Three different, yet equally relentless women vie for the throne in 15th-century England.Three different, yet equally relentless women vie for the throne in 15th-century England.Three different, yet equally relentless women vie for the throne in 15th-century England.Three different, yet equally relentless women vie for the throne in 15th-century England.Three different, yet equally relentless women vie for the throne in 15th-century England.
I've just watched the seventh episode and in this my main gripe, which had been the performance of King Edward by Max Irons seems to be so much more convincing than that of the early episodes. Oddly enough Max Irons does the fatter older and extremely morally compromised Edward better than the younger version. Or maybe in the earlier episodes the fault was mine, I simply was not accepting Max Irons in the role of Edward.
The performance I have been enjoying the most is that of Amanda Hale as Lady Margaret Beaufort. There is so much to Margaret Beaufort, that she is a religious fanatic who is continuously scheming and plotting and obsessed with putting her son on the throne. Amanda portrays it all excellently and with Margaret I found myself strangely sympathetic to her cause, even though I realised that if I had encountered her in real life I would have loathed her.
One reviewer has complained that the characters are telling each other things that they know about themselves, but this is an important device in a drama such as this to simply remind the audience just who is who and how they all relate to each other.
I think the script often has many excellent moments, such as at the end of the seventh episode when Henry Stafford, played by Michael Maloney says to Margaret Beaufort "you realise that for your son to become king he has to walk past five coffins". In that scene we know that Margaret understands this and it is communicated that she is capable of doing all that is necessary to get her son on the throne.
Some people complain about historical inaccuracies. There are concrete steps in some scenes, and there are handrails etc. However I think the truth is that the cost of covering all these things up would have been huge. I don't think it is possible for a television series to be totally accurate. Some have complained that the whites in the costumes are too white. However lighting and cameras will often produce a "whiter than white" impression with white clothing. Maybe this should have been countered in some way, however once again, I think that in a television series that is too much to expect.
This series is extremely compelling. The hugely difficult situation for each character is portrayed extremely well. I really feel for the people unfortunate enough to be caught up in this deeply unpleasant world. Even if you know roughly what happens, it remains really rather exciting.
The underlying theme, that the women in the Wars of the Roses were just as significant as the men, is an important point, and by focusing on them it does make for excellent drama as their lives are so interesting.
- Jul 29, 2013