The Musketeers is a BBC period action drama programme based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers and co-produced by BBC America and BBC Worldwide. The first episode was shown on BBC One on 19 January 2014. It stars Tom Burke as Athos, Santiago Cabrera as Aramis, Howard Charles as Porthos, Luke Pasqualino as d'Artagnan, with Tamla Kari as Constance, Maimie McCoy as Milady de Winter, Ryan Gage as King Louis XIII and Alexandra Dowling as Queen Anne. It also features Peter Capaldi as Cardinal Richelieu in the first series and Marc Warren as Comte de Rochefort in the second series, with Rupert Everett as the Marquis de Feron for the final series.
|Created by||Adrian Hodges|
|Theme music composer||Murray Gold|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||30 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||54–60 minutes|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||19 January 2014 –|
1 August 2016[a]
Jessica Pope and Adrian Hodges produce the show for the BBC. The programme is largely filmed in the Czech Republic. In February 2015, it was announced that the show had been renewed for a third series, which was announced in April 2016 to be the last. The third series premiered in multiple countries first, before premiering in the UK on 28 May 2016, and concluding on 1 August 2016.
In 1630s Paris, Athos, Aramis and Porthos are a group of highly trained musketeers commanded by Captain Treville who meet d'Artagnan, a skillful farm boy with hopes of becoming a musketeer. The series follows them as they fight to protect King and country.
- Tom Burke as Athos
- Santiago Cabrera as Aramis
- Peter Capaldi as Cardinal Richelieu (series 1)
- Howard Charles as Porthos
- Alexandra Dowling as Queen Anne
- Ryan Gage as King Louis XIII
- Tamla Kari as Constance Bonacieux
- Maimie McCoy as Milady de Winter
- Luke Pasqualino as d'Artagnan
- Hugo Speer as Captain Treville
- Marc Warren as Comte de Rochefort (series 2)
- Matthew McNulty as Lucien Grimaud (series 3)
- Rupert Everett as Marquis de Feron (series 3)
The BBC had been developing the idea of a new series based on The Three Musketeers since as far back as 2007, when the project was envisaged as a Saturday evening show to run between series of Doctor Who. The eventual production of the series was finally announced in 2012, with Adrian Hodges in charge of the project.
Paris was not considered as a filming location because over the decades, development had detracted from the grittier architecture wanted. Dublin was also considered before settling on the Czech Republic, which suffered little damage during the two world wars. Many historic buildings were intact and privately owned stately homes were rented for filming.
Filming for the series took place mainly in Doksany, 30 kilometres north-west of Prague, where a Parisian square, a number of streets and the musketeers garrison were constructed. A disused convent had additional sets constructed including taverns, bedrooms and mortuary.
During filming of the first series Peter Capaldi learned that he had been given the role of the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who. The show's executive producer Jessica Pope commented that they would have to "recalibrate" plans for a prospective second series, in order to accommodate Capaldi now being unable to reprise his role. Marc Warren joined the cast for the second series. The Musketeers was originally planned to be broadcast in 2013, but was later delayed until 2014.
The Musketeers initially received mixed reviews from critics, but they have become more positive as the series has continued. Jim Shelley, writing for the Daily Mail, heavily criticised the programme, saying "The Musketeers didn't take itself too seriously but was still so bad it bordered on self-parody" and that "the quality of the sub-plots hardly merited its 9pm slot in the schedule rather than (like Merlin or Robin Hood) much earlier, consisting of such clichéd set pieces as a fight following an accusation of cheating during a card game and a randy musketeer being caught in the act and having to dangle out of his lover's bedroom window while his mates watched on chuckling". Overall, he said "The main problem with The Musketeers, apart from the quality of the script, the acting and the predictability of the plot, was that there are only so many ways to make sword fights between men wearing blue leather tunics that entertaining or exciting".
However, reviewing the third episode of the drama, Morgan Jeffery, writing for Digital Spy, praised the development of the characters, stating that there was a "real feeling of growth" and that it delivered "something a little more substantial". Den of Geek writer Rob Kemp also gave a positive review, stating that The Musketeers had "won a lot of people over with its fun and adventurous take on this well-loved story", but also wrote that some of the dramatic elements felt "shoe horned and deliberate". Overall, Kemp had hope for the series and praised the change in focus in the third episode, saying that the "time was definitely right to start to explore the characters", before going on to say that the series would have "plenty more opportunities for the Musketeers to hit their more (and hopefully, better) dramatic strides".
Upon its premiere on BBC America, Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times gave the drama a positive review, calling the series "not at all bad, just a bit old-fashioned". She also praised the updates made to the series, writing "purists may be dismayed that Mr. Hodges took so many liberties with the original plot, but purists are rarely any fun".
These are the premiere and finale dates for the show airing on BBC, its origin channel. Series 2 concluded earlier in the US, and Series 3 was aired/released before the UK in multiple countries; see the episode tables and broadcast details for these dates.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||19 January 2014||30 March 2014|
|2||10||2 January 2015||27 March 2015|
|3||10||28 May 2016||1 August 2016|
Shown on BBC One, the first series of The Musketeers was broadcast weekly at 9pm on Sunday nights starting on 19 January 2014. The programme was the highest rated drama to debut that year. For the second series, it was moved to 9pm on Friday nights and screening began on 2 January 2015. The series premiered in the United States on 22 June 2014 on BBC America. The complete first series was "striped" on 3 August 2014 on the Australian Foxtel Cable TV channel BBC First, the day of that channel's premiere. The series started on 18 September 2014 on 'Box' Sky TV in New Zealand.
The third series premiered in Canada on Showcase Canada on 10 April 2016. The full series was made available on Netflix Latin America on 16 April 2016, and on Hulu in the United States on 14 May 2016. The series premiered in the UK on 28 May 2016.
Home media releaseEdit
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||Region A||Region B|
|Series One||10||26 August 2014||31 March 2014||6 August 2014||26 August 2014||31 March 2014|
|Series Two||10||21 April 2015||6 April 2015||15 April 2015||21 April 2015||6 April 2015|
|Series One & Two||20||N/A||6 April 2015||15 April 2015||N/A||6 April 2015|
|Series Three||10||11 October 2016||15 August 2016||19 October 2016||11 October 2016||15 August 2016|
|The Complete Collection||30||N/A||15 August 2016||19 October 2016||N/A||15 August 2016|
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