The Crown (2016– )
3 user 14 critic

Act of God 

When dense fog cripples London for days and creates a serious health hazard, Churchill's inaction leaves him vulnerable to his political enemies.


Julian Jarrold


Peter Morgan (created by), Peter Morgan | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Foy ... Queen Elizabeth II
Matt Smith ... Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Vanessa Kirby ... Princess Margaret
Eileen Atkins ... Queen Mary
Harriet Walter ... Clemmie Churchill
John Lithgow ... Winston Churchill
Jeremy Northam ... Anthony Eden
Clive Francis ... Lord Salisbury
Nicholas Rowe ... Jock Colville
Pip Torrens ... Tommy Lascelles
Ben Miles ... Peter Townsend
James Hillier ... Equerry (Buckingham Palace)
Simon Chandler ... Clement Attlee
Jo Stone-Fewings ... Collins
Kate Phillips ... Venetia Scott


In December 1952 the country is in the grip of a deadly smog, which causes thousands of deaths, including that of Churchill's secretary Venetia Scott. Elizabeth confronts Churchill with the fact that the smog has been caused by chimney smoke from Conservative-built power stations, and his detractors seize upon this, calling for his resignation. However, he rises to the occasion with hospital visits and the promise of a public enquiry, leading to the Clean Air Act, and Elizabeth decides against his dismissal. Afterwards, Queen Mary tells her that it is not in the monarch's remit to engage in politics. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

4 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Left Bank Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the start of the episode when Philip gives to the OK to Townsend for some airial acrobatics we get a brief glimpse of Waddesson Manor and its grounds (including the aviary), a former residence belonging to the Rothschild family who bequeathed it to the National Trust See more »


When 'Bobbety' calls Lord Mountbatten, the servant announces him as the Marquess of Salisbury. At the time, 1952, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil was Viscount Cranborne, and would not inherit the title of Marquess of Salisbury for another 30 years, in 1972, on the death of his father. See more »


[first lines]
Peter Townsend: Fuel on.
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: Fuel on.
Peter Townsend: Chocks are in position. Switches are off. You sure about this, sir?
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: When I got married, my in-laws made me marshal of the Royal Air Force. As a result, I'm the most senior airman in the country, and I can't bloody well fly.
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written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

A Sad Day for Churchill
28 November 2016 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is such a wonderful series. I feel that they have shown respect for British history without candy-coating it. The pomposity of the Royals is quite astounding. There is a scene where the elderly former queen tells young Elizabeth why the monarchy is necessary and why there is the idea of divine right. When she says that they represent what is great for the commoners to have something to aspire to, it's a bit hard to take. One need only look at the treatment of others through imperialism and hatred to come to that conclusion. Can you say Scotland and Northern Ireland? The new Queen seems to ingest this but we don't get a clear picture of how much of it she buys. The episode revolves around an intense combination of fog and pollution that has filled London. People are dying or suffering. Of course, the people blame the government for what is going on, and Churchill has no interest in doing anything. The rest of Parliament is only interested in driving the old guy out, using this catastrophe to sway the people against him and introduce a vote of no confidence. Churchill has a young female aide whom he adores (though he lords it over her). Her fate changes the shape of things. Meanwhile, Prince Philip is trying to carve out a life for himself as Mr. Elizabeth, but he is under intense scrutiny. Once again, the camera work and staging is so creative.

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