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Summer TV Preview 2014: BBC America’s The Musketeers [VIDEO and PHOTOS] 

Photo Credit: BBC/Larry Horricks
Photo Credit: BBC/Larry Horricks

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

We’ve been waiting so long (SO LONG) for this show to premiere stateside. We remember seeing pictures on tumblr a while back and we kept waiting to hear when The Musketeers would air on this side of the pond. When we found out the show would premiere in June, it felt like it was a long – but ultimately satisfying – wait. We’ve read other works by Alexandre Dumas, but never The Three Musketeers. So we don’t know that much about the story, but we’re very excited to see this take on such a popular tale.

“Friends and Enemies” Synopsis, from BBC America:

In episode one of this new series, the brightest and best Musketeers of the King’s Regiment, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, are dispatched by Captain Treville to find a missing Musketeer carrying important letters on behalf of King Louis. But Cardinal Richelieu has plans to increase his political power and seeks to sabotage the good reputation of the Musketeers.

Meanwhile, D’Artagnan travels from his family farm in Gascony to Paris to petition the King but his peaceful plans are turned upside down when he is forced to find the Musketeers and seek vengeance for the brutal murder of a loved one. Will D’Artagnan bring the murderer to justice and can the Musketeers protect King and country? Or will the Cardinal triumph with the help of the beautiful and dangerous Milady?

The Cast

The Musketeers

D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) is charismatic, impulsive and ridiculously brave with a fierce appetite for justice.

Although still young, D’Artagnan has seen enough of the world to despise its corruption and compromise. Raised in the country and trained as a fighter since he was a boy, only Athos can match his exceptional skill with a sword. Athletic and determined, he is also intensely romantic, with a moving capacity for true love. In time D’Artagnan will go on to be the greatest Musketeer of them all and a legend in his own lifetime.

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Athos (Tom Burke) is brave, resourceful and a natural leader of men. But he nurses a dark secret in his past.

A brilliant swordsman, Athos is the glue that binds the Musketeers together. His character commands respect. At first sight he can appear arrogant but his offhand manner disguises a deep capacity for friendship. He is wryly humorous and engaging but during bouts of solitary drinking he has the capacity to hit the self-destruct button. At these times, the bottled-up darkness from his past threatens to engulf him.

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Charming but deadly, a great lover and a great fighter – Aramis  (Santiago Cabrera) is a man of fascinating contrasts.

Handsome, a loner by nature but a faithful friend, Aramis is a complex figure. His love of women is notorious but he is very far from being a routine womanizer. His effortless charm means that he is never short of admirers – not even the Cardinal’s mistress is off-limits, but it has deadly consequences. A brilliant shot, Aramis has a ruthless streak but also the most romantic heart of the Musketeer brotherhood. He possesses a deep insight into human nature and puts his faith in a deity who understands and forgives its many contradictions.

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A great fighter, Porthos (Howard Charles) is a loyal friend and a man who lives life to the full.

Raised in desperate poverty and triumphing over every kind of adversity, Porthos has finally found his true family in the Musketeers. Intensely loyal to his friends and a natural fighter, he is the go-to guy for hand-to-hand combat and the man you always want on your side in a fight. Self-educated, as quick in thought as he is in action, Porthos has a lively sense of humor but is not a man to cross.

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Scheming, ruthless and pragmatic, the Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi) is the most powerful man in France.

In the eyes of the Musketeers, he is a villain and a power-hungry dictator whose ultimate aim is nothing less than complete control of France. But in his own eyes the Cardinal is bringing much needed order to an outlaw society. He knows the King’s weaknesses all too well and understands that someone must take on the burden of government in his place. But nevertheless, in his own way, the Cardinal is loyal to the crown. Dry and witty, capable of great charm, he is also calculating and mercilessly cruel in implementing his vision. Despite his cool exterior the Cardinal is a man of carefully hidden passions.

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The most mysterious and beautiful of villains, Milady de Winter (Maimie McCoy) is the Cardinal’s secret weapon – a deadly and merciless assassin.

Brought up in poverty, Milady is a sensual and beautiful woman who ruthlessly uses her charms to achieve her aims. Possessed of a sharp wit, an unbridled sexuality, and a burning need for vengeance, Milady is linked to the Musketeers by a dark secret. How far will she go in her quest to destroy them?

Yearning for escape from her uneventful marriage, Constance (Tamla Kari) finds excitement, romance and danger when D’Artagnan comes crashing into her life.

Constance leads a comfortable but dull existence with her cloth merchant husband Bonacieux. But after meeting D’Artagnan she becomes an integral part of the Musketeers’ adventures and a resourceful ally and companion. Constance is a joy – funny, gorgeous, earthy and fearless. The day will come when she will be sorely tested and forced to choose between her loyalty to her husband and her undeniable attraction to D’Artagnan – but for now she is having the time of her life.

A legendary soldier, Treville (Hugo Speer) is now Captain of the Musketeers, a close advisor to the King, and a man of absolute honor and integrity.

To the Musketeers, Treville is both commander and father-figure; their adoration and respect for him knows no bounds. Leading by example, Treville’s authority is unquestioned. He orders the Musketeers’ missions, keeps an eye on their welfare and tolerates their regular scrapes and misadventures. Treville is good-humored but brusque and not a man to suffer fools lightly.

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Good-natured yet weak, intelligent but lazy, King Louis (Ryan Gage) is the absolute ruler of France.

Torn between the inexorable pull of his First Minister, Cardinal Richelieu, and the blunter but well-meaning advice of Captain Treville, Louis wants to be a good king but lacks the essential determination and seriousness the role requires. Louis remains loyal to his Musketeers and supports them when he can but is easily influenced against them by the scheming Cardinal. He finds it easiest to leave the day-to-day running of the country to others while he indulges himself with hunting and dining.

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Passionate and strong-willed, Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling) yearns for a romantic escape from her waning marriage to the King.  

Anne is a clever and enterprising young woman who would dearly like a stronger place in her husband’s affections and a role in the government of France. But it is increasingly clear that Louis has little interest in her. He regards Anne as too serious and is intimidated by her cleverness and wit. Although she is loyal to her husband, Anne is increasingly attracted to the dashing Musketeers Aramis. After nearly ten years of marriage, Anne remains childless and is intensely conscious of her need to produce an heir to secure the succession and safety of France. Outwardly calm, Anne is in truth a far more volatile and impulsive woman than she first seems.

All cast photos credited to BBC/Larry Horricks.

TV Goodness Summer Preview Ratings System
Watch Live
Watch Later on DVR
Undecided — Need to Watch Some More
Not Watching at All

So you may or may not have been able to pick up on our excitement for this show. Here are more reasons why we’ll be tuning in: Historical drama based on a literary property, extremely attractive actors (who can, of course, actually act), accents, and did we mention it’s a period piece with costumes? We’ve heard nothing but good things from friends who watched the series when it aired overseas. So taking all that into consideration, this series get a Watch Live vote from us.

The Musketeers premieres Sunday, June 22nd at 9/8c on BBC America.

VIDEO

PHOTOS

All photos courtesy of BBC/Larry Horricks.

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