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The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1999 TV series loosely based on the series of adventure novels by Baroness Orczy. It stars Richard E. Grant as Sir Percy Blakeney, who rescues aristocrats from the French Revolution under the guise of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
In addition to tropes inherited from the novels, this series provides examples of:
- Adaptation Dye Job: Dark-haired Richard E. Grant as the blond Sir Percy.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Used on a member of the League to get him to reveal the Pimpernel's identity. It doesn't work.
- Darker and Edgier: A lot more sex, gore, and grime than the original.
- Death by Adaptation: Tony Dewhurst
- Dies Wide Open: A member of the League, after being tortured by the Chauvelin's men. The Pimpernel does the obligatory eye-closing thing.
- IKEA Weaponry: The Pimpernel has a dagger assembled from three pieces that fit into secret compartments in his boot.
- It Will Never Catch On:
- The Pimpernel, an avid cricket player, delivers a bomb to a hard-to-reach area in the modern overarm manner. A companion suggests he should try that in his cricket games as a variant to the traditional underarm bowling. He says it'll never catch on. Either method of delivery was perfectly acceptable (although underarm was phased out in the late 19th century) until the 1980s, when underarm bowling was banned.
- In the same episode, Percy hires a young unknown painter, Joseph Turner, to paint a landscape of his house and the surrounding gardens. Percy's friends are skeptical by the finished product, but Percy himself loves it and assures Turner that he's going to go places. This is Truth in Television; landscapes were relatively uncommon and it was in a large part Turner's work which elevated their status.
- Neck Snap: The Pimpernel kills a guard this way during a prison break.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Resulting in nothing more than a smear of blood on the wall.
- Shirtless Scene: Several, including a particularly gratuitous one for Jamie Bamber.
- Speech Impediment: Tony Dewhurst gains a stammer.
- Throwing the Distraction: Used by the Pimpernel during a prison break.
- Traumatic Haircut: Marguerite, when she's about to be executed.
- Tricked-Out Shoes: The Pimpernel's boot with the secret compartments in the lining and heel.