The Musketeers

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The Musketeers
Alt=Series title over a Fleur-de-lis and an explosion
Genre Action, Drama
Created by Adrian Hodges
Based on The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Theme music composer Murray Gold
Composer(s) Murray Gold
Paul Englishby
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 14 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Adrian Hodges
Jessica Pope
Producer(s) Colin Wratten
Location(s) Prague
Running time 54–60 minutes
Original channel BBC One HD
BBC America (U.S.)
Original run 19 January 2014 (2014-01-19) – present
External links
BBC website

The Musketeers is a BBC historical-action drama programme based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers[1] and co-produced by BBC America and BBC Worldwide.[1] The first episode was shown on BBC One on 19 January 2014.[2] It stars Tom Burke (Athos), Santiago Cabrera (Aramis), Howard Charles (Porthos), Luke Pasqualino (D'Artagnan) and Peter Capaldi (Cardinal Richelieu) in the first series and Marc Warren (Comte de Rochefort) in the second series.[3]

Jessica Pope and Adrian Hodges produced the show for the BBC. The programme was largely filmed in Prague. All the major actors, except Capaldi, have been "contracted for the long run".[4] The show was commissioned for a second series on 9 February 2014,[5] which premiered on 2 January 2015.[6]


In 1630 Paris, Athos, Aramis and Porthos are a group of highly trained musketeers commanded by Captain Treville who meet D'Artagnan, a skillful farm boy with hopes of becoming a musketeer. The series follows them as they fight to protect King and country.



The BBC had been developing the idea of a new series based on The Three Musketeers since as far back as 2007, when the project was envisaged as a Saturday evening show to run between series of Doctor Who.[7] The eventual production of the series was finally announced in 2012, with Adrian Hodges in charge of the project.[8]


Paris was not considered as a filming location as over the decades development had detracted from the grittier architecture wanted. Dublin was also considered before settling on the Czech Republic, which suffered little damage during the two world wars. Many historic buildings were intact and privately owned stately homes were rented for filming.

Filming for the series took place mainly in Doksany, 30 kilometres north-west of Prague, where a Parisian square, a number of streets and the musketeers garrison were constructed. A disused convent had additional sets constructed including taverns, bedrooms and mortuary.[9]


During filming of the first series Peter Capaldi learned that he had been given the role of the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who.[4] The show's executive producer Jessica Pope commented that they would have to "recalibrate" plans for a prospective second series, in order to accommodate Capaldi now being unable to reprise his role.[4] Marc Warren joined the cast for the second series.[10] The Musketeers was originally planned to be broadcast in 2013, but was later delayed until 2014.[11]


List of episodes[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 19 January 2014 (2014-01-19) 30 March 2014 (2014-03-30)
2 10[12] 2 January 2015 (2015-01-02) TBA

Home video release[edit]

The first series of The Musketeers was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 31 March 2014 and in the United States on 26 August 2014.[13]


The Musketeers initially received mixed reviews from critics, but they have become more positive as the series has continued. Jim Shelley, writing for the Daily Mail, heavily criticised the programme, saying "The Musketeers didn't take itself too seriously but was still so bad it bordered on self-parody" and that "the quality of the sub-plots hardly merited its 9pm slot in the schedule rather than (like Merlin or Robin Hood) much earlier, consisting of such clichéd set pieces as a fight following an accusation of cheating during a card game and a randy musketeer being caught in the act and having to dangle out of his lover's bedroom window while his mates watched on chuckling". Overall, he said "The main problem with The Musketeers, apart from the quality of the script, the acting and the predictability of the plot, was that there are only so many ways to make sword fights between men wearing blue leather tunics that entertaining or exciting."[14]

However, reviewing the third episode of the drama, Morgan Jeffery, writing for Digital Spy, praised the development of the characters, stating that there was a "real feeling of growth" and that it delivered "something a little more substantial".[15] Den of Geek writer Rob Kemp also gave a positive review, stating that The Musketeers had "won a lot of people over with its fun and adventurous take on this well-loved story", but also wrote that some of the dramatic elements felt "shoe horned and deliberate". Overall, Kemp had hope for the series and praised the change in focus in the third episode, saying that the "time was definitely right to start to explore the characters", before going on to say that the series would have "plenty more opportunities for the Musketeers to hit their more (and hopefully, better) dramatic strides". [16]

Upon its premiere on BBC America, Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times gave the drama a positive review, calling the series "not at all bad, just a bit old-fashioned". She also praised the updates made to the series, writing "purists may be dismayed that Mr. Hodges took so many liberties with the original plot, but purists are rarely any fun".[17]


Shown on BBC One, the first series of The Musketeers was broadcast weekly at 9pm on Sunday nights starting on the 19 January 2014. For the second series, it was moved to 9pm on Friday nights and screening began on the 2 January 2015.

The first series of The Musketeers was broadcast in Norway beginning on 2 March 2014 on NRK,[18] and in Sweden on 3 March 2014 on TV4.[19] In Greece the first series premiered on 12 March 2014 on OTE Cinema 1 HD.[20]

The series premiered in the United States on 22 June 2014 on BBC America.[21] The complete first series was "striped" on 3 August 2014 on the Australian Foxtel Cable TV channel BBC First, the day of that channel's premiere. The series started on 18 September 2014 on 'Box' Sky TV in New Zealand. The series started in Latin America on 9 October 2014 on BBC Entertainment.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Ben Stephenson orders over 20 hours of new drama from BBC Drama Production". 3 May 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Friends and Enemies". BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Musketeers". Broadcast Greenlight. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Life after Capaldi for The Musketeers". BBC. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Series 2". Cultbox. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "BBC - The Musketeers - Media centre". 
  7. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (11 September 2007). "BBC lines up swashbuckling shows". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Hemley, Matthew. "Modern take on The Three Musketeers comes to BBC1". The Stage. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Location Guide". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Munn, Patrick. "TV Wise". Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "BBC America Joins British 'Musketeers' Series". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "BBC One - The Musketeers - Episode guide". BBC. 
  13. ^ "Musketeers, The". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Jim Shelley. "The Musketeers was a French farce firing blanks, by Jim Shelley | Mail Online". Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  15. ^ Morgan Jeffery. "The Musketeers: Episode 3 review - Trading action for character drama by Morgan Jeffery; Digital Spy". Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Rob Kemp. "The Musketeers episode 3 review: Commodities by Rob Kemp; Digital Spy". Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  17. ^ Stanley, Alessandra. "Four Guys With Swords and Morals". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  18. ^ NRK1 søndag 02. mars kl 21.45 Musketerene
  19. ^ "Musketörerna -". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "OTE Cinema : The Musketeers". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Musketeers". BBC America. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Destacados". BBC Latinoamérica. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 

External links[edit]