Series 2 - Episode 5



The Sun King is going through some very dark times as he stares, half-demented by lack of sleep, through a rain-streaked palace window.

Everyone, he thinks, is out to get him. Poisoning at court is rife and Louis is in thrall to overwhelming paranoia. He listens at doors and peeps through eyeholes in paintings. But we all know that prying eyes never read anything good about themselves, and eavesdropping ears are always disappointed.

Louis (George Blagden) thinks that to be a proper king he must fight battles, so he decides to go to war: “I cannot stay here any longer!” he tells brother Philippe.

The Versailles camp-ery is minimal in an episode that largely eschews the fluff and rumpy-pumpy, preferring politics and strategy. It’s a welcome change of pace, and a bit of existential despair from Louis doesn’t come amiss.


King Louis XIV's continued insomnia makes him increasingly volatile, meaning Marchal's loyalty counts for nothing following his failure to prove the worst poisonings were solely the work of his now-dead suspect. Claudine continues to investigate the mystery toxin, while Sophie seeks a solution to her situation - a marriage not just loveless, but cruel. Devout Father Pascal dares to reveal to Louis what Madame de Montespan attempted, but it remains to be seen whose account will be believed.

Cast & Crew

King Louis XIV George Blagden
Philippe d'Orleans Alexander Vlahos
Fabien Marchal Tygh Runyan
Bontemps Stuart Bowman
Athenais de Montespan Anna Brewster
Chevalier Evan Williams
Mme Agathe Suzanne Clement
Mme Scarron Catherine Walker
Queen Marie-Therese Elisa Lasowski
Sophie Maddison Jaizani
Princess Palatine Jessica Clark
Cassel Pip Torrens
Gaston de Foix Harry Hadden-Paton
Claudine Lizzie Brochere
Father Pascal James Joint
Director Mike Barker
Writer Andrew Bampfield
Writer David Wolstencroft
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