This swashbuckling 10-episode romp from BBC America (premiering Sunday, June 22, at 9pm ET/PT) is a delightful retelling of the famed Musketeers. Packed with action-fueled sword fights, elaborate costuming, playful banter and storylines steeped in revenge, loyalty and love, The Musketeers is a colorful take on Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel.
BBC America’s The Musketeers series premiere first scene sneak preview:
On the streets of 17th-century Paris, the Musketeers — Athos (Tom Burke, The Hour), Aramis (Santiago Cabrera, Heroes), Porthos (Howard Charles, Royal Shakespeare Company) and soon-to-be newbie D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino, Skins) — faithfully serve as the loyal bodyguards to the king. Their reputation and future existence, however, is in question due to a deceitful cardinal looking to disband the Musketeers and gain control over France. The actors recently sat down with us and dished on everything from who had the best costume (“I think it’s fair to say I probably have the best uniform,” says Charles. “I wanted to keep that part of the novel — the fashionable side of Porthos.”) to their rigorous seven-month shooting schedule in the Czech Republic.
“I think it was my first day of shooting when we were filming my father’s death scene and it was freezing cold, absolutely Baltic weather, and we had rain machines on top of it — so we were all soaking wet,” says Pasqualino. “I was wearing a sheepskin fur-type thing, which held water like no other, and it was my first day and I was like, ‘Is this what I get to look forward to for the next six months?’”
Burke adds: “There is a scene of me dunking my head in ice-cold water but it was initially written that I was going to plunge in, come out and cut. I had heard a story about [another actor] where he would put his head in water with a snorkel for like 10 minutes when he had a hangover. And I said, ‘I think I should put my head in for as long as possible.’ When we did that, the bucket had been outside, it was snowing outside, and it was freezing. In my head I thought I’d do at least 30 seconds. When I plunged my head in, I was in such acute pain because it was like getting ice cream brain — that was agony.”
The camaraderie and chemistry the actors share onscreen is just as sincere offscreen.
“[The series has themes of] brotherhood, loyalty, these guys sticking up for each other and the friendship that they have, and I think those are just forever universal themes and very modern themes,” Cabrera says. “Even if you don’t know the story, I think you’ve heard of [the Musketeers], and it’s always in the context of friends, you know, that brotherhood, which I think is the core.”
Photo: © BBC Credit: Larry Horricks