Love the richness and majesty of period dramas? Then you can’t miss this upcoming series on Starz.
The White Queen is a TV series based on a bestselling book series by Philippa Gregory (The Cousins War.)
The series takes on the female perspective of many key players during the War of the Roses. It begins in 1464, wherein England had already been at war for nine years to determine who the rightful King of England should be. The House of York and the House of Lancaster both feel they have a claim to the throne. In the midst of this drama is the White Queen aka Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson), the Red Queen aka Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) and The Kingmakers Daughter aka Anne Neville (Faye Marsay.)
Much praise must be given to memorable performances by Max Irons (a true prince charming) as King Edward IV, James Frain as (evil!) Lord Warick, Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabel Neville (restrained, graceful, anxious), and Janet McTeer as Lady Rivers.
Keeping track of who holds the power in this fantastic period drama is a sport in itself. Strict historians will always find a reason to complain, and I’m sure they will. Bear in mind that this series is based on a series of novels, inspired by actual events. Were Lady Rivers and Elizabeth Woodville truly so involved in magic? Maybe, or maybe not. (I kind of hope they were. It’s very interesting.)
You will likely find yourself captivated by Rebecca Ferguson. I certainly did. She is everything you ever imagined a real princess to look like, with long, golden hair that makes her seem as though Rapunzel has come alive and has much more ambition and resolve than you realized.
Beautifully shot, the costumes and decor will make you wish you had a more fanciful life. Ritual and tradition…. oh, cue a dreamy sigh! …Except, it can be difficult to see how the women were treated back then. (Hint: It ain’t pretty.) No matter how often you hear about that, when you see it acted out in front of you…the emotional resonance is incredibly powerful. Though I was not a fan of Isabel Neville in the first two episodes, by episode three I was wincing along with her.
If you live in England, you can watch on BBC One as the series started in June. If you are in the United States, simply wait until Starz premieres the series on Saturday August 10, 2013.
“As a tough, grown-up drama The White Queen would be solid entertainment even if it were complete fiction. The fact that it’s a pivotal, and rarely told, story from our history makes it essential viewing.” – Michael Moran, lady.co.uk
The White Queen Trivia
- The White Queen filmed in Bruges, Belgium.
- There are 10 episodes for the series.
- Executive producers: John Griffin, George Faber, Charles Pattinson for Company Pictures, Eurydice Gysel for Czar Television, Polly Hill for the BBC, Philippa Gregory and Colin Callender.
- Written by Emma Frost (Shameless) and produced by Company Pictures. Lisa McGee and Nicole Taylor (The Hour, Secret Diary of a Call Girl)
The White Queen Pictures
The White Queen premieres Saturday, August 10 on Starz. Photos: BBC and taken behind-the-scenes by James Frain.