Heroes and Villains (2007–2008)
3 user
The little known story of how Napoleon Bonaparte first emerged from obscurity and entered the national consciousness. A life and death struggle both on and off off the battlefield.


Nick Murphy


Nick Murphy


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Episode cast overview:
Rob Brydon ... Stanislav Fréron
Richard McCabe ... Barras
Tom Burke ... Napoleon Bonaparte
Laura Greenwood ... Paoletta
Alice Krige ... Letizia
Alex Lowe Alex Lowe ... Junot
Kenneth Cranham ... General Carteaux
Gina Bellman ... Catherine Carteaux
Darren Queralt Darren Queralt ... Denon
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ... General Doppet
Anthony Higgins ... General Dugommier


Twenty Four year-old Corsican refugee Napoleon Bonaparte is a lowly artillery captain in the French army at the siege of Toulon. Destitute and relying on his success in the new and dangerous revolutionary society, his mother and siblings become embroiled in Napoleon's struggle. The opponents are the English but the enemy are the revolutionaries authorities who seek to keep him in his place. Using his astonishing tactical mind, his sheer audacity and extraordinary military bravery, Napoleon emerges victorious and sets out on a path that would one day lead him to the throne of France. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Drama







Release Date:

11 November 2007 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Napoleon Bonaparte: [to Fréron] You are right. Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is eternal.
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User Reviews

young Napoleon
25 September 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1793 Marseille, France. The country is in turmoil. Napoleon Bonaparte is a Corsican refugee and recently promoted to artillery captain in the Toulon region where the English have landed. His entire family depends on him. The twenty four year old navigates political conflicts and disbelieving superiors to launch a tactically-superior move without permission to attack the English access to the sea and ultimately victory.

The only obvious problem in this BBC doc program is Tom Burke's 6' height. Napoleon was not as short as the cartoonish dwarf image but he was still only 5'6". It's such a big part of the legendary image that Burke's height stands out. This show depicts the rigidity of political doctrine, the infighting, and the chaos of civil war. It's a lesser known part of this giant historical figure and the show is much better for it. The characters are fleshed out and the performances are terrific. It is educational and also works as a drama.

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