Who is the star of The Musketeers

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Back in 1966 the BBC screened a 10 part adaptation of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers in the Sunday early evening classics slot.

It starred Jeremy Brett and was so successful that a sequel was commissioned not long afterwards.

Since then there have been various film versions of the classic novel. Now the BBC has decided to bring back the Musketeers in another 10 part series.

However this time the episodes are twice as long, made in colour and feature spectacular stunts and scenery. With two of the cast Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) and Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling) having previously appeared in Merlin, many viewers thought that this series would go out in the family drama slot on a Saturday night.

However the BBC has decided to go for a post watershed nine o’clock Sunday screening time instead, directly against the second series of ITV’s Mr. Selfridge. What with these two dramas and another series of Call the Midwife directly before The Musketeers, fans of historical drama are in for a treat on Sunday nights. The series is set in seventeenth century France and deals with the elite group of King Louis XIII’s body guards who stand for what is right and good.

They have lots of adventures – many of them specially created for this new series. It remains to be seen though why it was scheduled so late in the evening – is it the romantic aspects of the story or is it the action sequences? It is hoped that if it is popular enough a second series will be commissioned. However if it is, it is likely to be without this series’ chief protagonist - Cardinal Richelieu. Why? Because he is played by Peter Capaldi who is currently filming the new series of Doctor Who in the title role.

Ian K