August 14, 2014

The Musketeers - The BBC's Post-Medieval Mini-Series


Although it will be hard for me to find a medieval mini-series I enjoyed as much as The 'Borgias'  this is definitely coming close.

Sadly 'The Borgias' was never completed - much to my disappointment.

Whilst I think many mini-series use a lot of poetic licence they are still fun to watch, even if not totally accurate. That's what entertainment is after all, and I have always enjoyed historical or costume dramas.

"The Musketeers" has a slightly modern edge to it. The costumes for example. I doubt they were all dressed in leathers but who will ever know for sure?

This is an extended and enhanced version of Alexandre Dumas' novel which many of us have not only read, but seen many movie versions of it like the ones with Gene Kelly and Oliver Reed. 

I think it's worth watching, and the opening theme is great!

I also like the sword-fighting scenes so I have put a montage of some very famous filmed duels below.

Interestingly enough some members of my extended family are direct descendents of Dumas.

BBC AMERICA’s new co-production drama series, The Musketeers, is set on the streets of seventeenth century Paris, where law and order is an idea more than a reality. In addition to being King Louis XIII’s personal bodyguards, Athos, Aramis and Porthos stand resolutely for social justice, honor, valor, love – and for the thrill of it. 

Luke Pasqualino (Skins, The Borgias) stars as D’Artagnan alongside Tom Burke (Great Expectations, The Hour,War and Peace) as Athos, Santiago Cabrera (Merlin, Heroes) as Aramis and Howard Charles (Royal Shakespeare Company) as Porthos. 

Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Hour, The Thick Of It), Maimie McCoy (Loving Miss Hatto), Tamla Kari (Cuckoo, The Inbetweeners Movie) and Hugo Speer (Bedlam) also star in the 10-part series created by Adrian Hodges (My Week With Marilyn, Primeval). 

D’Artagnan is charismatic, impulsive and ridiculously brave with a fierce appetite for justice. A skilled fighter from rural Gascony, meets the three Musketeers while on a mission to right the wrong of his father’s death. Although he meets the men in unfortunate circumstances, he finds kindred spirits in the other soldiers.

Porthos is a great fighter, a loyal friend and a man who lives life to the full. He  is a larger-than-life character, who has come from humble beginnings to become a soldier in the most elite regiment in the land, finding a family in the other Musketeers.

Constance Bonacieux (Tamla Kari) leads a dull but comfortable life married to a cloth merchant, but her life is turned upside down when D’Artagnan tumbles into her world, and she becomes involved with the Musketeers.

Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi), while striving to achieve his vision of a thoroughly modern France, is a shadowy character who will stop at nothing to achieve his objectives. Milady (Maimie McCoy) is the Cardinal’s secret weapon, the most mysterious and beautiful of villains whose motives are often concealed.

The King relies on the advice of the Cardinal, his shrewd wife Queen Anne and also Captain Treville (Hugo Speer), the brave and respected commander of the Musketeers who keeps an eye on the soldiers to ensure they stay out of trouble. 

The series bursts with escapism, adventure and romance and is set to thrill audiences with riveting stories every week.

Athos is brave, resourceful and a natural leader of men. But he nurses a dark secret in his past. Athos, who has rejected his noble roots to become a Musketeer, quickly befriends D’Artagnan, but has a past which is shrouded in mystery, and is prone to getting in trouble.

Aramis is charming but deadly, a great lover and a great fighter – Aramis is a man of fascinating contrasts.  Never short of admirers, Aramis has an effortless charm which leads him in and out of love. Despite this, he is a shrewd pragmatist who is ferocious in battle and commands a key place in the brotherhood.


From BBC America 
Series cast summary from IMDB:
Howard Charles ... Porthos (11 episodes, 2014-2015)

Ryan Gage ... King Louis (11 episodes, 2014-2015)    
Luke Pasqualino ... D'Artagnan (10 episodes, 2014)   - also in "The Borgias"
Santiago Cabrera ... Aramis (10 episodes, 2014)
Tom Burke... Athos (10 episodes, 2014)    - also in "War and Peace".
Peter Capaldi...Cardinal Richelieu (10 episodes, 2014)    
Hugo Speer...Treville (10 episodes, 2014-2015)   
Tamla Kari...Constance (9 episodes, 2014-2015)   
Alexandra Dowling ... Queen Anne  ... (8 episodes, 2014-2015)     
Maimie McCoy...Milady (8 episodes, 2014-2015)  - also in "Loving Miss Hatto"

Above: Picture with thanks to Images123

There are quite a few of my favourite swash-buckling movies in this clip.
The list is here. 

It is generally accepted that possibly the best ever duel is the one with Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer from the film, "Scaramouche", and Basil Rathbone was considered an expert fencer, but there is plenty here for younger viewers too!

Series 2 commencing January 2015 - looking forward to it! 
Series 3 commencing August 2016This is the final series.


First picture Credit: Foxtel






Above -  picture credit:Gallery Hip
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Downton Abbey: Ending After Its Sixth Season?
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The Borgias and Pillars of the Earth
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Downton Abbey Becomes Downturn Abbey: Secrets Of Series 6 Revealed
Pride and Prejudice at 20: The Scene That Changed Everything
Cilla Black's Biography On TV 
Downton Abbey Producers In Talks To Make A 1930s-set Feature-length Movie
Maggie Smith: Michael Coveney’s Biography 
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