Elizabeth I (TV series)

Elizabeth I (TV series)

Infobox Film
name = Elizabeth I


|250px
caption = "Elizabeth I" logo with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons
director = Tom Hooper
producer = Barney Reisz
writer = Nigel Williams
narrator =
starring = Helen Mirren
Jeremy Irons
Hugh Dancy
Toby Jones
Ian McDiarmid
music = Robert Lane
cinematography = Larry Smith
editing = Beverley Mills
Melanie Oliver
distributor =
released = September 29, 2005 UK
April 22, 2006 USA
runtime = 223 minutes
country = United Kingdom
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website = http://www.hbo.com/films/elizabeth
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0465326

"Elizabeth I" is a 2005 British television miniseries directed by Tom Hooper. The teleplay by Nigel Williams concentrates on the last 25 years of the nearly 45-year-long reign of Elizabeth I of England.

The series originally was broadcast in the UK in two two-hour segments on Channel 4. It later aired on HBO in the United States, TMN in Canada, ATV in Hong Kong, ABC in Australia, and TVNZ Television One in New Zealand.

The series went on to win Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe Awards.

Plot synopsis

Part One focuses on Elizabeth's close and volatile relationship with her oldest friend and confidant, the Earl of Leicester, as it survives her contemplated marriage to the considerably younger Duke of Anjou, war with Spain, and his exile from and eventual return to the court, finally ending with his death in 1588.

Part Two follows Elizabeth through her later years, during which she has a passionate affair with the stepson of the Earl of Leicester, the much younger Earl of Essex, whose political ambitions frequently clash with his devotion and loyalty to the monarch. As Elizabeth finds her young lover's behavior becoming increasingly worrisome, she draws closer to Robert Cecil, who is named Secretary of State following the death of Sir Francis Walsingham.

Chief among the problems facing the throne is the question of a successor, given Elizabeth has no heirs. Both the queen's first cousin, the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots, and Mary's son, James VI of Scotland, would like to usurp Elizabeth from her position, but she is determined neither one will take her place.

Production

The series was filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the massive sets were constructed inside a sports arena. The church where Elizabeth and James VI meet is St. Anne's Church, built in 1500.

This series' broadcast forced the BBC to postpone the premiere of "The Virgin Queen", also about Elizabeth I, until January/February 2006. Ewen Bremner appeared in both productions.

Historical inaccuracies

As in the 1800 play "Mary Stuart" by Friedrich Schiller, Elizabeth visits Mary, Queen of Scots in prison, although the cousins never met in real life.

In 1588, while waiting on the beach to see if the Spanish Armada is about to invade England, the Earl of Leicester uses a telescope to identify the flag on a ship sailing up the river. The telescope wasn't invented by Hans Lippershey until 1608.

Mary, Queen of Scots is beheaded in a courtyard, but according to accounts written at the time she actually was executed inside Fotheringhay Castle.

Robert Cecil presents Elizabeth with a poem the Earl of Essex allegedly wrote just before his execution. The piece she reads aloud actually was the work of Chidiock Tichbourne, who wrote it just before his execution for the role he played in the Babington Plot.

Cast

*Helen Mirren ..... Elizabeth I
*Jeremy Irons ..... Earl of Leicester
*Hugh Dancy ..... Earl of Essex
*Toby Jones ..... Robert Cecil
*Patrick Malahide ..... Sir Francis Walsingham
*Ian McDiarmid ..... Lord Burghley
*Jérémie Covillault ..... Duke of Anjou
*Barbara Flynn ..... Mary, Queen of Scots
*Ewen Bremner ..... James VI, King of Scots
*Toby Salaman ..... Dr Lopez
*Charlotte Asprey ..... Frances Walsingham
*Geoffrey Streatfield ..... Sir Anthony Babington
*David Delve ..... Sir Francis Drake
*Martin Marquez ..... Don Bernardino de Mendoza
*Rimantas Bagdzevicius ..... Lord Howard of Effingham
*Will Keen ..... Francis Bacon
*Eddie Redmayne ..... Earl of Southampton
*Ben Pullen ..... Sir Walter Raleigh
*Diana Kent ..... Lady Essex

Critical reception

David Wiegand of the "San Francisco Chronicle" said, "It almost goes without saying that when Helen Mirren plays Elizabeth Tudor in HBO's new miniseries, the scenery becomes a veritable banquet table that gets picked clean in two nights ... [Her] performance is powerful enough to shatter your television screen, not to mention any notion you might have had that if you've seen one Elizabeth - Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson or Cate Blanchett, for example - you've seen them all ... Right up there with Mirren, the rest of the cast is stellar. Irons, now a lion in winter, has sometimes settled into craggy self-parody in lesser films. But here, he invests Leicester with as much depth and complexity as he can, and he is every bit Mirren's equal onscreen." [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/21/DDGBEIBU091.DTL "San Francisco Chronicle" review] ]

Brian Lowry of "Variety" observed, "Somewhat plodding through its opening hour, "Elizabeth I" gains steam and then soars through its concluding installment ... watching Mirren sink her teeth into this role is a treat worth savoring ... Tom Hooper, who previously directed Mirren in "Prime Suspect 6", indulges Williams' penchant for long, theatrical monologues, which require a little getting used to in the slow early going. Gradually, however, as with the best British costume drama, the narrative becomes absorbing." [ [http://www.variety.com/awardcentral_review/VE1117930241.html?nav=reviews07&categoryid=1986&cs=1&p=0 "Variety" review] ]

Awards

;58th Primetime Emmy Awards
*Outstanding Miniseries
*Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries
*Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries (Helen Mirren)
*Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries (Jeremy Irons)
*Outstanding Art Direction
*Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries
*Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries
*Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries
*Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries;64th Golden Globe Awards
*Best Television Mini-Series
*Best Actress in a Mini-Series (Mirren)
*Best Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series (Irons);12th Screen Actors Guild Awards
*Outstanding Female Actor in a Mini-Series (Mirren)
*Outstanding Male Actor in a Mini-Series (Irons);BAFTA Awards
*Best Original Television Music;Costume Designers Guild Award for Best Costume Design - Miniseries or TV Film

References

External links

* [http://www.hbo.com/films/elizabeth/?ntrack_para1=leftnav_category5_show0 HBO Films: "Elizabeth I"]
*imdb title|id=0465326|title=Elizabeth I


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