Poldark – BBC1

As Poldark returns for a new series, who has set fire to Nampara, putting Demelza’s life at risk?

Judas! The fifth (and sadly final) series of the Cornish costume saga Poldark kicks off in explosive style tonight, with a host of exciting new characters, a fire at Nampara and not one, but two, attempts on the king’s life.

It’s 1800 but not the happiest start to the new century when Ross is called away to London on a mission to help free his old army friend Colonel Ned Despard (played by Victoria’s Vincent Regan), who has been wrongly banged up in jail.

Star Aidan Turner gave TV Times some background on the new series and his character, Ross Poldark: “He’s grown up a lot and has a better sense of responsibility,” said Aidan.

“He’s still impulsive and he has a natural attraction to menace, but I think all round he’s a better person.

“He’s certainly kinder to Demelza!”

Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza

Storm tossed: Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza

And he filled us in on Ross’s relationship with Ned Despard: “Ned’s someone Ross met on the battlefield during the American War of Independence.

“Ned saved Ross’ life and Ross has very much used Ned’s character as a template for his own life.

“He’s a real man of the people with a sense of social justice.

“We had a really great relationship on set. He’s good with a sword as well!”

Meanwhile, in this week’s opener, and back on Cornish soil, George is still grief-stricken over his wife Elizabeth’s untimely death, so much so he keeps having visions that she’s still alive, while the life of Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) is in danger when a flame is thrown through the window of Nampara.

Everything looks set for a corker of a finale…

TV Times rating: *****