Season Five, Episode Five: Drake Makes More Mistakes

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Related to: Poldark, Season 5

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Drake has made his fair share of mistakes during his years in and around Cornwall’s Sawle village. Several of said mistakes have lead to his near death, multiple times. But never fear, dear viewers and listeners! He’s got more mistakes up his blacksmith’s sleeve.

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Barrett Brountas We’re big Morwenna — Drake fans here at Mining Poldark. But marriage for the young couple has been anything but easy.


Morwenna Don’t touch me!

Drake Forgive me. Forgive me.

Barrett And marriage won’t be any easier if Drake heads to prison — which is a likely possibility when he kidnaps his wife’s son from his grandmother’s estate.


Drake I did a thing t’day fer which ‘ee’ll despise me.

Morwenna I could never despise you.

Drake I stole John Conan.

Morwenna What?

Barrett On the other side of the country, Ross attempts to extract Ned from a questionable political meeting in a London pub — but he fails, and leads Ned to a troubling accusation.


Ned Well, Ross, here we are again! Back where it started. Only this time the charge is seriously impressive.

Ross What is it?

Wickham High treason.

Barrett I’m Barrett Brountas, and this is Mining Poldark, a podcast from MASTERPIECE.

Just as we’re big fans of Drake and Morwenna, we’re also big fans of Harry Richardson, the actor who plays Drake on screen. Here’s an excerpt of his charming conversation with my MASTERPIECE colleague, Jace Lacob, on our companion MASTERPIECE Studio podcast.

Jace Lacob Drake is living a sort of half life with Morwenna — they’re married but their marriage is entirely sexless. Does his love for her transcend what Drake calls carnal love, or is Drake merely willing to wait for her no matter how long it might take?

Harry Richardson I definitely believe that it transcends it. I really believed Drake scenes like on the page where he’s trying to profess his love to her and and that no matter what it looks like he just wants to be near her to experience the world. I thought it was a really really beautiful sentiment and I think the kid was like very very in love with her that even if he couldn’t touch her or kiss her he would be so happy for the rest of his life.

Jace He does try to kiss Morwenna at Trenwith, and she physically recoils from him.


Morwenna How peaceful it is…Don’t touch me.

Drake Forgive me. Forgive me. Will I light us a fire?

Jace How much does this moment hurt him?

Harry I think it hurts him a lot more that he’s hurt her. I don’t think there was an aspect of him feeling let down or something was missing I think. I don’t think you can blame him that he just tried to kiss her in a moment of adoration. But I don’t think he’s he’s left wanting or feeling like something’s broken. I think he just feels so much for her being in pain which is quite beautiful.

Jace And there’s genuine anguish in Drake’s voice as he tells Sam that the only hopes he has for a child is a fairy child.


Sam See’d Morwenna by the quay. Is there news?

Drake What manner o’ news?

Sam She looked so delicate an’ pale , I thought mebbe there was…

Drake What?

Sam A child comin’?

Drake Not unless it’s a fairy child!

Sam She’d keep her distance still? Drake nods. He’s on the verge of tears.

Drake She’s yet so broken. An’ may never mend.

Jace Given Drake’s roughshod childhood what does having a child of his own represent and why does its impossibility make him ache so.

Harry Yeah I suppose maybe maybe part of him. Always still imagined having a family was with more winner and was very passionate about it. But I think that those lines that she she may never mend. You know I don’t I don’t think that’s that’s woe is me for his own for his own state and his own desires. But like really depressed and distressed about the fact that she’s in so much pain I think them having a family in his mind might mean that she’s healed and that and that he can help her move on to give her what she would want if she didn’t have so much trauma.

Jace And we do we do see that. I mean they actually almost kiss on the cliff and they hold hands. She allows them to take her hand and then later she actually does take his hands in hers. And to me those are signs that there is inherent hope for the two of them that they can overcome the damage and abuse in her life that she can let go and move on.

Harry Yeah I think that’s beautifully put.

Barrett: Let’s hold on a second and take a quick break to hear a word from our sponsors…


Jace Drake has watched from afar as Morwenna has spied on and then gradually reintroduced herself to her son John Conan In this week’s episode, Drake goes so far as to kidnap John Conan from Lady Whitworth. What did Drake hope to achieve with this incredibly risky scheme?


Harry I think he thought that that was the thing that was that was missing and in his innocent way was just like well I’ll just fix it then I’ll just make sure that that she can have him around you know if she’s if she’s missing her child like simple just to go go collect him and then bring him home to Morwenna. But obviously that’s not how it would go down in reality and he’d probably lose his head for it.

Jace But it’s sort of a Labrador with a tennis ball.

Harry Exactly. Gina just wants to. He just wants to have a drama about her just wants to please.

Jace I mean it takes Demelza telling Drake that he could put himself and Morwenna in serious peril by running away with John Conan he’s tempted. However even if it means leaving his entire family behind.


Demelza Morwenna had no choice but to let him go. She has no rights to him that Lady Whitworth could not contest in court.

Drake So we’ll take him without her consent!

Demelza And live where? Not in Sawle. You’d have to leave us all behind – your forge, your home – and start anew somewhere she could never find you.

Jace What makes Drake change his mind and return the child to Lady Whitworth?

Harry The risk the risk for Morwenna, the risk that like that they’d lose the little stability that they had and be run out of town and have to go with you know not a penny or just to fend for themselves and run from the law I suppose. I think putting her at risk and also the child at risk is what makes him take it back he doesn’t mind risking his own life.

Jace And to me that’s sort of his his main focus is this sort of need to keep Morwenna safe to keep her happy to try and help her. And it makes to me in my mind anyway, Drake an even more noble character that it is always putting Morwenna’s needs before his own.

Harry Yeah, yeah, to his detriment. He’s very noble.

Jace I mean he’s had his forge burned you know eight thousand times in the run of this show. He’s almost been hanged. I mean he’s but he’s noble in the end.

Harry Hey. You can’t. You can’t bring him down.

Jace Drake stands up to Lady Whitworth not once but twice. Even at the risk of bodily harm from her awful servants.


Drake Yer Ladyship – yer Ladyship I beg ‘ee – hear me out . ‘Twas mine idea alone that John Conan should leave ‘ee – an’ when I tell’d Morwenna she was furious.. She’ve come now t’ make amends – t’ put an end once an’ f’r’all – nay, don’ disturb ‘er..

Morwenna So I come now to take my leave, but I’ll cherish forever the time we spent together – but I have go away now – and I am leaving you with the kindest, most loving grandmother – who will love you and give you the most wonderful life.

Jace What does it signify that he’s willing to go to Lady Whitworth and actually plead for Morwenna?

Harry  that he’ll face anything. No no no matter what circumstance or risk score a person has to confront he will he’ll do it in the hopes that it might heal her a little or make her a little happier or help the world. I suppose that he’s living in.

Jace He does confess what he’s done and more when it says that Drake taking John Cowan was a quote monstrous thing and she can’t even bear to look at him. Why has he miscalculated so terribly, even though his intentions were so good?

Harry Because he’s a Labrador you know he’s. I think when his Labrador comes in you know covered in mud and gets it all over the couch like he didn’t mean to. I guess that’s the thing. You can have intentions that are good but if you’renot cautious then you end up in trouble and risking other things. But I don’t know I didn’t think she should have got so mad at him in that scene I felt bad for him. He was doing his best.

Jace Toward the end of the episode there’s a gorgeous scene where Drake and Morwenna get ready for bed.


Morwenna I said farewell to my son today.

Drake  For good?

Morwenna Yes. I will never go back.  I love him – will always love him – have tried to lock away the pain of losing him. But in doing so have locked away other love. Love for my husband. Love I would give my husband. But could not give whils t I would not grieve the loss of my child. Today I did grieve – and let him go. Tonight my heart is sore. But it is free. To love you.

Jace Have they finally moved closer to resolving the trauma in her past and being able to move forward together?

Harry Well I think that was that was totally a step from Morwenna. She took it into her own hands and I guess once she said goodbye to John Conan it healed her a little more and allowed her to open her heart to her husband. Yeah I thought it was really beautifully written.

Jace In the broadest possible strokes I mean what can you tease about what’s coming up for Drake for the rest of this final season?

Harry In the broader sense I think the two of them trying to figure out if they can make it work or create a family or what that would look like and tentatively start to explore love with each other again. I think to overcome trauma and try to figure out what the next step in their life is.

Barrett That was Poldark star Harry Richardson, in a MASTERPIECE Studio interview with my colleague Jace Lacob. You can hear the rest of their conversation, and many more with his Poldark cast mates, at pbs dot org slash MASTERPIECE Studio, or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public or wherever else you listen to podcasts.

Coming up next: a legal trial for Ned, and a personal trial for Demelza:


Zacky Two month ago I first suspicion’d – but this past week I put men on t’ weighin’ an’ measurin’ – an’ now there be no doubt. Someone’s stealin’ our ore.

Demelza But – must it not be someone with a knowledge of the workin’s an’ movin’s ‘o th’ mine?

Zacky One of our own. Sadly, yes.

Barrett That’s next time on Mining Poldark. And don’t miss my special conversation with Andrew Graham, son of Poldark author Winston Graham, in our next episode, exclusively here on Mining Poldark.



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