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The Tudors vs The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The Tudors versus BBC The Six Wives of Henry VIII
|The Six Wives of Henry VIII(1970):|
British Historical Drama Serial
The series was neatly split into six episodes, each one dealing with one of the six wives and tracing their varied experiences and sometimes bloody ends at the hands of one of England's most infamous rulers. The wives themselves were played by Annette Crosbie, Dorothy Tutin, Anne Stallybrass, Elvi Hale, Angela Pleasance, and Rosalie Crutchley, all respected and proven stars of stage and screen. Annette Crosbie, playing Catherine of Aragon, collected a Best Actress Award for her performance.
Keith Michell portrayed Henry at the different stages of his life, beginning with the athletic 18-year-old monarch and culminating in the oversize 56-year-old tyrant plagued by a variety of physical ailments. Playing the aging Henry in the later episodes proved the most demanding challenge. Michell spent some four hours each day getting his make-up on and was then unable to take any sustenance except through a straw because of the padding tucked into his cheeks.
Some critics felt that the underlying theme of the lonely man beneath the outrageous outer persona was perhaps rather predictable, and further that Michell--who admitted to admiring Henry's excesses--had a tendency to reduce Henry to caricature (a fault more clearly evident in the film Henry VIII and His Six Wives that was spawned by the television series in 1972).
The Tudors (2008-2009):
The series is produced by Peace Arch Entertainment for Showtime in association with Reveille Eire and the CBC ( See also: The Tudors Creators) . The Tudors' premiere on 1 April 2007 was the highest rated Showtime series in three years. In April 2007, the show was renewed for a second season.Season Two of The Tudors debuted on Showtime on 30 March 2008,
Showtime announced on 13 April 2009 that it had renewed the show for a fourth and final season. The network ordered 10 episodes that are currently scheduled to air beginning in Spring 2010.
The six wives of henry VIII
Well portrayed by Keith Mitchell, Henry is seen as a more lonely and lovable character which invokes much more sympathy that other movie or character portrayals in novels and mini series. While Keith portrayed a young and old henry and looked very much as one would imagine Henry tudor to look, he did not have the same passion or zeal that Tudors actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers did. The men who were part of his council were much more realistic in their appearance from beginning to end however the portrayal of the six wives could have some questioning.
While I enjoyed the portrayal of Katherine of Aragon very much I found charlotte ramplings portrayal of Anne boleyn rather insulting, she was portrayed as a women with borderline personality disorder and very erratic at times, they also gave anne the rumored 'wart' and 'sixth fingernail' which has never been proved as actual fact. Jane Seymour's portrayal was almost saintly and she did not wrong,
My most favored performance was that of Katherine howard played by Lynne Frederick's which showed a pretty brunette with a naive streak as the ill fated fifth wife being pushed and persuaded by her Howard family and catholic bishop Gardiner to keep the kings interest predominantly catholic and hopefully restore relations with pope. What was also enjoyable was that kitty howard was not seen to be having a sexual affair with thomas culpepper which leads the viewer to decide if it happened or not which credited historian david starkey also believes as he infact came to the conclusion that the two cousins were not lovers but in fact part of a platonic affair based on friendship. It woukld have been nicer to see katherines old flame Franics Derenhem more and a bit more of culpepper though. Catherine parr was not very well portrayed and little was mentioned about her pro reformer ways nor her book lamentations of a sinner which she wrote in court, she was however shown favorably with henrys children although Mary tudor did not have a very large role nor much personality in the film.
Overall I would recommend watching this film/mini series however it is not as appealing to the eye nor is it as addictive to watch as The Tudors.
Whilst the characters are all played by younger actors and actresses and the entire theme of the Tudors was that of glamour and sexual frivolity, I thoroughly enjoyed this series from beginning to end.
Maria doyle Kennedy, while not historically accurate in appearance was a wonderful Katherine of aragon as was Natalie dormer who while not physically accurate as Anne boleyn was a worthy mixture of passion, desire and love for her king and her Lutheran beliefs. It would have been nicer to see her part in the early Reformation of England in more detail but I found her enjoyable to watch and there were no "incest" rumors brought into the series with anne and george, although George Boleyn was portrayed as a bisexual man with a more sadistic tendency and Francis weston was completely omitted from the second season, the show was still a thrilling watch even if William brereton was not a jesuit nor was he in any way ordered by the pope to assassinate anne. Jane seymour was portrayed as most actresses portray the third of wife of Henry VIII. She was passive, submissive and led into the royal court under heavy influence of her family and although Edward Seymour was shown early on, Thomas Seymour was not and Sir Francis Bryan, Anne Boleyn's cousin was not mentioned until season three nor was Reginald pole and this is inaccurate as both men played a vital role in Henry's "Great matter" with Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey. Cromwell was shown as a staunch reformer with selfish tendencies and an evil streak however he did in fact help aide anne's rise and then orchestrate her down fall so he was by no means a saint even if his portrayal was far too young and good looking. Anne of cleves was nicely portrayed by Joss stone however yet again Anne of cleve's nastier side and yes she did have one, was not shown. According to Starkey, she was not happy about the divorce nor was she happy about Katherine howard and Henry's desire to marry and she "Rejoiced" at young kitty Howards execution. Henry never slept with Anne of cleves in a sexual manner either which was shown in season four of the tudors. Katherine howard was a skinny fair haired young woman in the tudors, however this was not the case, she was in actual fact, plump with darker hair and strongly led by her uncle Thomas norfolk and her grandmother, dowager duchess Agnes into restoring the catholic faith back into English court. This off course failed as did Jane seymours attempt to restore the catholic faith and the friendship with the pope. The tudors however aimed to show that Henry did what he wanted to do and ultimately religion was not up for discussion after what happened with Anne boleyn. While Thomas culpepper was portrayed as a rapist and murderer there is no evidence to suggest her actually was although he was known womanizer which makes the sexual affair between Katherine and Thomas more plausible however little is known as to whether these two actually had sexual intercourse, for both of them knew the dire consequences if they were to, then again many historian seem to be of the opinion that kitty howard did sleep with thomas more than once and henrys sadness over Katherines betryal was so great that the imperial ambassador Chapyus even reported that henry had not mourned the loss of any of his previous wives the way he did with Katherine howard. Catherine parr in my opinion was well portrayed by veteran actress Joley Richardson and her desire for henrys children to be taught in the ways of the protestant faith was mentioned, even pious catholic Mary tudor favoured henrys sixth wife at the beginning however she soon realized Catherine parr was not of the catholic faith and as was usual, listened to Chapyus and Gardener but did she join in their hatred for the reformer? I think not. I liked how Catherines book was mentioned as was her pleading with Henry using her Gender as a weakness to sway his opinion to have her arrested. Off course Henry had no intention of arresting her but led the likes of Gardiner to believe he intended to go through with sending Queen Parr to the tower. Thomas seymour was shown to be having an affair with edward seymours wife, and she was portrayed as a bit of a "tart" in the court, sleeping with sir francis bryan among others, however there is no proof of this and I imagine this was done among other sexual affairs to add to the style of the show. Lady Ursual in season three was a fictious character added as the kings mistress when according to starkey by the time henry married jane seymour he had set his eye upon new lady in waiting Anne basset as both sisters were sent to court as potential ladies in waiting but Henry found Anne bassets appearance favorable and according to Starkey still had a roving eye for the ladies so aside from that, I think the Tudors showed Henry VIII very well as he never lost his sexual desire nor did he stop enjoying the company of women.
The only portrayal I really hated was that of Charles Brandon, who was played by good looking actor Henry cavil, in reality Charles was nothing like this, aside from the fact he was a womanizer, he was not young and fit like he appears but nearly 50 years old by the time he married his ward, Catherine Parr's close Friend Catherine willoughby.
Overall I found the Tudors an enjoyable watch and would re watch it again and again
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