HE’S the brains behind countless successful TV shows including sci-fi adventure series Primeval.
But Adrian Hodges from Charney Bassett, near Wantage, who is the creator and executive producer of the BBC’s new multi-million drama The Musketeers, admits he’s feeling nervous ahead of tomorrow’s first episode.
The 56-year-old said the new series, which starts tomorrow night at 9pm, is a steamy, violent, swashbuckling adventure harking back to the adventure movies he grew up with.
Mr Hodges, who has written some of the series, said: “It is not like anything you might expect from the Musketeers.
The stars of The Musketeers Aramis (Santigo Cabera), Porthos (Howard Charles), Athos (Tom Burke), D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino)
“I used to love the old swashbuckling, Errol Flynn films and I thought if we could get that up-to-date with a new daredevil spirit we might have something people would like.
“For me it is the fruition of a lifelong dream, to be able to carry those memories with me then have a chance to make them into something like this.”
The series, more than two years in the making, was shot entirely on location in castles and palaces in the Czech Republic.
Mr Hodges, who lives with his wife Angela and their daughter Becky, 16, said: “The irony is that the Czech Republic looks more like 17th-century France than France does.”
He wouldn’t give away the total cost of the 10-part drama, but said it was definitely more than £6m.
The series and characters are based on the original 1844 stories by French novelist Alexandre Dumas, but see the Musketeers thrown into new adventures.
And the show’s producers will be hoping to compete with the sizeable viewing figures of hit shows like Doctor Who.
Mr Hodges’ previous best, Primeval, had 6.5m viewers at its peak.
He added: “That Dr Who slot is competitive. It is tough to get the audience on side, but when you do they stay loyal. I am feeling a little bit nervous but I’m also very proud of the show – I think it is tremendous fun, and anyone with any affection for adventure will love it.”
Mr Hodges’ wife spent 10 years acting in TV dramas including The Bill, Casualty and Peak Practice.
And now even their daughter, Oxford High School student Becky, is pursuing her own career as a director, as reported in Thursday’s Oxford Mail.
Mr Hogdes added: “I think it is very natural that if you grow up around the business, it might be an area you are interested in, but Becky is very different to me, she wants to be a director. I think she probably already knows more about film than I do.”
YOU might remember Adrian Hodges from...
Primeval – Sci-Fi TV dinosaur adventure series, 2007-13 (creator, writer)
Labyrinth – Historical TV drama, 2012 (writer)
My Week with Marilyn – Film, historical drama, 2011 (creator, writer)
The Shadow in the North – Fantasy drama, TV, 2007 (writer, novel by Philip Pullman)
The Ruby in the Smoke – Fantasy drama, TV, 2006 (writer, novel by Philip Pullman)
Rome – Historical/ fantasy drama, TV, 2005 (writer, one episode)
The Lost World – Fantasy TV drama, 2001 (writer)