Anne Boleyn comes to Channel 5 as thriller told through queen’s eyes

Anne Boleyn comes to Channel 5 as thriller told through queen’s eyes
Jodie Turner-Smith plays regal yet steely Boleyn with casting director taking ‘identity conscious’ approach

Cultural imaginings of Anne Boleyn – beginning for most with the primary school refrain of “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived” – often view the 16th-century monarch solely through her husband, Henry VIII, and the grisly end she met as wife number two.

It is a trend that Channel 5’s upcoming drama is looking to subvert. The three-part series – a psychological thriller counting down the panic-filled and cloistered final months of Boleyn’s life – airs later this month, seen largely through the eyes of Boleyn herself. Created by the female-focused company Fable, the makers of the Bafta-winning east London-set film Rocks, the series aims to reset our understanding of Boleyn as a strong female figure fighting miscarriage and claims of adultery, rather than a maligned cliche of a temptress and a cheat.

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