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Soundtrack review: The musketeers (season 3) (Paul Englishby – 2015)


Soundtrack review: The musketeers (season 3) (Paul Englishby – 2015)


“The Musketeers” is a BBC period action drama programme based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas’s novel The Three Musketeers and co-produced by BBC America and BBC Worldwide. In 1630s Paris, Athos, Aramis and Porthos are a group of highly trained musketeers commanded by Captain Treville who meet d’Artagnan, a skillful farm boy with hopes of becoming a musketeer. The series follows them as they fight to protect King and country. The score was written by Paul Englishby and even if the story is completely different, the way he scored “Luther” makes me anticipated this one with joy. We have scores for seasons 2 and 3.
Season 3 begins with “The refugees” which reprises a variation of the ending theme of season 2. The composer seems to take a different path for season 3; I feel the cues are more varied inside. In season 3 there are more pieces which are a mix of action, adventure or emotion rather than being consistent. It’s as if the variety in style that kept season 2 fresh goes even deeper for this one.
As always I am more drawn to the emotional moments. I close my eyes and dream when I hear the waltzy “Sylvie and Athos”. Athos seems to be getting the best of Paul Englishby’s emotional work on “The Musketeers”. Veron also seems to be a very important character in season 3 and the composer makes the themes related to him count. In this season I’m also getting one of the most exciting action pieces from the show, “The prisoner’s escape”.
“Madman” is the kind of cue that stands out from the usual rollercoaster of “The musketeers”. This is a scene I would want to see because the music sends chills down my spine. This is just the peak of a score that brings more darkness than “season 2”. Whether is sadness, melancholy or evil, there’s almost always a dark shadow over the selections from season 3.
As a piano fan I am charmed by “Porthos meets Elodie”. Even if it doesn’t sound like a story with a happy ending, the music gets to me. It’s as tender as it’s deep and it ends up as my favorite cue from the entire show. It’s cleverly followed by “Death of a great man” which is even more heartbreaking. I forget all about adventure when I hear pieces like these.
The selections from season 3 of “The musketeers” showed more complex compositions than season 2. It’s a natural evolution and completes a very compelling couple of hours from Paul Englishby. This composer is emerging as one of my favorite TV writers.
Cue rating: 91 / 100
Total minutes of excellence:
Album excellence:
2_05_sylvie And Athos
2_06_veron’s Entertainment
2_09_the Prisoner’s Escape
2_14_death Of A Great Man
2_15_hiding The King
2_19_we Refuse To Die
2_20_season Three Finale

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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