Poldark Season 2: 10 Changes from the Books to the Small Screen

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Ross and Elizabeth

For those who remain unaware as of yet, PBS edited the scene between Ross and Elizabeth to make it appear more consensual. We’ve previously said that even the edits make it look like sexual assault or at best, especially early on. (You can see the original scene above.) A spokesperson for the show said that it’s a consensual act, and the same article quotes Winston Graham’s son as suggesting that the novels as a whole show a similar idea.

The text of Warleggan actually pretty clearly suggests that it’s rape, at least to our understanding and modern standards. Elizabeth slaps Ross’ face, so he pins her arm down. The two argue back and forth, with her threatening to scream at one point and at another trying to turn her face away from his kisses. Eventually, she tells him to stop twice. He does not listen to her and carries her to the bed instead.

The next chapter then begins with Demelza waking up at 6 a.m. to her husband’s return. At a later point, Elizabeth’s inner dialogue describes it as a “violent taking of what was not rightly [Ross’]”.

We have no idea how the ensuing consequences will play out on U.S. shores when the original sin, as our recapper put it, was changed so fundamentally.