In an event organised by the Royal Television Society the people behind Poldark discussed the elements that contributed to make this show a hit, from the music to the script and… yes scything.

Here are a few takeaways from the event:

On casting Aidan Turner…

Aidan was the dream pick of the writer and producers of the show. They wanted someone who could play the romantic hero, but also embody the “outsider”. After his work on Desperate Romantics and Being Human, they knew he was the man for the job.
However, Damien Timmer – managing director of Mammoth Screen - wasn’t sure about one thing. Composer Anne Dudley told the audience that at one point he asked her “Do you think women will find Aidan attractive?” The anecdote prompted the entire auditorium to burst into a fit of laughter of course. Men…

That sexy scene with the dress almost didn’t happen due to historical accuracy…

Remember that scene where Demelza asks Ross to help her unfasten that dress? Of course you do. Well, the scene was supposed to be a charged moment and was described in detail on the script. However, the costume designer took some convincing. Apparently, back in the day, women’s dresses fastened from the front, not the back… But story trumped historical accuracy.

About tone…

A member of the audience asked about historical dramas nowadays and how they seem to be required to be erotic and borderline raunchy. As an answer, writer Debbie Horsfield explained that Poldark can’t be a “bodice ripper” since no bodices were never ripped.
Nevertheless, this prompted a discussion about tone, which I found really interesting. Basically, their aim with Poldark was to have a “real” drama about real people and real issues, while still having that Gone-with-the-wind type of heightened reality. In other words, Poldark is simultaneously glamourous and gritty and it is as much epic as it is domestic. 

About scything…

The famous scything scene was written as it was shot on the script [including the shirtless detail] and yes it was meant as a charged moment because it was Demelza’s POV after her and Ross had made love for the first time. However, the writer never expected it to be such a big deal in the media. And hey… I love the shirtless-scything as much as the next gal… but seriously there are other scenes on the show. People need to stop asking questions about it [and yes, even the reporters at the event asked about it after it had been discussed way too many times already].

About season 2…

Well… they didn’t say much. We know there won’t be scything [yes it was asked]. And there was an almost spoiler when composer Anne Dudley was talking about a scene she scored. She started by saying “that scene in the bedroom…” but quickly checked herself and continued very vaguely “…where all sorts of stuff is discussed”. The moderator of the panel also mentioned that he previewed a scene from S2 and it was great. So… to summarize, there will be great scenes where stuff is discussed but no scything. Can’t wait.
Share on Google Plus


The TV Empress is a Media Management graduate, screenwriter in the making (and financial engineer in the meantime). She has serious plans to take over global television. You can follow the TVEmpress on twitter @TVRepublik

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment

Add your Comment Here