Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »
King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events ... See full summary »
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 »
Earl of Warwick:
I had rather chop this hand off at a blow and with the other, fling it at thy face, than bear so low a sail as to strike to thee.
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The two leads, Peter Benson as Henry VI and Julia Foster as Queen Margaret, are much less annoying in the final part of the trilogy than in the first twotowards the end, they even do some actual acting, which suggests that their monotones in the first five sixths of the trilogy should be blamed on the director. The minor parts, as usual for the BBC Shakespeare, are mostly well-handled, even (this time) Bernard Hill as Richard, though it's still a relief that he's replaced in the sequel. The direction is competent when it's not heavy-handed, sometimes (as in Warwick's final speech) going over the top and distracting from the play and Shakespeare's words. The production continues to be cheap and gloomy, but this only occasionally (as with implausible snow on what's normally conceived as a filmed indoor set) interferes with the play, though it never adds to it.
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