Tom Burke has admitted it’s certainly a challenge playing a musketeer.

The actor, who plays skilled soldier Athos in the BBC’s new swashbuckling saga, The Musketeers, had to undergo physical bootcamp training to prepare for the role.

“When I heard the word bootcamp, I immediately imagined getting up at dawn and being made to do press-ups in a puddle,’ Tom told whatsontv.co.uk. “But actually it was very nicely paced – a little bit of sword-work, a little bit of riding, then more sword-work, so it was fun.”

But he added that playing a weapon-wielding musketeer wasn’t without its hazards. “I was filming one scene where I got stabbed in the eye with a pommel. Thankfully, I wasn’t in pain.”

In Sunday’s episode, the musketeers are taking an infamous merchant trader back to Paris when they stop by an old house, which seems to bring back sad memories for Athos, who turns to drink. 

Tom revealed: “Joining the musketeers has given Athos this new identity and has allowed him to walk away from past traumas and not think about any demons he’s on the run from. Now he’s putting all his energy into fighting… and drinking.”

Later, Athos is shocked when he comes face to face with his difficult past. Has he seen his presumed-dead wife, Milady?

“Athos has a strong mask that he likes to hide behind; he’s very careful about what he reveals and he’s a bit of a control freak,” said Tom. “But his feelings for Milady are just not something he’s in control of.”