The Hollow Crown (2012– )
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Henry IV, Part 1 

1403: Henry IV finds himself facing uprisings from the Welsh chieftain Owen Glendower and impetuous young Harry "Hotspur" Percy, son of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, angry with the ... See full summary »


Richard Eyre


Richard Eyre (screenplay), William Shakespeare (play)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alun Armstrong ... Northumberland
Joe Armstrong ... Hotspur
John Ashton John Ashton ... Sheriff
Will Attenborough ... Gloucester
Conrad Asquith Conrad Asquith ... Bracy
Simon Russell Beale ... Falstaff
David Beames David Beames ... Traveller
Jim Bywater Jim Bywater ... Hotspur's Servant
Alex Clatworthy Alex Clatworthy ... Lady Mortimer
Ian Conningham ... Peto
Jolyon Coy Jolyon Coy ... Blunt
David Dawson ... Poins
Drew Dillon Drew Dillon ... Drawer
Michelle Dockery ... Kate Percy
Henry Faber Henry Faber ... Lancaster


1403: Henry IV finds himself facing uprisings from the Welsh chieftain Owen Glendower and impetuous young Harry "Hotspur" Percy, son of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, angry with the king for not paying Glendower ransom for his brother-in-law Mortimer. Another trial for Henry is the fact that his son, Prince Hal, keeps company with the older, reprobate drunkard Sir John Falstaff. Though the prince is his friend he is not above playing cruel jests on Falstaff, robbing him in disguise and returning his money after Falstaff has given an exaggerated account of his bravery in the hold-up. However, Hal joins his father at the wintry battle of Shrewsbury to put down Hotspur's revolt, where Hal kills Hotspur in single combat - Falstaff later claiming credit for the deed. Hotspur is routed but Henry and Hal still have to face the uprisings of Glendower and Nortumberland, now joined by the archbishop of York. Written by miss_chievous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | Welsh

Release Date:

27 September 2013 (USA) See more »


Box Office


£25,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The character Doll Tearsheet (played by Maxine Peake), is featured in the Hollow Crown's Henry IV, Part 1, but in the actual plays, she doesn't turn up until Part 2, where Hal and Poins hear about her and apparently don't know who she is. When she is seen in bed with Falstaff at the beginning of the Hollow Crown's Part 1, she mutters "Hang yourself, you muddy conger", which is an actual line of hers from Part 2. See more »


Follows The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Father and son
17 May 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Henry IV Part 1 focuses on rebellion and uprising. Welsh chieftain Owen Glendower and young Harry Hotspur, son of the Duke of Northumberland are angry with the king and plot to do battle despite the king pursuing peace with the warring factions.

Henry IV is also envious in the battle hardened Harry Hotspur in comparison with his own son Prince Hal who forever keeps himself in the company of lowlife such as Sir John Falstaff and is pals in various taverns getting involved in all sorts of japes, getting drunk and whoring.

However Hal feels the need to prove to his father that he is ready to do battle and joins his father to stop the revolts and it is Hal who fights and kills Harry Hotspur.

Jeremy Irons has a glorified cameo as the weary Henry IV knowing that he himself usurped the throne from Richard II and now has to fight to keep it. Tom Hiddleston is the clowning prince who realises that as heir to the throne he needs to prove himself to his father and prospective loyal subjects. Simon Russell Beale plays Falstaff as conniving, cunning and boisterous.

Richard Eyre has used locations to bring the play to live and take it away from a studio setting to make it look less stage bound.

However we also see the difficulties of adapting Shakespeare for a new visual audience. These plays were made for a time where people were entertained for four hours or more. Even though this was cut down it felt over long and we are only in Part 1 still. If this was a movie the kernel of the story could be done in a hour. The rest is tomfoolery with Falstaff and his crowd, otherwise known as padding.

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