Been watching The Musketeers and enjoying it immensely. For a lot of people, The Count of Monte Cristo is their favorite Dumas, and I get that. But for me, when I picked up The Three Musketeers in ninth grade, it was like an explosion went off in my brain. About three years earlier I had the same experience with Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. Again, Treasure Island is people’s favorite, or The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, and again, I get that. But Alan Breck? Who could love Long John Silver when there was Alan Breck?
Rafael Sabatini was the next pusher — Captain Blood, Scaramouche, the rest of his work. Don’t even get me started on what happened when I saw Star Wars for the first time. Han Solo joined the swashbuckling bad boy hero pantheon that I sought after like an addict for the next hit.
Aside: The reason men write these characters isn’t because they want to be them; they want to be with them, and you will never convince me otherwise.
And then I encountered D’Artagnan. See, in my high school, I was in with a big group of geeks who would hang out at the library before school, and if that isn’t on-brand for me, I don’t know what is. We were all obsessed with The Three Musketeers. Who was better? Why? The brooding Athos? The sexy Aramis? Porthos, the funny one?* We’d dissect the plots and the action and recommend other books and basically geek out on all things Musketeers.
*Oh Porthos. Dumas gives Porthos the most poignant death at the end of the series and I was so sad I couldn’t even cry.
D’Artagnan. His cheeky conversation Constance when he first meets her. The fact that he has nothing to be afraid of when challenged to a duel by the other two musketeers, because he was sure to die at the hand of the first one. His courage and recklessness and cheerfulness and that tinge of crazy violence…
Back to the show The Musketeers — it works because the people are true fans themselves. It also works because — and I am convinced of this — when they cast their D’Artagnan, they went back to the Richard Lester movie and basically got themselves another Michael York. To wit:
Yes, I get the obvious, but bone structure does not lie.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Yvienne Mederos is in the direct line of descent from these heroes, and if they were smart, they’d see her as a comrade in arms.