Sharpe's Challenge Menu



sharpe's challenge

the images

the cast

the story

behind the camera

media resources

buy sharpe

contacts and links

Sharpe's Challenge
Sharpe's Challenge - Starring Sean Bean
Media Resources
Press Reviews and Ratings
Sharpe's Challenge Episode 1
UK transmission: 21.00 Sunday, 23 April 2006,  ITV1: 7.1 million Viewers, 30.8%  Audience Share

Sharpe's Challenge Episode 2
UK transmission: 21.00 Monday, 24 April 2006,  ITV1: 5.8 million Viewers, 25.0%  Audience Share

The Making Of Sharpe's Challenge
UK transmission: 22.30 Monday, 24 April 2006,  ITV3: 421,920 Viewers, 4.29%  Audience Share
"Look Sharpe! He leads victorious cavalry charges with ease and finesse. With Richard Sharpe you can expect action, drama and romance. Amazing stunts ... historic sets ... a colourful picture of British India."
Suruchi Mazumdar, The Indian Express

“The films display a lusty sense of fun, and Bean’s rough and rowdy presence makes them very entertaining.”
Hollywood Reporter – 31st August 2006.

“Bean, who often plays villains, makes a great larger-than-life hero.”
Los Angeles Daily News – 5th September 2006.

“Viewers in search of epic adventure are in luck.”
Los Angeles Advocate – 27th May 2006.

“Sharpe maintains a rakish, bawdy edge as he romances the ladies in those moments between the battles.”
Channel Guide - July 2006

“These are perfect couple films. Men will love the action and attention to detail in the battle scenes, while women will love watching Bean – a man made to wear a uniform – in the romantic title role.”
Channel Guide – July 2006

"Ah, good news: Sharpe's Challenge returns, after a gap of eight years ... This show has everything you'd expect. As well as that devilishly handsome but evil maharajah, there are bumbling, bullying, alcoholic British officers bursting out of their britches and losing their minds in the heat of the subcontinent. There are plenty of comedy Indians, some good, some bad, lots killed. There are romantic but impenetrable forts on tops of hills, belly dancers, incense and veiled women of extraordinary beauty. There's a blonde English rose as well, called Celia, whose job is to be captured, to heave her ample bosom, and to have her clothes removed at every opportunity. She falls for Mr Bean, of course - Sean, not Rowan Atkinson - in spite of his 1970s footballer's haircut and his lack of lips. And above everything, somewhere between the action and the relentless sun, vultures circle. Fabulous."
Sam Wollaston, Guardian

"A real rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventure not to be missed."
Alison Lumm, Daily Mirror
"This is classy television of a type you don’t get often, now, and I can’t recommend it highly enough ... Enjoy!”
Lynda Gilby, Sunday Life, Scotland
"It's a rip-roaring adventure ... this is the best-looking Sharpe ever."
Adrian Pettet, Sunday Express
"Swash and buckle ... remained in place right to the end - when a terrfic cliffhanger set up tonight's concluding part very nicely indeed."
James Walton, Daily Telegraph
"After the opening chapter's intrigue, a handsome finale to this rousing adventure, studded with seduction, betrayal and the military buffoonery our long-suffering hero is well used to by now."
Chris Riley, Daily Telegraph
"Sharpe's Challenge was well up to the standard of previous rollicking adventures in this occasional series ... The Indian scenery is voluptuous, the gory battle scenes pull no punches ... the action was dizzying ... and the characters are sharply, if cartoonishly drawn, making it easy to tell the goodies from the baddies."
Peter Paterson, Daily Mail
"It's a sumptuous show, such a treat for the eyes you could watch with no sound."
Matt Baylis, Daily Express
"ITV's sweeping historical entertainment, filled with fruity cameo performances and filmed on location in western Jaipur with 4,000 extras ... 'It's got great scale to it,' says Sean Bean, the actor who playes Sharpe, 'a big budget and some fantastic characters.' What more could anyone ask for?"
David Chater, The Times
"With its wide, open Indian vistas, it has a more epic, cinematic feel than most, and will look good on today's widescreen televisions. Little has changed ... it's formulaic escapism - little more than G.A. Henty for the modern age, with a little added romance for the ladies - but it works ... the derring-do is driven by sound, old-fashioned ideas of honour, courage and decency ... in short supply these days."
Nigel Andrew, Mail On Sunday
"Entertaining hokum."
Jonathan Wright, Guardian
"It's all here, in fact: gratuitous swordplay, gratuitously exposed female breasts, even more gratuitously exposed male breasts..."
Giles Smith, Sunday Telegraph
"...a memorable battle scene ... sword fights quite up to Errol Flynn standards ... All this crash, bang, wallop was not for viewers of a nervous disposition, but the rest of us will be hoping that ITV1 will not allow another eight years to pass before the next Sharpe adventure arrives on screen."
Peter Paterson, Daily Mail
"...with the return of Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe, we can, once again, sit back and indulge ourselves with some toothsome, rugged male crumpet combined with a rattling good yarn ... As usual, these episodes are beautifully written and filmed on location with a lavish attention to detail that must have cost a fortune. Also, as usual, the tale contains plenty of action and derring-do, plus a splendid villain ... There is also, of course, an English maiden in distress, facing a fate worse than death when she is captured and placed in the harem."
Lynda Gilby, Sunday Life, Scotland
"Sean Bean ... back at his two-fisted, all-action best, surviving bloody massacres in order to exact revenge ... Once more, he demonstrated his mastery of riding horses, discharging muskets, biffing baddies and - steady on, ladies! - manfully filling taut military breeches. Sometimes, I declare, he did them all at once. For Mr Bean swashes a very mean buckle indeed."
David Belcher, Scottish Herald
"Our favourite bit-of-rough swashbuckler..."
Jane Simon, Daily Mirror
"...pacy, racy..."
Nicholas Spencer, Financial Times
"...Boy's Own adventure..."
Independent On Sunday
"Sharpe is back. Huzzah ... As ever, the plot is the least important part of the drama. The fun can be found instead in the ease with which Bean commands the screen, in the wonderful villainy of Toby Stephens ... and in the well-drawn comradeship between Sharpe and his former sergeant Patrick Harper (the laid-back Daragh O'Malley). All the staples, from literal bodice-ripping to the maxim that the nastiest of the nasty guys always have biblical names, are present and correct and, as an added bonus, we get the luscious, although slightly limp Padma Lakshmi in what has become known to aficionados as 'the Liz Hurley role'."
Sarah Hughes, Observer
"...lavish ... the story rollicks along and is superbly made and well cast."
Martin James, Sunday Times
"General Dodd ... played with the charm of a hissing cobra by Toby Stephens..."
Matt Baylis, Daily Express
"Toby Stephens makes an entirely villainous Colonel Dodd ... His first meeting with Sharpe shows he's a terrifying adversary for our swashbuckling hero, and their encounter at the end of this episode makes the wait for tomorrow night's conclusion a frustratingly lone one."
Simon Horsford, Daily Telegraph
© 2006 - 2007