I couldn’t tell you how many times Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale The Three Musketeers has been adapted, because my brain can’t compute numbers that large. The quality can vary wildly from project to project, but the BBC adventure series The Musketeers looks like it may very well justify its existence, and U.S. viewers will get a chance to find out when the series makes its BBC America premiere on June 22. And we hope you like it, because we already know there's going to be more of it, as it is only the dead who do not return.
The Musketeers’ first season’s finale aired in the U.K. on Sunday, and co-producers BBC One, BBC Worldwide and BBC America took little time in officially signing up for a second 10-episode season to air in early 2015. An optimist would take that to mean this first season was pretty special, but the pessimist would say ratings were more of a factor than critical acclaim. Either way, the general consensus is that The Musketeers started slow but gradually built up an enjoyable world in which these honorable sword-fighters could excel in heroics, with a healthy spray of humor to make up for the lack of blood.
Created by TV vet and My Week with Marilyn scribe Adrian Hodges, The Musketeers follows D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) as he tracks down the titular trio – Aramis (Santiago Cabrera), Porthos (Howard Charles) and Athos (Tom Burke) – thinking them to be responsible for his father’s death. When he discovers his error, he then joins the others for do-goodery, namely catching criminals, solving murders, protecting the townsfolk and stopping Cardinal Richelieu’s (Peter Capaldi) semi-evil plans. All in the name of King Louis XIII (Ryan Gage). The guys have a female cohort played by Tamla Kari, while Maimie McCoy plays the Cardinal’s devious spy Milady de Winter, a.k.a. "Hubba hubba (whistle)."
Get a better feel for this contemporary take on 17th century Paris with the trailer below.
Watching a sword fight on any series after Game of Thrones just feels like a mistake, but I'm holding out for character drama to play as much a role in the story as the mission of the week. Or maybe they should just use shotguns and catapults. I’m thinking about starting my own set of musketeers.
If you’ve gotten a chance to watch the series, let us know how it was in the comments. Otherwise, tune into BBC America at 9:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 22. Get to know the gallant heroes in the promo video below.