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SHARPE'S CHALLENGE

(Features)

Birmingham Mail (England); 4/22/2006

Byline: GRAHAM YOUNG

Tomorrow

SHARPE'S CHALLENGE (Central, 9pm)

IT'S THE five-year series which propelled Sean Bean into Hollywood and then New Zealand as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings.

But now, after an eight-year break, the Sheffield star is back in two new feature-length specials as ITV's swashbuckling hero.

After Wellington crushes Napoleon at Waterloo, dispatches tell of a local Maharaja, Khande Rao, who is threatening British interests in India.

Wellington sends Sharpe to investigate what turns out to be his most dangerous mission to date. The fate of an Empire and the life of a General's daughter lie in one man's hands.

Die Another Day star Toby Stephens plays Colonel William Dodd, a renegade East India Company officer and the Maharaja's villainous henchman.

Now 47, Sean says: "It's quite a bizarre feeling bringing Sharpe back to life but I really enjoyed filming Sharpe's Challenge.

"I think it's probably the best we've done because of the nature of the film and because we were so unrestrained filming in India and you don't often see these kind of panoramas on TV.

"It's got great scale to it, a big budget and some fantastic characters.

"India is definitely the best location we've filmed Sharpe in.

"It's an extraordinary place, magical. I've filmed all over the world but I've never experienced anything like this before - the people, the scenery, the animals and architecture.

"We've filmed at huge fortresses set into hillsides, amazing palaces in the midst of squalor and poverty, in the desert surrounded by mountains. I've found it all fascinating."

CAPTION(S):

INDIAN ADVENTURE... Sharpe (Sean Bean) returns.

COPYRIGHT 2006 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
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