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The Musketeers - Series 1 [Blu-ray] [2014]

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With its critical acclaim and an ever increasing fan base, BBC ONE’s dazzling new drama The Musketeers will head to DVD and Blu-ray on 24th March 2014 This fresh 10-part adaptation of Dumas’ masterpiece tells the story of an elite group of soldiers who protect their Royal Masters at any cost.

Starring Luke Pasqualino (Skins, The Borgias) as D’Artagnan, Tom Burke (Great Expectations, The Hour) as Athos, Santiago Cabrera (Merlin, Heroes) as Aramis and Howard Charles (Black Forest) as Porthos, the brothers in arms fight for what is just, tackling the evil machinations of Cardinal Richelieu – played by Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Thick Of It).

As they are propelled across seas and battlefields from masquerade balls to a remote convent, the Musketeers defend the honour of the Queen and the life of Constance Bonacieux, d'Artagnan's true love – played by Tamla Kari (The Inbetweeners Movie).

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82 of 95 people found the following review helpful By eva ciechonska on 7 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Fabulous drama, perfectly cast and set. Locations are very atmospheric and the costumes are beautiful. It is a great escapist romp. So pleased the BBC have announced a second series........cannot wait!!

Would like to correct M. Evans who seems to have ethnic issues of his own. Firstly the actor who plays D'Artagnan is not of Asian origin but British born of Italian parents and secondly I am sure Alexandre Dumas (pere) would have applauded the choice of a mixed race actor playing Porthos. After all his own father, Thomas-Alexander Dumas, was mixed race (French father Haitian mother) and a highly decorated general in the French Army. Could be the BBC are paying homage to that......and why not!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C.D.M. on 20 Feb. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I enjoy most of the dramas which the BBC shows like these, Robin Hood, Merlin, Atlantis, they were/are all good..but this one i think is going to be my favourite so far, 4 episodes in and i am hooked.
The casting is fantastic, they have got four really contrasting yet complimentary actors in the main roles, ( i love Aramis/Santiago the best!) and the episodes are fast, fun and feel like a mini movie each week.
Well worth a watch i say!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By T. Cosens TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 April 2014
Format: Blu-ray
The BBC take on a classic story and give it a neat spruce up. The Musketeers may not be historically accurate or totally true to the original book but it is gloriously good fun.

This interpretation has action by the bucket load and a smattering of mystery to hook you to the end. In fact this is exactly what a dull Sunday evening line up needed. An injection of fun.

It's not particularly clever or ground breaking but it does entertain which on a basic level is all a program like this should do. The actors are game and with a few well known cameos littered throughout there is plenty here to like.

It also doesn't follow the same rigid formula the BBC likes to settle into with the likes of Robin Hood, Merlin and to some extent Doctor Who. Each episode offers something new.

The Musketeers offers plenty of bang for its buck and if it isn't as finely crafted as some of the aforementioned shows it certainly has potential to grow. Another series would be most welcome.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Hillsman on 20 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
It may be a bit CSI / NCIS at times with the Musketeers having to solve some sort of mystery (often involving murder), but BBC's Musketeers is a tremendous amount of fun. I always end up smiling at the end of each episode. The plots can be a bit daft, but for me, this is light entertainment - turn the brain off and enjoy. It's well made and the casting is simply perfect - all 4 leads are likable and love the sense of friendship and camaraderie between them - ironically, the show actually does suffer a little from a lack of shared screen time with all 4 Musketeers together; hopefully this will be addressed in the next series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sc Richards on 9 April 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Forget what all the critics say about this series. It does what it says, sword-fights, damsels, villains, shootouts. The casting is excellent and Capaldi is a great Cardinal (hopefully he comes back for 2). The sets and set pieces are fantastic and this is an hour of just putting your brain in comfort mode and just enjoy a bit of swashbuckling! Looking forward to Series 2 and I'm looking forward to some more guest villains like Vinny Jones and Sean Pertwee who obviously had a lot of fun doing it. What about Sean Bean as a guest villain? Now theres a thought and of course we haven't seen Comte de Rochefort yet.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
So, I think that the outstanding BBC adaptation of the first series of the Musketeers is well outstanding because this features all ten episodes that were shown on BBC One and on BBC One HD on Sunday nights at 9:00pm starting from January 2014.
The name of the episodes are called Friends and Enemies, Sleight in Hand, Commodities, The Good Soldier, the Homecoming, the Exiles, A Rebellious Woman, The Challenge, Knight Takes Queen and the grand finale of Musketeers Don't Die Easily.

The plot for the series is that the drama is set in 1630 or you would call it 17th century Paris for which this is a contemporary adaptation based on the characters which created by Alexander Dumas and is written by Adrian Hodges along with the writers of Susie Conklin, James Dormer, Ben Harris, James Payne and Peter McKenna.
We get to see a young D'Artagnan in training to become a Musketeer who builds up a friendship with Athos, Porthos and Aramis.
As they take up the fight to protect the King and Queen against the enemies of France they become brothers in arms as the Four Musketeers.

The Musketeers fight for honour and as their bond grows they become suspicious of the sinister scheming of Cardinal Armand Richelieu and his accomplice Madam Milady De Winter, who has a past connection to Athos.

Although, this is a big budget BBC extravaganza that delivers a slightly darker tone to this adaptation with moments of humour. Add in the technique of some great filming locations that bring huge scope to the series.
Plus, tie in a overall theme about friendship, romance (sex), revenge, intrigue, secrets and lies and you have all the right ingredients for a entertaining series rich in adventure and spectacle.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
"All for One, and One for All..." 24 Mar. 2014
By R. M. Fisher - Published on
Format: Blu-ray

With the latest television adaptation of "The Musketeers", the BBC has finally managed to perfect the technique that was originally utilized in the likes of Robin Hood and Merlin - that of taking a legendary hero (or in this case, group of heroes), keeping their iconic personalities, background and conflicts intact, but throwing them into an episodic series of adventures that allows for original storylines, personal character development, and a variety of guest-stars. Suffice to say, if you enjoyed the energy, style and general premise of those previous shows, you're pretty much the target audience for "The Musketeers."

But whereas "Robin Hood" inexplicably killed off vitally important characters in its season two finale (leaving the survivors to meander listlessly through an awful final season) and "Merlin" clung so strongly to its formula ("keep the magic secret") that it shut down all possibility of any meaningful development, "The Musketeers" finds that happy balance between plot and character. Throw in a good grasp of continuity, high production values, and actors that embody their roles to perfection, and this a show that fully delivers on its promise of being swashbuckling fun for the whole family - emphasis on *fun*.

If you're a fan of Alexandre Dumas's novel (and subsequent sequels) be warned that you're not going to find a faithful retelling of the plot. Instead, the writers are more concerned with keeping the spirit of the novel intact whilst spinning their own tales across the ten forty-five minute episodes that comprise the first season. And despite the departure from Dumas's stories, the scripts are pretty solidly written. Sure, they follow familiar plots (rescue a damsel in distress, thwart an assassin, clear the name of an innocent man/woman, hunt down a dangerous criminal), but there are very few plot-holes and some unexpected twists in the usual formula. Best of all - nobody is stupid, least of all our heroes. So many stories rely on characters behaving like idiots or ignoring the obvious, but this show very much pits intelligent villains against equally intelligent heroes, giving everything a real sense of suspense and tension.

The cast is impeccable. Seriously, there's not a weak note among them, and it's going to be difficult accepting future actors in these roles, so brilliantly does this cast embody each character. Tom Burke is a droll and world-weary Athos, the de-facto leader of the group who has perpetual suffering in his eyes despite his snarky quips. Santiago Cabrera (who played Lancelot on Merlin) is the free-spirited Aramis, whose religious faith and gentlemanly air belies his enjoyment of hedonistic pleasures.

Luke Pasqualino is a wonderful D'artagnan, capturing his youth, inexperience and hot-headedness without tipping him into obnoxiousness, whilst Charles Howard is probably the best Porthos I've ever seen. In a lovely touch, the writers draw upon Alexandre Dumas's personal history to map out the backstory of Porthos (in conversation, Porthos mentions that his mother was a freed slave; Alexandre Dumas was the son of a black Haitian, who in turn was the son of an aristocratic French father and a freed slave, Marie-Cesette). Already people are kicking up a fuss that the character is being played by a mixed-race actor, though I honestly don't see how anyone could watch five seconds of Charles Howard in the role and not think that he wasn't born to play Porthos.

Peter Capaldi is Cardinal Armand de Richelieu - so wonderfully nuanced in his plotting and scheming that I'm almost resentful that we're going to lose him to Doctor Who, whilst Ryan Gage has the thankless task of playing King Louis XIII as a petulant man-child. Yet even he injects his role with a sense of pathos: this is a king surrounded by more competent, intelligent men, and despite all his posturing and bluster, Louis KNOWS it. That self-awareness does wonders in generating sympathy in the audience, for there's a clear effort on Louis's behalf in trying to keep up with those around him.

For a show that's headlined by so many male stars, you may be forgiven for thinking that there's no room for any women. There you'd be wrong. Tamla Kari is a wonderful Constance, with a weary tolerance but deep affection for all the Musketeers, who proves extremely useful when it comes to providing distractions and gathering information. Alexandra Dowling is a fragile and beautiful Queen Anne - perhaps a little underused at times, but with plenty of potential to grow as a character. And then of course, Maimie McCoy as Milady de Winter. It's my opinion that any adaptation of Dumas's story will rise or fall on its depiction of Milady, for she's the ultimate foil to the Musketeers, a woman whose seductive charms is about the only thing that could threaten their bromance. Here McCoy goes for femme fatale over guileless charm, making Milady a suitably cunning adversary. Yet the writing manages to explore her desire for revenge without demonizing her, and the simmering tension she leaves in her wake is one of the highpoints of the show.

Even the guest-stars bring it their all, with appearances from Jason Flemying, Zoe Tapper, James Callis, JJ Feild, Annabelle Wallis, Vinnie Jones, John Lynch and Tara Fitzgerald (basically, a bevy of familiar faces that you'll recognize from Poirot, The Tudors, Merlin, Downton Abbey and a range of other BBC dramas).

In short, "The Musketeers" is like getting a mini-action movie every week, filled with verve and energy and charm. I honestly can't remember the last time a light-hearted drama left me this satisfied. The chemistry between the leads is fantastic, the characters imminently loveable (even the bad guys!), the theme music rousing, and everything about the costuming and set design is gorgeous.

I'd say it's suitable for younger viewers (perhaps ages eight and up), though parents might want to have a quick trawl-through before leaving children alone with it. The violence is largely stylized with minimal blood, and any bedroom scenes are largely composed of characters reclining in bed with their clothes on (or at least fully concealed under the covers).

But most importantly, this is a show that actually has *heroes* as its protagonists. In recent years it feels as though there's been an onslaught of anti-heroes on television, with shows revolving around drug-dealers, serial killers, vampires, pirates, smugglers and other unsavory folk. I've enjoyed plenty of those shows, but I honestly can't tell you how uplifting it is to watch a show starring likable, decent men who uphold the law, live by a code of conduct, respect women, and consistently place others before their own needs. Sure, they've got their foibles, but all of them are focused on doing the right thing, and living for something greater than themselves. How utterly refreshing.

"The Musketeers" gets five whole-hearted stars from me.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Undoubtedly the Best Adaption 2 April 2014
By Ryan Grzesiak - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Never have I seen the Musketeers depicted in such a clever and interesting way. My mouth literally dropped open after seeing the first episode, and I continued to be surprised and impressed as the episodes progressed. The story lines are extremely well done, surprisingly powerful with their themes and messages. The characters are complex and meaningful (heroes you want to root for). And the action hits hard and matters, something rare in most movies and tv-shows these days.

Despite what other Dumas fans say, I for one heartily congratulate the writers on an excellent job of keeping the heart and vibe of his books, while giving it a modern feel. Rather than being dictated by the book, the writers offer a fresh perspective while still basing it off the book. This is undoubtedly the best adaptation of the "Three Musketeers" I have ever seen.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great repartee, enough realistic historical facts to support the ... 27 Sept. 2014
By A. Blechschmidt - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Well done BBC series full of lively action, great repartee, enough realistic historical facts to support the stories, wonderful locations, and just enough cheesy drama to make next season worth the anticipation, besides the cuties in the lead roles.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Finally, the BBC tackles the Musketeers to great effect. Too bad the French don't have the BBC to help 'em revive their stuff! 22 July 2014
By Stephen G. Brown - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Loved it! -Couldn't wait for the US version, so I ordered the UK version and it runs perfectly on my Samsung BluRay player.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Musketeers 21 Sept. 2014
By Marnie - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
I thought this was a good series. I would love to see it a series.
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