Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson on playing an alien drug addict in sci-fi thriller Intergalactic

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Eleanor Tomlinson has barely been seen since lighting up the screen as Demelza Poldark in five series of the hit Cornish drama. And every time she did, the role was a world away from the fiery 18th century redhead launching her career.

Mary Durrant had gone wild in 2018’s 50s-set Agatha Christie adaptation Ordeal By Innocence, and sci-fi heroine Amy in the BBC’s The War Of The Worlds the following year. But Eleanor’s latest role is certainly her most unusual yet.

Part alien, part human, Candy Skov-King is a drug-addicted criminal in Sky’s new sci-fi thriller Intergalactic, which follows a group of space-traveling female convicts. Eleanor’s signature red curls have been replaced by blonde dreadlocks, her face is covered with green scales and – the piece de resistance – her tongue is long and forked.

Needless to say, there’s no corset to be seen, but Eleanor insists she wanted a complete change of direction. “I had to find a project that would allow me to jump from historical dramas to something completely different,” she says from the Manchester show.

Eleanor Tomlinson insisted she wanted a complete change of direction when she starred in Sky's new sci-fi thriller Intergalactic, saying she needed a project that would allow her to jump from historical dramas to something completely different.

Eleanor Tomlinson insisted she wanted a complete change of direction when she starred in Sky’s new sci-fi thriller Intergalactic, saying she needed a project that would allow her to jump from historical dramas to something completely different.

‘I needed a breath of fresh air and a chance to shake things up a bit. And I certainly didn’t want to be a redhead – I think we’ve seen that before! ‘

She says she played ball with Ross Poldark’s wife, but in a way she was the victim of the success of a show that attracted an average of eight million viewers per episode. “I was afraid of being a typecast, famous for just playing that role and only being offered similar roles,” she says.

“It’s not that I didn’t like Poldark, I did that, a lot, and I learned so much from it. But I had to get away from my own sanity. That’s why Intergalactic seemed like a good choice. Drugs, aliens and a futuristic setting … it’s so different! ‘

Set in 2143, the eight-part series envisions a world radically different from the one we occupy today. The earth has ecologically collapsed and old London lies in a silt-covered ruin.

Eleanor's signature red curls have been replaced with blonde dreadlocks, while her face is covered in green scales for her role as part alien, part human Candy Skov-King, a drug-addicted criminal.

Eleanor's signature red curls have been replaced with blonde dreadlocks, while her face is covered in green scales for her role as part alien, part human Candy Skov-King, a drug-addicted criminal.

Eleanor’s signature red curls have been replaced with blonde dreadlocks, while her face is covered in green scales for her role as part alien, part human Candy Skov-King, a drug-addicted criminal.

The Commonworld, a global confederation of governments riddled with corruption, takes the lead, with much of its operations from New London, a gleaming metal city built on stilts over the old metropolis.

However, the past 122 years have not all been bad news on Earth. The discovery of a new type of fuel called New Aurum that allows it to travel faster than the speed of light has enabled intergalactic space travel, and with it the colonization of distant planets.

Eleanor’s character Candy is aboard the Hemlock, a spaceship that transports a group of female prisoners from Earth to a penal colony deep in space, where they must serve their sentence. Candy has spent several years behind bars for drug trafficking, but in the first episode, the prisoners commit a mutiny and lead the Hemlock to Arcadia, a planet where they are safe from the authorities on Earth.

Also on board the ship is political prisoner Dr. Emma Grieves (Natasha O’Keefe, who played Tommy Shelby’s wife Lizzie Stark in Peaky Blinders). Grieves and her knowledge of New Aurum are central to the entire series.

“She is at the heart of the story in the sense that life cannot survive without her,” explains Natasha. “She knows humanity might not survive without her, and the people around her know that too, that’s why everyone wants a piece of Emma.”

Eleanor's character Candy, who has spent several years behind bars for drug trafficking, is aboard the Hemlock, a spaceship that transports a group of female prisoners from Earth to a penal colony deep in space where they will serve their sentence in a world that takes place.  in 2143

Eleanor's character Candy, who has spent several years behind bars for drug trafficking, is aboard the Hemlock, a spaceship that transports a group of female prisoners from Earth to a penal colony deep in space where they will serve their sentence in a world that takes place.  in 2143

Eleanor’s character Candy, who has spent several years behind bars for drug trafficking, is aboard the Hemlock, a spaceship that takes a group of female prisoners from Earth to a penal colony deep in space where they will serve their sentence in a world that takes place. in 2143

None other than Dr. Benedict Lee (Craig Parkinson, who was the corrupt cop “Dot” Cottan on Line Of Duty), the leader of the world government. Along with Parminder Nagra’s character Rebecca Harper, the head of government security, he watches the Hemlock’s progress through space on a big screen in New London.

“Lee wants Grieves to return to Earth safe and sound so he can experiment with her,” Craig explains. “She holds the key to this wonderful new power source, New Aurum. If he can tap what turns her on, it will become available, he will be a hero. ‘

The drama visits Candy’s home planet, the snow-covered Skov, in episode five, and viewers will learn about her descent into drug addiction. “We discover how she abandoned her family, ended up with the wrong people, and couldn’t go home out of shame for what she had become,” explains Eleanor.

‘She’s a little crazy, a little crazy, a woman who uses so many different kinds of drugs and is constantly looking for her next hit. But I hope people will root for her. She’s certainly not a goodie goodie, but she’s trying to improve herself. ‘

All episodes of Intergalactic are available on Sky On Demand and NOW.

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