MCM: Ross Poldark, Old and New


Man Candy Monday is typically about an actor, not a fictional character. Not that we have rules. But I’m inordinately excited about the BBC’s reboot of Poldark, coming to the U.S. on Masterpiece PBS on June 14, 2015. I was a big fan of the original Poldark series, which aired on the BBC and PBS from 1975 to 1977 — in fact, it was one of the most popular BBC shows of all time.

So I figured, why not take a look at the two different Ross Poldarks, the eponymous character who sets hearts aflame in the books the series is based on and inevitably for fans of the show. I’m sure history will repeat itself based on previews…

Poldark, 1975-1977, played by Robin Ellis

Before and after Poldark, Ellis had had a long career on the stage, in TV, and in film. He even gets a cameo role in the new version of Poldark, so watch for it! I recall him being ruggedly dreamy the last time I rewatched the series, about 15 years ago. Looking at photos now, I can see how the costumes and especially the hair look a bit dated, but it’s not bad by any means. And really, Poldark is all about the romance and melodrama.

Poldark, 1975-1977
Poldark, 1975-1977
Poldark, 1975-1977

Poldark, 2015, played by Aidan Turner

This young actor is best known for his role in The Hobbit trilogy, playing Kíli, the dwarf who falls in love with an elf. He also played Rossetti in the BBC’s Desperate Romantics, and he had a recurring role on the BBC’s supernatural show Being Human. I don’t have much opinion on his acting chops, but HELLO NURSE, he is yummy. He has enough smoulder to set all of Cornwall on fire. Whew. I will note, however, that these preview photos seem to indicate that they’re going with fairly modern hairstyles, at least for Poldark, as opposed to strictly 18th-century fashions. Thus, repeating the one obvious mistake of the first series, so in 30 years, this too will appear dated. Hey, Ellis looked pretty hot and smouldery for his era, so we get what we deserve.

Poldark (2015-19)

“My hotness is literally a process of natural selection. It exists so that you don’t realize just what a dipshit I am.”

Poldark (2015-19) Poldark (2015-19) Poldark (2015-19)



About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

9 Responses

  1. LydiaR

    This post is delightfully timely, as my mother received the 1975 series on dvd for Christmas and we’ve been enjoying watching it together. We’re also both looking forward to the newer version when it comes out. I think Aidan Turner will be fine as Ross, since it’s not too difficult to be broody and smoldery (both of which he did well in “Being Human”), but I have concerns about Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza. I found her quite annoying as Isabel Neville in “The White Queen.”

    • Trystan

      I kind of remember the original Demelza being irritating in the first season, & she had to grow on me. Less the actress than the script tho. Anyway, we’ll see how the new version plays out.

  2. clara

    I am having a mighty need of watching these two even though I know nothing of the story because I am having a severe case HELLO SON YOU IS FINE. For both the mens.

    • Trystan

      Worth it! The original is a great story, even if the costumes don’t totally hold up today (if you’re a nitpicker). And dang, the preview pix for the new one — it’s gonna be a hot hot summer :)

  3. Annie L

    Never saw the original, though it is apparently much loved. This reboot looks so good! Debbie Horsfield (screenwriter) promises to be truer to the novels. Aidan is the poster boy for broody in my book.

  4. Laurie

    Robin was just lovely in the original series, and Aiden looks to be downright delicious! I can hardly wait !!

  5. Pamela DeWinter

    I am totally blown away by Robin Ellis as Poldark! I loved that series in the 70s and I love it now. Aidan Turner is fine!


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