A series of dramas by various writers recording the key events in the reign of Henry Tudor and his founding of the Tudor Dynasty
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1972  
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Elizabeth R (TV Mini-Series 1971)
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When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII (TV Mini-Series 1970)
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A six-episode dramatization of Henry VIII's relationships with each of his six wives. Each episode is devoted to one wife, and is a complete play in itself.

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On his deathbed, King Henry VIII looks back over his eventful life and his six marriages.

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Henry VIII (TV Movie 2003)
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Two-part TV series documenting the stormy 38-year reign of King Henry VIII.

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Historical drama detailing the political and religious conflict between Scotland's Catholic Queen Mary Stuart and England's Protestant Queen Elizabeth Tudor during the 16th century.

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Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

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Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas
The Hollow Crown (TV Series 2012)
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A mini-series of adaptations of Shakespeare's history plays: Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V.

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The Virgin Queen (TV Mini-Series 2005)
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The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »

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The First Churchills (TV Mini-Series 1969)
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The television dramatization of the lives of John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough and his wife Sarah.

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Lady Jane (1986)
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The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ... See full summary »

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Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood
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The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw
The Final Cut (1995)
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Francis Urquhart is too experienced a politician not to know that everything must end, even his long career as British prime minister. In order to secure his retirement and establish ... See full summary »

Stars: Ian Richardson, Diane Fletcher, Paul Freeman
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Cast

Series cast summary:
James Maxwell ...
 Henry VII / ... (13 episodes, 1972)
Norma West ...
 Elizabeth of York / ... (8 episodes, 1972)
Hugh Sullivan ...
 Earl of Oxford (7 episodes, 1972)
Denis Carey ...
 Cardinal Morton / ... (6 episodes, 1972)
Marigold Sharman ...
 Margaret Beaufort (6 episodes, 1972)
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A series of dramas by various writers recording the key events in the reign of Henry Tudor and his founding of the Tudor Dynasty

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6 January 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hendrik VII  »

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Remake of Tower of London: The Innocent (1969) See more »

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Not a patch on 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' and 'Elizabeth R'
22 October 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'The Shadow of the Tower' came to my attention as a recommendation, having been so taken with both 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' and especially 'Elizabeth R' with Keith Michell and Glenda Jackson giving unforgettable portrayals as Henry and Elizabeth.

Finally seeing 'The Shadow of the Tower' it was intriguing certainly, but it was also somewhat of a let-down. It is definitely worth seeing for anybody who wants to learn more about King Henry VII, most famous for being Henry VIII's father and defeating Richard III at the battle of Bosworth (signalling the end of the "Wars of the Roses") and until seeing that was pretty much all that was personally known about him. To see 'The Shadow of the Tower' giving him much complexity and making him a richly and vividly drawn character was really wonderful to see, and is one of the series' biggest selling points.

As is the nuanced, understated, while still giving the character plenty of juice, and altogether marvellous performance of James Maxwell, one almost on par with Michell's Henry VIII and Jackson's Elizabeth I and definitely the best thing about 'The Shadow of the Tower. The acting other than Maxwell very much varies, the performances of Perkin Warbeck and Earl of Warwick (the best developed supporting characters too) come off best and are strong portrayals. Too much of the rest of the acting is either too overwroughtly hammy or too staidly stagy. Don't know what the writers and casting directors were thinking with that out-of-place and offensively stereotypical Jewish Spanish Ambassador character.

Production values, writing and storytelling also varies. The costumes are accurate, evocative and attractive and the photography is skillful, unfussy and attractively done, but too much of the production values have a shoe-string budget and confined look that rob the locations and period detail of their grandeur and expansiveness, the sets look like they were worth less than one pound or something. The music is beautifully composed and never intrudes, used at minimum in fact.

Some of the writing is very good, credit is due to making Henry, Warbeck and Warwick well-drawn characters and it is very literate and thought-provoking with no obvious factual distortions, so it will be no doubt fascinating for historical buffs. In other places though, a danger this said for script-writing so heavy in detail, it is a bit too rambling and wordy, with some scenes having too much talk that undermines the momentum. Some of it has lapses in continuity and clarity of where and when everything took place, as well as having some convoluted and clunky exposition.

In 'The Shadow of the Tower' there is a good deal of compelling storytelling and one is fascinated by a monarch that is much more interesting and complex than the two things that he's most well-known for. Some of the storytelling later on after starting grippingly does suffer from lack of narrative link which harms the continuity and causes confusion and some too staid pacing (yes 'The Shadow of the Tower' was a series where slow pacing was necessary, but it does feel dull and has too much of a drifting feel when there is a lack of dramatic conflict and a lot of talk).

On the whole, worth watching but disappointing. Nothing is done disastrously, but at the end of the day the development of Henry VII and James Maxwell are the only truly outstanding things, everything else is variable. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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