14.1 C
New York
Monday, November 30, 2020
Advertisement

The Crown: Season 1 (TheaterByte TV Series Review)

The Crown: Season 1 PosterNonagenarian Queen Elizabeth II, the first so-named queen of England since her Tudor predecessor four centuries earlier, is the oldest and longest ruling monarch in her country’s history. The first installment of this new Netflix series, The Crown, chronicles Elizabeth’s life and times from 1947 when she married Prince Philip (Matt Smith) to 1955. Season 1 introduces the royal family: King George VI (Jared Harris), Queen Mother Elizabeth (Victoria Hamilton), and their children, Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and Margaret (Vanessa Kirby). King George became an “accidental” monarch when his older brother Edward (Alex Jennings) abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson (Lia Williams). Intermittent flashbacks cover the war years and the childhood years of Princess Elizabeth.

As The Crown opens, Elizabeth, Philip, and their children Charles and Anne have returned from Malta to be with her terminally ill father. Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) had been re-elected as prime minister in spite of his advanced age and various infirmities. When King George dies, the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth suddenly begins her ascent to the throne of one of the oldest continuing monarchies in the world.

The new Elizabethan era finally begins, and viewers receive a very intimate view of the royal family, warts and all. The personal dynamic between Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth is strained at times and the former naval officer who finds his new life confining takes up aviation. We also get personal peeks into the private lives of the disgraced Edward and Wallis and the enduring enmity that he bears for his royal relatives, including his dying mother Queen Mary (Eileen Atkins).

Midway through this first season, there is a vivid recreation of the historic and first televised 1953 coronation at Westminster Abbey. This proved to be a watershed moment in Elizabeth’s reign, only to be soon followed by the “scandalous” affair between her sister Margaret and Captain Peter Townsend (Ben Miles), a divorced commoner. The Queen Mother and Elizabeth’s private secretary Tommy Lascelles (Pip Torrens) set up roadblocks that delay Margaret’s marriage to Peter ultimately prevented by a combination of church and government regulations, thus creating a permanent rift between the royal sisters.

Russia’s acquisition of the hydrogen bomb begins to shift the balance of power as England’s place at the international table becomes less secure. The Queen begins to feel uncertain about her ability to process such complex issues and hires a tutor (Alan Williams) to bring her “up to speed.” As the series proceeds through its final episodes, the relationship between the Queen and her younger sister continues to deteriorate while stress lines reappear in the Elizabeth-Philip union. Anthony Eden (Jeremy Northam) replaces Churchill as PM and is immediately thrust into the Suez Canal crisis, setting the stage for the next chapter in this series.

Peter Morgan has created a stunning series populated by real people who just happened to be important historical figures. Many of the situations and most of the dialogue comes from Morgan and Tom Edge’s “pens,” and convey the credibility essential to this story. Claire Foy’s impersonation of Elizabeth Regina reveals all of the facets of a quiet young woman thrust into a limelight for which she is quite unprepared. Matt Smith captures Prince Philip’s quirkiness and awkward assumption of his role as the Royal Consort. John Lithgow is the ultimate Churchill, capturing his mannerisms and speech patterns, as he portrays an old man trying to retain power in his declining years. The large supporting cast is as strong as it gets, with special kudos to Vanessa Kirby, Victoria Hamilton, Alex Jennings, Ben Miles and Pip Torrens.

The four directors that collaborated on the ten episodes deliver a seamless drama. The cinematography team of Adriano Goldman and Ole Bratt Birkeland provides one fascinating tableau after another with cameras that capture the authentic appearing locations and the characters therein. Noted film composer Rupert Gregson-Williams has created a score with tremendous atmosphere and the appropriate gravitas. This series strikes the exact balance between historic events and those who lived through them. Perhaps the crowning moment among many occurs when Sir Winston Churchill has his last audience with Elizabeth, so emotion-laden that dialogue becomes nonessential. The Crown is intended to run for six seasons, each one presumably to be devoted to a decade of Elizabeth’s life. Highly recommended with Season 2 set to air late next fall.

All episodes of The Crown: Season 1 are currently available for streaming on Netflix.

The Crown: Season 1 (TheaterByte TV Series Review)
4.5 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 User Rating (0 votes)
Peter MorganShow Creator
4 Nov. 2016Original Release Date
NetfllixNetwork/Streaming Service
60 Mins.Ep. Run Time
10No. Eps.
Left Bank Pictures | Sony Pictures Television Production UKStudio/Distributor
TV-MARating Certificate
The Creative Content
Summary
A brilliant new historical series that presents the early years and challenges of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
What people say... Login to rate
Order by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar User Avatar
Verified
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

This review has no replies yet.

Avatar
Show more
Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}

Advertisement

Related Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.
%d bloggers like this: