TV Review: The Musketeers Take 2

Thursday 13 February 2014 by

The Musketeers, BBC, TV,

As we come up to the halfway point of BBC One’s new Sunday night drama, The Musketeers, I thought I would do a quick review of where we are.

As you may remember, I was rather derisive of the series to begin with. It felt flat and uncertain, and I was wondering why Ripper Street had been replaced by something so… meh.

But I’m allowed to be wrong.

Okay, so it’s still fabulously, outrageously, panto. The dialogue is less laden with drama and more with witty asides and hammy outrage. The swashbuckling is still more swash than buckle. But they lay it on thick, and for some reason – I love it. In fact, I was overjoyed to hear it was already signed for another series.

The Musketeers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis – and tag-along D’Artagnan (Tom Burke, Howard Charles, Santiago Cabrera and Luke Pasqualino respectively) are not only adorable, easy on the eye and full of both swash and buckle, but they definitely carry this series. Their camaraderie is palpable and I do think a lot of it is genuine. The delivery of their lines is delicious and I’m pretty sure they went to Serious and Brooding School (and How to Grow an Impressive Beard School – but that’s another story).

My love of Peter Capaldi simply grows with every onscreen appearance. As Cardinal Richelieu he is the Best BBC One Sunday Night Baddie with Rubbish Lines Ever. His eye-popping, spittle-inflected “Sorry… I assume you’re joking!?” in the last episode was toe-curlingly brilliant.

So far, this series, we have discovered Milady (Maimie McCoy) and her amorous past with Athos, Captain Treville (Hugo Speer) and Richelieu are in the habit of scheming together, Constance (Tamla Kari) and D’Artagnan are very good at making puppy eyes at each other, and Aramis and Porthos like to run around making trouble. It’s all very entertaining.

There doesn’t seem to be an overall story arc for the series, but rather lots of mini-stories per episode. Which means you don’t really have to worry about keeping up (it wouldn’t be hard to if I’m honest). This series is one where you just need to be along for the ride, and enjoy every second of it.

All for one and one for all, and all that!

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