The Musketeers is a 2014 television series from the BBC, loosely based on the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It began airing in January 2014 and is slated for 10 episodes. 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).In February the show was renewed for a second season, but without Capaldi who will be on Doctor Who as the Doctor.See here for more adaptations.
This show contains examples of:
Actor Allusion: Once again a character played by Santiago Cabrera finds himself in love with an unattainable Queen (if the press releases are to be believed).
Adaptational Villainy: To a degree. 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, but in later episodes generally seems to be on the side of stable government, sometimes collaborating with the main characters.
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.
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.
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.
Elite Army: The King's Musketeers and the Cardinal's Red Guards.
Enemy Mine: Richelieu, Treville and the Musketeers have to work together to protect the king and queen on several occasions; surprisingly there's relatively little Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
Evil Matriarch: Marie de' Medici, 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.
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 has so far been set up as the best shot of the Musketeers.
Good Cop/Bad Cop: Aramis and Athos play these parts when questioning Vadim's mistress. Athos is quietly threatening and Aramis flirts sympathetically.
Genius Bruiser: Porthos, at least for the time period. A former street urchin who taught himself to read and right and has enough general knowledge to drop names like Nostradamus in casual conversation.
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.
Improbable Aiming Skills: The show constantly depicts characters pulling off ridiculously accurate shots with smooth-bored, muzzle-loading weapons.
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.
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...
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.
The Mistress: Being a Cardinal certainly doesn't stop Richelieu from having a mistress, Adele Bessett. Not that she lasts too long...
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.
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".
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.)
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.
Aramis is played by a Latino actor as well.
Shirtless Scene: Aramis is introduced with one, dallying with the Cardinal's own mistress.
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.
Silk Hiding Steel: 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."
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.
Would Hurt a Child: Nobody directly but in episode 5 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.
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.