The Hollow Crown: Season 1, Episode 1

Richard II (30 Jun. 2012)

TV Episode  -  Drama | History
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 672 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Fey,vain and foolish,young Richard initiates his downfall by banishing Henry Bolingbroke and the Earl of Mowbray as a resolution to their feud and then confiscating the lands of his uncle,... See full summary »

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Title: Richard II (30 Jun 2012)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Gardener
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Daniel Boyd ...
Groom
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Lord Ross
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...
Harry Hadden-Paton ...
...
...
...
Isabella Laughland ...
The Queen's Serving Lady
Finbar Lynch ...
Lord Marshall
Rhodri Miles ...
Welsh Captain
...
...
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Storyline

Fey,vain and foolish,young Richard initiates his downfall by banishing Henry Bolingbroke and the Earl of Mowbray as a resolution to their feud and then confiscating the lands of his uncle,Bolingbroke's father John of Gaunt,on John's death,to pay for a war in Ireland which he loses. This angers many courtiers including the Duke of York,who welcome Bolingbroke back to England,where he executes Richard's flatterers. The king himself is soon taken prisoner and murdered in his cell. Bolingbroke,now proclaiming himself Henry IV,vows a pilgrimage to atone for his part in the regicide. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | History

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30 June 2012 (UK)  »

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Trivia

Pembroke castle, the castle with the large tower in the film, was inherited by Richard the second following the death, in a jousting accident, of its owner John Hastings in 1389. Pembroke castle was the birthplace of the real King Henry 7th in 1457. See more »

Goofs

A character uses a telescope. Richard II died in 1400. The telescope was not invented until 200 years later. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Almost perfect
10 July 2012 | by (Rural Kent, UK) – See all my reviews

The best Shakespeare on film since McKellen's Richard III.

Unfairly unloved, perhaps because of the unfamiliar politics in it opening scenes, Richard II is Shakespeare's watershed. It has much in it which would have been familiar to the Elizabethan theatre goer-but also contains mountains of innovation, such as Richard's soliloquy after his confinement, which look forward to Hamlet and beyond. This is the play where iambic pentameter really broke free of its rhyming chains and although not everyone can place it correctly, Richard II contains some of Shakespeare's finest poetry.

And what a fantastic Richard we have in Ben Whishaw, delivering the personal tragedy and the political betrayal with the combination of power and finesse that the role demands but rarely receives. Even Ian McKellen, in his landmark production for the BBC in the 80's, didn't catch the sheer majesty of Richard's defiant surrender at Flint castle.

The entire cast is outstanding and the producers did well to enlist two great female actresses for the parts of Isabella and the Duchess of York and retain the bulk of parts that are often cut to shreds. Retaining more of Isabella's lines would have helped Clemence Poesy make her Queen memorable but no on will forget Lindsay Duncan's rescue of her son.

However, Rory Kinnear takes second honours, providing an utterly mesmerising foil for Whishaw's Richard and the electricity crackles between them in the fantastic deposition scenes hit the summits of dramatic power. You won't see better. There isn't better.

Beautifully shot and engineered, there isn't a scene that doesn't look stunning, a word that cannot be clearly understood or a plot line that cannot be easily followed. The sheer mastery of the play's intensely psychological portrait of kingship and power is made easily accessible to newcomers to Shakespearean drama and language.

Utterly brilliant. Well done everyone involved.


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