Top positive review
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Great to see the return of Sharpe!
on 26 June 2006
Sharpes Challenge sees the return of swashbuckling Sharpe, reluctantly pulled out of retirement as a farmer, to go back to India, and rescue his old friend Harper, and save the British Army from a warmongering Rajah while he is at it.
It's great to see that the story, the production values and the acting are all up at the same levels we became accustomed to. Yes, the story significantly bends the timeline set up by author Bernard Cromwell, and bends history in general, but why quibble about this when the story is so well written and acted? This is boys own stuff, with damsels in distress, camaraderie, and beautiful exotic women trying to seduce our hero, with a few big battle scenes overflowing with extras thrown in for good measure. The characters have aged in the story as well as the actors in real life, such that the gap between this and the last episode makes sense, and the actors being a bit older does not detract from the enjoyment of the movie.
It's every bit as good as we have any right to expect!
The movie is presented in 'as seen' format - so we have it in two episodes, which distractingly means that in the middle of the story you get a 'Next time on Sharpe..' and then a 'Previously on Sharpe', which is annoying, but the disc is still indispensable for any Sharpe fan, or fan of quality TV in general. In fact, the story stands by itself, so that even if you have not seen Sharpe before you could enjoy this.