie and Bella can then have lots of play dates and be best friends.

8.       Dwight's mission with Ross and mission for Lunacy
Dwight is referenced as joining Ross on a mission to France in 1802 and following his previous experience of assessing an apparently mentally unstable Morwenna at the behest of her loving husband (NOT!) Reverend Ossie, he becomes interested in the treatment of lunacy. He begins to campaign for better treatment, provisions and hospitals. This might then but if not should end up being a key storyline for Dwight this series. It is one that sings to his characteristics as the progressive thinking 18th century doctor with a brilliant bedside manner. 

9.       Drake and Morwenna deal with her Post Traumatic stress disorder
An apt ship name for Mowenna and Drake would be 'Morake'. That is inspired by More-head- ake. Though they are a newly married couple having married in series 4, their story has been harrowing. The marriage was agreed under a promise from Drake that Morwenna need not provide him his carnal rights until she is fully ready. Untill then they would be man and wife on paper only. Morwenna is damaged and broken from years of abuse from her deceased husband Reverend Ossie. Their story line surely has to follow her process of healing as much as she can do and getting to a point where she can be a wife to Drake in the full sense of the word.

10.       Morwenna gets pregnant and/or Baby Loveday is born

The later books in the saga tells us that Morake do end up having a daughter and she is born in the earlier half of the unwritten 10 years. Indeed it would provide some light to the shade for Morwenna to become pregnant this series. This is with a child conceived in love rather than marital rape and maybe even for her to give birth to baby Loveday at some point in the series too. That might mean three babies born in one series! Is that too much to ask for? Certainly it would appear to be that Cornwall was experiencing somewhat of a baby boom.

11.   Morwenna tackles the problem of John Conan

Series 4 did not follow the book's storyline which documented that Morwenna could not bond with her son John Conan. After all he was the spawn of her nasty husband and abuser conceived through rape. After her abuser's death she willingly left John Conan and reunited with Drake. She did not want to see her son. However the TV show depicts Morwenna in quite the opposite way as it was shown that she had bonded with her son and that she wanted to care for him instead of the nannies that Ossie and his mother were hiring and replacing left right and centre. Clearly there is then unfinished business with John Conan being left in the care of the hard face grandmother, mother of Ossie, Lady Whitworth. Therefore we should expect a story on Morwenna pursuing contact or even full care of John and how this might impact on their marriage. Is Drake up for a blended family and therefore a mini Ossie Osborne to care for?

12.   Sam and Rosina get married
In the books the stars aligned, cupids arrow was shot and these two began courting in 1803 and married after three years in 1806. Three years! Why so unusually long for that time? They surely make a well matched couple and this is Rosina's third chance at love. Third time lucky evidently. Even though in the books this is outside the 2 year period covered by the show, I expect a wedding for these two will feature in the show as the timeline may not be so strictly followed and the temptation would be too great to leave this great event out of the cut. In that case series 5 should provide us with at least one new and cute romance for Sam as he starts with a courtship ending in marriage to Rosina probably towards the end of the series.

13.   Jeremy becomes fascinated with steam engines
Jeremy Poldark is only 9 years old at the start of this series so we cannot expect much storyline from him. However in 'The Stranger From the Sea' we are told that it was in 1801 that he rode horseback to Tehidy with his father Ross to visit Lord De Dunstanville (Francis Basset) and that on the ride back to Nampara they saw a steam train for the first time pass by them. This marked the beginning of a passion that Jeremy goes on to have for steam engines and which is explored when he is older in the later books. Though a little matter and hardly a full blown storyline, it would be forward thinking to insert this scene and by doing so sow the seed to be picked up in series 6 or 7. Even if this most probably never materialises. Besides, this scene would provide a nice opportunity for father son bonding as well as giving the viewer an inkling as to Jeremy becoming his own person (rather than a mute extra) with hopes and dreams that are beginning to form and an understanding of when and how this passion started.

14.   Geoffrey Charles goes off the rails and into debt
This is a situation of “like father like son". Rip Francis Poldark who nearly drowned in his debt but instead definitely drowned in water. 
We saw Geoffrey Charles starting to veer off the rails in series 4 and indeed the books report that he definitely was poor with budgeting in the early years from 1800 after his mother's death. Despite securing a decent income from George, in the years up to 1802 he gets himself into serious debt and Ross has to bail him out of those hefty sums on not one but two occasions. Still it is typical for Ross here in his role as uncle to save the day again. This situation could be fleshed out into a full blown storyline as we watch Geoffrey Charles get himself into debt and struggle to get out of it before caling for help.

15.   Geoffrey Charles becomes a soldier
It seems that sending your child to war may have been a standard way to straighten out a kid going off the rails in the 18th century. Ask Joshua Poldark. Some might say it did wonders for Ross, even if it was at the cost of his sweetheart losing interest and deciding not to wait for him when a better offer came along. Although indications are that Geoffrey Charles made the decision to become a soldier himself and though this development actually takes place when Geoffrey Charles is 22 years old in 1806, I expect that this will be another storyline that is brought forward for series 5. It serves to give Geoffrey Charles' character a purpose or goal, and a storyline that is quite fitting to provide some eventual remedy for his wayward ways and to get him free from his evil step father.

16.   Valentine as a troubled child
In the later books Valentine presents as a off key teenager and eventually a troubled 20 something year old. It is implied that this stems from his troubled childhood and strained relationship with his father George. In reality (that is, in fiction) he does not have much meaningful contact with Ross until book 11 (Twisted Sword). At this point he is  about 22 years old. However we have seen from Series 4  that the adaption does not keep to the spirit of the books on this matter. Indeed the scene where Ross visits Elizabeth, gives a stare to a young Valentine which seems to reflect some kind of paternal acknowledgment and then salutes him, does not happen in the books. In the books Ross is reluctant to accept paternity and does not even find the 20 something Valentine likeable. 

Whilst I would not expect or want to see Valentine joining the Nampara househod for Sunday roasts and for play dates with Jeremy and Clowance in series 5, because it is too far removed from the story of the books, we can presume that the writing will ensure that Ross and Valentine's paths will cross for purposes of TV drama. I guess this is likely to be linked with Ross' guilt at the manner of Valentine's conception, his guilt over Elizabeth's death and his guilt over the impact on Valentine who in turn may reach out as a lost child who has difficulties in his relationship with 'daddy' George. Of course this could also be an issue that bring Ross and George together to clash and butt heads for series 5. Imagine the irony of George demanding that Ross stays away from his son. Awkward!

It will be interesting to see what main stories are built to frame and carry series 5, how the new characters fare in this and how they appeal to us too. It will also be of interest to see how much series 5 will honour the story of Winston Graham as referenced in the books and listed above or if there will be a wild departure from this. Whatever the case we hope for a brilliant and compelling story that does Poldark proud and closes this final series out superbly.

What storylines would you most like to see in series 5?

Poldark series 5 debuts on UK Television on BBC at 9pm on 14th July 2019 for a run of 8 episodes

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