Sharpe is a British series of television dramas starring Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe is the hero of a number of novels by Bernard Cornwell; most, though not all, of the episodes are based on the books. Produced by Celtic Films and Picture Palace Films for the ITV network, the series was shot mainly in Turkey and the Crimea, although some filming was also done in England, Spain and Portugal. The series originally ran from 1993 to 1997. In 2004, as part of ITV's new set of drama, ITV announced that it intended to produce new episodes of Sharpe, in co-production with BBC America, loosely based on his time in India, with Sean Bean continuing his role as Sharpe. Sharpe's Challenge is a two-part adventure; part one premiered on ITV on 23 April 2006, with part two being shown the following night. With more gore than earlier episodes, the show was broadcast by BBC America in September 2006. At a book signing in Bath on 11 October 2006, Bernard Cornwell revealed that there were plans by ITV to film two more episodes. Filming was supposed to start in April, but was postponed due to the resignation of ITV's chief executive, at which point production was pushed back to September. However, Sean Bean was unavailable due to other commitments, so production was postponed once more. When asked about the stories, Cornwell said that he believed that they were producing two new stories specially for television. It was announced that filming Sharpe's Peril, produced by Celtic Film/Picture Palace, began on 3 March 2008 in India. The first part was broadcast on ITV on 2 November 2008 with the second part shown a week later. Sharpe's Challenge and Sharpe's Peril were broadcast in the US in 2010 as part of PBS' Masterpiece Classic season.
Summer 1813 - An angry Sharpe goes in search of the British infantry who failed to prevent the French retreat from a recent battle. Sharpe discovers that the infrantry men are deserting and is unable to prevent it. Meanwhile, Ellie Nugent, a relative of Wellington, rides into camp accompanied by her mother. They are searching for Ellie's father who has gone missing while looking for Aztec gold in hills nearby. Wellington refuses to help them and orders them to return home. Wellington has more serious problems to contend with as he is running short of men in the army and has agreed to exchange 52 captured deserters for Baker rifles. Sharpe is ordered to make the exchange and is followed by Ellie and her mother.
Sept 1813 - While in the Spanish hills, Sharpe and his men come across a scene of devastation in the town of Casa Antiga. The town has been sacked by the fearsome French commander, Brigadier General Guy Loup and his Wolf brigade. Perkins rescues a young woman from two of Loup's soldiers and they are arrested. When Loup rides into town demanding they be released, Sharpe refuses and has them executed in front of him. Loup vows revenge.Back at camp, Wellington gives Sharpe command of the Royal Irish Company and orders him to knock them into shape. The Irish descendants are inexperienced and unused to the harsh realities of war and it is not long before they consider mutiny. Sharpe tells them they have three choices: be slaughtered by the French, get shot for deserting or stay and learn how to be soldiers. Sharpe's gallantry and battle-hardened experience wins the company over and they soon begin to respect him.However Sharpe faces treachery from the Spanish partisan fighter, Dona Juanita de
The Franco-Spanish Frontier 1813 - A carriage travelling throught the Spanish countryside is ambushed by French soldiers and a young nun flees in terror. Later, the soldiers themselves are attacked by the English and the French colonel kills his captain and trades uniforms. The French soldier claims to be Captain Dumas and surrenders himself to Sharpe. Sharpe is suspicious, but before he can question Dumas further, Col Berkeley of the South Essex accepts the man's parole. The terrified, young nun emerges from the woods and attaches herself to Sharpe. Struck dumb with fear she is unable to tell Sharpe who she is or what happened.Later, Munro tells Sharpe that Napolean has sent a French colonel to capture a British agent called El Mirador. Sharpe is ordered to go to Villafranca to kill the colonel. At Villafranca, Sharpe is dismayed to discover that an old enemy, Sir Henry Simmerson, is in charge of the town. He pompously declares that the French are no threat and is immediately proved wro