Season 1 Episode 2

Sharpe's Eagle

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 12, 1993 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

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Episode Summary

Sharpe's Eagle
Spain 1809

Colonel Sir Henry Simmerson arrives with his regiment, the South Essex, and Wellesley orders the South Essex to blow up a bridge at Valdelacasa. Aware that Simmerson is incompetent, Wellesley orders Sharpe to see that the mission is a success, in exchange for a promotion to captain. Simmerson is furious to learn that Sharpe is not a gentleman and was raised from the ranks. He orders Sharpe to train his men to fire three rounds a minute by nightfall, or they will be flogged. Sharpe and Harper succeed, but this infuriates Simmerson even more. Sharpe has made an enemy. The following day, Simmerson orders Captain Lennox to lead the South Essex across the bridge and chase off a small French patrol. However, a large body of French cavalry appears and the men of the South Essex panic and flee across the bridge. As the French cavalry butcher them, Sharpe leads his Chosen Men to the rescue, unaware that Simmerson has ordered the bridge to be blown, so they are trapped on the wrong side. The French capture the King's Colours of the South Essex. The dying Lennox urges Sharpe to avenge this insult by capturing a French imperial eagle. A furious Wellesley disbands the South Essex and promotes Sharpe to Captain. Sharpe is later warned that if Simmerson can't damage Wellesley, he will do his best to strip Sharpe of his promotion. Sharpe realises that the only way he can hold his own is by capturing the eagle.moreless

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  • One of the best in the series, Sharpe\\\'s Eagle boasts excellent dialogue, action sequences and a memorable villain.

    After the strong impression made by Sharpes Rifles, the second installment proves to be even better. Our dashing hero returns with his chosen men to sort out the regiment of the South Essex under the comand of the cruel and obnoxious henry Simmerson and his equally corrupt officers. A mere Leiutenant and the laughing stock of the officer\\\'s mess Sharpe is forced to stand up for a young lady who is phillandered by Simmerson\\\'s nephew whilst trying to turn the South Essex into aregiment to be proud of. When Simmerson loses the King\\\'s colours in a Skirmish, a dying man\\\'s request is that an eagle be captured - hoping for promotion, Sharpe plans to capture an eagle at Talevera - a great and bloody battle to come.

    The film is a constant battle of wills between Sharpe and his superirors, especially the memorably despicable Simmerson.The frequent verbal duels which occur make the film a treat to watch, but the film also highlights the first time Sharpe goes into a large battle with his companions and trains the south Essex to stand against the French. Sharpe also continues his relationship with Teresa, a strong leading lady from start to finish.

    The climax of the film, the Battle of Talevera is admittidly short but breathtaking. The combat is particularly well done in this episode and the final stand in which the South Essex try to gun down a French Column before it reaches them simply oozes tension and excitement.

    This really is a classic and one of the best in the series -I highly reccomend it.moreless
Brian Cox

Brian Cox


Guest Star

Assumpta Serna

Assumpta Serna


Guest Star

David Troughton

David Troughton


Guest Star

Daragh O'Malley

Daragh O'Malley


Recurring Role

Michael Cochrane

Michael Cochrane

Sir Henry Simmerson

Recurring Role

Michael Mears

Michael Mears


Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Hogan: Sharpe.
      Sharpe: Yes, sir?
      Hogan: Stop showing off, Sharpe.
      Sharpe: Yes, sir.

    • Wellesley: Major Hogan leaves the worst to the last. He says you lost the King's Colours.
      Simmerson: The fault was not mine, sir. Major Lennox must answer.
      Wellesley: Major Lennox answered with his life! As you should have done if you had any sense of honour. You lost the Colours of the King of England. You disgraced us, sir. You shamed us, sir. You will answer... the South Essex is stood down in name. If I wipe the name, I may wipe the shame. I am making you a battalion of detachments, you will fetch and carry...
      Simmerson: I have a cousin at Horse Guards, sir, and I have friends at court.
      Wellesley: A man who loses the King's Colours loses the King's friendship.

    • Hogan: Shall we say six o'clock tomorrow morning, in the field behind the camp? Or should we say it was damn dark, and you made a damn bad mistake?
      Gibbons: Silly mistake. Say no more about it, eh?
      Hogan: Good thinking, Gibbons. Sharpe would have shot out your left eye at a minute past six, and you'd have spent all day tomorrow looking up at nothing with the other.

    • Hogan: Well, what are your intentions, Sir Arthur?
      Wellesley: Why, Hogan, I mean to give the French a damn good thrashing.

    • Leroy: Money talks. Merit walks.

    • Berry: (attacking Sharpe) This is going to hurt quite a bit, old boy.
      Harper: So will this, old boy.
      (kills Berry)

    • (after Simmerson has lost the colors)
      Major Hogan: Take my advice, and a pistol, and go behind that tent, and blow out what's left of your brains.

    • Sharpe: They're flogged soldiers, sir, and flogging teaches a soldier only one lesson.
      Major Hogan: What's that, Richard?
      Sharpe: How to turn his back.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Sharpe's Eagle was first broadcast in the US on Masterpiece Theatre in two parts on November 28 and December 5, 1993.

    • This was David Troughton's last performance as General Sir Arthur Wellesley, later to become the Duke of Wellington. Hugh Fraser then took over the role.

    • Brian Cox again appears as Wellington's spy, Major Hogan. He is replaced by Michael Byrne as Major Nairn in the second season.