5 August 2013 7:15 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

For those a little rusty on their British history — specifically the War of the Roses — “The White Queen” offers up another handsome costume drama, about on the level of “The Tudors,” defined by its decidedly feminine perspective. Told largely through Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner and comely widow who wedded then-king Edward IV, the limited series features more than its share of bodice-ripping and betrayal, while zeroing in on the pressure on women to produce male heirs. All told, it’s a handsome acquisition for Starz, even if its dizzying array of characters yields diminishing returns in later chapters.

It’s 1464, as the houses of Lancaster and York continue to jockey over the English throne. Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) has lost her husband in battle when she encounters young King Edward (Max Irons), who, despite heading the opposing faction, is instantly smitten. Her mother (Janet McTeer, in full, lustrous Lady Macbeth mode »

- Brian Lowry

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