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TV: BBC'S The Musketeers will continue to entertain tonight

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 25, 2014

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Musketeers

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All for one, and one for all - BBC One's latest costume drama has a familiar ring to it and it has been capturieng the imagination of the great British public.

This 10-part drama is not a slavish adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's classic novel - the Beeb describes it as being 'inspired by' the book instead, so we're guessing it will be more slick, sexy and glamorous, and punctuated by jaw-dropping special effects and stunts.

While most of the corporation's lavish period pieces do well in the ratings, this one is benefiting from a few extra viewers tuning in to see Peter Capaldi in action.

The last time he was on telly, he'd just regenerated as the new lead in Doctor Who, and you can bet that some of the millions who tuned into that will watch The Musketeers to find out how their new hero continues gets on here.

The Scottish star is playing an altogether different role, however - he won't be saving the universe; instead, he'll be making lives a misery.

Capaldi plays Cardinal Richelieu, the arch enemy of Musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis and their young friend d'Artagnan.

"Cardinal Richelieu is protector and confidant of the king as well as being essentially the first minister of France," says Capaldi of his alter ego. "He runs the country. He is a military figure as well as a religious and political one. He has a network of spies and operates like an illegal secret service to pursue his ends. He is by nature Machiavellian."

Sounds exciting. However, the actor is the first to admit that although playing Richelieu was intriguing, he wouldn't have liked to have been around in the 17th century: "I would have enjoyed the frocks, and certainly some of the food would have been appealing, but the disease and hygiene would have worried me. I certainly would have missed the NHS!"

Some of the cast and crew needed medical help during filming.

"The production suffered from a lot of injuries: dislocated shoulders, bruised shins, the odd concussion," reveals Capaldi. "It's one of the occupational hazards of being a swashbuckler."

He came a cropper himself while shooting a scene in which Richelieu threw Milady, played by actress Maimie McCoy, against a wall.

"I felt a jab of pain," he says. "And when the director said 'cut' I looked down and saw my thumb was on the wrong way round. Nasty. Instinct took over and I shoved it back, which made my eyes water and my knees weak.

"The lesson clearly was, never get into a fight with Maimie McCoy..."

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