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29 January 2013 @ 10:29 pm
Young Blades Episodes Available Online  
Happy news! A nice person over at rarewomen (the ficathon for neglected female characters) just tonight told me that all thirteen Young Blades episodes are presently available on YouTube, uncut and undivided! (Of course it will be better when someday TPTB sell YB to us properly, but I've been waiting eight years for them to accept my money for this content, and with no DVDs or streaming in sight and my recorded-from-TV VHS tapes aging, I embrace this alternative with delight.)


  1. Wanted

  2. Rub-a-dub Sub

  3. Enchanted

  4. The Exile

  5. DaVinci's Notebook

  6. Secrets of the Father

  7. Four Musketeers and a Baby

  8. Coat of Arms

  9. The Girl from Upper Gaborski

  10. Invincible Sword

  11. To Heir is Human

  12. The Chameleon

  13. Secrets



As you know (because I periodically blither about it), this is that fun "Three Musketeers: The Next Generation" series that ran on PAX (now InSight) in 2005, diverging from Dumas canon, featuring a farm girl masquerading as a nobleman in order to join the musketeers and avenge her family. Filmed in Quebec, it features the work of Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Ironside, Sheena Easton, Karen Cliche, Tobias Mehler, Mark Hildreth, Zak Santiago, Robert Sheehan, Phillip Mitchell, Charles Shaughnessy... (Don't believe a word on the main IMDB page; all that info is based on a prior series pitch, not any filmed content. The Wikipedia page is brief but accurate, at least.) Episode 4, "The Exile," is the one that brought me across, as we say in FK; my other favorites include "To Heir is Human" and "Invincible Sword." The series creators wrote the first three episodes; Gillian Horvath wrote the final two.

Addendum: Just dipping a toe into the series? I strongly recommend skipping episodes 2-3 after the premiere, and instead sampling 4, 6, 11 or 12. (IMO, 2-3 are the worst.) I'm happy to make personal recommendations tailored to individual tastes and preferences; just ask!

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greerwatsongreerwatson on January 30th, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
I just watched the first episode. You're right, it's fun. ("Lemon-scented cleanser", indeed!)
Amy R.: Other Fandom YBbrightknightie on February 1st, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
Anachronistic Phrases
In Young Blades, anachronistic turns of phrase become a running joke -- for the audience; the characters remain entirely innocent of them, of course. :-)
greerwatsongreerwatson on January 31st, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
Episode Two? Hmmmm. Quite honestly, this reminds me of nothing so much as the sort of '60s TV that my father loathed. He'd come down to the basement occasionally to check on what we were watching, look at the screen for about half a minute, and then exclaim, "How on earth can you watch that! The acting's awful!"

Yes, I know it's farce. However, the acting is far too broad for the small screen. It's more suited to the stage, where they'd need to use the broad strokes in order to be seen in the gods.

I am, though, prepared to try at least one more episode. The first was distinctly more enjoyable.
Amy R.: Other Fandom YBbrightknightie on February 1st, 2013 01:16 am (UTC)
The First Three YB Episodes
I'm very sorry that I didn't catch you in time to say that I would not recommend that you, in particular, watch episodes 2-3 until/unless you decide that you like the series. They're not worth your time. The first three episodes all credit the same author team and, I strongly suspect, were rewritten from the rejected original series pitch; they are not much like the rest of the series, which gets progressively more substantive (while retaining much humor). I would instead recommend that you try #4 "The Exile," #11 "To Heir is Human" or #12 "The Chameleon" for a taste of what Young Blades is when it grows into itself, and then decide whether you wish to watch the rest. (Just not #10 "Invincible Sword" or #13 "Secrets," as those depend on continuity!)

I am, of course, aware of the inadequacies of #2 "Rub-a-dub Sub." I find it embarrassing.

Even so, although I know better, when I first read your comment, I felt a little hurt -- as if you were "harshing my squee," as people say. I know that was not your intention; and no question but that the episode deserves it; yet I was taken by surprise. I will very much enjoy the opportunity to discuss YB if you choose to go on with it, and wish to chat. Just not, perhaps, without observing some good aspects alongside the bad? :-) Luckily, only poor "Rub-a-dub Sub" is so one-sided.
greerwatsongreerwatson on February 1st, 2013 02:09 am (UTC)
Re: The First Three YB Episodes
Ah, that's good to know! I'll skip #3 then, and move on to #4.
greerwatsongreerwatson on February 1st, 2013 03:14 am (UTC)
Re: The First Three YB Episodes
Now, that's a bit more like it! A rather stereotyped—and certainly overacted!—portrait of Cromwell (and I think the make-up department got his warts in the wrong place); but it's fairly typical of the sort of one-sided view you get in British children's fiction. History this isn't!

Curiously, their Charles II is more believable. Oh, too much of the action man, of course. But he always was a womanizer. Jacqueline had a near escape, you know. He'd have bedded her, not wedded her. (D'Artagnan did try to warn her. Oh, he had his own reasons, no doubt; but he also has a less romantic view of royalty.)

Interestingly, of the whole cast, I think I find the little king the most consistently amusing.
Amy R.: Other Fandom YBbrightknightie on February 3rd, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: #4 "The Exile"
>"Now, that's a bit more like it!"

Next to poor "Rub-a-dub Sub," indeed! :-)

I enjoy "The Exile" for the choices with which it tests the characters, its action, its historical chain-yanking (so to speak), and the rare opportunity to see Jacqueline in women's wear. As a fan, I especially value its opening trip home to Jacqueline's family's farm.

>"A rather stereotyped—and certainly overacted!—portrait of Cromwell (and I think the make-up department got his warts in the wrong place); but it's fairly typical of the sort of one-sided view you get in British children's fiction. History this isn't!"

True.

YB aired at 7 or 8 PM on Sundays. I believe that YB very consciously aimed for the "whole family" audience that was once so valuable to the networks, but which has come to be almost entirely unserved these days.

Of course Mazarin, Anne and Louis are real historical figures as well as opening-credits characters, so it would seem fair to me to use them as the series standard for its treatment of other real historical figures. Like this Cromwell and this Charles II, they have the right names, titles, places and allegiances, but only the broadest strokes of other resemblance to their real counterparts... or their counterparts in Dumas's Ten Years After and The Vicomte d'Brangelonne, for that matter!

Naturally, the real Paris of this period was filthy, teeming and tense in ways impossible to reproduce on this series's budget (the very cobblestones are historically premature, as are the musketeer's uniforms). And the real historical attitudes about class, religion, nationality and gender, if faithfully depicted, would be appallingly incompatible with more lighthearted adventures for a modern audience. For myself, I imagine a compromise between what the series was able and willing to depict and the harsh historical reality; I have fun envisioning influences on the characters from real history as well as what we see on screen!

>"Jacqueline had a near escape, you know."

Surely only keeping his promise would have won him her hand -- we'll put aside for the moment the question of whether Jacqueline would have had sex outside marriage; other episodes supply additional evidence as to her opinions on premarital sex; it's a debatable point -- and I submit that him breaking his promise is as fundamental to his character as her disgust at his dishonor is to hers.

Farm-girl Jacqueline's idealism is ruthlessly practical. Noble-born d'Artagnan, who fancies himself such a man-of-the-world, seems more easily swayed by romance.

>"Interestingly, of the whole cast, I think I find the little king the most consistently amusing."

In case you'd like to seek it out next, the episode with the most Louis content (by total minutes) is #9 "The Girl from Upper Gaborski." But of course he's almost always around for at least a scene!
greerwatsongreerwatson on February 4th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: #4 "The Exile"
"Naturally, the real Paris of this period was filthy, teeming and tense in ways impossible to reproduce on this series's budget (the very cobblestones are historically premature, as are the musketeer's uniforms)."

One of the things that delighted me in the first episode was the depiction of the coffee shop. (That, of course, is eminently suitable for a family show.) Coffee as the novelty it was at the time. Served in bowls! It gave me great pleasure to see that.
Amy R.: Other Fandom YBbrightknightie on February 5th, 2013 06:01 am (UTC)
Re: #4 "The Exile"
Yes, those bowls are a treat! Long ago now, but not too long before YB aired, tv_elf and I went to a museum exhibit on the history of coffee... The Cafe Nouveau is a clever storytelling choice, I think; more than just making a virtue of the necessity of modeling sobriety.

(In another episode, the coffee fad becomes a plot point.)
greerwatsongreerwatson on February 5th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
"The Girl from Upper Gaborski" is a very cute episode. At first, I figured that the princess was going to be an imposter; then, pretty quickly, I realized it was the diamonds that were fakes. After that, it was just a question of seeing the fun.

Not a bad kid behind the affectations!
Amy R.: Other Fandom YBbrightknightie on February 5th, 2013 05:49 am (UTC)
Re: #9 "The Girl Frm Upper Gaborski"
I like to imagine that this particular gem plot is a veiled allusion to the fact that the real, historical Mazarin was a jewel connoisseur. :-)

The first time I watched "The Girl from Upper Gaborski," I (figuratively) wanted to spank the brat for much of the episode; all my sympathies were with the put-upon d'Artagnan. It took the ending, and then a second viewing, before I got to appreciate how much the character was playing roles herself, trying to appear something she was not... and how that fits into standing series themes.

If you'd like another cute episode, you might try #7 "Four Musketeers and a Baby." If you'd like more of Louis and Anne interacting, you might try #11 "To Heir is Human."
greerwatsongreerwatson on February 8th, 2013 08:56 am (UTC)
I see from "To Heir is Human" that the bowls now are large cups (as they did become), and the coffee steamed. I totally agree that it goes better with milk.

A nice episode. Mazarin's plotting, the musketeers' heroism.... We see, too, how much the old king trusted Duvall, which explains why his son is so loathe to disband the musketeers on Mazarin's say-so.

And the doctor! More red meat, no green veg, and a complete avoidance of exercise? These little jokes are rather funny.