Sharpe's Challenge

Sean Bean stars as Bernard Cornwell's hero Richard Sharpe in "Sharpe's Challenge", the latest of a series of films. Toby Stephens also stars as Col. William Dodd.

Sharpe's Challenge will air on PBS on March 28, 2010
To be followed by Sharpe's Peril on April 4, 2010

Here is the synopsis found at Sharpefilm...

Two years after Wellington crushes Napoleon at Waterloo, dispatches from India tell of a local Maharaja, Khande Rao, who is threatening British interests there. Wellington sends Sharpe to investigate what turns out to be his most dangerous mission to date.

The last scout sent - whom we discover is Sharpe’s best friend, Sgt Harper - has gone missing. His latest report suggests that the real power behind the Maharaja is one Colonel Dodd (a malcontent East India Company officer ‘turned rogue’) and that the Maharaja has gathered into his impregnable fort a contingent of refugees from Napoleon’s army - adventurers looking to make their fortunes in India. It’s the French that trouble Wellington the most: their experience, tactics and discipline could help fashion the Indians into something more than ‘just a perennial bloody nuisance’…

As usual, Wellington has not painted the full picture. For once in India, Sharpe discovers the situation is already far graver than he was led to believe; and things only get worse when the daughter of General Burroughs, the commander of His Britannic Majesty’s forces in the region, is kidnapped and held in the Maharajah’s fort by his villainous henchman, Colonel Dodd (Toby Stephens) and the scheming yet beautiful Madhuvanthi (Padma Lakshmi). The British were planning to storm the Maharajah’s fort by blowing up one of the outer walls—but the Maharajah now vows to execute the General’s daughter if any such attack is carried out. Worse still, it turns out that General Burroughs has gone down with a fever and that Sharpe’s gutless nemesis, General Simmerson, is now in overall charge of the army.

Sharpe, now reunited with Harper (Daragh O’Malley), devises a plan. The two friends will disguise themselves as deserters and become part of the Maharajah’s motley crew. Once inside the fort they will rescue the General’s daughter and get word to him of her safety - together with details of which side of the fort they should attack. General Simmerson reluctantly agrees. However once inside the fort things don’t quite go as Sharpe has planned...

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