The Hollow Crown (2012–2016)
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Henry VI Part 1 

After the death of Henry V the realm is under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester until Henry VI comes of age. Hard won territories in France are lost and quarrels erupt after Queen Margaret is introduced at Court. Part 2 of 3.


Dominic Cooke


Ben Power, William Shakespeare (play)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Beard ... Sir William Lucy
Max Bennett ... John Talbot
Hugh Bonneville ... Gloucester
Tom Byam Shaw Tom Byam Shaw ... Dauphin Charles (as Tom Purbeck)
Sean Cernow ... Murderer
Pandora Colin ... Joan's Mother
Adrian Dunbar ... Plantagenet
Laura Morgan ... Joan of Arc
Michael Gambon ... Mortimer
Philip Glenister ... Talbot
Sally Hawkins ... Eleanor
Anton Lesser ... Exeter
John Mackay ... Brakenbury
Stuart McQuarrie ... Vernon
Ben Miles ... Somerset


Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are other claimants to the throne, Plantagent of York and Somerset of Lancaster, whose factions will ultimately cause the Wars of the Roses. Ignorant of the schisms Henry tries to unite them in the Hundred Years War, capturing Joan of Arc, before he marries Margaret of Anjou to unite England and France, but there is no dowry, angering the court. Margaret finds the pious Henry a dull husband and embarks upon an affair with Somerset as well as crossing Gloucester's wife Eleanor. When Gloucester is arrested for alleged treason because of Eleanor Henry is too feeble to prevent his death or the country slipping into civil war. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History | War


Did You Know?


Despite being titled 'Part 1' and 'Part 2,' the two episodes are actually adapted from 'Henry VI' Parts 1, 2, and 3 and then broken into two parts. See more »

User Reviews

A Game of Thrones
11 May 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

With Henry V dying young and France being lost, an infant Henry VI comes to the English throne, under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester, his uncle.

However there are other claimants to the throne who are plotting to take over the crown especially as Henry VI is regarded as weak. Plantagenet of York and Somerset of Lancaster are at loggerheads and their feud will cause the War of the Roses.

Henry VI is unaware of the rival claims and wants to unite the factions but inadvertently sows the seeds of discontent when he carelessly discards a white rose petal.

After the death of Joan of Arc, Henry VI is guided by Somerset to marry a minor French royal Margaret of Anjou to unite England and France, but there is no dowry, angering the court especially the Duke of Gloucester.

Margaret is provoking tensions at court, manipulating her husband all along in league with with Somerset who she is also having an affair with.

Gloucester is forced to resign as the Lord Protector and is later arrested for alleged treason. Henry VI is too feeble and indecisive to prevent the country slipping into civil war when Gloucester is murdered.

I understand that the text has been chopped and changed by writer Ben Power who actually deals with Part 1 of the play in the first hour and we are well into Part 2 before we see Plantagenet storming off from the King's castle and into his where we glimpse his children.

The dramatisation looks like a template copied many times since Shakespeare's day. Just think of the Godfather saga as people plot and counter-plot. A betrayal upon betrayal. Less chivalry from the knights who want to grab power.

Director Dominic Cooke opens out the play with visceral scenes such as Joan of Arc's burning on the stake, added sex with passion between Margaret and Somerset and the powerplay between various characters.

This is a cracking adaptation.

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Release Date:

11 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thirteen / WNET See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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