The Challenge

Series 1 - Episode 8 The Challenge

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Review

You could write a gender studies essay – somebody probably is – on this drama’s attitude to women. Let’s be honest, the female characters feel like ciphers who are there to look pretty and bolster the blokes’ egos, one way or another.

Now and then there are attempts to improve things – I think the scheming Milady character is meant to be a strong independent woman, as was the laughable comtesse – but the show never pulls it off. OK, it’s set in the 1600s, but every plot and line of dialogue is modern in spirit, so why not the women’s roles?

This episode's oddity is that when Porthos and Aramis need to raise funds they effectively turn gigolos for wealthy widows. Is that the Musketeers’ code of honour?

Summary

The sword-swinging quartet are tasked with bringing the fearsome Labarge, a court official under arrest for killing two Musketeers, back to Paris, but the Red Guards are resentful of their handling of him and a fight breaks out between the two regiments. The King is fed up of the in-fighting between the soldiers, so he calls a contest to settle their rivalry once and for all. For d'Artagnan, this is the chance he has been waiting for to finally prove himself - but first he must learn to control his temper. Vinnie Jones guest stars, with Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera and Howard Charles.

Cast & Crew

Athos Tom Burke
Aramis Santiago Cabrera
Cardinal Richelieu Peter Capaldi
Porthos Howard Charles
King Louis Ryan Gage
Constance Tamla Kari
Milady Maimie McCoy
D'Artagnan Luke Pasqualino
Treville Hugo Speer
Labarge Vinnie Jones
Captain Trudeau John Lightbody
Lambert Perry Fitzpatrick
Bonacieux Bo Poraj
Alice Clerbeaux Zoe Tapper
Prison guard Christos Tolera
Priest Richard Syms
Street seller Simon Meacock
Courtier Giles Taylor
Director Farren Blackburn
Producer Colin Wratten
Writer Susie Conklin
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Drama