Carlton video have relased a further two volumes of the hugely popular TV series on DVD taking the total now to 4. Each DVD contains two stories, along with extra features, and are superb value priced just £14.99 each. With the stories being released in order, this is will culminate in a very nice set, and if you buy all of them, and collect the tokens, you will be able to send off for the final instalment, Sharpe the Legend, for just £3.00. The series is based on the books by Bernard Cornwell and starrring Sean Bean as Sharpe, the series chronicles his life in the British Army. Sharpe was born to an alocholic prostitute in a rough part of London and grew up the hard way. After killing a man, he enlisted in the Army to prevent a meeting with the Hangman's noose, serving in the 33rd Foot under Wellesey (later to become The Duke of Wellington).
C O M P E T I T I O N
The actor who played Wellington in Sharpe also played the sidekick in a LWT detective series. What was the series?
Of courese, tha answer was Poirot!
The winner is Mr R Bickerton of Harrogate, and your pirze is on its way to you.
The first DVD contains both episodes from this series, and also includes a 25 minute special documentary Sharpe's Shooting, that provides a unique insight into the production of the series. With a production stills gallery and behind the scenes notes, this double DVD is a must for any fan of the series and priced just £14.99, is excellent value for money. There is also a token included in the pack (with others to follow in later releases) that will allow you to send off for a bonus DVD - Sharpe the Legend - that runs for 90 minutes.
This episode was originally broadcast on the 5th May 1993. Sharpe is promoted to Lieutenant of the 95th Rifles after saving Wellesey's life, and soon after is given the task of saving the British Army from financial ruin by finding a banker lost behind the French lines. Whilst on the mission, Sharpe and his men meet up with a beautiful Spanish guerilla leader, Commandante Teresa Moreno, and the two groups agree to travel together. Each have their own agenda, however, but it may be in their combined interests to work together.
The second episode was broadcast a week later, and sees Sharpe rise to the rank of Captain. This fast movement through the ranks is not met with enthusiasm by all though, and Colonel simmerson and his two Lieutenants are amongst the unhappy few. A plot develops to disgrace Sharpe, and Sharpe has his hands full trying to foil the plot, help defeat the French, and also fulfil a death bead promise and capture a French Eagle.
The second DVD to be released by Carlton contains first two episodes of the second season whaich was originally broadcast weekly between 25th May and 8th June 1994, and consisted of three episodes. The final episode of this series appears alongside the first episode of the third series.
This episodes features special guests Pete Postlethwaite as Sgt Obediah Hakeswill, and Michael Byrne as Nairn. Wellington's troops are about to storm the besieged city of Badajoz and the assault is expected to be long and bloody, with losses high. Sharpe finds himself relieved of his captaincy and given the duties of a quartermaster as new officers arrived from England, and if this isn't enough, Sgt. Obediah Hakeswill is among the new arrivals. Sharpe and Hakeswill are not the best of friends, and when Hakeswill assaults Teresa, his old feud with Sharpe is quickly re-ignited.
In order to secure his future, and that of his own company, Sharpe must win promotion, and in the only way he can see of doign this is by joining The Forlorn Hope, a party of desperadoes who volunteer to be first into the breach. His chances of survival are slim, but the alternative is unthinkable.
Hakeswill is back, this time at the head of a horde of deserters - French and Portuguese, as well as British - who have taken over the Spanish town of Adrados. He and his undisciplined rabble have taken hostage two English ladies (Liz Hurley as Lady Isabella Farthingdale), and Sharpe, with a handfull of men, is given the task of breaking into the rebel stronghold and rescueing them safely. Outnumbered and outgunned, Sharpe uses the cover of night to enter the town, and once there he clashes with a French officer engaged on a similar rescue mission.
But larger and more dangerous forces are afoot. Major Ducos, Napoleon's spymaster is preparing for a secret invasion by the forces of General Chaumier. This is an attack for which the British are completely unprepared. But before he can alert Wellington, Sharpe must bring the hostages to safety.
Sharpe is forced into a duel after he is falsely accused of adultery with a woman he has never even met, however, duels are forbidden in Wellington's army, and it is only the wily Major Nairn that keeps Sharpe from a court martial, but Nairn cannot save him when his Spanish opponent is found murdered. A trial is held, and Sharpe is condemned to hang.
A further three episodes were transmitted between 12th and 26th April 1995. All of this series has now been released on DVD by Carlton, with the first appearing alongside the last episode of series two.
Ellie Nugent, a young Irishwoman, has come to Spain in search of her missing father, and is introduced to Sharpe. Ellie's father disappeared on the trail of Aztec gold believed to be hidden in the area and, despite Wellington's orders to the contrary, she and her mother are determined to find him.
French forces, led by the ruthless Guy de Loup, are burning villages and butchering whole families throughout the Spanish countryside and Sharpe is given orders are to stop them. But all he has to do it with are his own men and an inexperienced ceremonial unit. Sharpe is put in charge of turning the unit into a fighting force, but with de Loup and his battle-hardened on the way, Sharpe knows they are nowhere near ready for battle.
Intelligence reports indicate that a French officer is on his way to Villafranca to assassinate one of Wellington's most valued agents. If he succeeds, Wellington's intelligence network will be in tatters. Sharpe is sent to intercept and kill the assassin, yet after a fierce battle between the French & the English, it is Sharpe who is wounded and left for dead…
This series was the first to contain an episode that was not based on one of the novels by Bernard Cornwell. Broadcast between 1st and 15th
May 1996, the final episode was an original story.
This was the final series to be broadcast, and was aired between 7th and 21st May 1997. The second episode, Sharpe's Justice, was another
original story not based on the novels.