Versailles

Series 2 - Episode 2

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Review

A chandelier crashes to the floor, missing a restless, midnight-roaming Louis XIV by inches. Is Del Boy Trotter in Versailles, by any chance? Is this Seuls les fous et les chevaux?

But even tumbling light fittings can’t wrest the king’s attentions away from solipsism as he debates endlessly with himself about, well, himself. Though it’s not long before there’s the familiar sound of kingly grunting as Louis once more makes the music of love with his heavily pregnant doxy. He looks and sounds like he’s pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill, so it’s not particularly erotic.

His brother, the splendidly camp Philippe, is cavorting with his Zoolander-ish buffoon of a boyfriend, but Louis wants him to marry a terrifically Sloane-y, hearty, horsey girl who he first claps eyes on as she wees at the side of the road.

Versailles is a towering croquembouche of cliché. But, mon dieu, it’s fun.

Summary

The King's bad example is blamed by the Catholic clergy for the nobility's immorality as his adultery with Madame de Montespan not only troubles his Queen but also zealous young Father Pascal. Passion-enhancing powders and potions are sweeping the palace, but their use also masks more sinister motives to secure social advancement. As incidents of poisoning increase, royal enforcer Fabien Marchal faces an uphill struggle to police the toxic situation. Philippe must meet his new bride, Princess Palatine, who is also confronted by sharp-tongued Chevalier. George Blagden stars in this period drama depicting the decadent and turbulent early reign of Louis XIV.

Cast & Crew

King Louis XIV George Blagden
Philippe d'Orleans Alexander Vlahos
Fabien Marchal Tygh Runyan
Athenais de Montespan Anna Brewster
Bontemps Stuart Bowman
Queen Marie-Therese Elisa Lasowski
Chevalier Evan Williams
Cassel Pip Torrens
Princess Palatine Jessica Clark
Madeleine de Foix Greta Scacchi
Gaston de Foix Harry Hadden-Paton
Thomas Beaumont Mark Rendall
Claudine Lizzie Brochere
Sophie Maddison Jaizani
Jacques Gilly Gilchrist
Father Pascal James Joint
Mme Agathe Suzanne Clement
Director Thomas Vincent
Writer David Wolstencroft
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Drama