The Hollow Crown (2012– )
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Richard III 

Evil Richard plots his path to rule and layers that path with bodies of friend and foe alike.


Dominic Cooke


Ben Power




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Josef Altin ... Murderer II
Isaac Andrews ... Prince Richard
Paul Bazely ... Catesby
Geoff Bell ... Murderer I
Robert Bowman Robert Bowman ... Mayor of London
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Richard III
Ben Daniels ... Buckingham
Alan David Alan David ... Bishop of Ely
Judi Dench ... Cecily
Keith Dunphy Keith Dunphy ... Ratcliffe
James Fleet ... Hastings
Phoebe Fox ... Anne
Simon Ginty ... George Stanley
Barney Harris ... Ned
Keeley Hawes ... Queen Elizabeth


Ten years after Henry's death Edward is taken fatally ill, speeding Richard's disposal of their brother George, Duke of Clarence. Made regent to Edward's young son, also Edward, Richard is cursed by the vengeful Margaret of Anjou but nonetheless embarks on a ruthless policy to acquire the crown, disposing of cousins Rivers and Grey and engineering the deaths of the young prince and his brother . This final act loses him the support of his former ally Buckingham, who also comes to an untimely end. Richard is declared king with the widowed lady Anne as his reluctant queen but there are many in the realm seeking to depose him, notably young Henry Tudor, who will meet with Richard at the decisive battle of Bosworth Field. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History




Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thirteen / WNET See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Since the play was written, new information has come to light concerning the historical Richard III. Firstly, though he did suffer from scoliosis (curvature of the spine) he was not hunchbacked or otherwise severely misshapen. Likewise the claim that he was born with a full set of teeth has no basis in fact. These were most likely rumors started by the Tudors to demonize the king they overthrew in order to claim the throne which got mixed up with the truth over the years. Historians remain divided as to his character, though it is widely believed that he did not commit murder as wantonly or eagerly as depicted in the play. Again, his political enemies painted him as a villain and that is the image that has survived. See more »


Version of König Richard III: Erster Teil (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

My kingdom for a horse
26 August 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Richard III has a powerful interpretation by Benedict Cumberbatch who brings strong physical presence as the deformed, scheming prince who plans to wrest the crown away from his brothers. Early on we see Richard shirtless so we see his deformity.

Benedict talks to the camera as a friend seducing the audience. First in amazement as he persuades Lady Ann to warm to him when she started out hating him. As the play progresses we see him plotting some times accompanied by some tapping of his fingers on a chessboard.

The play is a tragedy, a lot of death take place off stage but the despot soon becomes haunted even regretful as heads to the Battle of Bosworth. At the end Sophie Okonedo's Queen Margaret haunts him the most as she wanders around the the battlefield in vengeful silence as the fallen bodies lie.

Despite the cinematic imagery and strong performances by the actors, I felt somewhat disappointed by the adaptation. I know Richard III is one of Shakespeare's strongest and well known tragedies. Some of the lines and plot elements are familiar but overall I did not feel enthralled or grabbed by the lapels like I did with the earlier showing of King Henry VI Part 1 in The Hollow Crown series. Maybe I was expecting too much, after all this was the main course and I had my fill with an excellent starter.

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