Season 5 of ‘Poldark’ Will Feature Aidan Turner’s Ross as a British Spy

The last season of Poldark might not have a scheduled U.S. premiere date, but fans have finally gotten a first look at the next installment of the costume drama. The teaser doesn’t reveal much, but it looks to be an action-packed season, with hints that Ross (Aidan Turner) will have to make a decision about where his loyalties truly lie. Series creator Debbie Horsfield has even teased the idea that Cornish mine owner and politician has gone underground as a British spy. 

Ross Poldark as a British spy?

Poldark is based on a series of novels by Winston Graham, with the first four seasons covering the events of the first seven books. But there’s a major time jump between books seven and eight. Rather than age-up the cast, Horsfield opted to explore the 10-year gap between the events of The Angry Tide and The Stranger from the Sea in Season 5.

And according to Horsfield, Ross got up to some pretty interesting stuff during that mysterious period.

“[I]n The Stranger From The Sea, Winston Graham gives all sorts of hints about things that happened in the meantime,” she told Digital Spy. “We meet [Ross] again in book eight and he’s on a special mission for the British government in Portugal – and so the question is, how did he get from being a politician and mine owner to basically being a spy?”

“What was the journey that he went on? And so that was my starting point, to try and flesh out that story,” Horsfield added. 

What else to expect from ‘Poldark’ Season 5 

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark | Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Ross’s long-standing rivalry with George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) will also surely be a major plot point in Season 5 of Poldark. George’s wife Elizabeth (Heida Reed) gave birth to her daughter Ursula at the end of Season 4 but died shortly after as the result of taking a drug to induce labor. It was all part of a desperate attempt to convince her husband that she had a tendency to shorter pregnancies and hide that Ross was actually the father of her son Valentine. 

George has long harbored suspicions that he’s not Valentine’s real father, and in Season 5, he’ll continue his quest to discover the truth. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Turner called “a great story for George Warleggan; Jack is brilliant.”

We also know that Ross has resolved to put his career in politics behind him in order to spend more time with his children and wife Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson). But he can’t seem to settle into a quiet life. According to a synopsis from producer Mammoth Screen: 

“W]hen an old friend emerges with a plea for help, Ross is compelled to challenge the establishment again. 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 Empire.

In addition to returning favorites, several new cast members are joining Poldark for its final season, including Lily Dodsworth, Kerri McLean, Sofia Oxenham, Vincent Regan, Peter Sullivan, and Freddie Wise. The characters they’ll play haven’t been revealed.