The Tudors is a history-based drama series following the young, vibrant King Henry VIII, a competitive and lustful monarch who navigates the intrigues of the English court and the human heart with equal vigor and justifiable suspicion.Created By: Michael Hirst |
Season 1 2007 | 10 Episodes
The Tudors - premiered on April 01, 2007
Desperate for an heir, England's King Henry VIII shuns his wife Queen Katherine and casts his eye on the alluring Anne Boleyn, while Cardinal Wolsey's loyalty to the Catholic Church and the Pope strains his relationship to the king.
Season 2 2008 | 10 Episodes
The Tudors - premiered on March 30, 2008
Henry quickly embraces Lutheran ideas, breaks with the Church, and marries Anne Boleyn, but Brandon sows seeds of doubt about his new queen's fidelity in the king's mind; a loyalty oath pits Henry against his mentor Thomas More.
Season 3 2009 | 8 Episodes
The Tudors - premiered on April 05, 2009
Henry's marriage to Jane Seymour is happy, fruitful and tragically short; the king brutally suppresses a rebellion against his religious reforms; England, Spain and the Pope ally against England, forcing Henry to marry a Protestant.
Season 4 2010 | 10 Episodes
The Tudors - premiered on April 11, 2010
Henry's marriage to randy, unfaithful teenager Catherine Howard ends in her swift execution, but he finds domestic tranquility at last with the steady Catherine Parr; a war with France and Brandon's death signal Henry's waning days.
|Jonathan Rhys Meyers
|Henry VIII of England
|Ambassador Charles de Marillac
|Ambassador Eustace Chapuys
|Princess Elizabeth Tudor
When you consider the richness of the dramatic storylines provided by the Medici and the Borgia - everything from megalomania, incest, war, debauchery, torture - even the odd, honest loving relationship - then the Tudors, a family of upstart Welsh "pantrymen" (as Errol Flynn referred to them in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" (1939)), ought to be up there. Well, sadly, this doesn't really deliver at all. Henry VII - the first Tudor king of England - who reigned for almost a quarter of a century doesn't feature at all; therefore we are deprived of any backstory to the real focus character of these 38 episodes. Henry VIII had a reputation as a brute, a violent headstrong man with a penchant for women, power and coupled with his arguably even more ambitious Chancellor Wolsey we ought to have had a belter of a drama with just about nothing off limits! Nope, no chance - we have in the two lead characters the Tudor equivalent of "Peter Pan" and "Wendy". Jonathan Rhys Meyers is dreadful, and Sam Neill has all the menace of a wet sponge as the scheming Cardinal with designs on the Papacy. Regrettably, these lacklustre opening episodes sets the tone for the remainder of this really lacking drama. The storylines give the faintest of nods to this lively period of English history, but even the Anne Boleyn (the frankly awful Natalie Dormer) scenarios - which are the stuff of novels and dissertations the world over become little more than a fancy dress farce. We rarely see anything of substance emerge - the establishment of the Church of Engand is but a scant moment amongst the pantomime this has quickly become. Henry Cavill provides some eye candy as his best mate "Suffolk"; Kris Holden Reid as the sexually ambitious "Compton" (he of the famous Soho London St, presumably?) - hell, even Peter O'Toole gets in on the act picking up Sir John Gielgud's mantle as the go-to actor for the role of a Pope (Paul III). None of the wives, including the aforementioned Dormer, exude anything by way of chemistry or personality, with Joss Stone far too attractive to be the convincing turn off "Anne of Cleves" depicted here. To be fair, a great deal of attention has been paid to the look of the series. The costumes are top drawer and the CGI complimentary rather than intrusive. That said, the whole thing is an hugely disappointing exercise in big budget drama with little focus on the quality of the writing. The casting assumes we would rather have pretty things to look at than actors who could immerse us in this exciting and turbulent period of history - and aside from Ray Winstone's terrible effort with the same character (from 2003) this is easily the worst portrayal of Henry VIII I have ever witnessed. Mercifully, the whole thing runs out of steam before the accession of his daughter (another Tudor with an enthusiasm for depriving Queen's of their heads) saving us from being subjected to another 45 years worth of this sappy Showtime saga.id : 621639214284ea0040e04e19