Poldark Series 2: Poldark Series 2 Episode 8 had left many fans shocked and aghast at Poldark’s violent behaviour. Poldark is a BBC One television series adaption of Winston Graham’s novels. The depiction of the scene has disillusioned fans so much so that they are calling for the series to end.

BBC Poldark
Aidan Turner as Poldark and Heida Reed as Elizabeth in the BBC drama Poldark

Scene in the Books

As per Independent, in the book Warleggan (Graham’s fourth novel in the series) Elizabeth, who leave Poldark for her cousin earlier in the story. Aggravated and hurt, Poldark breaks into Elizabeth’s home and kiss her without her consent. When Elizabeth causes Poldark of treating her “like a slut”, he replies “It’s time you were so treated” and rapes her. As a result, Elizabeth falls pregnant.

What Aidan Turner Had Said?

Both Winston Graham’s books and the 1970s TV adaptation saw Poldark (Aidan Turner) forcing himself on his ex-lover Elizabeth (Helda Reed). Back in August Aidan Turner had assured fans that in the new script the scene is made far less shocking. “It seems consensual, and it just seems right. He goes to talk. He doesn’t go to commit a crime,” he told The Sun. “They talk, and it seems like there is still this spark between them, this unfinished business emotionally. Certainly, that’s how Ross feels. He doesn’t force himself upon her.”

Scene in the Show

In the modern adaptation, Poldark forces himself on his former lover, moments after she revealed her engagement to nemesis George Warleggan. After the night’s events transpire the following day, it was attempted to make it clear that Elizabeth had no regrets. But that didn’t go down well with fans and critics. “There was no getting around it,” says Gerard O’Donovan in the Daily Telegraph, Elizabeth said no, “no matter what the BBC might say”.

Glamorising Rape?

Poldark’s controversial rape scene in Poldark series 2, calls to mind a similar scene between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind that critics cried as a glamorization of rape. Scriptwriter Debbie Horsfield has denied writing a rape scene like that of the film.

Call For Cancelling Poldark Series?

To recall even before series 2 began, BBC had announced that a third series had been commissioned. Now that Poldark has “squandered the adoration of countless fans as he committed the one crime we never thought him capable of doing,” as Daily Mail puts it, upset fans demand the show to end.

After the episode was aired, angry fans took to Twitter for the depiction of sexual violence.

Sarah Green from End Violence Against Women coalition told Mashable: “The Poldark ‘rape’ scene would not be out of place in a porn film — a strong man who knows what must be done and a woman who apparently resists but wanted it really. Ideas like this are underneath lots of excuses for not believing women when they report rape.” Green continues, “[Rape is] often used to titillate, to scare and to push myths like these. The creators of these programmes need to talk to those who provide counselling for real life rape survivors.”

As per The Guardian, Fay Maxted, chief executive of the Survivors Trust, an umbrella organisation for rape charities said: “We have a society where consent is not very well understood and I think the BBC are reflecting that. This is some sort of rape fantasy where the man is overcome by his lusty passions and the woman resists but she really wants him after all. It’s a complete rape myth.”

The BBC is yet to comment on the ‘rape scene’. But since Poldark Series 3 shooting is already underway it’s unlikely that series 3 will be cancelled.

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  1. susan

    October 30, 2016 at 22:11

    I have read the books up to no 10 and this so called rape has been years on the boil. Ross and Elizabeth were engaged before he goes to America to fight in a war. He is believed to be dead so Elizabeth gets engaged to his cousin, later when he has married Demelza. Elizabeth tell him she was wrong to marry his cousin. as she had realised that she still had feelings for him.why then after accepting the devious George’s

    proposal , did she not shout for help, and if anyone looked at the clip and listen properly there is not one NO in the dialogue.
    All this is writen about a time in1790 upto 1820 aproxamatly. I was really looking forward to the latter series as it shows how things developed and if you have not read the books then there are a lot of things that might upset people.
    l would just like to say did any of the protesters see or read 50 shades of grey!!!!! fiction as this is.


  2. Hana

    October 28, 2016 at 22:24

    I really was geared up for a nasty scene (questioned watching it), and after watching it, while I think it was negative, it’s being over-hyped. It’s abusive on the level of roughness, but Elizabeth isn’t some victim, and wraps her arms around Ross’ neck… From a story standpoint, it’s disgusting and rather low of the characters, but I frankly think the fuss is overrated in terms of content. It’s unfortunate that viewers were triggered by the scene, but I think a lot has been implied by the media and people that isn’t really in the actual scene. Ross and Elizabeth have a very destructive relationship, nothing good has come out of their past since season 1. I find it odd people are making Elizabeth a victim, when if you watch the actual scene before going on the internet to rage, you’ll notice how it plays out. I don’t like the scene, granted, but it’s not the worst thing on TV by a long shot. Had the showrunners changed it from the books people would be howling… it’s a ‘no win’ situation. If this instance makes fans call for a cancellation that’s plain stupid. Sorry, but what people seem to think they watched and what they actually watched are two different things. I have more issue that Ross slept with Elizabeth (who didn’t fight him off when all was said and done) and betrayed Demelza more than people crying wolf over a scene which basically forwards the negativity of Ross/Elizabeth and why they need to stay away from eachother. -_-

    Quite honestly GOT has terrible sex scenes which are borderline pron fetish, so the attention this is getting is crazy IMO.


  3. Kim

    October 28, 2016 at 12:14

    I was aghast and disappointed in Ross…but in NO WAY want the seadon to end!!!! I have read countless comments and did not feel that tone from fans. amazing aeries!


  4. Dolores Radcliffe

    October 28, 2016 at 08:04

    It’s was rape alright. Im a Poldark fan but after that episode I seriously doubt if I’ll watch the series again. I’m sick of ‘rape fantasy’. Prettifying the Poldark rape doesn’t make it okay. Elizabeth said no. I am boycotting the show. I’m genuinely shocked people are defendingthe rape just because they love to show and think Poldark is an ideal man.


  5. Janine

    October 28, 2016 at 06:05

    Dont know what all the fuss is about!

    Game of Thrones had a rape scene every 2 minutes and much more explicit .


  6. Kellie

    October 28, 2016 at 04:24



  7. Barbara Saulsbury

    October 28, 2016 at 04:13

    Cancellation? Really? You have got to be joking. Trying to stir up trouble and angst.


  8. fred

    October 28, 2016 at 02:47

    This is the most absurd rubbish I have ever heard. Are we to believe that the attitudes about sex today are stricter that in the 70’s when the original Poldark was aired. Is this a suggestion that in this day and age shows should be censored to such a degree and to cause an adaptation to be changed so radically that it does not adhere to the original? I wonder why there were no similar outcries when we saw the topless scything scene or when Downton Abbey aired a rape story line.


  9. Poldark Fan

    October 28, 2016 at 00:09

    I call it rubbish as well. No doubt the complaints and kerfuffle created by the columnists have not read Warleggan. I seriously doubt any woman who is raped would refer to her rapist’s gropings as “caresses” which is how Elizabeth refers to Ross’s fondlings in the book.


  10. Lee

    October 28, 2016 at 00:01

    This is idiotic. Cancelling the show will only ruin everyone’s chance to see how the saga will end. And by the way, the saga reveals the serious consequences of the rape. I see no need to cut this story short.


  11. Linda

    October 27, 2016 at 22:53

    Why are the tabloids taking such a rediculus stance with this, Poldark is a brilliant piece of drama , shame thete not more on tv instead of the drivel on most of the time,
    I have not seen one fan want this series cancelled( more sensationalism by the rags?)get a grip!!!!! I am a woman and I saw no rape!! I saw pent up passion by both parties, unfinished business if you like.
    How about complimenting terrific acting by all the STARS in this fabulous adaptation.????


  12. Emma Armstrong

    October 27, 2016 at 22:11

    Pipe down people! There’s no need to panic. ” Poldark Series 3 shooting is already underway it’s unlikely that series 3 will be cancelled.” The show is at its peak popularity, they wouldn’t cancel it.


  13. Karen

    October 27, 2016 at 21:16

    Please give it a rest. There are a lot worse sexual encounters on soap operas everyday! Who the hell wrote this stupid article!


  14. June Lamb

    October 27, 2016 at 20:24

    What a load of RUBBISH. The BBC received 17 utterly unwarrented complaints and fans are up in arms about the complaints, NOT the series or the actors.


  15. Inger

    October 27, 2016 at 20:20

    Totally rubbish!!! This is the most stupid I have ever heard!! Don’t they even dare consider cancelling it!!! They should instead cancel shows that really are violent..Poldark is NOT! It’s the best series in ages! End of discussion-


  16. Jean Shorney

    October 27, 2016 at 19:40

    Whose stupid idiotic idea was this to cancel a show that is at the height of its popularity, and has attracted more than five million viewers? Plus their star Aidan Turner has won the Award of T.V Actor of the year for his portrayal of Ross Poldark amongst other highly successful roles.
    I watched episode eight of Poldark and saw no evidence of rape. Elizabeth was sitting up in bed afterward, her hair perfectly coiled and spilling about her bare shoulders, regarding Ross with a dreamy look of longing. If she had been raped she would have been cowering bruised and battered with fear. So those idiotic boffins who suggest cancelling the rest of the Series over of a little consensual sex should get their heads out of their posteriors and WATCH the Show. Thank you,


  17. Brenda

    October 27, 2016 at 19:25

    What a load of absolute crap to suggest the series might be cancelled. There have been 14 official complaints, all from men haters probably, out of millions of viewers. Hardly a lot. Go on to the Facebook pages and see what people REALLY think. We all know you lot don’t particularly like success and are probably jealous of Aidan Turner.


  18. Linda Garwood

    October 27, 2016 at 17:45

    What fans have called for Series 3 to be cancelled? I am a member of countless Poldark/Aidan Turner fan groups on Facebook and I have not seen one comment to support this. Get a grip! Total over exaggeration. Like there is no violence on any other TV show!


    • leander dunn

      October 29, 2016 at 05:07

      i so agree with u and at no time did she say speak the words no and its a series based on a book writen about a time when it went on .so if ppls are going to find fault in poldark which is so stupid as its not a real life story its make believe so get a grip as i can think of alot of books that have been wrote which can be questioned as not believeable and can also be classed as not exceptable


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