"That is the first day (of shooting) and we have run out of sugar"
A member of the Crew with cup of tea in hand/Sharpes Gold





"Rifleman Harris Video Diary No 1" - Film, 2002-- rg/21. Februar 2006


back to German Version


Harris No 1

(about Sharpes Gold)

Die Scharfschützen - Blutiges Gold

Richard Sharpe, Major - Sean Bean
Patrick Harper, Sergeant - Daragh O'Malley
Rifleman Harris - Jason Salkey
Rifleman Hagman - John Tams
Rifleman Perkins - Lyndon Davis
Rifleman Cooper - Michael Mears
Rifleman "Tongue" - Paul Trussell






When the Film "Sharpes Gold" has not much to do with Gold, in the Harris Diary No 1 you learn to understand, why the Filming itself had a lot to do with the absence of something, the Crew started to value like Gold, because it was so rare:

And that was Water.

For the Filming of the third series of "Sharpe", Crew and Cast returned in August 1994 to the Ukraine. Jason Salkeys first Diary Entry is about the great heat, that awaited them, and as a result of it, a dryness that was the reason for a shortage of water, also in the Hotel, were they made their quarters.

A bucket full of Water.

In the Hotel, everybody became a bucket full of the precious wet stuff, and that was that. Not that they complained (very much) because: What COULD they do?

They could film, of course, but even that, from the point of view of the supporting actors, was not really so fulfilling. Due to the strange process of filmmaking, long parts of the day were filled with waiting. Waiting for the right light, the setting of the scene, the director, the horses, or whatever else.

Actually, Salkeys Video Diaries should become a "must" for all hopeful want-to-be-actors: They are worthful lessons of the true virtues, that are necessary in this business: If you want to become a film actor, start with developing a taste for long chats amongst your collegues! Learn, how important patience is. Show, that you can value a cup of tea (even if the sugar runs out), and that you love every line, you have to say, because that may be the only one you will have in days!


The Harris Diaries:

Harris No 1 - covers the filming of Sharpes Gold

Harris No 2 - End of Sharpes Gold, beginning of Sharpes Battle

Harris No 3 - Sharpes Battle - Memorial for a Chosen Man

Harris No 4 - Sharpes Sword - Rifleman Harris shows his love for books

Harris No 5 - Sharpes Regiment and a terrible accident

Harris No 6 - Sharpes Mission

(more to come!)

Oh yes! And never mind a little shortage of water!

Of course, there is still the mysterious absence of Gold and a connection to Bernard Cornwells book. Also, the better informed reader might remember, that, when all other series of Sharpe consisted of 3 Films, the first series had only 2 films. That this all has one reason, we learn from Jason Salkey here.

What long might have been forgotten, because Sean Bean is so much Richard Sharpe, is, that originally, actor Paul McGann was selected for playing the dashing Major! He also started filming in 1992 (in the Ukraine, with Crew and Cast all there), the first scenes (for Sharpes Gold) were already made, when McGann broke his leg!

That must have been for the Producers the worst that could happen in the worst of worlds. The good thing was, that they were insured. Also in the end, it seems, the Insurance payed, even if it needed some time to clear all.

Since still, the production had to go on, time was an all important matter. And so, in a hurry, a new main actor was employed, name of Sean Bean, and the Production Company decided, to make only the two other Films, Sharpes Rifles and Sharpes Eagle. Because of the Insurance Case, they couldn't use the original film script of "Sharpes Gold".

Only 3 years later, they picked up again "Sharpes Gold", (obviously, when the Insurance had paid) and rewrote the script completely.



Meanwhile, the Filming is going on, at another location, the Sharpe veterans already know from shooting the first series. A wildly beautiful valley. At the bottom, they do remember a river, but, to nobodies surprise, they find the riverbed dry and completely without water...


In the Sharpe Books, that are thoroughly researched, Bernard Cornwell writes also about the (historical) "Kings German Legion" or "Königliche Deutsche Legion", a, how the name already reveals, Regiment of Germans, that also fought on the spanish Peninsula under the command of Wellington. They fought well, but in the Films it must have been too complicated - or perhaps too unpopular - to include them. In all 14 Sharpe Films, I think, you will not find Germans - not even as enemies. Well, it was a little bit too early for Nazis, after all! But wait, what is that? Would you believe it? Jason Salkey succeeds in bringing them in after all - What must he do but roaming through the landscape, until he ends up at a cave, that is painted with German Nazi Signs? And of course, Salkey films it for us...

... well, didn't I always say "Sharpes Gold" is the German episode? :-)

In fact, as Salkey describes it, it was a creepy experience. And when you think of it: Here they are, the makers of illusions, doing there best to play war like real, suddenly being confronted with the memories of the real thing.

But Life must go on, Filming goes on, and bravely our heroes follow their destiny: Sharpe meets El Casco, the Filming of the first night shot has to be done, and we learn, that they really film the Night in the Night.

Still of course, there is not enough water, but after an hour of intensive living and filming, Harris first Video Diary instalment comes to an end.

We, of course, wait now for the next one and in the meantime, the lots of water on this Site is dedicated to all thirsty Riflemen, sugarless Crew Members and especially to Jason Salkey.


How to get the Harris Diaries?

Order-Infos can be found here or can be ordered directly from Jason Salkey as Video or DVD from his website www.riflemanharris.co.uk

Jason Salkey put a lot of work and effort into these self-productions, so please, only buy directly from him. He is commenting in all the Diaries with his clear and good understandable "Rifleman Harris" voice.



Background-Picture: own picture, Picture 1 of McGann: from Internet, website unknown. Picture 2: Screencapture from "Harris Diary No 1" used with friendly permission from Jason Salkey


  rg/21. Februar 2006
back to Harris Diaries +++ back to Sharpe  
back Home