Tom Burke has revealed the cast of The Musketeers have become so close they have developed a code of on-set jokes and banter between them.

The Hour star plays Athos in the 17th-century drama, which also features Luke Pasqualino, Santiago Cabrera and Howard Charles as fellow musketeers D’Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos and returns to BBC One on January 2.

Tom revealed: “We laugh so much and it really helps because it is a slog on an energy level. It’s got to the point now where it’s like a code between me and the boys, the things we do that annoy each other would probably be invisible to other people, because they’ve come out of tiny things that have elaborated. I wouldn’t know where to begin!

Tom Burke plays Athos in The MusketeersTom Burke plays Athos in The Musketeers (BBC)

“I always enjoy the stuff with Maime [McCoy who plays Milady de Winter], that’s always fun to play, because there’s so much of a history there with the characters. With the guys as well it’s always nice to find the nuances with the characters. Even as secretive as Athos is, it’s interesting to find the ways he lets his guard down with each of them.”

Tom admitted they have missed Peter Capaldi, who played villain Cardinal Richelieu in the first series, but left to take on the role of the Time Lord in Doctor Who and has been replaced by Marc Warren as the main baddie.

Peter Capaldi in Doctor WhoPeter Capaldi is now starring in Doctor Who(BBC)

Tom said: “I do miss having Peter around. I think I had two scenes with him last year where we spoke directly, and I was hoping to have more as I’d worked with him on The Hour and he was a great joy to work with. He’s such a gent but in a way I saw him very little because of the way it was scheduled.

Marc Warren as Comte De Rochefort in The MusketeersMarc Warren as Comte De Rochefort in The Musketeers (BBC)

“Oddly enough I’d seen Marc quite a lot last year because he was out in Prague at one point. We had dinner a few times and we were talking about the series and I was saying how much fun I was having on it. He’s a wonderful and funny man, and I think he’s done a wonderful job. He’s played Rochefort on just the right side of weird and being a kind of creature. There’s something really cold about those eyes! Rochefort is a slower burn than the Cardinal, and Marc is incredible. He plays Rochefort with this very alien presence.”