Despite being criticised for its racy scenes and scandalous incestuous storyline, the BBC’s six-part drama War and Peace, which is based on an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless novel, has so far made excellent Sunday night viewing.

In the third episode viewers were left feeling emotional after the gripping love triangle between Pierre, Andrei and Natasha was revealed, although the significant shift in mood was a welcomed change from the battle-heavy scenes featured in the first two parts.

The opening scene saw a riveting duel take place between Pierre and resident villain Dolokhov after it was revealed that he had slept with Pierre’s wife in the previous episode.

The drama moved on quickly and a deeply depressed Pierre went travelling in search of happiness after an explosive confrontation with his wife.

He later returned to Moscow a changed man with the intention of forgiving all those who had wronged him after being introduced to the world of Freemasonry by new character Osip Alexeevich Bazdeev.

The ending showed the exceptionally extravagant Tsar’s Ball where a romantically heart-warming first dance between new lovers Prince Andrei and Natasha Rostova took place resulting in a true fairy tale moment of unequivocal beauty.

Arguably the best in the series so far, the third instalment left viewers eager to see what is in store for poor Pierre and nasty Dolokhov, and witness the romance between Prince Andrei and Natasha blossom.