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So cosy and traditional is The Musketeers in many ways that the show needs to work extra hard not to become predictable and staid.
Last week's offering was a little too by-the numbers, but 'The Exiles' - a pacy tale of Royal conspiracy - manages to pepper plenty of decent plot twists throughout, whilst still maintaining that period romp feel.
Given Aramis' prowess with the ladies, you'd be forgiven for expecting a perfunctory romance plot the moment he's tasked with protecting Amy Nuttall's beautiful widow Agnes.
But thanks to strong performances from Nuttall and Cabrera, and the wise decision not to ever have Agnes leap into the Musketeer's arms, their connection is portrayed as something more meaningful than a fleeting passion. »
TV: House Of Cards
Season two of the Emmy-winning Us political drama premiered last Friday. Catch up with Kevin Spacey's skullduggerous Democratic congressman Frank Underwood as he climbs the greasy pole to assume the role of vice president – or dig back through all 13 episodes of season one, which is still available on Netflix.
TV: The Musketeers
Luke Pasqualino is the swashbuckling d'Artagnan and Peter Capaldi excels as dastardly Cardinal Richelieu in this frothy but entertaining take on Alexandre Dumas's 19th-century tale, which has just scored a second series. You can catch up with the first four episodes now on iPlayer.
TV: Amazon Pilots
- Gwilym Mumford
The BBC One drama has been renewed for a second series, but Capaldi will not reprise his role of Cardinal Richelieu due to commitments to Doctor Who.
"I'm sure he was made an offer he couldn't refuse and all of us respect that," Pasqualino - who plays D'Artagnan - told Digital Spy last night at the Ee and Esquire pre-bafta party.
"But he was an amazing asset to this show, he is a very generous and lovely man and I wish him every success for the future. We understand it's business."
The 23-year-old added that he thinks Capaldi will be "amazing" as the new Doctor.
"He is one of the greatest character actors of our time - there is no reason why he won't be amazing," the star said.
Pasqualino also revealed »
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 »
NCIS: Channel 5, 9pm
Everybody's favourite naval crime show is back for its tenth series! Tonight's premiere episode focuses on the aftermath of Harper Dearing's bomb attack on the NCIS headquarters. The FBI are on the hunt for Dearing but it looks as though he is two steps ahead of the game - will he get away with the attack? Or will justice prevail?
Grimm: Watch, 9pm
Tonight brings the third season premiere of supernatural drama series Grimm. Nick has seemingly been killed by Baron Samedi and his friends brave the zombie outbreak across Portland to recover his body. However, Nick soon rises from the grave and is more than the Baron can handle - expect zombies and havoc galore!
Inside No 9: BBC Two, 10pm
BBC One's new revamp of The Musketeers is - as noted last week - essentially Dumas' classic novel reshaped to mimic the formula of a contemporary cop drama. So it's rather fitting that episode two sees Luke Pasqualino's spirited D'Artagnan go undercover to ally himself with a infamous and enigmatic criminal.
Jason Flemyng has always been a hugely charismatic performer and it's chiefly his towering turn as the villainous Vadim - less a Parisian Guy Fawkes and more a 17th century Hans Gruber - that makes 'Sleight of Hand' so eminently watchable.
Indeed, so good is Flemyng that the episode suffers when he's not on-screen. Like last week's premiere, 'Sleight' opens big and bold and then meanders in the middle, losing much of its momentum as attention shifts from Vadim's skullduggery to the Musketeers' investigation into the miscreant's past.
But in an echo of last week's ebb and flow, »
Here at Digital Spy, we've been a big fan of Sean Teale's ever since we met him on set for Skins back in 2011. Imagine our excitement, therefore, when we found out he'd be popping up in series two of Mr Selfridge!
After getting our first glimpse of Sean's character Franco last Sunday, we gave him a call to find out what he has in store for us in the coming series. Expect silver service, scuffles, the war and some romantic tension...
How's it been since the episode went out the other night?
"Good, yeah, good. I mean, I was in the cinema watching The Wolf of Wall Street, but it was good from what I gather. It's weird to think that six million people watch anything, but yeah - I think people liked it. I think people found it funny, which is good, because it was fun to make. »
Call the Midwife: BBC One, 8pm
The hit 1950s-set drama continues tonight. Jenny (Jessica Raine) is promoted to Acting Sister, and a pregnant woman comes to Nonnatus House with an unborn child who is not her husband's - and the real father is black.
The Jump: Channel 4, 8pm
With the Sochi Winter Olympics coming up, Channel 4 has clearly decided that diving on live TV is too safe, and has whipped up 12 celebrities to compete against each other in some of the most challenging winter sports. Tonight, six celebrities face the skeleton - which is precisely as terrifying as it sounds. Davina McCall presents.
The Musketeers: BBC One, 9pm
In the second episode of the swashbuckling drama, the criminal Vadim (Jason Flemyng) starts a riot with sinister intentions, and D'Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) attempts to prove that he's capable of joining the regiment.
Mr Selfridge: ITV, 9pm »
"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. »
From the talented minds of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the duo behind the excellent Psychoville and The League of Gentlemen (with Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson) comes a brand new series entitled Inside No. 9.
Over the next six weeks we will be served six different macabre tales where what appears to be ordinary suddenly turns a little less than ordinary. The stories range from a country house where a game of Sardines reveals some chilling revelations, a blood-soaked actor’s dressing room, or a one-bedroomed flat of a happy primary school teacher (well apparently happy). If you're fans of the duo’s work you will know there will be dark comedy woven through these instalments, twists that throw you and horrific turns; for those of us remember Tales of the Unexpected with Roald Dahl this may ring many bells with you.
Our first episode Sardines starts with the »
- Gary Collinson
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
Call the Midwife: BBC One, 8pm
The third series kicks off with the nuns and midwives moving into the new incarnation of Nonnatus House. Apart from this change, it's business as usual as Jenny (Jessica Raine) becomes concerned about the mental state of a new mother, while Chummy (Miranda Hart) struggles to adjust to domestic life.
The Musketeers: BBC One, 9pm
The famous Musketeers of the Alexandre Dumas novel are re-imagined in a brand new series. This first episode sees swordsman d'Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) arriving in 17th-century Paris seeking revenge for the death of his father. His quest soon brings him into contact with three young Musketeers (Tom Burke, Howard Charles and Santiago Cabrera) and the scheming Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi)...
Mr Selfridge: ITV, 9pm
The second series of the glossy period drama sees the store celebrating its fifth anniversary, while the prospect of a war in Europe looms. »
The BBC's adaptation of The Three Musketeers departs strikingly from the original, with its 23-year-old D'Artagnan, its Made In Chelsea lookalike and its pistols, but such liberty-taking ignores Dumas's influence as a seminal historical novelist
Almost everything is wrong about the first episode of the 10-part BBC adaptation of The Three Musketeers, which starts on Sunday. Played by Luke Pasqualino, 23, its D'Artagnan is no teenager (the novel calls him "Don Quixote at 18"), and is not marked out by accent as a Gascon. The Musketeers's opening sequence meddles with Alexandre Dumas's beginning so it resembles a modern movie thriller's violent prologue, thereby distorting D'Artagnan's motivation when he meets and joins Aramis, Athos and Porthos. Wintry rain and snow make his journey to Paris hazardous, although Dumas sets his initial chapters in April.
Equally prone to depart from the original are the scenes at the 1620s French court. Louis Xiii, »
- John Dugdale
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 »
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 »
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