Sharpe's Challenge is a British TV film from 2006, usually shown in two parts, which is part of an ITV series based on Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction novels about the English soldier Richard Sharpe during the Napoleonic Wars. Contrary to most parts of the TV series, Sharpe's Challenge, as well as the follow-up Sharpe's Peril, isn't based on one of Cornwell's novels. Both are set in 1817, two years after Sharpe has retired as a farmer in Normandy, so chronologically they come after Sharpe's Waterloo (1815) and before the final novel Sharpe's Devil (1820–21). Some of the events in the film are, however, inspired by events in the first three novels of the series. In Sharpe's Challenge and Sharpe's Peril, Sharpe and his comrade in arms, Patrick Harper, have been temporarily called out of retirement and asked to go to India.
^ Sharpe's Chellenge official website Retrieved 2012-03-04
The film starts with a flashback to 1803 in India, where Sergeant Sharpe (Sean Bean) leads a patrol to an East India Company outpost. He arrives shortly before another supposedly friendly group of soldiers led by Major William Dodd (Toby Stephens). In a treacherous surprise attack, Dodd's men kill the entire garrison, leaving no witnesses, and makes off with the payroll. However, Sharpe is only wounded and manages to survive by pretending to be dead.