Monday 17 June 2013

The White Queen - Episode 1

Tonight, we finally got to see the first episode of a long-awaited new Original British Drama series on the BBC: The White Queen.

The White Queen tell the story of Elizabeth Woodville who, although her family supported the Lancastrian king Henry VI, married king Edward IV of York during the time of the Wars of the Roses in 1462, and became queen of England.

I liked it. I liked it a lot.

The White Queen is based on Philippa Gregory's famous novels about the English wars of the roses, the conflict in which supporters of the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York fight for the throne of England. And although Ms Gregory's novels are not necessarily 100% historically correct, they are based on true events or speculation about what could have been, and in that respect, they do justice to the course of history in the best way possible. There is simply so much that is unknown about the exact details of this period, that some creative license must be allowed.

Rebecca Ferguson is quite convincing as Elizabeth Woodville and Max Irons, son of Jeremy Irons, brings Edward to life as I would have imagined him: tall, blond, handsome and confident as king, but quite easily seduced and driven by his emotions, not necessarily by political gain.

The rumours that Elizabeth's mother Jacquetta used magic to make Edward fall for her daughter and that Elizabeth had the power to see the future are taken as true and they provide a more sinister aspect to Edward and Elizabeth's seemingly idyllic meeting and subsequent secret marriage.

James Frain plays Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. I don't want to judge the character too much after only one episode, but I was slightly disappointed in Frain's portrayal of The Kingmaker. I was expecting him to be more glamorous, more arrogant, more lavish. Instead, he was rough and rude and loud. It will be interesting to see how this character develops in the future episodes. 

I look forward to the next episode. I want to see the Yorkist princes in action: Edward and his brothers George and Richard. If you've read this blog before, you know that I have a specific interest in Richard III, so I especially look forward to seeing Aneurin Barnard as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future king Richard III. 

The brothers of York, the Plantagenet princes: David Oakes as George, Duke of Clarence, Max Irons as king Edward IV
and Aneurin Barnard as Richard, Duke of Gloucester


  1. I loved this I have read all the books so I look forward in anticipation

    1. I should really spend some time with these books, but I have so many other things to read! I'm counting on this series to bring the story to life for me instead. I am planning to read The Kingmaker's Daughter about Anne Neville though, I want to know more about her!

  2. I loved this first episode, too! They set up the characters and divisions most interestingly. I can't wait to see the rest of the series and then buy the dvd!