Peter Capaldi to star in new BBC drama The Musketeers

The Thick of It actor will appear next year alongside Skins star Luke Pasqualino and Merlin's Santiago Cabrera in adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' novel

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Peter Capaldi to star in new BBC drama The Musketeers
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Susanna Lazarus

Peter Capaldi has been cast as Cardinal Richelieu in new BBC drama The Musketeers. The man who played The Thick of It's foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker will star alongside Skins actor Luke Pasqualino in the new ten-part drama, set on the streets of 17th century Paris. 

A contemporary take on Alexandre Dumas' classic novel - first serialised in 1844 - the BBC1 series follows Athos, Aramis and Porthos, played by Tom Burke (Great Expectations), Santiago Cabrera (Merlin) and Howard Charles (Royal Shakespeare Company). The action begins when this crack team of King Louis XIII's highly trained soldiers encounters skilled fighter D'Artagnan (Pasqualino), who is on a mission to right the wrong of his father's death. 

Tamla Kari (The Inbetweeners Movie) will play Constance Bonacieux whose dull existence as the wife of a cloth merchant is turned upside down when she mets D'Artagnan and becomes involved with the Musketeers. 

Capaldi portrays Cardinal Richelieu - a shady figure who will stop at nothing in his attempt to modernise France. He is aided on his mission by mysterious and beautiful villain Milady, played by Loving Miss Hatto actress Maimie McCoy. 

The Cardinal advises King Louis, alongside his shrewd wife Queen Anne and Captain Treville (Bedlam's Hugo Speer), the respected leader of the Musketeers. 

Series creator Adrian Hodges (My Week With Marilyn, Primeval) said: "I'm thrilled to be working with such a dynamic, talented and attractive ensemble cast on our new version of The Musketeers. 

"This series is all about passion, romance, heroism and action, and I can't think of a better group of actors to embody those diverse qualities. 

"I'm thrilled by their ability and commitment and honoured they've chosen to come on board to help us create what we hope will be our modern and original take on this great story and its classic characters. 

Controller of BBC drama Ben Stephenson added: "The ambition of this drama is clearly illustrated with such a world-class mix of talent - the perfect team to take the audience on thrilling action adventures every week."

Filming on the series will begin in March. The ten hour-long episodes will be broadcast on BBC1 in 2014. 

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