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The Crown: Season One

Review by CJ

Director:
Stephen Daldry, Philip Martin, Julian Jarrold, Benjamin Caron

Writer:
Peter Morgan

Starring:
Claire Foy, Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Victoria Hamilton, Vanessa Kirby, Jared Harris, Eileen Atkins, Jeremy Northam, Ben Miles, Pip Torrens, Will Keen

Other notable appearances:
Alex Jennings, Lia Williams, Harriet Walters, Harry Hadden-Paton, Kate Phillips, Greg Wise, Alan Williams, Joseph Kloska

Running time:
54-61 minutes per episode

Number of episodes:
10

 

After the death of her father King George VI (Harris), Elizabeth Mountbatten (Foy) must rise to the challenges that face her while she becomes and reigns as Queen Elizabeth II.

I have always had a fondness and admiration for the British Monarchy so watching The Crown, while a dramatisation, is a fascinating affair. I know a lot of the stories, but seeing them playing out on the screen gives them a warmth and humanity that can’t always be found in documentaries or non-fiction.

Some of the characters in The Crown have been brought to life on the small screen for the better and some for the worse. For example, I find the character of Princess Margaret to be quite loathsome. The insolent and bitter younger sister who blames her Queen for matters out of the sovereign’s control is quite intolerable. Prince Philip’s constant whining and lack of support for his wife make him tiresome. But Queen Elizabeth II is inspiring in her dedication to doing what is best for her country. It is never easy and seldom what Elizabeth Mountbatten wants, but it is that dedication that makes her a strong and admirable character.

The result of having a range of characters provoke conflicting emotions in the viewer is a widely varied collection of personalities and characters that feel real. It doesn’t hurt that the actors in The Crown all perform their roles admirably.

The costumes in The Crown are stunning. From military uniforms to the Queen’s dresses and everyone in between, the outfits donned by the actors involved are brilliant in design and quality.

How accurate are the depictions of the minutiae in The Crown? Well, only the royal family would be able to say for sure. But as a television drama, season one of The Crown is dramatic, entertaining and, with a grain of salt, educational. Whether you have a passing interest in the history of the current British Monarchy or enjoy high quality television dramas, The Crown is off to a great start.

Rating:

“I am aware that I am surrounded by people who feel that they could do the job better. Strong people with powerful characters, more natural leaders, perhaps better-suited to leading from the front, making a mark. But, for better or worse, the Crown has landed on my head.”

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