Thursday, July 24, 2008

TV Review: Sharpe with Sean Bean

Lieutenant–Colonel Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean), Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick HarperDaragh O'Malley), Sergeant Daniel Hagman kneeling (John Tams), Sergeant Harris standing far right (Jason Salkey), and two others of the chosen men.

Most Sean Bean fans in the United Kingdom know him as Richard Sharpe from the television series of the same name. The series ran from 1993 to 1997 and was based on the novels by Bernard Cornwell. There was such renewed interest, that a new series was shot in 2006 and another is currently in production. Here is a complete list of episodes:

No. Episode Year

1 Sharpe's Rifles 1993

2 Sharpe's Eagle 1993

3 Sharpe's Company 1994

4 Sharpe's Enemy 1994

5 Sharpe's Honour 1994

6 Sharpe's Gold 1995

7 Sharpe's Battle 1995

8 Sharpe's Sword 1995

9 Sharpe's Regiment 1996

10 Sharpe's Siege 1996

11 Sharpe's Mission 1996

12 Sharpe's Revenge 1997

13 Sharpe's Justice 1997

14 Sharpe's Waterloo 1997

15 Sharpe's Challenge 2006

16 Sharpe's Peril 2008

Basically, Sergeant Richard Sharpe who was an extremely capable rifleman, soldier and leader was deployed in Spain during the Napoleonic war, saves the life of Sir Arthur Wellesley (David Troughton) from three French cavalry men, and is given a field promotion to Lieutenant. Here is the clip:

It was quite rare for a commoner to be commissioned in the field to an officer (or ever for that matter) because usually, officers were gentleman that had the money to purchase their commissions. So, Sharpe had to put up with much resentment, snubbing and even plans against him. This theme runs through the entire series. But Sharpe, always the one to make lemonade from lemons, uses this to his advantage many times.

Oh yes, and he is handsome. He has women falling all over him in almost every episode. Don't forget, this was Britain's answer to Magnum, P.I. So, here are two clips that show a hint of that. The first is from Sharpe's Gold and the second one is from Sharpe's Enemy and stars Elizabeth Hurley.

I loved this series. I rented it from Netflix and was quite upset when I had watched it all. My favorite episodes were Sharpe's Rifles, Sharpe's Eagle, Sharpe's Enemy and Sharpe's Gold. But they are all really good and worth watching. They are also available on YouTube.

I give the series:

***** of five stars.


peter said...

I just bought the box with the first 14 titles. Trying to buy them in the UK was not possible at but buying the same version [region 2] from the US was no problem, and did cost 50% less including shipping.

You'll hear my verdict when they arrive.

Sue said...

I can't wait to hear what you think of them Peter!