Albert the Fifth Musketeer is a French animated series based on the story of the Three Musketeers. It is a France Animation, Ravensburger and Diffusion Information Communication, Franco-Canadian co-production, for BBC, Télétoon and Canal + in association with PolyGram Video, Animation Services Hong Kong Limited and Koroness Filmproduktion GmbH.
It centres around the antics of Albert (pronounce 'Al-Bear') de Parmagnan, a new member of the Musketeers (the series takes place after the Siege of La Rochelle, and therefore after D'Artagnan has become a musketeer, but before Milady's death). While the other four musketeers are portrayed as bumbling and incompetent, Albert is quick-witted and clever, creating many inventions to get the others out of trouble.
He and the other Musketeers have adventures as they fight with the guards of Cardinal Richelieu and attempt to thwart his plans to take over France.
In total there were 26 episodes, the first of which aired in 1993. The show was later translated into English, Dutch, Swedish and Russian and shown in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and Russia.
The characters, apart from Albert (voiced by Jimmy Hibbert), are all generally broad stereotypes of their traditional portrayals in the original Musketeers book and subsequent movies:
- D'Artagnan - brash and impulsive, the self-declared leader of the Musketeers. Voiced by Andy Turvey.
- Athos- rarely says anything, but tends to do everything backwards, including riding his horse. Voiced by Jimmy Hibbert.
- Porthos - large and fat, Porthos is always thinking of his stomach. Voiced by Christian Rodska.
- Aramis - very flirtatious and feminine, often lapses into poetry. Voiced by Mike Drew.
- M. de Tréville - the captain of the King's Musketeers. Voiced by Christian Rodska.
- King Louis XIII - the ruler of France and commissioner of the Musketeers. Childish and moronic, he is easily duped by Richelieu. Voiced by Jimmy Hibbert
- Anne of Austria - the King's wife. Beautiful, but ditzy. she talks in a slight lispy French tone to Francesca Gonshaw (who played Maria the waitress in the 'Allo 'Allo! comedy series), She often confides privately in Albert with instructions. Voiced by Joanna Wheeler.
- Cardinal Richelieu
- the prime minister of France, he seeks to undermine the King's authority at every turn and sends his guards to fight off the meddling Musketeers who threaten to disrupt his plans. Voiced by Mike Drew.
- M'Lady - Richelieu's cunning female assistant. She has a tattoo of a fleur de lis on her shoulder that turns into a quacking duck. Voiced by Susan Sheridan.
- The Duke of Buckingham - the love-crazed suitor of Queen Anne. Voiced by Dick Cadbury.
Albert the Fifth Muskeeter premiered on Monday 6th January 1997 on CBBC on Nickelodeon in the afternoon and broadcasted until Friday 7th February 1997. Later BBC1 and BBC2 began showing the series later in the year from 1997 - 2001 with a Saturday morning rerun in 2003. CBBC on Choice have not broadcasted this but it's predecessor has.