The Musketeers, Season Three (2015) – BBC’s Swan Song of the Dumas Adventurer
Though the adventurous classics like Dumas’ The Three Musketeers have been remade time and again, none have been quite as memorable as BBC’s series. The final season came in on a cloud of despair and darkness, but there were moments of good to be found should you want to discover them.
War is raging, and the men protecting their king are being greatly affected. In particular the Queen’s brave Musketeers are all being affected much differently. Athos (Tom Burke) is now more than merely a soldier, he’s a leader as Captain to the protectors. Porthos (Howard Charles) feels the weight – both emotional and physical, of the war and is dealing with the strain of feeling abandoned by one of his brothers in arms. D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) has left behind his wife, Constance (Tamla Kari) to fight for his King.
TV SHOW REVIEW | The Musketeers, Series Two (2015)
Back home in Paris, those left behind are also battling a war. Constance understands the evil of the Governor (Rupert Everett), a man who not only shares blood with the King (Ryan Gage), but also has his ear. This worries Louie’s Minister Treville (Hugo Speer), and the King's wife, Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling). When the Musketeers are summoned to Paris, they are again reunited with Aramis (Santiago Cabrera), but the cost of what they return to may ask too much of the battle weary men.
As with anything BBC brands, this third season of their (generally) lighthearted reboot is (all adventurous) pure brilliance. If you aren’t a fan of the “sillier” side of swashbuckler’s, this probably won’t be your cup of tea. ‘Musketeers’ steers clear of the kind of humor I consider “slapstick” (The Mask of Zorro) but it also isn’t as “heavy” as the likes of The Man in the Iron Mask or The Count of Monte Cristo. Humor does play an important role, but neither genre is ever abused. The writer’s don’t allow for cringe-worthy humor (aka “silly”) nor do they embrace the darkness of the era.
This series isn’t afraid to be different than some of its peers. Where other Musketeer adaptations (both popular and obscure) have followed the more traditional route, this series works in DNA unique to its vision. One of these qualifiers being the contemporized “feel” of the production. This especially applies to the costuming which is all about the leather. (Not that I’m complaining, mind you, as our iconic and heroic leading men look quite dashing sporting this look.)
With hints of the steampunk genre, the costume design is fabulous. From the men in their tunics and weaponry to the women in their fierce and much less “buttoned up” (traditional to the era) style, everything stands out. Then there is Anne’s ensembles, which are, of course, a cut above the likes of Constance’s character. Her costuming is breathtaking and beautiful, especially more so because of the blending of feminine and fierce, a coupling that somehow works because of how everything is constructed.
Aside from the visualization of the series, the impact of this season is unforgettable. Because this is the last season of The Musketeers (*tears*), the writer’s held nothing back. From the perspective of the emotional impact, I don’t think the first two seasons come close to matching this. Every story and character is brought full circle in this series as we laugh and cry with, herald and reprimand these beloved characters. Flaws and all, we fall head over heels for each of them, and root passionately for their respective happy endings. Though there is heartbreak leading up to it, I was pleasantly surprised that, thankfully, the writer’s do gift this reward to us, and more importantly their characters. Everyone is given peace if not a perfect end.
Though we only got three series of this action-er, we can thank the likes of Robin Hood and Merlin for spurring BBC to give us an adaptation of Dumas’ classic. Following in its predecessors footsteps, I can easily say The Musketeers is my favorite of the bunch. It has humor (but not too much), great sword fights (um, who doesn’t love these!?), romance (*swoon*) and best of all, a great deal of heart. That’s something you might not bargain for when starting on this, but it’s present and makes the journey worth every heartbreak.
Content: There are 2-3 scenes of a sexual nature, at least one of which depicting an unmarried couple sleeping together. There are sword and knife fights. Men are impaled by swords or shot. The series opens on the battle field amidst much death (bodies are seen). Throughout the series, various battles ensue.