Elizabeth R: The Marriage Game (1971)
Season 1, Episode 2
Like Queen Christina, she shall die a bachelor!
26 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
From the moment that the newly proclaimed Queen Elizabeth returns to England, it is obvious that she will be married to her people, not a man. Yes, she loves many men, as advisers, confidantes and best friends. Rulers of other countries see this as a way of making claims to the throne and this sets up the possibilities of war with other countries, including with her forjer brother-in-law from Spain. It's obvious that she means business, and when she screams at her court for silence, it is silence she gets from the men and women, kneeling in fear which she commanded, not demanded. This is a monarch with determination, to rid the country of the corruption of previous rulers, particularly her sister's.

The audience gets to meet Queen Mary of Scotland here, played by Vivian Pickles. It's the same year that Glenda Jackson played the supporting role of Queen Elizabeth, with the Oscar nominated Vanessa Redgrave playing "Mary, Queen of Scott's". Among the men pursuing her, the still young Elizabeth is a flirt, but she's not at all flighty. Even her battle with small pox shows her fighting, screaming at her doctor, and in spite of her suffering, fighting to get well.

The two queens apparently never met (although they did correspond), but it is unique in the 16th Century to see two women in power. There's more at stake than just the lack of an heir, and Jackson is convincing as she devoted her life to the people. Ironic that Jackson did the same later on in parliament and also flattering that another big screen Queen Elizabeth (Bette Davis) referred to Jackson as her favorite actress after this was aired. This truly is masterpiece theater.
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