Sharpe's Challenge Blu-ray review

Sean Bean is having problems with the chuffin' natives

Taking elements from three of Bernard Cornwell novels (Sharpe's Tiger, Sharpe's Triumph and Sharpe's Fortress) this 2006 production finds Sean Bean's legendary British soldier undertaking 'one last mission' for the Duke of Wellington. The story takes him to India, where he must put pay to the treacherous Major William Dodd (Toby Stephens) and rescue the lovely Celia Burroughs (Lucy Brown) from the the leader of a local revolt. It's all fairly brisk paced stuff - especially as this disc only features the shorter 106min cut, not the original two-part 138min version - with Bean scowling and swashing his buckles at every opportunity. Fans of Primeval stunner Lucy Brown are also in for a real treat - head to 20mins 19secs for an unhindered look at here *ahem* two biggest assets, and visit 35mins 35secs for a slightly less clear, but still skin-tastic, bath scene.

Unearthing artefacts
The fact that the VC-1 1.78:1 1080p encode looks as good as it does only helps the view in these sequences, although there is some minor artefacting elsewhere that robs the image of some impact. Audio is provided as a bog-standard lossy DD5.1 mix (odd, as the simultaneously released Sharpe's Peril has a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix). A fan-pleasing collection of extras includes a commentary by actors Sean Bean and Daragh O'Malley, a second commentary by director Tom Clegg, a detailed Behind the Scenes documentary (47mins), a reel of five cut scenes plus outtakes (16mins), a photo gallery and a Creating the HD Master featurette (12mins). The latter is the only extra in HD (1080i) and does a good job of looking at both the post production work and the differences between SD and HD presentation.

2entertain Ltd, Region B Blu-ray, £26, On sale now