James Callis stars as the wily, debonair merchant trader Émile Bonnaire
James Callis stars as the wily, debonair merchant trader Émile BonnaireBBC

From D'artagnan joining the Musketeers to foiling a plot to assassinate the King of France, Episode 3 sees the four Musketeers set out on a new mission – they have been tasked with apprehending the infamous merchant and explorer Émile Bonnaire from the port in Le Havre and escorting him to Paris to be tried.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

Bonnaire (played by James Callis, whom you might know as Bridget's gay best friend Tom in Bridget Jones's Diary) is a wily man who has broken the trade agreement between Spain and France by exporting slaves to the Colonies to farm tobacco.

He has enemies galore, from his long-suffering wife Maria (Anna Skellern) to his old business partner Paul Meunier (John Warnaby) to the King of Spain's spies, who each want a piece of Bonnaire and are determined to seek rough justice, rather than letting the King deal with him.

All this culminates in a highly eventful journey to Paris that sees two of the Musketeers having to confront painful events from the past, all the while dodging assailants from all sides and trying to keep Bonnaire from escaping at every opportunity.

While I was disappointed by the first episode of BBC's new drama and only somewhat encouraged by the second, I am happy to say that "Commodities" had me gripped from the very first moment and has finally delivered on what I'm looking for in a serialisation of Alexandre Dumas' much beloved bodyguards.

Just to recap, if you're new to the series, my main gripes with the show so far have been the appalling amount of English accents and the wooden acting from some of the supporting cast.

When I say "English accents", I don't mean the clear, Shakespearean-trained actor variety that populates the best films and theatre productions of our time - no, I mean the type of accents that make one think that one is watching a period drama set in Tudor England, where Cockney and Estuary English accents abound.

There's nothing wrong with these accents, but they're considerably out of place in period France.

However, ­ I am very pleased to say that the accents problem was much improved with this episode. Callis' Bonnaire was a delight to watch, with his debonair manner (probably modelled on Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow), great love for women and wine, sheer cunning and quicksilver ability to talk himself out of trouble.

Luke Pasqualino's performance as D'artagnan still leaves something to be desired, feeling more like mere comedic effect at some points, but hopefully as the series progresses he will grow more into his role.

In this episode, we get to see the back story between Athos (Tom Burke) and Milady de Winter, who were once married and known as the Comte and Comtesse de la Fère.

Porthos is injured in an attack on the road and the Musketeers are forced to seek shelter in Athos' old home, which he has left behind him when he changed his identity and became a member of the King's bodyguard.

Athos (Tom Burke) has a lot to be grim about
Athos (Tom Burke) has a lot to be grim aboutBBC

The flashbacks of Athos' memories once he enters the house are beautifully tragic, as he still mourns for his former wife and his brother Thomas, whom she murdered. Burke's exploration of the character was impressive and explains a lot about why the leader of the Musketeers can be rather uptight at times.

Maimie McCoy continues to wow me with her performance as Milady, always hovering around the edges, elbows-deep in intrigue, and by her obvious love for Athos and regret for a life long gone. I could see McCoy starring in Jane Austen or Brontë film adaptations in the future.

Howard Charles, who plays Porthos, has also gone up in my esteem. His accent is much better and his bearing much more reminiscent of how I envisioned Porthos to be, although I wish he looked more like a "giant", as the books suggest.

Ryan Gage, who plays King Louis XVIII, is slowly beginning to grow on me, and his charmingly obtuse attitude to the affairs of state plays well together with Peter Capaldi's scheming Cardinal, with many a subtle wise crack at the King delivered most delicately by His Eminence.

And have I mentioned how much I adore Santiago Cabreras' Aramis? Maybe it's because I've got a crush on him, but the tortured painter from Heroes has really come far.

All in all, a great adventure was had by all, and I'm starting to feel that Dogtanian vibe coming back to me (see my review of Episode 1 if this doesn't make sense).

Would definitely watch again, and would definitely recommend that you catch it on the BBC iPlayer while it's still available!