Queen Elizabeth I: A Timewatch Guide

Queen Elizabeth I: A Timewatch Guide

Series 2



The Timewatch strand is essentially archive footage repackaged into a history of the BBC’s coverage of (in this case) Elizabeth I’s reign. So we could perhaps have done with fewer cliché-ridden links from Vanessa Collingridge, trawling (in a snail-slow voice) over historical events that feel very familiar.

However, when Collingridge is not telling us how “iconic” Queen Bess was, the producers have done a pretty good raid on Auntie’s vaults. There’s some spectacular Simon Schama on show, an intriguing film about the discovery of an Elizabethan shipwreck and a thoughtful feminist critique of how her reign has been appraised by contemporaries and subsequent historians. A very young David Starkey also pops up, which is rarely a bad thing.


Vanessa Collingridge examines the life of Elizabeth Tudor, with a focus on how documentary TV and the BBC have looked at her legacy and interrogated her reign. Using archive stretching back over 60 years, her upbringing, her conflicts with enemies including Mary Queen of Scots, and her greatest victory against the Spanish Armada are investigated. The programme seeks to understand how the monarch created a legacy that people still live with today, and how it has changed throughout the centuries.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Vanessa Collingridge
Contributor Dr Neil Younger
Contributor Dr Susan Doran
Contributor Dr Anna Whitelock
Director Chris Nikkel
Executive Producer Ailsa Orr
Producer Chris Nikkel
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