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Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Challenge


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Masterpiece Classic
Sharpe's Challenge
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. A year after the battle of Waterloo, dispatches from India warn that a local Maharaja is threatening British interests. Sharpe is sent to what turns out to be his most dangerous mission to date in "Sharpe's Challenge."

War weary and retired, Colonel Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean, The Lord of the Rings) is summoned by the Duke of Wellington to find a missing agent, but he resolutely declines. When he learns the MIA officer is his old friend Sergeant Major Patrick Harper (Daragh O'Malley), fighter and free spirit Sharpe quickly reconsiders, and begins a perilous adventure amidst rebellious forces in British India. Sharpe's seemingly impossible mission: storm an impenetrable fortress, rescue the daughter of a British general and quell the rebellion. With the odds stacked against him, Sharpe confronts shifting allegiances, incompetent leadership within the British troops, the conniving seduction of Madhuvanthi (Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef) and an explosive confrontation with an old foe. Has Sharpe finally found one challenge he won't be able to conquer? Sharpe's Challenge is based on the characters created by novelist Bernard Cornwell.

© Sharpe Challenge Limited 2006

A Celtic Films Entertainment, Picture Palace Films, BBC AMERICA co-production



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Broadcast program

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Eaton, Rebecca (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Challenge,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 24, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A7E0A048F46F491FBC33A6B81A15A3F5.
MLA: “Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Challenge.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 24, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A7E0A048F46F491FBC33A6B81A15A3F5>.
APA: Masterpiece Classic; Sharpe's Challenge. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A7E0A048F46F491FBC33A6B81A15A3F5
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