Neither of these six-part series makes for easy viewing, but as I say that is just what the public seems to crave.Apart from sitting through some traumatic and upsetting scenes, you are also, in , drawn into a sort of quasi-judicial process, weighing up the evidence as it emerges, disappears and re-emerges, pushing you towards one conclusion, then another.The sense of potential failure is a buzz.”, in which he played tormented vampire Mitchell alongside fellow bright-young-things Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow.
This seems unlikely: a CV heavy on fantasy and period drama has banked him plenty of goodwill in that department. But I knew this gig [Turner wears his ambition lightly while obviously taking his career very seriously indeed: he talks of “audience demographics” and slips into the third person. It allows me to do more with the characters if they aren’t in tune with what Aidan Turner is all about.”Even a daft question about his lustrous, flowing locks, a notable feature of all his major roles so far, is given careful consideration.
“The day is coming when I can’t keep it long any more. ”Indeed, by the time of the BFI’s Poldark premiere some weeks later, he’d clearly had his way: the hair had been tightly cropped for his role alongside Rooney Mara in ; Graham’s 12 novels certainly offer enough source material to bear that out.
“It’s been a slow build-up, but I feel like it’s my time.” And not just any lead role, but one that has been the subject of fervent speculation: the eponymous hero in , the BBC’s latest adaptation of Winston Graham’s novels of derring-do in 18th century Cornwall, a modern re-telling of the corporation’s legendary 1970s series.
Rather more sinewy than your average Sunday night escapism, it has at its heart a hero who, unlike the man who plays him, is initially hard to warm to.
He has done ever since his double-breakthrough in 2009 as one of three supernatural housemates in BBC3 comedy-drama trilogy.
But now, finally, he’s snagged that elusive lead role.“If it had happened five, six years ago, I might not have been ready,” the 31-year-old concedes.
Steering the conversation to less awkward terrain, he spends a while examining the different production techniques behind the two Poldarks: out-of-sequence and with a single camera, compared to the one-episode-a-week, multi-camera traditions of the 1970before I received the offer” – and recalls gratefully that his predecessor in the role, Robin Ellis, avoided discussing the character while filming a cameo in the 2015 version as Reverend Halse.
Nonetheless, the original casts a long shadow, not least in its blockbusting viewing figures of around 15 million.“I found out they used to have to push mass in Cornwall back by half an hour because people weren’t showing up any more. “But 40 years is enough time to give it another go.
Plus: Rellick (BBC1, Monday 9pm), Upstart Crow (BBC2, Monday 8.30pm), Back (Channel 4, Wednesday 10pm), The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4, Tuesday 8pm), The 100 Year Old Driving School (ITV, Tuesday 9pm), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, Saturday 7pm), Marc Bolan: Cosmic Dancer (BBC4, Friday 9pm), People Just Do Nothing (BBC1, Sunday 11.30pm and BBC3 Tuesday from 11am), Quacks (BBC2, Tuesday 10pm), Doctor Foster (BBC1, Tuesday 9pm) It is something of a tribute to the writing talents of Jack and Harry Williams, as well as their productivity, that their newest drama serials go had to head with one another on BBC1 and ITV on Monday evenings – is much the more cinematic of the pair, with a more disjointed way of telling to story of a detective trying to catch a serial killer – which is, admittedly, a bit routine these days, but sounds flatter than it is.
The twist, or one of them, is the detective’s prominent scarring to the face.
“There were a lot of things I didn’t want to do,” he says.