By Kristin Battestella
Now, Now. After eight previous Sharpe episodes, I might be tired of the Napoleon Wars, too. Fortunately, writer Charles Wood and Director Tom Clegg give this British TV adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s novels a fine change of pace.
When Major Richard Sharpe’s (Sean Bean) South Essex regiment is about to be disbanded, he and Sergeant Harper (Daragh O’Malley) travel back to England to find new recruits. Unfortunately, Sharpe’s old enemy Sir Henry Simmerson (Michael Cochrane) and Secretary of War Lord Fenner (Nicholas Farrell) are up to no good in organizing the
There are plenty of ladies in Sharpe’s Regiment, but the politics and 19th century boot camp stylings give this film a different vibe. We’ve seen Sharpe whip his men into shape before. Unfortunately this time, Sharpe and Harper are on the receiving end-and it’s nasty. We only see
Sean Bean shows his worth in Sharpe’s Regiment. We see him living it up in
Caroline Langrishe as Lady Anne Camoynes is great fun. Her relationship with Sharpe is an unusual one, but she has purpose to her methods. Unfortunately, Abigail Cruttenden is a miss as Jane Gibbons. It’s horrible to dislike Sean Bean’s future wife, but the character is by nature rushed, forced, and the wrong fit for Sharpe. Her wishy washy and whiney ways make it odd that Sharpe would fall for her so quickly-especially since his mild obsession with Jane isn’t explained here as it is in the books. But alas, there’s a few more random women to be had in Regiment, and there’s villains a plenty. All the higher ups are slime, and Cochrane as Simmerson is as slick as ever. It’s great fun to see these ‘filth’ get their due.
Sharpe’s Regiment is everything this series is about-authentic recreations of Napoleonic England, good boys battling adventure and political intrigue, bad guys getting their due. Available individually or in the series set; Sharpe’s Regiment is an offbeat, but fine edition to the series.