On 4th of November, Netflix released the first season of The Crown. The ten-part drama that follows the story of Queen Elizabeth II from her marriage throughout her life is believed to have cost £100m, more than any TV show in history so far. Netflix seem to be very confident of the success of this show, so confident in fact that they have already secured at least 6 seasons of 10 one-hour episodes each. In this article, I will be reviewing the overall show (no spoilers) as well as brief recaps of each episode (spoilers).
Written and created by Peter Morgan, the writer of the Oscar winner The King’s Speech which also portrays the life of a monarch, this successful writer is no stranger to the life of the royal family and this definitely shows through a wonderful scenario with such quotable phrases and plenty of elaborate speeches. The director Stephen Daldry does provide as well with splendid scenes that succeed to combine the extravaganza of this royal world with emotional and intimate scenes that reflect the humanity in each character.
The characters do not fail to amaze thanks to the incredible performance of a talented cast. Starting with Jared Harris as King George VI that portrays a serious and thoughtful king, a doting father, and a tough monarch. Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth II, perfectly presents the transition from a girl to a queen that has to deal with major issues and stand for the crown.
Equally as amazing are Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and John Lithgow (Sir Winston Churchill) as well as Vanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret). The visual beauty definitely keeps up with the immoderate budget. The attention to minute details is as exquisite. The props, locations, costumes lavishness defines everything in The Crown. As far as style goes, The Crown is easily one of the most beautiful period dramas ever made. Once you watch the show, you will understand perfectly why Netflix has gambled in this show as it is both a cinematic beauty and a gripping story.
Episode 1 : Wolferton Splash
This episode starts with King George VI coughing and finding blood in his spit. He ignores the matter and continues to do his duties. We later see the marriage of Princess Elizabeth II to Prince Philip. After this, we fast forward to a few years of marriage, the couple is then obliged to cancel a holiday because of an urgent surgery of King George VI. The episode also reveals a glimpse of the secret relationship between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend as well as the character of Winston Churchill. The episode finishes with The Princess Elizabeth sitting in her father’s desk as she gets a glimpse of her future self The Queen.
Episode 2: Hyde Park Corner
In this episode we follow Princess Elizabeth II as she replaces her father because of his illness in a trip in Africa. In the meantime, in England, The King passes away in his sleep. As all of England is tormented by this news, the surroundings of the Princess try to inform her of this death. The episode ends with Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill giving his moving eulogy for The King.
Episode 3: Windsor
We meet Edward VIII, the uncle of Queen Elizabeth II and the brother of King George VI. We have a flashback of his speech as his abdicated the throne in order to marry the woman he loves. We also discover the tense relationship that he has with the royal family. Furthermore, we follow Elizabeth II in her new life as Queen.
Episode 4: Act Of God
Prince Philip realizes his boyhood dream of flying. A dense fog has descended London overnight making the visibility very poor and causing thousands of injuries and deaths. But The Prime Minister doesn’t seem to be bothered by this situation as much as he is bothered by Prince Philip’s new hobby ,until one of his staff, whom he was very close to, becomes a victim of the weather disaster. Only then does he take radical decisions concerning the pollution in London.
Episode 5: Smoke and Mirrors
The coronation day of Queen Elizabeth II has come and she decides to name her husband as chairman of the coronation committee. Prince Philip decides to make this event modern by making it televised for the first time in the history of England.
Episode 6: Gelignite
After a successful coronation The Queen is more famous than ever. When the media starts to doubt the relationship between her sister Princess Margaret and the divorced Commander Peter Townsend , The Queen decides to postpone her sister’s marriage of two years. Her sister takes it personally accusing her of jealousy because of all the attention that the media is giving Margaret.
Episode 7: Scientia Potentia Est
Queen Elizabeth II discovers that she never had a proper education and decides to engage in tutoring sessions to improve her knowledge. In the mean time, The Prime Minister is having serious health issues and decides to lie to The Queen about them. When she learns the truth, The Queen expresses her disappointment and demands to have a more honest relationship with her government.
Episode 8: Pride & Joy
Episode 9: Assassins
We follow The Prime Minister as he celebrate his 80th birthday. His colleagues offer him a portrait by a famous modern painter. The portrait makes him seem angry and old. The painter claims that that is what he sees and that The Prime Minister should be able to see that too. Ser Winston Churchill end up realizing that he is too old and too sick to hold the position of Prime Minister effectively, and decides to resign for the betterment of the government.
Episode 10: Gloriana
The two postponing years have passed and Princess Margaret can finally marry the man she loves. But the Queen gets advices from everyone to not let this marriage happen. In order to protect the crown and to keep the country’s situation stable, she decides to refuse her sister’s marriage. Princess Margaret is devastated and refuses to forgive her sister, The Queen.
This first season represented the first decade after the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II. The next seasons are expected each to represent a decade of her life . What are your thoughts on this ? Let us know in the comments below.