Monday, January 26, 2009

Elizabeth R (1971)

After watching three movies about Queen Elizabeth I : Elizabeth (1998), The Golden Age (2007), and Elizabeth I (2005), where The Virgin Queen was played by Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren, at least I had learned a bit about her. Although this Elizabeth R TV series was made earlier, I realized one thing immediately, that this was made by the BBC for the British people, who must have learnt about her at school. So, to be able to enjoy this series, one must have read about her first, if doesn't want to be lost. Also, because it was made by the BBC, although the dialogues were brilliant, I noticed the sets and the quality of the sound were poor. Here, actress Glenda Jackson plays Queen Elizabeth. She also plays this role in Mary Queen of Scots (1971) where Vanessa Redgrave plays Queen Mary.

The series is divided into 6 episodes, starts when young King Edward, son of King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, dies and is replaced by Mary, the daughter of Katherine of Aragon. Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, is sent to the tower, but after Queen Mary's death, she becomes the Queen. The life of Elizabeth is always interesting: her fondness of the Earl of Leicester, her rivalry with Mary Queen of Scots, how the parliament tries to make her to marry, but when she finds the right man (perhaps), they tries to prevent her.

My favourite episode is 'Horrible Conspiracies' because in my opinion, no fiction's writer can create complicated intrigues like those really happened, especially when it involved a master spy like Francis Walsingham! I am also fascinated by the story of Mary Stuart: how friends betrayed her and how traitors became double-traitors, including her own husband Henry Lord Darnley.

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