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The Musketeers is a television series from the BBC, loosely based on the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Similar to previous BBC shows Robin Hood and Merlin, it is not a direct adaptation of the original storyline but uses the characters and setting for various adventures.The cast includes Luke Pasqualino (d'Artagnan), Tom Burke (Athos), Howard Charles (Porthos), SantiagoCabrera (Aramis), Maimie McCoy (Milady de Winter) and Peter Capaldi (Cardinal Richelieu).The first season began airing in January 2014 and that February the show was renewed for a second season, but without Capaldi who will be on Doctor Who as the Doctor.Has a Characters page that needs some love.See here for more adaptations.
This series provides examples of:
The Ace: Athos thinks D'Artagnan has it in him to be this, and calls Captain Treville out in 1.08 for not making him a Musketeer despite his skill.
Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Richelieu was for the most part a Worthy Opponent for the musketeers, at times bordering on Friendly Enemy. Here, the cardinal has his mistress murdered for disloyalty in the very first episode to establish his ruthlessness, in the mid-season generally seems to be on the side of stable government, sometimes collaborating with the main characters, and in the final episodes, well and truly Jumps Off The Slippery Slope by trying to have the Queen killed for not being fertile enough.
Attempted Rape: Milady states this as the reason why she killed Athos' younger brother Tomas.
Monsieur Bonacieux (her husband) and D'Artagnan for Constance.
King Louis and Aramis for Queen Anne.
Big Brother Instinct: The older musketeers for D'Artagnan. Especially in 1.04 where ex-musketeer Marsac made a threatening move towards D'Artagnan and Porthos immediately stepped between them and warned him to not go there if he enjoyed breathing. And from the Death Glare Athos was giving Marsac in the background, he would have done the same.
Bo Diddley Beat: The theme tune opens with a heavily stressed use, to help imply that this isn't a traditional costume drama adaptation of the stories.
Card Sharp: Porthos is introduced playing at cards with a Cardinal's Guard. He's accused of cheating, and a fight ensues, but the guy was right.
The Cavalry: Downplayed in the ninth episode when Treville shows up to help Athos and Aramis, who are under siege at a convent. Unfortunately, since all the other musketeers were out on a hunting trip, the only men he brought with him besides Porthos and d'Artagnan were an old man, a one-eyed old man, and the stable boy. Oh, and Treville himself is still recovering from and injury he received in the previous episode.
Chekhov's Classroom: D'Artagnan in the eighth episode, where Athos tells him that his main weakness as a swordsman is his tendency to let his heart rule his head. D'Artagnan struggles with this lesson for a while, and as you would have it faces off against a foe who tries to provoke him using insults in a duel later in the episode.
Chekhov's Gun: A literal gun in the first episode. Aramis leaves his pistol in his lover's house and it leads to her death... in fact, it's actually used to kill her.
Clear Their Name: In the first episode, Musketeers are framed for murder and robbery, harming their reputation in the King's eyes, and Athos in particular is arrested. Aramis and Porthos set out to clear his name and that of the corps. D'Artagnan becomes involved to avenge his father, who was one of those murdered.
Porthos in episode 5, after being found passed out drunk next to a dead man, his gun and a melon.
Combat Medic: Aramis. In addition to providing the necessary needlework on battle wounds, he has shown an in interest in forensics and demonstrated a working knowledge of how to treat a victim of poisoning.
Create Your Own Villain: In 1.10. Athos thinks he made Milady into what she is by hanging her. Before they were married, she was just a professional thief. After he tried to kill her, she joined up with the Cardinal and become a professional spy and assassin.
Da Chief: Captain Treville fills this role for the Musketeers.
Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Invoked when D'Artagnan accidentally reveals his love for Constance. Luckily for him, she reciprocates the feeling.
Dies Wide Open: Isabelle/Sister Helen in Knight Takes Queen. The Mother Superior closes her eyes.
Dirty Old Cardinal: Richelieu, despite being a high-ranking man of the cloth, has absolutely no qualms about his desire for beautiful women. (This is not only Truth in Television for the real Richelieu - he was reportedly quite a playa' - but for many Catholic priests and monks through the ages.)
Distressed Dude: The first episode revolves around Athos getting framed and jailed, and the other Musketeers have to rescue him.
Doomed New Clothes: In episode 9, during a practice fight, D'Artagnan wanted to keep his new uniform as clean as possible. Porthos and Athos did their very best to get scratches and dirt all over it, much to D'Artagnan's dismay.
Dramatic Drop: In 1.10, Cardinal Richelieu dropped the paper he was holding when he realized Queen Anne heard his confession to ordering her assassination.
Drowning My Sorrows: In his first scene, Athos's room is strewn with wine bottles, and later he doesn't carouse with the rest, drinking alone and thinking of his lost love.
In the first episode, D'Artagnan seeks out Athos at the Musketeer headquarters and forces him to duel. Athos doesn't want to hurt him, but he keeps attacking, so Aramis and Porthos intervene and it becomes three against one until he's disarmed.
The second episode starts with D'Artagnan dueling another man. They are interrupted by the Cardinal's Guards because dueling is illegal. D'Artagnan is arrested and imprisoned, while the other guy escapes. It's a ploy by the Musketeers and the Cardinal to get D'Artagnan in the same cell with the notorious criminal Vadim, so that he can spy on him.
D'Artagnan fights off two men attempting to rob him and proceeds to hunt down the person he believed murdered his father, showing his talent at swordsmanship and how he lets his emotions rule over his head.
Athos wakes up with an extreme hangover surrounded by empty bottles and promptly sticks his head in a bucket of freezing water, hinting at a darker past but puts on his uniform anyways to do his duty as a Musketeer and to gather up his friends.
Porthos as the Boisterous Bruiser beats a Red Guard at cards, is accused of cheating, fights off the Guard with a fork and laughs his way throughout the whole thing.
Aramis, being a romanticatheart, first appears in bed with the Cardinal's mistress and his reckless love of danger is then immediately showcased when he needs to escape as the Cardinal returns and is shown hanging by his fingertips from the lady's upstairs bedroom window (and grinning like an idiot when Athos and Porthos catch him at it).
Evil Matriarch: Marie de Medicis, who Louis banished for trying to overthrow him. She is still planning to overthrow him using the infant son of Louis' deformed twin, and rule France through him. This largely seems to be Truth in Television, apart for the secret son and grandson.
False Flag Operation: Richelieu's men ambush a troop of Musketeers on a secret diplomatic mission, steal their uniforms, and commit crimes to make the Musketeer corps look bad. The King is uncritical enough to consider disbanding them.
False Roulette: While sweating a perp in the first episode, Aramis goes through the motions of shooting him with his musket. The scene has a short Truth in Television speech by Aramis about the musket's inaccuracy at long ranges, so he takes aim at very close range.
Femme Fatale: Milady, the alluring agent of the Cardinal. She seduces D'Artagnan in short order.
Fire-Forged Friends: How D'Artagnan and the other Musketeers became friends, after he mistakenly believed Athos murdered his father and dueled Athos and the others for it and then decided to help Aramis and Porthos clear Athos' name.
First Name Basis: The King can call Cardinal Richelieu Armand. So can his mistress.
Freudian Trio: Among the original trio with Porthos as the Id, Aramis as the Ego and Athos as the Superego. A change from the novel, where a more calculating Aramis fits the role of Superego, and a less damaged Athos plays the part of the Ego.
Friendly Sniper: Aramis is the best shot in the Musketeer regiment, and more often than not he's quite cheerful about it.
The Fun in Funeral: Only Aramis, Porthos, D'Artagnan and Treville knew that Athos wasn't dead. While Treville was attempting to be solemn as he delivered the eulogy, Aramis and Porthos were snarking in the background.
Good Cop/Bad Cop: Aramis and Athos play these parts when questioning Vadim's mistress. Athos is quietly threatening and Aramis flirts sympathetically.
Good Is Not Soft: Most of the Musketeers are fairly friendly and amiable people to be around but when duty calls or if you get on their bad side, be prepared for the worst.
Genius Bruiser: Porthos, at least for the time period. A former street urchin who taught himself to read and write and has enough general knowledge to drop names like Nostradamus in casual conversation.
Grey and Gray Morality: The characters in this show have much more shades of grey than it is usual for a cape and sword drama. Richelieu is an egoistical corrupt murderer who does genuinely care for his king and for France, Treville is an honourable soldier who will do dirty jobs and agree to lie to the king "for his own good", d'Artagnan is a hot-head who pursues a married woman, Aramis is a serial seducer who slept with a queen, which is nothing short than high treason and almost all characters have their merits and their flaws morality-wise.
Hollywood Costuming: The Cardinal's day-to-day wardrobe is mostly black (playing up the Sinister Minister aspect), while the traditional bright red Cardinal's robes are reserved for public ceremonies and processions. This is in contrast to most depictions which have him wear the red robes at all times.
Truth in Television: The Cardinal didn't historically wear his bright red robes all the time, and there's several paintings where he's one of the main focal points and wasn't wearing his robes.
Hollywood History: The third episode seems to imply that Porthos and Aramis are not members of the nobility. It's quite unrealistic that, at this period of French history, someone without a noble background could have embarked upon a military career, up to becoming a musketeer. This is especially true for Porthos, since it's now canon that his mother was a former slave from Africa and that he was a street urchin in his youth.
However, the Musketeers of the Guard were not reserved for the nobility; they did, however, require evidence that the applicant had the financial means to support themselves, and a letter of recommendation. This ironically means that Porthos and Aramis might well be eligible, regardless of background.
Hot-Blooded: One of D'Artagnan's main traits. In the first episode, he recklessly challenged Athos to a duel to death, whom he mistakenly believed murdered his father and attacked Porthos and Aramis when they stepped in to stop the fight.
Improbable Aiming Skills: The show constantly depicts characters pulling off ridiculously accurate shots with smooth-bored, muzzle-loading weapons.
Improvised Weapon: Porthos uses a fork after his sword is nabbed by his opponent. And in a later episode, Athos and Aramis beat up some Red Guards using the books of the Comtesse De Larroque's library.
Inter-Service Rivalry: The Musketeers and the Red Guard hate each other's guts and would love nothing more than to see the other fail. It doesn't help that their leaders, Treville and Cardinal Richelieu, appear to have a rivalry of their own.
It's Personal: Out of all the Musketeers, Athos is singled out to be framed and executed because his wife Milady, who he believes dead (by his orders), is among those behind the plot.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After the events of 1.07, in which the Cardinal barely survives an assassination attempt from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Richelieu declares that he will abandon all pretense of serving others ("No person...no nation...no God will stand in my way...") to further his own ambitions. He begins in spectacular fashion in 1.09, by attempting to have the Queen assassinated.
It should be noted that in this case, it seems he was obeying to what he thought was the king's will.
Leave Behind a Pistol: In episode 5, Treville does this for Emile de Mauvoisin once the latter's plot falls through and he signs a confession. Which is a bit jarring since, as a devout Catholic in seventeenth century France, the very thought of suicide should be repugnant to him, to say nothing of blowing his brains out without attempting to gain absolution from a priest. The whole 'eat a gun to regain my honor' branch of thought didn't come along until later.
On the other hand, the episode implies that he may have not been as concerned about religion as he tried to appear. It's also possible that he was too desperate to think clearly and only wanted to escape the hopeless situation. It's obvious that suicides still happened despite the common attitude toward them (otherwise there wouldn't have been a reason to combat them so harshly) so the urge must exist in people despite the fear of heavenly (or secular) punishment or disgrace. Treville's actions are harder to explain.
Leeroy Jenkins: In the first episode, after Aramis, Porthos and D'Artagnan sneak into the mooks' hideout, D'Artagnan rushes out shouting right after Aramis tells the rest to wait for his signal.
Lethal Chef: In Knight Takes Queen, Queen Anne attempts to be helpful to her rescuers by cooking some fish. She thoroughly burns them. The musketeers are too chivalrous to make a mention of it, forcing themselves to eat their respective portions and making up an excuse when she offers them more. To be fair, it was her first time cooking, ever.
Like Brother and Sister: Word of God states that Louis XIII and Queen Anne are this, when they're not at odds with each other. Which is a bit awkward, considering they've been married ten years and still haven't produced an heir..
A bit Truth in Television in this case, Louis and Queen Anne had apparently a quite poor sexual relationship.
Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: It's heavily implied in 1.10 that Aramis, rather than King Louis, is the father of the child Queen Anne is carrying. Cardinal Richelieu suspects as much as well. Which is probably Played for Drama since there was no way anyone could know and Louis certainly doesn't doubt his paternity meaning he did sleep with his wife around the same time.
Man Child: Louis is pretty much one of these; naive, childish, and prone to temper tantrums and storming off when he doesn't get his own way.
Man Hug: In 1.08, after D'Artagnan defeats Lebarge and finally becomes an official Musketeer, D'Artagnan proceeds to hug Aramis, Porthos and Athos.
Never My Fault: In The Challenge, the Red Guards are quick to blame the Musketeers for the death of their captain, despite the Musketeers warning the Red Guards that the prisoner Labarge was not to be taken lightly and the resulting fight between Labarge and the Red Guards led to a Guard accidentally killing his captain.
Nice Hat: Worn by the men, comes with the genre. Except for D'Artagnan, at least in the first episode - not even while traveling in the rain, whereas his father, who is with him, does.
No Escape but Down: Twice in the first episode. Aramis escapes his lover's house through a window as her other lover, Cardinal Richelieu, arrives. He's left hanging on the ledge as Athos and Porthos arrive to mock him.
Super Window Jump: D'Artagnan then leaps out of a closed window, after being blamed for a murder he didn't commit.
Happens again in the fifth episode: a man jumps out of the window after attempting to shoot Aramis.
No, You: In episode 4, Marsac snarks at D'Artagnan that he shouldn't be here since he wasn't a Musketeer. D'Artagnan fires back that neither was Marsac.
Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Zigzaged, some French names are pronounced quite well, like "Bonacieux" or "Vadim", some are not. "Athos" and "Porthos", notably, should be pronounced "Atos" and "Portos".
OOC Is Serious Business: In episode 3, after discovering his wife Milady was actually alive, Athos simply shut down and when he dazedly tried to explain what happened and became more frantic, D'Artagnan was noticeably alarmed.
Oh, Crap: Cardinal Richelieu looks completely pole-axed when he's tricked into revealing that he engineered the Queen's assassination, only for the Queen herself to come forward. The only reason he's left alive and not imprisoned is because he's far too important for France's stability to be dealt with properly.
Only a Flesh Wound: Flea gets shot, and while she's not immediately running around, but she's on her feet not long after, and acting fine.
Averted, when Porthos is injured in episode 3; he has to be treated immediately to save his life and spends the rest of the episode severely restricted by the wound (even at the very end, which we have to assume is a little while later, he reprimands Athos for patting him on the shoulder.)
Outlaw Town: The "Court of Miracles" where Porthos grew up.
Papa Wolf: Causing any harm to one of Athos, Aramis or Porthos and the other two (plus D'Artagnan) would bring upon a world of misery on that person.
Pass the Popcorn: The Cardinal munching on snacks certainly seems to be enjoying watching Treville fighting for his life against Labarge.
And earlier in the episode, D'Artagnan literally passes Aramis some food to munch on while they watch Porthos beat up someone in the trials to compete for the honour of the regiment.
Pet the Dog: Monsieur Bonacieux may be a jerk, but he does seem to care for Constance in his own way. The first thing he does with the money he steals from D'Artagnan is to buy Constance jewellery, with promises that their lives are going to get better. And when he finds out about Constance and D'Artagnan's affair, he is genuinely hurt.
Taken even further in the series one finale. Monsieur Bonacieux tries to kill himself when he thinks Constance has run away with D'Artagnan.
Pragmatic Villainy: What Cardinal Richelieu sees his actions as. If there's another solution to a problem that doesn't call for bloodshed, he'll pursue it.
Race Lift: Porthos is played by an actor of black descent. Word of God says it was inspired by Alexandre Dumas's father being a part-black Frenchman who became a general. It actually becomes a pretty major plot point in episode 3.
There is also a vague hint of some Spanish ancestry for Aramis. Not only is he played by Santiago Cabrera, but he demonstrates fluency in Spanish for no discernible reason plot-wise (this might also be a minor case of The Cast Showoff, demonstrating the actor's multilingual skillz just coz).
Rescue Romance: How Queen Anne began to fall for Aramis after he saved her life twice in 1.02.
Secret Keeper: Athos was the only one who knew that Aramis slept with Queen Anne.
Sexy Soaked Shirt: Episode 9 opens with Queen Anne going for a swim. Naturally she's dressed and her soaking clothes are played for fanservice.
Shirtless Scene: Aramis is introduced with one, dallying with the Cardinal's own mistress. D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and (guest star) the Duke of Savoy later take turns at it as well.
Shot at Dawn: Athos is sentenced to death by firing squad in the first episode - but he's saved of course.
Shut Up, Kirk!: When Richelieu and Treville inform King Louis that he's under threat from attack and that he should avoid public appearances, Louis starts on about how his father always went out among the people. Richelieu deflates this by pointing out that "Your father was assassinated." (Of course, the cardinal reckoned without Queen Anne...)
Shoot Out the Lock: Tried in the fifth episode: it doesn't work. The musketeers proceed to kick the door down instead.
Queen Anne is quiet and reserved, but don't for a moment think she'll back down from anything. When she completely overrides Richelieu and Treville's attempts to dissuade King Louis from making a traditional journey, Richelieu comments - with possibly a hint of admiration - "Perhaps I misjudged that." It can be implied that the Queen's subtle influence on King Louis might be why Richelieu was so eager to have her assassinated in 1.09, and used the King's drunken ramblings as an excuse.
Spared by the Adaptation: The final episode has Milady failing to kill Constance and Athos sparing her life, as opposed to the original novel and most other adaptations where Milady kills Constance and is then summarily executed by the Musketeers.
Survivors Guilt: In episode 4, ex-Musketeer Marsac suffers through this since he and Aramis were the only two to survive the massacre that killed their friends, which led him to throw away his uniform and becoming obsessed with finding out why they were attacked.
Suicide by Cop: Marsac's death has a strong suggestion of this. He certainly forced the best shot in the regiment to fire on him at close quarters and his dying words also reinforce the notion.
Marsac: Better to die a musketeer than live like dog.
Took a Level in Badass: The nuns in 1.09; none are willing to leave to save themselves, and by the time the attack is underway they're cutting siege ropes and throwing straw beehives (ouch!) and brandy-flask molotov cocktails at the enemy.
True Companions: Let's face it, this trope was mandatory. Say it with me, "All for one and..."
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: In-universe with Constance and her husband. While Monsieur Bonacieux isn't ugly, quite a few people comment how he is plain and dull next to his younger and prettier wife.
The Unfavorite: Athos implies that he filled this role in his well-to-do family, especially after he marries Milady, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere with no traceable family or lineage.
War for Fun and Profit: Richelieu has his agents steal secret letters from the King for his counterpart in Spain, proposing peace between their countries. When the King finds out they're missing, he admits all to the Cardinal, who convinces him to let the war continue to show France is strong - and so his hold over the King is reinforced.
What Happened to the Mouse?: When Queen Anne is attacked in episode 9 she's in the company of two ladies-in-waiting. The Musketeers whisk her away into the forest, and her attendants are never again seen or mentioned. Did they just walk home?
Whole Plot Reference: Marie de Medicis' plan of dethroning her son Louis XIII via a baby who is apparently the son of her first, deformed and deceased son Philippe was pretty much lifted from the last novel of Dumas's d'Artagnan Romances, The Man in the Iron Mask (which, if eventually portrayed in the series, will make this Foreshadowing and Call Forward).
Would Hurt a Child: Nobody directly but in The Exiles it is pointed out this could happen due to Henry being the rightful King.
Your Cheating Heart: Adele, despite being the Cardinal's mistress, is actually in love with Aramis. Richelieu being the jealous and paranoid man that he is, this does not end well for her.
After Aramis saves Queen Anne's life in the second episode, they begin to develop feelings for each other - although, considering the state her marriage is in by this point, you can hardly blame Anne for trying to make an emotional connection with someone. They finally consummate their passions in 1.09, much to Athos' horror.
Yandere: Implied with Milady towards Athos, especially in 1.07 when she takes an especial glee in destroying Ninon's reputation in court, and then going further to threaten all the women under Ninon's care with being burned at the stake unless she gives a false confession. And all because Ninon and Athos flirted with each other in her parlour!
You Have Failed Me: Not only does Richelieu poison his mook, he also has his mistress shot for disloyalty.
You Killed My Father: D'Artagnan thinks Athos killed his father - but in fact an agent of Richelieu did.
Possibly played with in The Challenge, where D'Artagnan's speech to Labarge at the Bastille (at swordpoint, no less) sounds very reminiscent of Inigo Montoya's... except without the father part, or the death part.
Labarge: What do you want?
D'Artagnan: My name is D'Artagnan of Lupiac in Gascony. You burned down my farm.