After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.
In 1533, Anne Boleyn has given birth to a daughter, much to King Henry VIII's disdain. As Anne's paranoia over her inability to produce a son grows, Thomas Cromwell tries to convince Sir Thomas More ...
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the King dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope and most of Europe oppose him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer, and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?Written by
This wonderful drama just held me spellbound from the opening sequence to the closing shots of the first episode. Mark Rylance was just mesmerising, from the moment he appeared he held me in thrall. The atmospheric lighting, the scenery, the period clothing, all a wonder, but the acting! It was a genuine privilege to see something that will be talked about for years to come. I felt I was there, in the dark recessed corridors of power, with betrayal lurking around every dark corner. Thomas Cromwell is such a fixture in our national DNA it was almost scary to see him bought to life, but he, along with Henry, laid the foundations for a Britain that was sure of its own identity and purpose. I know I will view this for many years and never tire of the many nuances and shadows. Wonderful, simply simply wonderful.
Having now viewed the entire series, all I can say is that it is a masterpiece. I felt drawn in to the dark intrigue around the investigation of Anne Boleyn, and her execution scene was without doubt one of the most realistic and best acted scenes I have ever seen. The BBC, so often getting it wrong with their own brand of political correctness, got this bang on the money. I just wish I could award it more stars.
For anyone who wants to watch a fabulously acted and brilliant drama, this is it.
I felt it right to update this having now read the books Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. This is a superlative adaptation of the books and I would recommend reading them as it really enhances the enjoyment of the drama production.
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