Ever since Alexandre Dumbass first introduced the Three Musketeers to the world in 1844, the thrilling tale of a trio of royalist murderers roaming the countryside butchering anyone they felt like has captivated readers across the world. Now the BBC joins in the fun with The Musketeers. The year is 1630 and D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) a fiery country boy with a heart of a lion heads towards Paris with his father, stopping off at an inn along the way. Natural fact is that D’Artagnan senior can’t pay his taxes so he’s off to Paris to petition the King for a rebate or somesuch and I see nothing going wrong with that. It’s moot in the end as the old puke never makes it. You know what they say about death and taxes.
Ruffians enter the inn and inform pops they are the Kings’ Musketeers and that he better empty his pockets if he wants to live. A swordfight ensues, one that confusingly includes guns, and in the violent melee daddy gets more holes put in his rustic arse than Swiss cheese. He dies in his son’s arms giving the name Athos the musketeer to D’Artagnan before he dies. The son swears vengeance and curses the name Athos but of course this is a bare set up job. Miscreants are masquerading as Musketeers – robbing, murdering and buggering (or so I infer) their way across France. But who are the real Musketeers?
I’ll tell you who. Firstly there’s Porthos (Howard Charles) a biracial card shark. He’s a demon in hand-to-hand fighting and celebrated autodidact, auto trader and auto fellatrix. Then we have Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) an incorrigible poonhound who recklessly bangs Adele (Emily Beecham) mistress of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi) (shawty is wormfood by the end of the episode and she gives up his name without being bidden – great work Adele).
Then there’s Athos (Tom Burke) – the alpha of all alphas. He’s a drunk, broody master swordsman still cuntstruck over some piece of pussy he misplaced years ago. The three squab on the regular with the Cardinal’s Red Guard (sleazy and sweaty and therefore hereafter known as Right Guard).
The three squab on the regular with the Cardinal’s Red Guard (sleazy and sweaty and therefore hereafter known as Right Guard).
And how about that Cardinal? A real piece of work, this guy. He manipulates the King in that Varys and Littlefinger from Game of Thrones “somebody’s got to rule if the monarch won’t” way and the Musketeers correctly see him as a blackhearted villain. He sets up Athos to take the fall for the Musketeer killings with the help of Fake Athos Right Guard Captain Gaudet (Philip Brodie) and the Cardinal’s hot fixer/assassin Milady (Maimie McCoy). You’ll remember her from Personal Affairs, Desperate Romantics and Crimson Petal & The White. Athos, on the other hand, remembers her as the aforementioned broad he lost all those years ago. Things were said, feelings were hurt and that’s why she has a death squid boner for him now.
Things were said, feelings were hurt and that’s why she has a death squid boner for him now.
After Athos gets arrested the trial is practically medieval. Murder is the case that they give him and death is the sentence. A vengeful D’Artagnan turns ally when he realises Athos is but a patsy. He goes with Porthole and Araminge to clear Athos’s name and put a pounding on his dad’s killer.
So the Musketeers is OK I guess. It is very reminiscent of Desperate Romantics which in itself isn’t that bad a thing but as Alexandre Dumbass adaptations go it’s no Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds. Keep your expectations low and this won’t disappoint as your moms was saying to me last night.
The verdict: All for your mom and your mom for all.
Marks out of 10: 7