I really like this adaptation of the Scarlet Pimpernel. If you like Costume Dramas and a bit of a romantic who loves adventure, you will love this series. Brilliant Value for money!
The cast in the first season is a really good. It is a rich and entertaining piece to watch. Richard E Grant gives a brilliant performance as Sir Percy/ Scarlet Pimpernel. In my mind he doesn't go too OTT with the ridiculous while trying to express the foppiness of Percy, which is refreshing and makes him as the pimpernel, more realistic. Martin Shaw also gives a good and realistic performance as Chauvelin, the arch enemy who is desperately trying to capture the hero.
I should stress now, that like most TV series based of books, a certain amount of the original gets 'Thrown out the window'. This is certainly true of this adaptation, where the writers have clearly chosen to only faintly stick the the original work. Sir Percy in the books makes carefully laid plans and wears disguies, this doesn't happen in the series, which is a shame as I think Richard E Grant as percy would of been really good. However, Provided you aren't a loyal fan of the books, you will find the series a brilliant watch.
So why the 3 stars? Well, I just don't think the second series is as good as it could of been. They threw out almost everything that made the first season so good. Within the first ten minutes of the second series, we have lost Marguerite (Elizabeth McGovern), who apparently dies in childbirth (off screen) and Chauvelin who dissapears with next to no explaination. I didn't understand why they did this, since the death of Marguerite doesn't actually happen in the books and as a result the piece has lost almost all of it's romance. Chauvelin is replaced with a selection of different enemies for the pimpernel (seemingly a different one for each episode). All give good performances but it lacks a main, dark character you can really hate as a good adversary for the pimpernel. It is a real shame and this may annoy fans of the first series and books.