New crop of musketeers featured in Pax TV series


Published: Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 3:33 a.m.

One for all and all for one? Well, this is the one: ''Young Blades,'' a lighthearted action show for all that follows a new generation of swashbucklers inspired by ''The Three Musketeers.''

Set in 17th century France, ''Young Blades'' is a weekly costume drama full of derring-do, romance and a bit of campy humor, with three young adventurers (a ladies man, a poet and an inventor) joined by a comely ringer: Jacqueline, a hunted fugitive boasting a gift for swordplay who is forced to masquerade as a boy as she enlists in the Musketeer Academy.

Bruce Boxleitner (''Scarecrow and Mrs. King'') stars as Captain Duval, the oft-exasperated father figure who leads the academy.

Also on hand is Sheena Easton as Queen Anne, mother to the whiny royal son as he waits to assume control of the French kingdom upon his 18th birthday. Charles Shaughnessy (''The Nanny'') has the recurring role of Charles D'Artagnan, the Musketeer whose son is one of the new band.

Michael Ironside plays villainous Cardinal Mazarin, who is plotting to seize the throne. Can the rambunctious musketeers protect the homeland from his evil schemes - while keeping chivalry alive?

For all ages, ''Young Blades'' premieres at 8 tonight on Pax TV.

Other shows to look out for:

  • Warned by sources that both terrorists and materials used for radioactive weapons have entered Great Britain, members of Scotland Yard do their best to apprehend the perpetrators before their dirty bomb is built and detonated - but all efforts fall short.

    ''Dirty War'' is a fictional thriller that tells a disturbing what-if story: the planning and execution of a ''dirty bomb'' attack on central London, then the terrifying aftermath. Based all too closely on real life, this HBO drama airs 9 p.m. Monday.

  • On March 11, 2004, as four early morning commuter trains were arriving at Atocha station in Madrid, a series of bombs were detonated, leaving 191 people dead and more than 1,400 injured. The worst terrorist attack in the history of Western Europe, it was a grim reminder that the followers of al-Qaida were alive and well.

    PBS' ''Frontline'' investigates the alarming threat that radical Salafist jihadists pose to Western Europe and its allies - including the United States. Many experts say this threat stems from terrorists' belief that violence is justified to free the Muslim world from the influence of the United States and Europe. And since it's difficult for jihadists to launch an attack on U.S. cities, the focus has turned to local targets in Western Europe. It airs 9 p.m. Tuesday. The correspondent: Lowell Bergman.

  • Is the newest ''Simple Life'' another hilarious outing for Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie? Or is it a tiresome reprise of a shallow idea long since tapped out?

    That's what we wondered last June when ''Simple Life 2'' appeared, and though we're still pretty sure of the answer, we'll ask again as season No. 3, ''The Simple Life: Interns,'' begins on Fox at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

    Did someone say interns? No, thank goodness, the bimbutants aren't cracking the medical profession (''Omigod! How can you tell the sticky side of the Band-Aid?''). Instead, they're packing their 12 suitcases and three lapdogs to make their mark in the business world. Hey, isn't it time to declare ''The Simple Life'' bankrupt?

  • ''The Exonerated'' features a roster of distinguished actors including Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Delroy Lindo, Aidan Quinn and newcomer David Brown Jr. in a Court TV film that gives voice to six innocent people who spent years on death row before being set free.

    Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and based on true cases, ''The Exonerated'' draws from documentary material including interviews, letters, transcripts and the public record to illuminate the fallibility of the American criminal justice system. Then, as a postscript to the film, viewers will meet the real-life people portrayed in ''The Exonerated.''

    Actor Bob Balaban, who developed and directed the original stage production, serves as director and executive producer for ''The Exonerated'' in its TV version. It airs 9 p.m. Thursday.

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