The Video Diaries of Rifleman Harris - Jason Salkey - official site, graphic copyright

apethorpe to addapazzari

harris' journey though sharpe

sharpe's first | sharpe's second | sharpe's third | sharpe's fourth | sharpe's fifth

Shooting Sharpe the T.V series took up a five year chunk of my life, leaving me with a wife and child, some life-long friends a book full of intriguing stories. Before embarking on the first year, I realised I was at the dawn of something quite exceptional. The reality far exceeded expectation as fairly quickly; I was swept along an incomparable journey of giddy highs and plunging lows.

On that fateful inaugural shoot, cameras first rolled in a derelict country manor called Apethorpe in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Our hero Sharpe, played by Paul McGann, lead prayer before issuing the "Rifles load" command to the ravenous Chosen Men. A scene that was destined to never see the light of day!

The end of the line for Harris arrived in a dusty non-descript city in Northern Turkey called Addapazzari. A place chosen for it's resemblance to Northern Europe and a little town called Waterloo. Five series down the line and four years later, the rollercoaster ride that was my time on Sharpe came to a juddering stop.

Here are a few photos to illustrate that journey.

Sharpe's First



The first Sharpe back in autumn of '92 proved to be pretty freaky times for us capitalist, Iron Curtain-virgins. The odyssey began in England, made its way to the Ukraine-for what seemed like years-before ending up in a winter of content on the Portuguese coast. In the place our fictional adventures begin.

Shooting the 'dawdling/quick time' scene at
Baidar Valley, Ukraine (Eagle Oct 1992)

A nice candid shot taken by Assumpta Serna
[Teresa] in Portugal (Rifles Dec 1992)

After shooting the 'taking of an imperial eagle'
Sean's first day as Sharpe (Eagle Sept 1992)

Standing guard at camp just before night shoots
(Rifles Oct 1992)

The shoot divided down the Mc Gann era / Bean era line; two distinct periods. The first era was full of uncertainty, fear and wonder. In the second era, we arrived fore-armed with knowledge of what we were up against, but the novelty had worn away and we had become cynical and battle hardened.

Pretty appropriate for a bunch of soldiers fighting a brutal war!

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