Poldark fans have seen titular character Ross (played by Aidan Turner) reach the pinnacle of his career over the last season.
While his relationship with Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) suffered as a result, Ross has taken on politicians and strived to make a difference in his corner of the world down in Truro, Cornwall.
And for fans of original author Winston Graham’s novels, they already know where Ross eventually ends up years into the future.
Yet season five is an interlude not written in the books, and writer and creator Debbie Horsfield was tasked with the daunting challenge of filling in the gaps on the BBC period drama.
Debbie shared: “Season four is based on The Angry Tide, and then there is a time jump in the books to A Stranger from the Sea, and in that book Winston Graham gives all sorts of hints about things that happen in the meantime.”
“I think the key thing for me when I was thinking about this series,” Debbie went on. “Is that we left Ross in series four as a politician.
“[He was a] member of parliament, a mine owner, frustrated that he wasn’t able to make the difference in the world that he could.”
“And then we meet him again in book eight he’s on a special mission for the British government in Portugal,” the writer continued.
“And so the question is, how did he get from being a politician and a miner to basically being a spy?
“What was the journey that he went on? So that was my starting point to try and flesh out that story.”
“And also going off Winston Graham’s model, which was to look at the actual historical events and real historical personages, to bring some of those in.
“To imagine it and who might have been in our story, and who might have impacted in the story, so that was kind of basically my starting point,” the executive producer added.
Also in this season of Poldark, long-time villain George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) is facing serious suffering after the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth (Heida Reed).
While a complex individual, George’s love for Elizabeth was never in question, and since her death the character has been experiencing hallucinations of her.
It is already beginning to impact his work and his parenting – particularly with Valentine who is also grieving the loss of his mother at such a young age.
“It’s definitely new ground for George, I think the end of the last series was pretty seismic for him,” Jack shared. “Post traumatic [stress] and he’s grieving massively.
“Sort of pretending that everything’s back to normal but it’s not and he’s struggling with it for a great chunk of this series.
“He’s definitely reeling, so yeah it’s new stuff. I obviously don’t want to tell you where it goes but massive challenges for me as an actor, him as a character.
“I think Debbie, as ever, charted a very delicate and authentic story for him so this year like any other has been full of challenges,” the star went on to add.
Recent suggestions over the books being left openended have prompted some to think the series could return for a season six.
Poldark continues tonight at 7pm on BBC One.