The Musketeers return for season 2!

2016-02-25 15:01

Cape Town – The Musketeers return for season 2 on BBC First (DStv 119) from Saturday 27 February at 18:00.

On the streets of 17th century Paris, law and order is more a fledgling idea than reality, and the Musketeers, Athos, Aramis and Porthos, are far more than merely royal bodyguards for King Louis XIII; they are inseparable, loyal unto death and committed to upholding justice.

In this explosive second series, France teeters on the brink of war with Spain, and the death of Cardinal Richelieu has left a void that could yet be filled by an even darker threat.

Vividly evoking the grit and grime of 17th century Paris's mean streets, this crack team of highly trained soldiers fight for honour, for valour, for love, and just for the pure thrill of it.

Tom Burke who plays Athos sat down for a quick Q&A.

How did you find the response to series one?

All I can say is that I’m very aware that people like it and that people seem to approach me with smiling faces rather than scowls! There’s been no shouting at me so from that perspective it seems to have gone down very well. I usually stay clear of any sort of online or blog critical response so I couldn’t tell you from that. From my perspective it seems like people like it, and I’m delighted about that.

What can we expect to see from Athos this series?

I suppose he sort of unravels a bit. He’s already unravelled a bit in series one with all the things he’s been through with Milady, but that isn’t really over. There are a few demons he has to face and he has to examine his reasons for being a Musketeer, because really in a way there’s an element of being a fugitive from his own past, and seeking out a profession that would in some way enable him to absorb himself in the present moment to escape the past. About half way through this series he finds he has to face a lot of that stuff about real doing good, not just doing good for the sake of not having the think about your own demons – but actually doing good for its own sake. I think that’s what he sees in D’Artagnan. He sees somebody who is a vocationally a force for good, whereas Athos is almost accidentally became that. The biggest thing in his life is the Milady relationship, and his relationship with D’Artagnan gets deeper. He’s quite a secretive person and you see him lowering his guard with the others more in this series, which very much comes out of being cornered.

How is he feeling about Milady?

It’s a really slow burn of unravelling with her. I think he already knows he didn’t deal with things in the right way with her in the past, and it’s a case of what if I’d actually found the strength to forgive her – it’s all what if’s with her. I don’t want to spoil it but ultimately it’s a big journey.

How is Athos’ relationship with D’Artagnan now after the revelations about Milady?

We’ve kind of left it blank but the idea was that he’s got this odd relationship with D’Artganan where he feels like he’s another version of himself in a different set of circumstances, and he feels so close to him that in a weird way – and I think this could be a French thing – but I think there’s a sense that he doesn’t mind that D’Artagnan has been with the love of his life. There’s not that sense of property, but if there is it’s somewhat diminished by having a close bond with a friend. There’s a grey area there. He doesn’t feel that sense of territorial-ness about D’Artagnan as he might with somebody else.

Has it been nice being back in Prague with the cast?

I love Prague and everybody, especially the five of us – I say the five of us because Hugo (Speer) is very much a part of it. The girls are also an incredibly valued part of the team, who seems to be coming and going more which works out really well. We have a very good time with all the guys, then the girls come on and it’s a slightly different vibe. It’s really nice with all the different permutations of having all the different characters on set. It’s always nice when Ryan and Ali are there. Everyone is incredibly nice, we get on really well and the friendships have only got stronger. We got on from day one.

What’s the atmosphere been like on set?

We laugh so much and it really helps because it is a slog on an energy level. It’s got to the point now where it’s like a code between me and the boys, the things we do that annoy each other would probably be invisible to other people, because they’ve come out of tiny things that have elaborated. I wouldn’t know where to begin! I always enjoy the stuff with Maime, that’s always fun to play, because there’s so much of a history there with the characters. With the guys as well it’s always nice to find the nuances with the characters. Even as secretive as Athos is, it’s interesting to find the ways he lets his guard down with the each of them.

How do you think the show has evolved for the second series?

I think it’s a hard question for us to answer because I think even at the beginning when maybe it was a bit lighter in its intention we were all looking for the darkness in it, and were very much encouraged to because that’s our job I suppose. Everyone was looking for that because that’s where the drama is. I’m sure it has but I think that’s always been what we’ve been looking for. It’s got more ambitious in finding context for the characters to be unsympathetic in and I think it’s got bolder.

See the trailer here:

Catch the Musketeers on BBC First (DStv 119) from Saturday 27 February at 18:00.

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