Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: Doctor, Who Commissioned This Version of The Musketeers?
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious
Doctor, who the hell commissioned this version of the Musketeers?
MY first problem with The Musketeers is that it isn’t a live action remake of The Muskehounds. With any luck if the BBC decides to make a new version of Around The World In 80 Days it’ll have a lion as the lead and an acrobatic cat as Passepartout. If we have to have humans, The Musketeers was fun but scheduled at entirely the wrong time. There was too much sex for it to be a CBBC series – d’Artagnan and Milady are schtupping already – but not enough shagging or bloody violence to make it feel worthy of a 9pm slot. France’s modern day potato-face President Hollande is getting more action than the Musketeers.
On the topic of the Musketeers themselves, I’m more than a little disturbed by Freddie from Skins buckling his swashes as d’Artagnan and why is one of the three Musketeers basically just Chris Kamara in 17th century France? The acting isn’t terrible but the script lets the gang down. There’s far too much dialogue that sounds anachronistic – the Captain of the Musketeers calls the famous three in for a dressing down with a Sweeney style “My office…now!” – and the Musketeers seemingly can’t go past a window without leaping out of it.
Peter Capaldi as The Cardinal is also disappointing. As someone who channelled so much malevolence into the character of Malcolm Tucker, he seems pretty mild. While the script squeezes in some killings near the end of episode one to ramp up the threat coming from Capaldi’s direction, he’s just not quite evil enough. I understand that the writers and Capaldi himself were trying for a realistic villain rather than a moustache-twirling baddie but realism doesn’t quite fit with the cartoonish quality of the rest of the show thus far.
While Sherlock has descended into fan service, I think The Musketeers has been built to act as fan service even before a fan base has been established. The Musketeers themselves come off like a boy band obsessed with historical reenactment and the writers are already ‘shipping characters with the “Miltagnan” coupling. Unfortunately Artemis’s missus was bumped off at the end of episode one meaning he’ll need a new piece to pine over. Most worrying of all, the action and comedic moments felt designed purely to be turned into animated Gifs.
That said, for all my criticisms, I did enjoy The Musketeers and I can see it becoming an easy Sunday evening watch. It’ll survive on the fumes of The Skins, Sherlock and Doctor Who fandoms bundling in to see some of their favourites in action and the breadth of the Musketeers canon means there’s plenty to be mined. With any luck the scripts will improve now the writers have done a lot of their expositional groundwork and hell I’ve always been a sucker for Milady De Winter, even in her cat form from The Muskehounds – yes, I am receiving treatment.
See you next week Musketools.