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 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 years of triumph over the Armada; and finally her old age and her last, enigmatic relationship with her young protégé, the Earl of Essex. Written by
What would film and TV companies do for historical dramas if Elizabeth I had never reigned? If they run out of ideas (or Dickens novels) it seems that somebody comes out with a brand new concept. "Hey! what about giving old Lizzie another run for her money? Nobody's done it for at least 6 months!" This 2005 mini-series although having authentic costumes, delivers nothing that hasn't been told (more accurately and better) a hundred times before in novels, biographies, operas, dramas, documentaries and even historical pageants.
In this latest effort it seems that a lot of pieces from the jigsaw that was Elizabeth's life have been lost, and the bits that remain have been haphazardly bunched together to create some sort of patchy biography. Consequently there's very little flow to the production as a whole, with just a scant look into the inner character of the "virgin queen" in particular. As for Ann-Marie Duff's speech prior to the Armada battle, I'm afraid she didn't inspire me one iota, (even though she looked a very young 55 yrs as Elizabeth was at the time), and neither did the rest of her somewhat insipid performance. The real Elizabeth needed to be, and was, made of sterner stuff.
Overall the sketchy script is equally uninspired, and is only adequately performed, however if one can watch it without being too critical of historical mistakes, it is in parts enjoyable...that is if you're an ardent Gloriana fan. This production falls far short of the wonderful Glenda Jackson's "Elizabeth R", albeit even that series now looks a little stagy and dated.
I really do think it's time to give "Good Queen Bess" a miss...at least for another six months, maybe even a year. The poor old dear must be completely worn out watching down from high, at all these seemingly endless reproductions of her life. Then in the meantime someone could just come up with a bright new idea. Another Dickens perhaps?
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