I had never heard of a television adaptation of the famed novel, and often adapted to film version of The Three Musketeers, until The Musketeers popped up on the “Recently Added” section of Netflix Canada. I’m always up for a show produced by the BBC, since they are consistently good, and therefore decided that I would give the 10 episode first season of The Musketeers a shot.
The show provided a pleasant surprise, and offered something a little different from other adaptations of the novel. Typically, we are provided with a couple of hours of swashbuckling, and focusing on the same story of how D’Artagnan joins the group, and becomes the best of them. The Musketeers provides us with a little bit about that story, but they generally get it over with fairly quickly. From there, the show essentially becomes a crime drama, which makes it quite entertaining.
Many of the story lines are ongoing throughout the first season, but each episode also provides us with a central crime that the gang of Musketeers are trying to solve. This provides us with episodes that are able to stand alone, and allows for more casual viewing.
The show is fun to watch. All of the characters, specifically the four central Musketeers, are enjoyable and likable. There is often a lightness and a humour to the show that can keep viewers coming back for more, and it is not always super dark, and doesn’t always take itself too seriously.
The actors chosen for the main roles of the show are all good. Despite all being British (even if they are supposed to be French), the casting was well done, and we can’t help but like all of them. D’Artagnan is played by Luke Pasqualino, who is excellent, from his acting to his ability with the sword. It took me a while to realize that he was one of the better characters on the excellent, and must-see British teen drama Skins (well, at least the first 4 seasons are must-see, after that the cast changes go south). Pasqualino is watchable, and is strong enough as the central character to keep us coming back for more.
There are the usual selection of heroes and villains in the stories of The Musketeers, and they all do a pretty good job. There are numerous love stories, including some with the pretty French Queen, there is the weak King, the evil Cardinal, etc. The writers have definitely created heroes that are heroic, and villains that are villainous. So many recent television dramas have succeeded by creating delicious anti-heroes, and The Musketeers takes us back to simpler characters. But not in a bad way. The show is not taking us backwards, and does not demonstrate weak writing, or a lack of chances being undertook. It just wants to be fun, and it does well at that.
The Musketeers is well worth a watch. The sets and scenery of 17th Century Paris are great, the costumes are excellent, the acting and stories are strong, and there is always a good sword fight or five to keep the action pushing forwards.
A fun show to watch. Nothing too serious, which is a nice change.