The incompetent Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer king.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
The Gardener
Daniel Boyd ...
Isabella Laughland ...
The Queen's Serving Lady
Finbar Lynch ...
Rhodri Miles ...
Welsh Captain


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 welcomes 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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Release Date:

20 September 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


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 »


Characters repeatedly mispronounce "Hereford" as "Hair-ford". The character is called "HERFORD" in the text. That is how Shakespeare wrote it and intended it to be said - the production is respecting that. Pronouncing it "Hereford" doesn't fit the poetic metre. Spellings and pronunciations were simply far more variable then. See more »


King Richard: Let's talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs. Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let's choose executors and talk of wills. And yet not so. For what can we bequeath , save our deposed bodies to the ground? Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's. And nothing can we call our own but death. And that small model of the barren earth wich serves as paste and cover to our bones. For god's sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the ...
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Followed by The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Exceptionally made Shakespeare adaptation
28 November 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

THE HOLLOW CROWN was a BBC miniseries of Shakespeare historical plays first broadcast in 2012. I recorded them all that time ago, but have only just got around to watching the first; of course, Shakespeare can be very dry and there are always more fun things to watch in the mean time.

Anyway, I needn't have worried because RICHARD II turns out to be a fabulous adaptation of the play. It features pitch-perfect acting, a wonderful realisation of a historical world, and plenty of excellent moments which excel in bringing Shakespeare to life. It's also a mature and sometimes graphic tale that serves in bringing to life one of the intriguing of English kings.

The production isn't entirely perfect, as it's a little overlong and drawn out, but then again this isn't one of Shakespeare's best plays. It's very simplistic stuff, detailing an initial series of events and then playing out the consequences of them. But what a cast! Ben Whishaw is equally as good here as he was in THE HOUR, and the supporting players include David Morrissey, James Purefoy, Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, and Rory Kinnear, none of whom put a foot wrong. Sterling work indeed, then, and here's to HENRY IV PART I...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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