UK / BBC One / 29×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 5 October 1975 – 4 December 1977
Creator: Winston Graham / Theme Music: Kenyon Emerys Roberts / Script Editors: Simon Masters (Season 1), Cicely Hawthorne (Season 2) / Producers: Anthony Coburn, Richard Beynon, Morris Barry
Returning home (believed dead) from doing battle with the Americans in their War of Independence, dashing Cornish squire Ross Poldark discovered his late father’s estate in ruin, the tin mines up for sale and the love of his life, Elizabeth, betrothed to his cousin Francis.
Determined to rectify matters, Ross set about tackling the local powers that be, especially the loathsome George Warleggan. He aimed to re-establish the Poldark name and to bring justice to his workers and other oppressed Cornish folk. He even took on the invading French. However, one battle he struggled to win was with his heart over the fair Elizabeth, even after she was married to Francis and he to Demelza, the fiery, nit-ridden, urchin servant-girl he had made pregnant.
Winston Graham’s novels were adapted by the BBC into 29 serial episodes and, thanks in no small part to the good looks of its leading man, Poldark was one of the most popular dramas of its time. The story was revived by HTV in 1996 (Broadcast 2 October) in a two-hour sequel costing around £1.5 million and set ten years after the close of the BBC serial. John Bowe and Mel Martin took over the roles of Ross and Demelza in the Winston Graham story, Strangers from the Sea.
The BBC have remade the series for Broadcast in 2015 with Aidan Turner in the lead as Ross. Robin Ellis also appears in a couple of episodes as clergyman Dr Halse.
ROBIN ELLIS as Ross Poldark
ANGHARAD REES as Demelza Poldark
RALPH BATES as George Warleggan
JILL TOWNSEND as Elizabeth Poldark Warleggan
CLIVE FRANCIS as Francis Poldark (season one)
JUDY GEESON as Caroline Penvenan Enys
NORMA STREADER as Verity Poldark (season one)
PAUL CURRAN as Jud Paynter
MARY WIMBUSH as Prudie
THOMAS GRADY as Jeremy Poldark (season two)
DAVID DELVE as Sam Carne (season two)
KEVIN McNALLY as Drake Carne (season two)
FORBES COLLINS as Zacky Martin
STEFAN GATES as Geoffrey Charles
JANE WYMARK as Morwenna (season two)
RICHARD MORANT as Dwight Enys (season One)
MICHAEL CADMAN as Dwight Enys (season two)
CHRISTOPHER BENJAMIN as Sir Hugh Bodrugan (season one)
CYNTHIA GRENVILLE as Lady Bodrugan (season one)