Sharpe's Honour (TV programme)

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Sharpe's Honour
Written byBernard Cornwell (novel)
Colin MacDonald
Directed byTom Clegg
StarringSean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Hugh Fraser
Michael Byrne
Alice Krige
Feodor Atkine
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Running time100 min.
Original releaseJune 8, 1994
Preceded bySharpe's Enemy
Followed bySharpe's Gold

Sharpe's Honour is a 1994 British television drama, the fifth of a series screened on the ITV network that follows the career of Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. It is based on the novel of the same name by Bernard Cornwell.


In 1813, Napoleon is reeling from his disastrous invasion of Russia the year before, and Lord Wellington is preparing to drive the French out of Spain. Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) is mourning the death of his wife Teresa.

Sharpe's archenemy, French Major Ducos (Feodor Atkine), proposes a plan to his emperor to split the alliance between Spain and England (and gain revenge on Sharpe). He has a French spy, la Marquesa (Alice Krige), write a letter to her Spanish husband claiming that Sharpe tried to force his unwanted attentions on her. Sharpe is forced into a duel with the outraged nobleman, but the fight is broken up by Wellington's men. Later that night, while he is sleeping, the Spaniard has his throat cut by El Matarife (Matthew Scurfield), a partisan leader. Sharpe is framed for the murder and is sentenced to hang. To placate his Spanish allies, Wellington is forced to go along.

Major Nairn (Michael Byrne), Wellington's spymaster, arranges for another condemned soldier to be executed (keeping spectators at a distance so the switch can remain undetected), while he sends Sharpe and Sergeant Harper (Daragh O'Malley) to find out what is going on. Meanwhile, Father Hacha (Nickolas Grace) and his brother El Matarife, Ducos' co-conspirators, abduct la Marquesa and imprison her in a nunnery to tie up loose ends. Sharpe learns of this and frees her, only to be chased by El Matarife and his men.

Sharpe is captured by a French patrol and taken to Ducos. The gloating Frenchman tells Sharpe that his duel and the murder of the nobleman has made it possible to negotiate a vital peace treaty with King Ferdinand VII of Spain; the British army will be forced to leave the country. Harper and the rest of Sharpe's "chosen men" infiltrate the French prison in disguise and rescue their commander, just in time for him to play a pivotal role in the British victory at the Battle of Vitoria. Sharpe finds El Matarife at the end of the battle, fights him man to man, and forces him to confess in front of Spanish and British witnesses. El Matarife then tries to stab Sharpe in the back, but is shot by the Spanish major, who now clearly believes Sharpe. With his plot in ruins, Ducos kills Father Hacha.

In his attempt to flee from the advancing British, the arrogant Ducos is hauled from his horse by the routed French soldiers and is shot and left to die (but survives to bedevil Sharpe in the future).


Actor Character
Sean Bean Richard Sharpe
Daragh O'Malley Sergeant Patrick Harper
Hugh Fraser Lord Wellington
Michael Byrne Major Nairn
Alice Krige La Marquesa
Féodor Atkine Major Pierre Ducos
Nickolas Grace Father Hacha
Michael Mears Rifleman Francis Cooper
John Tams Rifleman Daniel Hagman
Jason Salkey Rifleman Harris
Lyndon Davies Rifleman Perkins
Ron Cook Napoleon
Matthew Scurfield El Matarife
Diana Perez Ramona
Ricardo Vélez Major Mendora
Jay Benedict General Verigny
James Saxon Major Vaughan
Anna Savva Mother Superior
Mark Burns General Pakenham
Christopher Owen Rev. Whistler
Ricardo Montez Father Sanchez
Benjamin Soames Trumper Jones
Edward Atterton Capt. Peter D'Alembord

External links[edit]