In 1993, Sean Bean was cast in the role of Richard Sharpe, This role of the romantic, yet swashbuckling hero of the Napoleonic Wars made him a household name.
Sharpe's Revenge was written by Eoghan Harris, based upon the novel of the same name. It was directed by Tom Clegg. The plot is Sharpe participates in the Battle of Toulouse, at the end of the Peninsular War. On the other side are French General Calvet (John Benfield) and Sharpe's nemesis, Ducos (Féodor Atkine), who is in charge of Napoleon's treasury. During the fighting, Sharpe encounters and humiliates Ducos, but lets him escape with his life. Napoleon loses the war and is sent into exile.
Before the battle, Sharpe gives his wife Jane (Abigail Cruttenden) power of attorney over his entire fortune of 10,000 guineas, just in case. She extracts a promise from him that this will be his last fight, that he will ask Wellington for a transfer back to England. However, Sharpe is insulted by another British officer; forgetting his promise, he exacts revenge by shooting the officer in the buttocks in a duel. Infuriated, Jane is persuaded by her friend Lady Molly Spindacre (Connie Hyde) to run away to London to spend some of her husband's money.
Things get out of hand when Jane becomes infatuated with the handsome Lord Rossendale (Alexis Denisof). After they become lovers, he convinces her to invest her money in various projects and pay off his gambling debts. Eventually, she runs out of money, at which point her "friend" Molly deserts her.
Meanwhile, Ducos is ordered by Calvet to take the treasure to Paris, but with the war lost, steals it instead, framing Sharpe for the theft and murder of the guards. Sharpe is brought before a military tribunal and jailed pending the arrival of a purported witness, Colonel Maillot (Stephane Cornicard), the officer in charge of the treasure's escort. In actuality, the Frenchman had rebuffed Ducos' offer to share the loot and had gone home to Normandy in disgust.
Sharpe's friends Sergeant Patrick Harper (Daragh O'Malley) and Captain Frederickson (Philip Whitchurch) break him out of prison and all three head off to find Maillot. They arrive too late; Ducos has had him murdered shortly before to cover his tracks. Sharpe is wounded by Maillot's widowed sister, Madame Lucille DuBert (Cécile Paoli), when she mistakes him for one of her brother's killers. While he recuperates, they become romantically involved, to the dismay of Captain Frederickson who had been interested in Madame DuBert.
In Paris, Frederickson learns the whereabouts of Ducos and is contacted by Calvet. Sharpe joins forces with the Frenchman and his loyal Imperial guardsmen. Together, they storm Ducos' fortress in Naples. Sharpe shoots his nemesis at long range and Calvet recovers the treasure. Between them, Calvet and Madame DuBert clear Sharpe's name.
Sharpe's Revenge was aired on ITV in 1997. It was released on VHS that same year and eventually on DVD.