I’ve read many novels and biographies on the life and relationships of Henry VIII and if I wanted a historically accurate potrayal of the life of the late king I’m sure I could find hundreds at my disposal but let’s be honest they can be deadly dull!!
This series does not claim to be an accurate account of the life of Henry VIII, it advertises itself clearly as a drama and a very steamy one at that. Also if you think about it for a woman to yield so much sexual power over a king that he would break from the Catholic Church, putting his monarchy and country at threat just in order to bed her she had to be pretty alluring and well worth the wait – so justifiably for me the sexual content in the show makes sense. I mean really do we think Henry simply made eyes at Anne Boleyn across the great hall and decided to make himself supreme head of the church because she had a nice pair of eyes – I don’t think so.
Jonathan Rhys Myers is dark, brooding and a little dangerous as Henry yet still seems to have something of the spoilt little boy who became king striving to manipulate the world to his will. He is excellent in the role. Natalie Dormer is outstanding as Anne Boleyn – alluring, manipulative and just stunning she makes it believable that Henry would uproot his world for her. Sam Neill is a perfect Carinal Wolsey running the kings kingdom whilst he bed hops; pocketing many privelleges for himself – something Anne Boleyn will use in his downfall. Jeremy Northam’s character of Thomas More is introduced well in this Series but will be explored more fully in Series 2.
There is no other television series that I used to wait with such excitement to view than this one – it was the highlight of my week when aired on BBC2 and these DVD’s are essentials for my collection. As oppossed to a fuddy duddy interpretation of the relationships of Henry VIII as many documentaries can give, live a little and delve into this lush and beautiful drama series that will have your blood pressure rising.