The BBC have offered up a new Musketeers on Sunday evenings, inspired by the characters, and some situations, of the Dumas novel (by coincidence, I have just started to re-read it).
We have seen Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan before on the screen of course – the silent swashbuckle of Fairbanks, the clunky RKO cheapo of 1935, Gene Kelly’s joyously energetic D’Artagnan, Oliver Reed and co in the Lester triple, Kiefer Sutherland’s boyish swordsmen, Jeremy Brett’s brazen Gascon.
Even as old men they have made a showing – let’s set aside the embarrassment of a quartet of great actors (Irons, Malkovich, Depardieu, Byrne) misfiring and think of Warren William’s oily Gascon protecting the Man in the Iron Mask.
As you can see, I know my musketeers! This new series shows promise, and Tom Burke’s Athos caught my eye. Already we know his secret, and D’Artagnan has met the sweet Constance. Casting Peter Capaldi as a very nasty Cardinal will get his face a familiar sight to a Doctor Who audience ready to see him take on the role.
There’s a bit of sex in the Musketeers, but not as much as we saw in Camelot. A family audience, and Dumas purists, may well enjoy.