Sun, 04/04/2010 - 9:00pm
Pictured: Sean Bean stars as Richard Sharpe

Credit: ©Tony Nutley/Sharpe’s Peril Ltd. For MASTERPIECE

Soldier-adventurer Richard Sharpe comes out of retirement to quash a rebellion in British India and rescue an old friend.
Fresh from the Napoleonic Wars, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sharpe accepts a perilous new mission in British India in the latest installments of the long-running series based on the best-selling novels by Bernard Cornwell.  
MASTERPIECE CLASSIC presents “Sharpe’s Challenge, Sunday, March 28 at 9:00-11:00 p.m., followed by “Sharpe’s Peril, Sunday, April 4, at 9:00-11:00 p.m. on WXXI–TV (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11).
Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings) returns as the gallant but wayward Richard Sharpe, last seen by MASTERPIECE viewers in the mid 1990s when he was fighting Napoleon’s armies in Spain. Daragh O’Malley rejoins Bean as Sharpe’s best friend, Sergeant Major Patrick Harper.
Also starring is Padma Lakshmi (Emmy-nominated host of “Top Chef”) as the beautiful but treacherous Madhuvanthi, who toys with Sharpe in a secluded fortress where a nefarious plot is afoot.
“Sharpe was the hero of my first novel back in 1980, and he’s still going strong,” says author Bernard Cornwell, who has written 24 Sharpe books to date, in addition to his other historical series. “I’m delighted that he has made it through the Napoleonic Wars and is still behaving badly — except now in India!”
A born fighter, Sharpe is also a free spirit who’s in his element with the 95th Rifles, an elite unit of advanced-guard skirmishers in the British army. Sharpe retired from the military after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, but in the new episodes, his patron, the Duke of Wellington (Hugh Fraser, “Poirot”) sends him on a special mission to the subcontinent. The year is 1817 …
In “Sharpe’s Peril,” Sharpe and Harper trek across the plains and mountains of central India, escorting the willful Marie-Angelique Bonnet (Beatrice Rosen, 2012) to meet her fiancé, Major Joubert (Pascal Langdale), and thence to the coast where Sharpe and Harper are due to board a ship for England.
The intrepid duo thinks that the bride-to-be is their only problem, but they’re sorely mistaken. What appear to be bandit attacks soon throw their tiny party together with a rag-tag unit led by the boy-soldier Beauclare (Luke Ward Wilkinson). Among Beauclare’s group is a man under arrest, Barabbas Hakeswell (Amit Behl), who turns out to be the son of Sharpe’s sworn enemy.
Meanwhile, the deadly raids — in reality the work of a devious opium lord called Colonel Dragomirov (Velibor Topic, “Prime Suspect 6”) — grow worse and develop into a Little-Bighorn-style scenario that has all the marks of Sharpe’s last stand. With his options narrowing drastically, how can our hero get out of this scrape?

This program is offered with Descriptive Video (DVi), which provides concise descriptions of the sets, scenery, costumes, action, and other important visual elements between the dialogue of the program.