20 items from 2014
We're now halfway through the first series of The Musketeers, BBC1's jaunty adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's classic tale of sabres and statecraft in 17th-century Paris. It got off to a suitably swaggering start; consolidated viewing figures for the first episode were 9.3m, an impressive total whichever way you slice it, and it has been trumpeted as BBC1's most successful new drama launch since Call the Midwife. A second series was commissioned after three episodes had aired. It even went a bit viral thanks to an infographic that helpfully matched up the unfamiliar new cast with their Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds counterparts (though it somehow mixed up Porthos and Athos).
But this week things have gone a little wonky. The Musketeers originally went »
- Graeme Virtue
One of the most Our Kind of Shows-friendly networks, The CW, has done us a few more favors, bless ‘em. They’ve given us not only the dates for the season finales of all Our Kind of Shows that they broadcast – that’s Arrow, The Tomorrow People, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Star-Crossed, and The 100 – but tacked on a new one as a bonus!
Well, it’s not a new series, but Labyrinth is a four-hour miniseries, and it stars so many familiar faces. The War Doctor! The Winter Soldier! Draco Malfoy! Defiance‘s Datak Tarr! Winter’s Tale‘s Beverly! More info about that below, along with the season finale dates and times. The SciFi Mafia Calendar (see the Calendar tab above) has also been updated.
- Erin Willard
Review Rob Kemp 23 Feb 2014 - 22:00
Has The Musketeers bitten off more than it can chew with its latest raft of social issues? Here's Rob's review of episode 5...
This review contains spoilers.
1.5 The Homecoming
Post the BAFTA-inflicted break, it was back to business with The Musketeers in their latest offering, The Homecoming, written by show runner Adrian Hodges and directed by Richard Clark (who directed the excellent Doctor Who episode, The Doctor’s Wife and previous Musketeers episode, The Good Soldier). Already at its mid-season point, the show has done well to inject some flair and freshness into an old tale by taking stylistic risks whilst remaining respectful to its source. The Homecoming should therefore present little risk, especially with the talent behind the camera, to the established formula – indeed, with Porthos’ turn as ‘Musketeer of the Week’ it should represent an opportunity to hit a high, with Charles’ portrayal »
Perhaps it was once watching him beat Luke Pasqualino to death with a bat back in his Skins days, but I'd suspected that there was a darker side to Hugo Speer's Captain Treville and those seeds bear fruit in another strong edition of BBC One's The Musketeers.
Similar to last week's instalment, 'The Good Soldier' uses a thriller plot to shed light on characters' backstories - both Treville and Santiago Cabrera's Aramis benefit this week, while Adrian Hodges's script also makes better use of Peter Capaldi's Cardinal than the past three episodes have managed.
The episode concerns a visit to France from Vincent Regan's brutish Duke of Savoy - both King Louis (Ryan Gage) and Richelieu are eager to have the Duke sign a treaty and lure Savoy away from their enemies in Spain.
But sins of the past soon threaten the alliance, as allegations »
News Louisa Mellor 9 Feb 2014 - 11:00
A second series of new BBC Sunday night drama The Musketeers is on its way...
Good news. The Musketeers' combination of period intrigue, impressive swordplay, handsome troubled heroes and a guest star parade of established UK talent has earned it a second series.
Writer Adrian Hodges (Survivors, Primeval) made it clear from the outset that his take on Alexandre Dumas' seventeenth century characters was not an adaptation of the original novel but in keeping with its spirit. The series' poetic license with the Dumas quartet meant that a second, and why not, a third and fourth series were all possibilities. If the show can maintain the ratings success of its first three episodes, which, between them, averaged over six million viewers in the overnights, it can look ahead to a robust future on BBC One.
Series two will see the return of all four Musketeers, »
The period romp launched with 9.3m total viewers on January 19, with the first three episodes averaging 6.3m in overnights.
BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore said: "Drama in 2014 has got off to a great start on BBC One and The Musketeers has really brought something fresh and new to the channel. I can't wait to see how things will develop in the next series."
"Writing and helping produce the show has been one of the greatest challenges and joys of my professional life," Hodges said.
Further cast details are yet to be announced, »
Interview Louisa Mellor 7 Feb 2014 - 07:00
Warning: contains a major spoiler for Skins series four.
Luke Pasqualino arrived on our screens in 2009 as Freddie McClair, beautiful stoner teen and doomed paramour of Kaya Scodelario's Effy Stonem in E4's Skins. Since then, he's dipped into his Italian heritage in The Borgias, played a young Bill Adama in now-defunct Battlestar Galactica prequel Blood and Chrome, and can currently be seen on BBC One on Sunday nights as impetuous young swordsman D'Artagnan in adventure series, The Musketeers.
We chatted to Pasqualino about his role in the new BBC series, his forthcoming part in the much-anticipated Snowpiercer from director Joon Ho Bong, and how one sets about measuring up to Edward James Olmos. What's more, we made it through the entire interview »
BBC motoring show attracts its biggest launch audience since 2011, scoring a rare victory over ITV's All Star Family Fortunes
Top Gear returned to BBC2 for its 21st series with more than 5 million viewers on Sunday night, its biggest launch show since 2011.
This was enough to give BBC2 a rare ratings victory over ITV, which could only manage 4.3 million viewers (16.3%) for All Star Family Fortunes between 7.45pm and 8.30pm, and 4.2 million (15%) for the Dancing on Ice: Skate Off between 8.30pm and 9pm.
Top Gear, which accounted for half of the BBC's top 20 most popular shows on the BBC's iPlayer last year, was up on the 4.7 million who saw the show's return last summer, and 5.1 million who watched in January 2012.
It was the most popular Top Gear opening episode »
- John Plunkett
Review Rob Kemp 2 Feb 2014 - 22:00
The Musketeers delves further into Athos' past in episode three. Here's Rob's review of Commodities...
This review contains spoilers.
Commodities sees The Musketeers head in a different direction from its opening episodes. With style, characters and setting largely established it is perhaps unsurprising that writer Adrian Hodges decided to add some darker layers to what had been up to now, the very bright personalities of the Musketeers themselves. The series has won a lot of people over with its fun and adventurous take on this well-loved story, any departure – especially so soon in the season – could therefore be considered risky. The question is, will the change win over those critics who wanted a little more drama with their swashbuckling?
On first glance, Commodities’ opening would appear no different, stylistically speaking, than those that have come before it. Heavy on the action and humour, »
"Yeah, he's a lovely guy - we've always got on really well. When I left Primeval, it was my choice - the contract came up [so I left, but] I went back and did one episode to get me out of the show.
"It was something that I was proud of but I missed doing my movies. I think that's really where my heart lies - not jobs that go on for years and years. I'm too nomadic to do that. »
Sunday night was a big one for new and returning British dramas in the UK. The Season 2 premiere of Jeremy Piven-starrer Mr Selfridge on ITV had an average 5.27M viewers for a 20.5% share, according to the overnights. That’s about 2M less than last year’s Season 1 bow of the department store period series. Season 2 kicks off in the States on PBS on March 31, the same day that Season 3 of Call The Midwife starts. That hit period medical drama returned to BBC One on Sunday night with a record 9.61M viewers and a 36.1% share. It was the most-watched program of the weekend in the UK and also the highest-rated episode ever of the show’s career. Midwife provided a strong lead-in for new BBC One series The Musketeers in its debut, which was up against Mr Selfridge. The updated spin on the classic tales of Alexandre Dumas stars new Doctor Who, »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
When Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005, it resurrected the notion of airing kid-friendly drama on a Saturday night, with Merlin and more recently Atlantis attempting to fill the void whenever Who was absent.
With The Musketeers, the BBC is taking a stab (no pun intended) at reviving another TV staple - the glossy Sunday night family drama - and on this early evidence, Primeval creator Adrian Hodges's revamp of the Alexandre Dumas classic is a palpable hit.
Hodges makes The Three Musketeers work for a modern age by essentially using Dumas's 1844 story as the template for a period procedural - right down to the tongue-lashing they receive from Hugo Speer's Captain Treville in his office, our Musketeers are cast as the maverick cops of 17th century Paris.
There's plenty of action, humour and saucy bed-hopping from the get-go, while the framing story is, appropriately enough, a »
Review Rob Kemp 19 Jan 2014 - 22:00
Rob checks out the first episode of the BBC's new adventure drama, The Musketeers...
So the BBC has a problem. What can it use to plug the hole left by one of its most successful series? Step forward, The Musketeers.
The show's well-edited trailers have promised big budget period action and drama imbued with a style and energy that should attract even those who may feel uninspired by yet another adaptation of Dumas’ classic. However, punchy trailers do not a good show make, so the question remains; does the BBC still have a problem?
In some ways, The Musketeers would seem like a safe choice. It’s material that has been endlessly copied, re-imagined and revamped and with such wide popularity there is already a high level of recognition and understanding. People sitting down to watch this show are going to know exactly what they’re going to get. »
Being touted as “A thrilling world of action, adventure and romance inspired by Dumas’ legendary characters” by the BBC, tonight is the premiere of its’ latest historical action drama ‘The Musketeers’. If you don’t know the plot already the series will follow the fortunes of The Musketeers - an elite band of soldiers operating in 17th century Paris. D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino), Athos (Tom Burke), Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) and Porthos (Howard Charles) fight for what is right against Cardinal Richelieu, the main enemy of the Musketeers, played by none-other than 12th Doctor Peter “Kidneys!” Capaldi.
The 10-part series has a cracking cast, top quality writing in the form of My Week With Marilyn writer Adrian Hodges and, if the trailer is anything to go by, some serious action to keep us entertained. Watch the trailer below and don’t forget to tune in to BBC1 tonight at 9pm.
- Victoria Bull
The stars of The Musketeers talk the BBC's "dark" and "edgy" reboot in a new Digital Spy video.
Tamla Kari (Constance Bonacieux) tells DS that the new Sunday night drama "doesn't follow the typical Musketeers story that everybody knows".
"We're putting a modern spin on it," agrees Luke Pasqualino (D'Artagnan) "It's not the standard fairy-tale Musketeers that you're used to."
The series begins this Sunday (January 19) at 9pm on BBC One.
Watch a trailer for The Musketeers below:
Catch up on all the latest TV and Movies releases in Digital »
Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey"), Sebastian Stan ("Captain America: The First Avenger"), Tom Felton ("Harry Potter") and veteran acting legend John Hurt lead a cast that includes Janet Suzman, Claudia Gerini, Katie McGrath, Emun Elliott and Tony Curran.
The story follows two women separated by centuries who are united by the search for the Holy Grail, the action switching between 13th century and modern-day France.
Source: The Live Feed »
- Garth Franklin
BBC One has released new pictures from its Sunday night drama The Musketeers.
"I hope the audience takes [the show] for what it is," said Pasqualino. "I don't want them to think this is anything like the way The Musketeers has been portrayed before. I think we have a very different vibe to it."
The show is being pitched against ITV's period drama Mr Selfridge, which kicks off its second series in the same slot.
Watch a trailer »
But the characters from the novel that make it into the show won't only be the title characters. Cardinal Richelieu, famed thorn in the musketeers' side in the novel, will also be causing trouble in the BBC version.
Richelieu is played by none other than Peter Capaldi, the recently announced 12th Doctor from fellow BBC program "Doctor Who." "Musketeers" star Santiago Cabrera tells the 2014 TCA press tour that Capaldi was a joy to work alongside.
"He's a fantastic actor. He just brings incredible value to this first season as the Cardinal, the sort-of counter to the musketeers. He's a pleasure to work with and have him on board," says Cabrera. "Having Peter as the Cardinal has been an amazing plus on the show. »
ITV's period series returns on Sunday, January 19 at 9pm, the same night and time that BBC One will launch its new historical drama.
Capaldi recently revealed that he injured himself during filming, dislocating his thumb while shooting a scene with co-star Maimie McCoy.
Alexandra Dowling - who plays Queen Anne on the show - has said that the former Thick of It star is "brilliant" in his role as the sinister Cardinal.
"It's just such brilliant casting I think," Dowling said. »
The Doctor Who actor plays the villainous Cardinal Richelieu in BBC One's forthcoming adventure series.
"It's just such brilliant casting I think," Dowling said. "I couldn't imagine anyone else doing it now. He is the ultimate cardinal in my view.
"When he is acting as the cardinal, he oozes this kind of sinister quality and it's brilliant. He was just fascinating to watch and a lovely man to work with. I couldn't say enough good things about him."
Watch a trailer for The Musketeers »
20 items from 2014
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