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The Hollow Crown

  • Season 2
  • 3 episodes
  • Drama
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Episode 3: The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses - Richard III

Summary

The country seems to be finally at peace under the rule of Edward IV and the House of York. However, a new threat emerges from within the King's own family, as his ruthless younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, sets plans in motion to take the throne for himself. Beginning by arranging the imprisonment of unsuspecting middle brother George, Richard manipulates and murders all who stand in his way. As he rises in power, the Duke of Richmond raises an army to overthrow him, leading to the final battle of the Wars of the Roses. Last in the series.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is worth waiting for. It feels as if the current cycle of BBC history plays has built to the moment when Benedict Cumberbatch’s Richard takes centre stage. Or rather, centre screen: he fills our vision, confiding in the camera for soliloquys and black-comic asides so we’re roped into his world-view, the “secret mischiefs” Richard plans to get the crown from his booze-loving brother.

At a time when TV loves a shirtless torso, we meet Richard in all his glory, Cumberbatch’s spine and ribcage convincingly twisted as he bemoans his deformity and vows, “Since I cannot be a lover…I am determined to prove a villain.”

And what a villain: flirting with the widows of his victims, faking religious devotion, dispatching young princes to the Tower, and worse. As he leaves a trail of blood, there is potent support from the likes of Sophie Okonedo and Judi Dench, but it’s Cumberbatch’s triumph.

How to watch

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
RichardBenedict Cumberbatch
CecilyJudi Dench
BuckinghamBen Daniels
HastingsJames Fleet
AnnePhoebe Fox
Queen ElizabethKeeley Hawes
ExeterAnton Lesser
MargaretSophie Okonedo
Edward IVGeoffrey Streatfeild
Henry VITom Sturridge
RichmondLuke Treadaway
GeorgeSam Troughton
Prince RichardIsaac Andrews
CatesbyPaul Bazely
Mayor of LondonRobert Bowman
Bishop of ElyAlan David
RatcliffeKeith Dunphy
George StanleySimon Ginty
NedBarney Harris
BluntIvanno Jeremiah
Princess ElizabethMadison Lygo
BrackenburyJohn Mackay
Prince EdwardCaspar Morley
BassetMatthew Needham
TyrellGary Powell
StanleyJo Stone-Fewings
GreySamuel Valentine
RiversAl Weaver
MurdererJosef Atlin
MessengerJude Owusu
Lady-in-waitingPenny Ryder
Torch bearerSid Sagar

Crew

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

All episodes

  • Episode 3

    The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses - Richard III

    Summary

    The country seems to be finally at peace under the rule of Edward IV and the House of York. However, a new threat emerges from within the King's own family, as his ruthless younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, sets plans in motion to take the throne for himself. Beginning by arranging the imprisonment of unsuspecting middle brother George, Richard manipulates and murders all who stand in his way. As he rises in power, the Duke of Richmond raises an army to overthrow him, leading to the final battle of the Wars of the Roses. Last in the series.

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    This is worth waiting for. It feels as if the current cycle of BBC history plays has built to the moment when Benedict Cumberbatch’s Richard takes centre stage. Or rather, centre screen: he fills our vision, confiding in the camera for soliloquys and black-comic asides so we’re roped into his world-view, the “secret mischiefs” Richard plans to get the crown from his booze-loving brother.

    At a time when TV loves a shirtless torso, we meet Richard in all his glory, Cumberbatch’s spine and ribcage convincingly twisted as he bemoans his deformity and vows, “Since I cannot be a lover…I am determined to prove a villain.”

    And what a villain: flirting with the widows of his victims, faking religious devotion, dispatching young princes to the Tower, and worse. As he leaves a trail of blood, there is potent support from the likes of Sophie Okonedo and Judi Dench, but it’s Cumberbatch’s triumph.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    RichardBenedict Cumberbatch
    CecilyJudi Dench
    BuckinghamBen Daniels
    HastingsJames Fleet
    AnnePhoebe Fox
    Queen ElizabethKeeley Hawes
    ExeterAnton Lesser
    MargaretSophie Okonedo
    Edward IVGeoffrey Streatfeild
    Henry VITom Sturridge
    RichmondLuke Treadaway
    GeorgeSam Troughton
    Prince RichardIsaac Andrews
    CatesbyPaul Bazely
    Mayor of LondonRobert Bowman
    Bishop of ElyAlan David
    RatcliffeKeith Dunphy
    George StanleySimon Ginty
    NedBarney Harris
    BluntIvanno Jeremiah
    Princess ElizabethMadison Lygo
    BrackenburyJohn Mackay
    Prince EdwardCaspar Morley
    BassetMatthew Needham
    TyrellGary Powell
    StanleyJo Stone-Fewings
    GreySamuel Valentine
    RiversAl Weaver
    MurdererJosef Atlin
    MessengerJude Owusu
    Lady-in-waitingPenny Ryder
    Torch bearerSid Sagar

    Crew

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

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