The Scarlet Pimpernel: Season 1, Episode 2

Valentin Gautier (31 Oct. 1999)
"Valentin Gautier/The Scarlet Pimpernel Meets Madame Guillotine" (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 159 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

Sir Percy learns that Helene de Rochambeau remained in hiding in the Vendee of France after an attack. Robespierre sends Chauvelin to find her. The town of Cholet, however, is controlled by Gabrielle Damiens aka Mlle. Guillotine.

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Title: Valentin Gautier (31 Oct 1999)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Jeffrey ...
Marquis de Rochambeau
Robert Langdon Lloyd ...
Father Joseph
...
Helene de Rochambeau
Denise Black ...
Gabrielle Damiens
...
Vanel
Edith MacArthur ...
Mother Superior
...
...
...
Beth Goddard ...
Milton Johns ...
...
...
Henri
...
...
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Storyline

Sir Percy learns that Helene de Rochambeau remained in hiding in the Vendee of France after an attack. Robespierre sends Chauvelin to find her. The town of Cholet, however, is controlled by Gabrielle Damiens aka Mlle. Guillotine.

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Genres:

Adventure | Drama

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Release Date:

31 October 1999 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The character Henri, played by James Callis, is based on a real rebel aristocrat from the French Revolution. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Scarlet Pimpernel: A King's Ransom (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Take my wife - please!"
13 April 2005 | by (Yorkshire, England) – See all my reviews

This is 'based on' at least three of Orczy's 'Scarlet Pimpernel' series

  • 'Mam'zelle Guillotine', 'The Elusive Pimpernel' (Marguerite being


used as bait), and 'Sir Percy Hits Back' (Chauvelin's past) - but only very loosely. Which is why I prefer it to the first Richard E. Grant 'Scarlet Pimpernel': it isn't a retelling of a familiar story, it's a new screenplay working from the key plots of three lesser known novels. I therefore couldn't object as wholeheartedly as I did to the dreadful 'interpretation' of the main story. Overall, this was very exciting and beautifully filmed, but there is still something lacking with the main characters. Richard E. Grant is a very good actor, but he is not Sir Percy - he's far too energetic as the foppish baronet, and too arrogant as the Pimpernel. Anthony Green, here lurking in the supporting cast as Sir Andrew Ffoulkes, would have been a better choice. And Elizabeth McGovern does not live up to the role of the beautiful and impulsive Marguerite: I know the actress had to concentrate on a stiff British accent, but even when she isn't speaking, she struggles with portraying strong emotions (the inane smile as she nursed somebody who was dying, for instance - tears? Anguish?) McGovern doesn't even look delicate and graceful in the lavish costumes she got to wear, thus even failing as a clothes horse! The other cast members, particularly Denise Black as Mam'zelle Guillotine and Ronan Vibert as Robespierre, were much more successful, managing to nail Orczy's descriptions and portray strong characters on screen. I was relieved to find the scene where Sir Percy announces himself as Chauvelin to Mam'zelle Guillotine - a return to the spirit of the book, if a little lacking in creative disguise (leaning heavily on bluff and bluster, rather than dressing the part), although the tension was rather let down by the 'interaction' of McGovern's Marguerite. And the 'seduction' was not out of character for Sir Percy - or rather, the character Sir Percy was playing - as the Scarlet Pimpernel gets rather too close to Gabrielle (albeit in a Victorian sense) in the book as well.


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