The Musketeers Episode One
The Musketeers is yet another riff on the Alexandra Dumas d’Artagnan Romances. This time however it is not a straightforward adaptation of the book but a series based on characters created by Alexander Dumas, which allows them license to do really what the hell they like with the characters. Having said that, all of the characters from the book are present and correct in this version and not one of them are canine.
In this first episode Cardinal Richelieu is trying to discredit the Musketeers by hiring people to pose as them a kill people and be all round nasty bastards to completely discredit them and almost had Athos killed by firing squad for something that he didn’t even do.
As part of this plot by Richelieu, D’Artagnan joins in as in the first episode his father is killed by who he thought was the Musketeers and promptly tried to kill them before realising his mistake and joining forces with them to help unmask his father’s true killers.
It all looks very pretty, and there is some excellent direction going on and some pretty intense fight scenes showing the prowess of the Musketeers and it is amazing how much modern day Prague looks like seventeenth century France!
It doesn’t take itself at all seriously and is generally very enjoyable Sunday night viewing, hard hitting serious drama it is not, but, I am not sure that it would work as well if it did take itself seriously.
The Musketeers themselves are very laddish; King Louis XIII is a wet blanket and Peter Capaldi portrays Cardinal Richelieu with moustache twirling relish making him the standout character in the episode and probably of the series as a whole, although it might be a bit early to make such a bold statement, but I am going to make it anyway!
Coming a close second I would have to say is Mamie McCoy as the femme fatale Milady de Winter, a former lover of Athos who now wants revenge and started off by bedding D’Artagnan not long after the episode started and later went bat-shit crazy during a confession, she is going to be an interesting character in this series.
The Musketeers themselves were probably the least interesting characters in the first episode for me, which I am not sure is a good thing or not considering the show is called The Musketeers, but as this is very much an ensemble cast I think that they will just about get away with it.
I think the best way to describe this series is “The Three Musketeers for the Hollyoaks generation.”