Good news, Poldark fans! Filming on the third series has already begun

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The second series of Poldark has only just kicked off, but filming on the third series of the popular BBC period drama has already begun.

Leading stars Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson - who play Captain Ross Poldark and his wife Demelza - will be joined by returning cast members Heida Reed, Jack Farthing, Ruby Bentall, Gabriella Wilde and Luke Norris as shooting continues over the coming months in Cornwall and Bristol.

They will also welcome three young actors: Harry Richardson and Tom York will play Demelza's brothers Drake and Sam, and Ellise Chappell will join the fray as Morwenna, the cousin of Reed's character Elizabeth.

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Karen Thrussell, the executive producer of Poldark's production company Mammoth Screen, said: "All are major players in the next volume of Winston Graham and Debbie Horsfield's saga."

Writer and executive producer Horsfield added: "We're thrilled to be kicking off series three with a fantastic array of new characters and a story which scales new heights of conflict, feuding, passion and drama.

"Ross is older but not necessarily wiser, and his recklessness sometimes costs him, and his loved ones, dear. We're in for a rollercoaster ride where the stakes have never been higher."

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The third series of Cornish drama Poldark will take place over nine episodes and is set to air in 2017 on BBC One.

Meanwhile, fans and critics have been left delighted after Sunday night's second series debut lived up to expectations.

Poldark picked up where it left off, with Ross arrested for "wrecking, inciting a riot and murder", and Demelza bereft on a cliff-top with the threat of the death penalty hanging over her husband.

Viewers were also waiting with bated breath to see whether Ross would bare his chest again after the topless scything scene of series one.

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It did not take long for him to strip off to reveal his glistening physique and the TV audience was not disappointed.

The return of Poldark was watched by 5.1 million viewers on Sunday with a peak audience of 5.3 million and a share of 22.7%.

The BBC programme trailed slightly behind period drama rival Victoria on ITV, which scored an average of 5.2 million and peak of 5.9 million, with these numbers including those watching on ITV+1.