Will d’Artagnan Be Ruled by His Heart Or His Head in The Musketeers?
The BBC’s dazzling adaptation of the Three Musketeers is wonderfully faithful to the spirit of Dumas’s rollicking historical romances, which appear timeless and were inspired by his mother’s stories of Dumas’ remarkable father, Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailletrie – who was a distinguished Napoleonic General.
The marvellous thing about the novels of Alexander Dumas, notably The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, is how the writing immediately somersaults you headlong into a dangerously intoxicating world of 17th Century France – a deadly, picaresque place of autocratic kings, political intrigue, murder, mayhem, high romance, opulence and superstition; and equally great roles for women as the men. Bravo! This is a world where a woman could be a duchess one day, and then be condemned as a witch and burnt at the stake, merely for seeking women’s emancipation and enlightenment.
Life, whether you are a prince or a pauper is a constant struggle for survival that brings out the best or worst in people – and that includes our elite Musketeers, who live and die by the mantra – ‘All for One, and One for All,’ based on ideals of valour, friendship, bravery and self control. Of course, they are fallible, and in tonight’s episode 8, Porthos dallies with a lovely, rich widow and dreamily considers civilian life, while d’Artagnan is prepared to risk everything to gain his precious commission. Oh and doesn’t Milady get all the best lines and the most ravishing gowns? Well, I won’t spoil it for you! Look out for footballer turned thespian, Vinny Jones, who is somewhat predictably cast to type as the ferocious Labarge. I will let you into a secret. Vinny is a bit of a pussycat in real life. He was an absolute gentleman on a sartorial fashion shoot. Alison Jane