When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.
18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.
The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »
The focus of King Charles II is his court, his squabbling family and his glamorous mistresses - from the high-born and promiscuous Barbara Villiers through folk heroine and sex symbol of the day Nell Gwynne to the French spy Louise de Keroualle. It is an original take on a historical period written by award-winning screenwriter Adrian Hodges, whose credits include David Copperfield and The Lost World, which penetrates to the heart of the charismatic monarch who was deeply traumatised by the execution of his father.Written by
The version shown in UK was titled "Charles II: The Power & The Passion" and its original running time is 235 minutes. It was broadcast on TV by BBC in four parts, as it is also on the UK DVD distributed by BBC. The longer UK version has also been released in many European countries (Finland, Netherlands and more) and Australia. The version shown in USA on A&E was titled "The Last King" and has a running time on 188 minutes, cutting it down by almost 40 minutes. The DVD released by A&E in USA is the shorter version. See more »
I've watched this twice now, since A&E has been broadcasting the show this weekend under the title "The Last King" -- presumably because American audiences can't be expected to know or care who Charles II is.
Anyway, I don't understand the earler negative review at all. Hard to believe we watched the same show. The one I watched is a fantastic, very human, extraordinarily well-acted, and surprisingly faithful period piece.
While the acting in general is at a very high level (special props to the actress who played Lady Castlemaine), Rufus Sewell is simply remarkable. He communicates intelligence, self-indulgence, simple human decency and moments of power and passion wonderfully well. A terrific performance. I suppose because of his dark, somewhat moody good looks he only gets cast as bad guys by Hollywood (Helen of Troy, A Knight's Tale), but he deserves better.
Two thumbs up!
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