Customer Review

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic series of adventure stories., 26 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Sharpe - The Complete Series (14 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
THE STORY:
Sergeant Richard Sharpe saves the life of Arthur Wellesley (later known simply as Wellington) and is raised from the ranks to Lieutenant. He takes command of the elite Chosen Men (Harper, Hagman, Harris, Cooper, Tongue and Perkins) and the adventure begins. Across six years of turbulent history Sharpe faces the evil French Major Ducos, the sadistic and cunning Sergeant Hakeswill, insane guerillas, corrupt and incompetant officers, spies and traitors, until finally (as a Lieutenant Colonel) he faces Napoleon himself across the fields of Waterloo.
WHAT'S GOOD:
As one reviewer has mentioned, these are very akin to Bond films, filled with action, bravery, romance and heroism. Each one is a gem of British television and a gripping story unto itself. The acting is generally very good, but the best moments are when the four main characters (Sharpe, Harper, Hagman and Harris) interact in the calm between battles, their contrasting personalities but absolute commitment to one another making compelling viewing. The series is a veritable who's who of British actors with internationally recognised stars as Sean Bean, Liz Hurley, Brian Cox, Pete Postlethwaite, Alice Krige and Paul Bettany as well as actors who've appeared in everything from 'Poirot' to 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' and back to 'Coronation Street'. If you like swashbuckling, gunfighting, bosom-heaving historical adventures, then I can't recommend this DVD box set enough. I'd like to make the additional point that I really enjoyed the musical interludes by John Tams (Hagman), particularly the theme song at the end of each episode.
WHAT'S BAD:
Most of the episodes have one or two failings (usually owing to the occational poor performance by a temporary character) but the only two real problems that last across the series are a) because of budget restrictions, some of the battles seem a bit small-scale and b) the fact that characters come and go from the series (obviously due to the actors having other plans), such as Hogan, Nairn, Munro and Ross who're basically the same character but different actors (although I was much more distressed by the abrupt disappearance of Cooper).
O'er the hills and o'er the Maine, through Flanders, Portugal and Spain, King George commands and we obey, over the hills and far away.
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