Poldark is about to come to a close after glorious five seasons, and we couldn't be more excited. The final two episodes will air over the August Bank Holiday weekend: one at 8pm on Sunday, the last at 8.30pm on Monday. The show, which stars Aidan Turner as flawed but swashbuckling lead character Captain Ross Poldark, finished filming in February and has been a huge hit for the BBC since it debuted in 2015. If you're late to all the drama, or just need a refresher, allow us to fill you in on all the essential facts so you're up to date before the (hopefully brilliant) end…
What's Poldark all about?
Beginning in the 1780s, the show tells the story of Ross Poldark's adjustment to life back in Britain following the American War of Independence, in which he fought. Set in Cornwall, the show follows our hero as he returns home after three years to find his dad has died, his estate is in debt, and the woman he loves is engaged to his cousin. But there is some hope in the form of a young woman called Demelza, who becomes his maid and later his wife. Poldark also tries to make a success of the mines he inherited from his father despite rivals who want to sabotage him. Honestly, though, with the stunning beach scenery and a hero who scythed his bare-chested way into our hearts, who needs a storyline?
Aidan Turner plays the title role of Ross Poldark
Who came up with the idea?
It's based on a series of 12 novels by Winston Graham, which start in the 1700s and finish in the 19th century. They were adapted for TV by Debbie Horsfield, who wrote 1999 drama Sex, Chips & Rock n' Roll as well as four seasons of hair salon series Cutting It. Winston, who died in 2003, didn't live to see the adaptation, but he was alive when an earlier BBC version of his book series aired from 1975 to 1977, to huge audiences. His son Andrew helps to keep his vision alive by consulting on the show.
Who is Aidan Turner and where else have I seen him?
Aidan is a 36-year-old actor from Dublin who you might also have spotted in The Hobbit, Desperate Romantics, and Being Human. He got into acting after working briefly as an apprentice electrician, graduating from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2004. As well as TV and films, he's appeared in several plays since 2005, including Suddenly last Summer, Romeo and Juliet, and The Lieutenant of Irishmore. In 2018, he was reported to be dating American actress Caitlin Fitzgerald, who shot to fame in Masters of Sex and currently stars in HBO drama Succession.
Who else is in the show?
Eleanor Tomlinson, 27, plays Poldark's wife Demelza. You might have also spotted her in Jack the Giant Slayer and The White Queen. The large supporting cast includes Heida Reed as Poldark's childhood sweetheart Elizabeth, Jack Farthing as Poldark's arch-rival George Warleggan, Warren Clarke as Poldark's uncle Charles and Midsummer Murders actor John Nettles as wealthy local landowner Ray Penvenen.
Fans are rooting for Ross and Demelza to have a happy ending
Where is it filmed?
The stunning Cornish scenery is as much as star of the show as the actors, from its rugged moors to its beautiful beaches. The Poldark homestead, Nampara, can be found in St Breward, a village on the west side of Bodmin Moor.
What do we know about the finale?
It's probably a good idea to be braced for drama, and possibly some surprises. Season five covers the events that took place between the book that inspired season four, The Angry Tide, and the events that take place in eighth book in the series, The Stranger from the Sea, but we don't know how much license the programme has taken, so even readers of the series can't be sure what will happen.
Last week, poor Ned was hanged despite being innocent before Ross was unexpectedly attacked and taken captive by an unknown assailant. Will Poldark live to see the new century? Will he and Demelza be together forever? More importantly, will we get to admire Aidan Turner's toned torso one last time? All we can do is tune in and find out.
Quick! How can I catch up?
The season so far is all on iPlayer, and seasons one to three are on Netflix. If you want to watch season four, you'll have to splash out on iTunes.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.