I have a weakness for a bit of boof*. (Exhibit A: boofy blokes in previous post). Some sinew, some stoush (in a noble cause, natch) and some dusty camaraderie will keep me happily entertained, especially when frogging is involved, which is why I welcome back a certain lanky rifleman to our TV screens in the not-too-distant future. Sharpe has never been aired on free-to-air TV in Australia before, but the original series inspired a certain Vicar of Dibley to put a picture of Sean Bean on the wall next to her picture of Jesus. I utterly adore Sharpe, despite the essential triviality of his previous outings being very well summed up in a 1997 review as follows:
Tosh with a phenomenal budget, that’s Sharpe. If there is a barren hillside in all Europe he has not spectacularly stormed in the cause of this series, it’s been awarded a plaque to say so. Cannon to the right of him, cannon to the left of him, dust pluming, swords clanking, bodies succumbing like skittles to the blast. What Sharpe brilliantly achieves is toy-soldier battles under foreign skies; splendidly enthusiastic, and not the slightest bit real.
The IMDB tells me not only that Sharpe’s Challenge occurs on the subcontinent and involves some sort of interaction with the gorgeous Padma Lakshmi (wife of Salman Rushdie), but that a certain Captain Lawrence character is played by an actor with the utterly fabulous appellation of Lex Shrapnel. I will be devastated if he is not revealed as a right villain of the caddest kind.
The IMDB also informs me that Bean will be playing opposite Tilda Swinton in a film upcoming in 2008 where they play that delightful romantic couple, the Macbeths of Dunsinane. Ohohohohohohohwow.
Those who have not had the chance to be charmed by Napoleonic Wars riflemen in dusty frogging on cable channels should acquaint themselves with earlier Sharpe episodes via DVD ASAP. Anyway, to the Sharpetorium! for all your Sharpely needs. There’s Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin fanfic (not all slash) lurking around in there too.
Speaking of lanky boof, if they could just lure The Ioan** back for some more episodes of Hornblower based on the later books which reflect his mature naval career. Hollywood’s only wasting the Gruff. But more Horatio? – yummo.
* Q: etymology of “boof”/”boofy”? a corruption of boeuf/beef maybe?
** best fanfic cross-over idea evah “Gruffy the Vampire Slayer” (warning: actual execution may not live up to brilliance of original concept)