Sharpe's Gold (TV programme)

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Sharpe's Gold
Written byBernard Cornwell (novel)
Nigel Kneale
Directed byTom Clegg
StarringSean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Hugh Fraser
John Tams
Michael Mears
Jason Salkey
Lyndon Davies
Hugh Ross
Rosaleen Linehan
Jayne Ashbourne
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Running time100 min.
Original release1995
Preceded bySharpe's Honour
Followed bySharpe's Battle

Sharpe's Gold is a 1995 British television drama, the sixth of a series screened on the ITV network that follows the career of Richard Sharpe, a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. The drama has almost nothing in common with the novel of the same name by Bernard Cornwell. Scriptwriter Nigel Kneale explained, "I didn't use much of [the book]. I used the first ten pages, I think. Then I had an idea which would be more fun to do. It was all about magic by the time I was through with it."[1]

Plot summary[edit]

It is summer 1813. Lord Wellington (Hugh Fraser) is preparing to invade France from Spain after the winning the campaign on the Iberian peninsula.

Meanwhile, Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) gets into serious trouble when he tries unsuccessfully to save one of his riflemen, Skillicorn (Philip Dowd), from being executed by the zealous Lieutenant Ayres (Ian Shaw) for stealing a chicken. To maintain discipline in his army, Wellington makes Sharpe apologise to Ayres.

Bess Nugent (Rosaleen Linehan) and her daughter Ellie (Jayne Ashbourne), arrive unannounced from Ireland to visit their cousin, Wellington. They are there to search for Bess's husband, Will (Peter Eyre). Wellington however refuses to assist their foolhardy mission, demanding they go home. Sharpe and Ellie become attracted to each other.

Wellington assigns Sharpe the task of handing over 50 rifles in exchange for some British deserters caught by a feared Spanish guerrilla leader named El Casco (Abel Folk). The Provost Marshal insists that some of his men go along, so Sharpe is saddled with Ayres. Later, the two ladies catch up to Sharpe's detachment, forcing him to take them along for their protection. On the way, they repel an attack by French cavalry led by Lieutenant Barbier (Julian Sims). Ellie becomes distraught after having to shoot and kill a young Frenchman. When Sharpe tries to comfort her away from the others, they embrace.

The trade goes as planned. However, Ellie then discovers that one of the deserters has her father's pipe. When Sharpe refuses to begin a search, the Nugents ride off, forcing Sharpe to go after them. The riflemen spot Barbier's detachment and drive them off with a surprise attack.

The ladies encounter El Casco's men; Bess is killed and Ellie taken captive. When she is taken to El Casco's cave lair, she finds her father, though he has become deranged. Sharpe tracks them down with the help of Barbier, whose men were captured and had their hearts cut out while still alive by the partisans (who believe they are descendants of shipwrecked Aztecs). Sharpe attacks the Spaniards and rescues Ellie and her father. El Casco kills Ayres and wounds Sharpe, but is killed by Sergeant Harper (Daragh O'Malley). Back at camp, Will recovers his senses and thanks Sharpe.


Actor Character
Sean Bean Richard Sharpe
Daragh O'Malley Sergeant Patrick Harper
Hugh Fraser Sir Arthur Wellesley
Hugh Ross Major Mungo Munro
Michael Mears Rifleman Francis Cooper
John Tams Rifleman Daniel Hagman
Jason Salkey Rifleman Harris
Lyndon Davies Rifleman Perkins
Rosaleen Linehan Bess Nugent
Jayne Ashbourne Ellie Nugent
Peter Eyre Will Nugent
Abel Folk El Casco
Philip McGough Provost Marshal
Ian Shaw Lieutenant Ayres
Julian Sims Lieutenant Barbier
Diana Perez Ramona
Philip Dowd Rifleman Skillicorn
Peter-Hugo Daly Sergeant Rodd
Nicholas McGaughey Tripper
Jake Abraham Donkin
Jonathan McGuinness Bewley


  1. ^ Murray, Andy (2006). Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale (paperback). London: Headpress. p. 175. ISBN 1-900486-50-4.

External links[edit]