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This episode was filmed on the same set as The First Part of King Henry VI (1983) and The Second Part of King Henry VI (1983). However, designer Oliver Bayldon altered the set so it would appear to be completely falling apart, as England descended into an even worse state of chaos. In the same vein, the costumes became more and more monotone as the four plays went on - The First Part of King Henry VI (1983) features brightly coloured costumes which clearly distinguish the various combatants from one another, but by Richard III (1983), everyone fights in similarly coloured dark costumes, with little to differentiate one army from another. See more »
Richard, Duke of Gloucester:
[Referring to Edward IV]
Would he were wasted: marrow, bones and all; That from his loins no hopeful branch might spring To cross me from the golden time I look for.
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Peter Benson as Henry VI has his reign as well as himself come to an ignoble end in the third part Shakespeare's Henry VI. The ironic thing is that left to his own devices he would have given up the kingdom in a London minute. Henry VI had he his heart's wish would have preferred being a monk and slaving over obscure manuscripts and books. The apple sprung so far from the tree of Henry V that many wondered what tree it fell from.
That was part of the problem for his valiant son Edward the Prince of Wales played by Nick Reding. Many suspected his parentage even then, that Queen Margaret might have born Edward courtesy of the Duke of Suffolk killed off in Part 2. Julia Foster really ratchets up Margaret's character who is now fighting for her son's birthright and keeping the Lancaster cause alive. If she hadn't been around about 4 battles would not have been fought.
Those battles make Henry VI Part 3 one of Shakespeare's bloodiest plays and for a photographed stage play they are presented remarkably well. The audience gets a first hand account about what war in the 15th century was all about.
As for the House Of York. Duke Richard played by Bernard Hill who raised the claim the York line had on the throne is killed early on and so is his youngest son. After that the oldest son Edward is singleminded in his pursuit of the crown. He's also singleminded in pursuit of the Woodvilles who provide him with his Queen. That upsets all kinds of arrangements that Mark Wing-Davey the Earl of Warwick who is the most powerful and wealthy lord in the kingdom has made. He turns sides and nearly costs the York faction what fought so hard for.
Ron Cook who was briefly introduced as the future Richard III in Part 2 also reveals his malevolent character in this plays. Again the BBC plays when broadcast in America were shown chronologically and with the same players. For more than anyone else in this series it allowed Cook free reign to develop his character which he took full advantage of.
In fact Cook and Foster are who you will best remember from this final play in the Shakespeare trilogy about the reign of Henry VI.
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