Gunning for it: Monk challenges Ross to a duel!

Trouble has been brewing between swashbuckling man-of-the-people Ross Poldark and unscrupulous MP and society figure Monk Adderley ever since they first clapped eyes on each other.

In this Sunday’s penultimate episode, things come to an explosive head after Adderley makes a play for Ross’ wife Demelza. Ross’ fury erupts in Westminster and, upset at being manhandled in front of his peers, Adderley challenges his rival to a duel.

“It was a scary thing for someone to challenge you to a duel in those days,” says Aidan.

Monk in Poldark

“Ross and Monk are both described in the novels as wild men…” says Poldark star Max

“It didn’t happen that often and you can’t really turn it down as you lose face and pride, not a great look in the day. Loading those guns would have been difficult and they were really inaccurate so you could get the bullet anywhere. It was fun to do it on screen but that’s as far as you’d want to take it.”

For Max, who made his debut as Adderley earlier in this series, the duel scenes proved a baptism of fire as they were filmed on his first day!

“It was great doing those scenes,” says Max. “Duelling wasn’t legal then. It was done at dawn.”

RULES OF THE GAME

“There were lots of particular details, for example you always had a second with you and there would be a doctor present. There were a certain amount of steps you could take and you’d fire on the 14th step.

“Back then there were lots of occasions where honour was satisfied by both pistols being fired into the air or a compromise was reached before they fired them,” continues Max. “Not in this case. Ross and Monk are both described in the novels as wild men…”

Will both survive the duel?