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BOWING OUT ON A HIGH
on 2 November 2015
Welcome here 2006/2008 follow-ups to the acclaimed series of 1993-1997, early Bernard Cornwell Sharpe novels with their events transferred to 1817/18. Only one thing has tempted battle-weary veteran Sharpe back into action: his old mate Patrick Harper has gone missing on a mission in India....
Cue here for two further rousing adventures and a high body count. In SHARPE'S CHALLENGE, the main foe is renegade officer Dodd (Toby Stephens), his vicious band of former soldiers aiding a Raja determined to oust the British. SHARPE'S PERIL focuses on opium traffickers causing devastation - a garrison wiped out, a village put to the sword.
As ever, Sean Bean and Daragh O'Malley make a great team as Sharpe and Harper. Back in both adventures is Michael Cochrane as the odious, preening Sir Henry Simmerson (in due course to be seen as never before).
Great action sequences and a thoughtful probing into what makes people the way they are. Both CHALLENGE and PERIL were originally shown in two parts, which is how they are presented here (together with a 100 minute film version of the latter).
Bonuses include interesting features about the making of the episodes - problems caused by remote locations, heat and illness. All on set praise Sean Bean - he a major reason on screen and off why everything works well, with so many nationalities enthusiastically bonding.
From start to finish, this series has been a triumph.