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.
After the last battle has been fought, the Peninsula war is finally over for Britain and her allies, but the action does not end here for Sharpe. He is set up by his long-time enemy, Ducos, and is accused of stealing Napolean's priceless treasures.Sharpe is also abandoned by his wife, Jane, who returns to England, where she meets the handsome Lord Rossendale. On the run from both the English and the French, Sharpe must find a way to prove his innocence.
The war over, Sharpe returns to England with his reputation restored. He is ordered to the North of England to command a local militia force in his home town which is troubled with unrest.Sharpe soon finds himself torn between the gentry, Lord Willoughby Parfit, the yeomanry captain Wickham and the locals, while discovering secrets from his own past.Sharpe also has the chance to confront Jane, when Lord Rossendale inherits a mansion near where Sharpe is stationed.
Sharpe has settled down to an idyllic lifestyle with Lucille on her French farm, when the news of Napolean's escape from Elba compels him to return to the army to fight at Waterloo. There, he joins the staff of the Prince of Orange. Reunited with his Chosen Men, Sharpe abandons the inept prince and organises the defence of key British positions on the farm of La Haie Sainte.