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
Starring
Composer(s) Murray Gold
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 10 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Adrian Hodges
Jessica Pope
Producer(s) Colin Wratten
Location(s) Prague
Running time 54–60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One HD
BBC One
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 Luke Pasqualino (D'Artagnan), Tom Burke (Athos), Santiago Cabrera (Aramis), Howard Charles (Porthos) and Peter Capaldi (Cardinal Richelieu).[3] Ten episodes have been produced in series one which aired from January to March 2014.

Jessica Pope and Adrian Hodges produced the show for the BBC. The programme is 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]

Plot[edit]

Set in 1630 Paris, D'Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos are a group of highly trained musketeers who fight to protect the King and Country. The Musketeers shows Athos, Aramis, Porthos and D'Artagnan as 'The Musketeers', commanded by Captain Treville.

Production[edit]

Conception[edit]

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.[6] The eventual production of the series was finally announced in 2012, with Adrian Hodges in charge of the project.[7]

Filming[edit]

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 and many historic buildings were intact and many 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 Parisan square, a number of streets and the musketeers garrison were constructed. A disused convent had additional sets constructed including taverns, bedrooms and mortuary.[8]

Casting[edit]

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 has replaced Capaldi as Rochefort for the second series.[9] The Musketeers was originally planned to be broadcast in 2013, but was later delayed until 2014.[10]

Cast[edit]

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired Average rating
(millions)
DVD and Blu-ray release date
Series premiere Series finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 3
1 10 19 January 2014 (2014-01-19) 30 March 2014 (2014-03-30) 6.30 TBA 31 March 2014 TBA
2 TBA 2015 (2015)[11] TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2014)[edit]

Episode
No.
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(million)[12]
1 "Friends and Enemies" Toby Haynes Adrian Hodges 19 January 2014 (2014-01-19) 9.28
Young swordsman d'Artagnan and his father Alexandre are on their way to Paris to petition the king when they are attacked at an inn; Alexandre is killed by a man claiming to be "Athos of the Musketeers". Seeking revenge, d'Artagnan heads to Paris to confront and kill Athos. Meanwhile, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are ordered by Treville to track down a missing contingent of Musketeers. Upon their return, Athos is confronted by d'Artagnan, before being arrested for murder. The king orders Athos' execution. To prove Athos' innocence Porthos and Aramis enlist the aid of d'Artagnan in recovering letters stolen from the King's messengers by the Red Guard claiming to be Athos. D'Artagnan accompanies them to discover the truth.
2 "Sleight of Hand" Toby Haynes Adrian Hodges 26 January 2014 (2014-01-26) 7.58
The Musketeers engineer d'Artagnan's imprisonment in a cell alongside Vadim (Jason Flemyng), a notorious criminal, who to escape uses the visiting Queen. Vadim has a plan to bring about a people's revolution by killing the King and Queen. But Vadim is the master of sleight of hand and his plans are more criminal than political.
3 "Commodities" Saul Metzstein Susie Conklin 2 February 2014 (2014-02-02) 6.77
The three musketeers are sent to Le Havre to arrest the flamboyant merchant trader/explorer, Emile Bonnaire (James Callis), who is to appear before the King for breaking a trade treaty between France and Spain. The journey to Paris is fraught with danger from Bonnaire's friends and enemies. Porthos is badly wounded in an ambush. Taking refuge in Athos' derelict family chateau brings back memories to Athos of his brother and of Milady de Winter. Porthos is angry when he discovers the commodity, slaves, that Bonnaire trades in.
4 "The Good Soldier" Richard Clark Adrian Hodges 9 February 2014 (2014-02-09) 6.14
Aramis’s old friend Marsac (JJ Feild), a former musketeer, returns to Paris to kill the Duke of Savoy (Vincent Regan) whom he holds responsible for the deaths of 20 musketeers. The Musketeers capture Marsac and he seeks their help to discover the truth that implicates Treville in the massacre. They are also charged with protecting the ruthless Duke who is in Paris to sign a treaty with the King.
5 "The Homecoming" Saul Metzstein James Dormer 23 February 2014 (2014-02-23) 5.91
Porthos wakes from a drunken stupor beside the body of a dead man. Captured by the Red guard he is judged and sentenced to death for murder. Before the sentence is carried out he is rescued by thieves and taken to the Court of Miracles, a slum of thieves, beggars, and whores run by Charon (Ashley Walters), where the orphan Porthos grew up. Athos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan are unable to enter the Court of Miracles follow in Porthos's footsteps to discover the truth.
6 "The Exiles" Andy Hay Ben Harris 2 March 2014 (2014-03-02) 5.62
King Louis's treacherous mother, the exiled Marie de' Medici (Tara Fitzgerald), returns to seek protection from an assassin. Aramis and d'Artagnan sent to collect a young woman, Agnes (Amy Nuttall), and her baby son are stunned when armed men abduct the baby and the musketeers seek to find the baby and uncover who they were sent to escort.
7 "A Rebellious Woman" Richard Clark James Payne 9 March 2014 (2014-03-09) 5.69
A young girl is killed trying to deliver a petition to the Queen as the royal coach passed. The petition was from wealthy noblewoman Comtesse Ninon De Larroque (Annabelle Wallis) pleading for womens education and rights. The Cardinal receives an offer from the Catholic Church if he can convict the Comtesse of witchcraft. Arrested and taken to a convent for trial, Milady's testimony guarantees conviction and when the Cardinal is mysteriously poisoned the musketeers must find the culprit before the Comtesse is burnt at the stake.
8 "The Challenge" Farren Blackburn Susie Conklin 16 March 2014 (2014-03-16) 5.45
The prisoner Labarge (Vinnie Jones) the Musketeers were escorting kills the captain of the Cardinal's Red Guards and the animosity between the Musketeers and the Red Guard leads to the King ordering a challenge between the best fighter from the Musketeers and the Red Guards. Captain Treville arranges a contest between Musketeers and chooses himself when he learns the Cardinal has enlisted Labarge into the Red Guards.
9 "Knight Takes Queen" Andy Hay Peter McKenna 23 March 2014 (2014-03-23) 5.25
The King is disillusioned with the Queen's inability to have children and covets Charlotte Mellendorf (Charlotte Hope) as a possible new Queen. Under Musketeer protection the Queen, at a forest pool known for it powers of fertility, escapes an assassination attempt and with Aramis and Athos they flee to a convent pursued by the attackers who lay siege to the convent. With the nuns help they defend the convent while d'Artagnan and Porthos return to Paris for help and discover who is paying the attackers.
10 "Musketeers Don't Die Easily" Farren Blackburn Adrian Hodges 30 March 2014 (2014-03-30) 5.27
A drunken Athos takes his estranged wife Milady, hostage in the town square, the fact d'Artagnan knows her then causes a rift to develop between the Musketeers. This gives the Cardinal and Milady the belief they can wreak their revenge against the king's soldiers. Milady returns to the slums to employ Sarazin (Sean Pertwee) to kill the Musketeers putting Constance's life in danger. The full extent of the Cardinal's treachery against the Queen is revealed but her response is a surprise.

Series 2[edit]

The show was commissioned for a second series on 9 February 2014.[5] Filming began in April 2014, with one of the directors being John Strickland.[13]

Home video release[edit]

Series 1 of The Musketeers was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 31 March 2014.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

The Musketeers initially received mixed reviews from critics which 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 will 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]

International broadcast[edit]

The first series of The Musketeers was broadcast in Norway beginning on 2 March 2014 on NRK.[18] 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 Sunday, 22 June 2014 on BBC America.[21]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b "Series 2". Cultbox. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (11 September 2007). "BBC lines up swashbuckling shows". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Hemley, Matthew. "Modern take on The Three Musketeers comes to BBC1". The Stage. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Location Guide". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Munn, Patrick. "TV Wise". Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "BBC America Joins British 'Musketeers' Series". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  11. ^ http://www.thewrap.com/bbc-americas-musketeers-gets-premiere-date-season-2-order/
  12. ^ "Weekly Viewing Summary (see relevant week)". BARB. 
  13. ^ https://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/photos/pb.470911516262605.-2207520000.1400340071./748420375178383/?type=3&theater
  14. ^ Jim Shelley. "The Musketeers was a French farce firing blanks, by Jim Shelley | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  15. ^ Morgan Jeffery. "The Musketeers: Episode 3 review - Trading action for character drama by Morgan Jeffery; Digital Spy". Digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Rob Kemp. "The Musketeers episode 3 review: Commodities by Rob Kemp; Digital Spy". Denofgeek.com. 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. ^ http://www.tv4.se/musket%C3%B6rerna/avsnitt/avsnitt-1-170535
  20. ^ https://www.ote.gr/documents/10280/44350976/100314_new_series_otetv_en.doc/defc068d-85dd-47bd-8266-5a6cca59857d
  21. ^ The Musketeers | BBC America

External links[edit]