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The Musketeers: Keep Your Friends Close (review)

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

YESTERDAY evening (January 2, 2015) The Musketeers returned to our television screens minus Peter Capaldi but with the addition of a glowering Marc Warren as the duplicitous Rochefort, a villain whose deeds, if the first episode is anything to go by, will no doubt rival those of the crooked Cardinal.

I must confess I missed the first series but was persuaded by a friend to give this second series a go and I’m glad I did, not least because of the obvious charms of the four leads – Howard Charles (as Porthos), Tom Burke (Athos), Luke Pasqualino (D’Artagnan) and Santiago Cabrera (Aramis).

The Musketeers is, of course, based on the Alexandre Dumas classic so as well as four leather clad heroes there’s plenty of swashbuckling action. In fact, I believe this second series will be somewhat darker than the first; the action scenes more graphic, thereby leaving a little less to the imagination.

Storylines will also continue throughout the run, one no doubt being Rochefort’s endeavour to drive a wedge between the Musketeers and the King. And viewers can expect to discover more about the four main characters’ back stories.

However, yesterday evening’s episode was about Porthos and Co, with the dubious aid of Rochefort, rescuing a French general from a Spanish jail. And let’s not forget his pretty daughter who promptly caught the eye of D’Artagnan.

It had all the hallmarks of a classic action adventure film, complete with an escape route on a kind of zipwire strung across a gorge – no prizes for guessing who got stuck in the middle – and provided just the right amount of suspense to keep you glued to your seat; even if you did suspect that the famous four would survive whatever the enemy (or Rochefort) threw at them.

The Musketeers might not be intellectually challenging but it’s ideal viewing for the end of the week when all you really want is to forget those everyday trials and tribulations and simply be entertained. And that, The Musketeers most certainly does.