Poldark season 4 is here, and there's scheming, skullduggery and… shirtlessness

Note: This article contains major plot spoilers for Poldark season 4 episode 1.

Poldark is back on the BBC, and they managed to pack a hell of a lot into one episode.

Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson and co returned to primetime screens for an action-packed premiere. There was scheming! There was skullduggery! There were stirring speeches! There was shirtlessness! There were many other things not beginning with an ‘s’!

Front and centre though – and the subject of much debate over the last week or two – was Ross Poldark. And he wasn’t starting the episode in a great place, ruminating on Demelza’s liaison with naval officer Hugh Armitage.

No standing on a cliff gazing at the beautiful Cornish coastline – this required some next-level brooding. Let’s just say it didn’t go unnoticed.

As for Demelza’s love affair with Hugh, there were poems…

Er, they were burned.

But most of the drama and scheming, of course, came courtesy of George Warleggan (would you expect anything less on Poldark?)

Following a riot in which Demelza’s brothers were implicated, Ross tried to intervene on their behalf – only to find out their trial had been brought forward.

Viewers were feeling the injustice – and the urge to throw a few choice words in the direction of (ahem) such an ultimate banker – as Drake and Sam were sentenced to death by hanging.

So, it was up to Ross to save the day with a stirring speech at quite possibly the very, *very* last second. While he wasn’t able to save the Carnes’ co-defendant, he was able to spare Drake and Sam from the hangman’s noose at least (and get one over on George into the bargain).

Could Ross get a taste for politics after this? Well, Jack Farthing, who plays George, told Digital Spy that his character’s rivalry with Poldark takes on a different dimension in series four because they’re both moving in more “elite” circles.

“Their clashes have a different tempo and flavour because they’re both moving up in the world… It’s a different flavour to their rivalry,” he explained.

“The more… elite the circles they mix in, the more they have to hide it. It just adds different dynamics.”

Poldark airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. The series is broadcast on PBS in the US.

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