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The Hollow Crown

  • Season 2
  • 3 episodes
  • Drama
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Episode 1: The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses - Henry VI Part I

Summary

New series. The critically acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare's historical plays returns, with three more star-studded films covering the events of Henry VI Parts One, Two and Three, and Richard III, all of which deal with events surrounding the bloody civil conflict known as the War of the Roses. In the midst of the Hundred Years War, as English forces seek to conquer France, the charismatic King Henry V dies, leaving his infant son to take the crown. Seventeen years later, the realm is under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester and the teenage Henry VI. However, bitter defeat in France cause unrest in Henry's court, as the young monarch seeks to mitigate his losses by marrying the formidable Margaret of Anjou, whose introduction as the new queen only exacerbates already escalating quarrels. Amid the turmoil, the ambitious noble Plantagenet learns of his own strong claim to the English crown, sowing the seeds of conflict between the houses of York and Lancaster. Drama, starring Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, Adrian Dunbar and Michael Gambon.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

With the best will in the world, nobody would cite the three parts of Henry VI as the best Will in the world. So credit to BBC2 for seeing through the Shakespeare sequence it began in 2012 with that superb run of Richard II through to Henry V. This is tougher material, and it has been reshaped with some masterly cut and paste (to the extent that the first words we hear are lifted from Troilus and Cressida).

King Henry himself is a naive teenager, out of his depth. He tries to smooth over rivalries among his nobles, but it is their bloody manoeuvres that dominate the action. “Civil dissension is a viperous worm/That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth,” complains the young king, but the worm keeps gnawing.

His squabbling nobles are played by a fabulous cast: Hugh Bonneville as elder statesman Gloucester; Adrian Dunbar as growling hothead Plantagenet; and best of all, Ben Miles as smouldering malcontent Somerset, who more or less steals the show.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
GloucesterHugh Bonneville
PlantagenetAdrian Dunbar
MortimerMichael Gambon
TalbotPhilip Glenister
EleanorSally Hawkins
ExeterAnton Lesser
SomersetBen Miles
MargaretSophie Okonedo
Henry VITom Sturridge
WarwickStanley Townsend
SuffolkJason Watkins
Bishop of WinchesterSamuel West
Sir William LucyTom Beard
John TalbotMax Bennett
Dauphin CharlesTom Byam Shaw
MurdererSean Cernow
Joan's motherPandora Colin
Joan of ArcLaura Frances-Morgan
BrakenburyJohn Mackay
VernonStuart McQuarrie
BassetMatthew Needham
Young CecilyLucy Robinson
Duke of AnjouDavid Troughton

Crew

rolename
Adapted byBen Power
Adapted byDominic Cooke
DirectorDominic Cooke
ProducerRupert Ryle-Hodges
WriterWilliam Shakespeare

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses - Henry VI Part I

    Summary

    New series. The critically acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare's historical plays returns, with three more star-studded films covering the events of Henry VI Parts One, Two and Three, and Richard III, all of which deal with events surrounding the bloody civil conflict known as the War of the Roses. In the midst of the Hundred Years War, as English forces seek to conquer France, the charismatic King Henry V dies, leaving his infant son to take the crown. Seventeen years later, the realm is under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester and the teenage Henry VI. However, bitter defeat in France cause unrest in Henry's court, as the young monarch seeks to mitigate his losses by marrying the formidable Margaret of Anjou, whose introduction as the new queen only exacerbates already escalating quarrels. Amid the turmoil, the ambitious noble Plantagenet learns of his own strong claim to the English crown, sowing the seeds of conflict between the houses of York and Lancaster. Drama, starring Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, Adrian Dunbar and Michael Gambon.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    With the best will in the world, nobody would cite the three parts of Henry VI as the best Will in the world. So credit to BBC2 for seeing through the Shakespeare sequence it began in 2012 with that superb run of Richard II through to Henry V. This is tougher material, and it has been reshaped with some masterly cut and paste (to the extent that the first words we hear are lifted from Troilus and Cressida).

    King Henry himself is a naive teenager, out of his depth. He tries to smooth over rivalries among his nobles, but it is their bloody manoeuvres that dominate the action. “Civil dissension is a viperous worm/That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth,” complains the young king, but the worm keeps gnawing.

    His squabbling nobles are played by a fabulous cast: Hugh Bonneville as elder statesman Gloucester; Adrian Dunbar as growling hothead Plantagenet; and best of all, Ben Miles as smouldering malcontent Somerset, who more or less steals the show.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    GloucesterHugh Bonneville
    PlantagenetAdrian Dunbar
    MortimerMichael Gambon
    TalbotPhilip Glenister
    EleanorSally Hawkins
    ExeterAnton Lesser
    SomersetBen Miles
    MargaretSophie Okonedo
    Henry VITom Sturridge
    WarwickStanley Townsend
    SuffolkJason Watkins
    Bishop of WinchesterSamuel West
    Sir William LucyTom Beard
    John TalbotMax Bennett
    Dauphin CharlesTom Byam Shaw
    MurdererSean Cernow
    Joan's motherPandora Colin
    Joan of ArcLaura Frances-Morgan
    BrakenburyJohn Mackay
    VernonStuart McQuarrie
    BassetMatthew Needham
    Young CecilyLucy Robinson
    Duke of AnjouDavid Troughton

    Crew

    rolename
    Adapted byBen Power
    Adapted byDominic Cooke
    DirectorDominic Cooke
    ProducerRupert Ryle-Hodges
    WriterWilliam Shakespeare

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