WGBH Openvault

Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Peril


License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Masterpiece Classic
Sharpe's Peril
Program Number


Series Description

Each winter and spring, Masterpiece classic features signature period dramas. For 2009, Masterpiece classic premieres January 4th with host Laura Linney.

Emmy Award-winning actress Laura Linney will be the new host of Masterpiece classic, making her first appearance when the series premieres with a new adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles on January 4, 2009 on PBS.

In 2009, the series returns with works by three beloved British authors, including Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (January 4 and 11), starring new Bond girl Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace); Emily Brontë's haunting Wuthering Heights (January 18 and 25) with Tom Hardy (The Virgin Queen) as Heathcliff and newcomer Charlotte Riley as Cathy. In February, Masterpiece classic launches The Tales of Charles Dickens with a bold new adaptation of Oliver Twist, starring Timothy Spall (A Room with A View), and Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees) in a heartbreaking performance as Nancy. In March, there will be a repeat of the acclaimed David Copperfield starring Daniel Radcliffe in the role that led him to Harry Potter. Beginning on March 29 is the highly anticipated five-part miniseries Little Dorrit from Bleak House screenwriter Andrew Davies, starring Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley, The Way We Live Now), rising star Claire Foy as Amy Dorrit, and Tom Courtenay (Billy Liar, A Rather English Marriage) as her father. On May 3, The Incomplete Charles Dickens closes with a star-studded The Old Curiosity Shop, with Derek Jacobi, Toby Jones (W., Infamous), Zoë Wanamaker (Harry Potter, Gormenghast), and Gina McKee (The Forsyte Saga). Series release date: 1/4/2009

Program Description

Sean Bean returns as British soldier-hero Richard Sharpe, a rough diamond who has risen through the ranks of the army on the back of his brave exploits. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, "Sharpe" is based on the popular novels of Bernard Cornwall. "Sharpe's Peril" opens with Sharpe traveling across India in 1818, escorting the beautiful Marie-Angelique Bonnet to meet her fiance. Little does our hero know that he will inadvertently stumble across a massive opium trafficking ring.

Richard Sharpe and Patrick Harper are escorting the beautiful but headstrong Marie-Angelique Bonnet across central India to meet her fiancé, Major Joubert. However they soon fall in with a mixed detachment of different troops that badly needs their leadership due to bandit attacks. Coming to Sharpe's aid is a passing group of East India Company troops headed by Colonel Dragomirov. Continuing their journey to the fortress where they expect to find Major Joubert, Sharpe's convoy instead discovers that the entire garrison has been massacred, except for the commander, who has been tortured. Incoherent at first, he later makes a startling revelation.

As it becomes clear that Sharpe and his party have unwittingly learned of a conspiracy that marks them all for death as people who know too much, they prepare for a climactic battle against overwhelming odds. Could this really be Sharpe's last stand?

© Sharpe's Peril Limited 2008

A Celtic, Picture Palace, Duke Street Films Co-production



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Eaton, Rebecca (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Peril,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 19, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6C14A909291944E7A054ED8B1CB9F609.
MLA: “Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Peril.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 19, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6C14A909291944E7A054ED8B1CB9F609>.
APA: Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Peril. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6C14A909291944E7A054ED8B1CB9F609
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.