When Will the New Season of ‘Poldark’ Air on PBS?

Bad news for fans of the PBS period drama Poldark. The upcoming season — the show’s fifth — will be its last. The series, which is set in 18th century Cornwall, stars Aidan Turner as mine owner Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson as his wife Demelza. Filming on the final season wrapped up in early 2019. So when will new episodes air?

No U.S. premiere date has been announced

Eleanor Tomlinson in Poldark
Eleanor Tomlinson in Poldark | Courtesy of Mammoth Screen and MASTERPIECE

Poldark is a British show, with all episodes airing first on BBC One in the U.K. before showing up on PBS in the U.S. In the past, American audiences have had to wait several months to catch up on the show after a new season debuts. And that probably won’t change with Season 5.

Right now, we don’t know exactly when the new season of Poldark will air in either the U.K. or the U.S. No premiere date has been announced for either country, though the show should air across the pond sometime this year.

In the U.K., the last two seasons of the show have premiered in June. The last several seasons of Poldark have premiered in late September or early October in the U.S. on PBS, so chances are Season 5 will arrive stateside sometime in the fall of 2019.

What to expect from Season 5

Poldark Season 3 cast
Poldark Season 3 | Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE

Poldark is based on a series of novels by Winston Graham. The previous four seasons of the show have covered the first seven books in the series. Season 4 wrapped up in 1799 with the death of Elizabeth Warleggan, Ross’s childhood love and wife of his long-time rival George.

If Season 5 of Poldark were to follow the next book in the Graham’s series, The Stranger from the Sea, it would jump forward about a decade in time, to 1810, when Ross in roughly 50 years old and Demelza about 40. That would mean the show’s star would have to be aged up considerably (Turner is 35 and Tomlinson is 27).

However, the show’s writer Debbie Horsfield has confirmed that Season 5 will diverge from the books. Instead of jumping ahead a full decade, the last episodes Poldark will cover the “missing decade” that isn’t addressed in the novels.

“In The Stranger from the Sea Winston Graham made many references to developments that happened in the ‘gap’ years. Much can also be inferred,” Horsfield told Radio Times. “There are, of course, also historical events and people of the time, both in Cornwall and in London. Series five will draw on all of these to follow the lives of the Poldarks, George Warleggan, the Enyses, and the Carnes in this intervening period.”

Is this really the last season of Poldark?

While no future seasons of Poldark are in the works right now, Season 5 might not be the last fans see of Ross. Graham wrote a total of 12 books featuring the character and his family, and the final five still haven’t been adapted.

“This will be the last series in the Poldark chronicle… for now. Who knows what the future may bring,” Karen Thrussell, executive producer for production company Mammoth, teased in an interview with Radio Times.

The last books in the series focus more on the second generation of Poldarks and Warleggans. Future adaptations might involve older actors taking on the parts of Ross and Demelza while younger stars take center stage as their children.

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