The Tudors Series One

I’m a bit of a history buff, so this appealed to me. Finding out it contained lots of sex and nudity just made it even more essential that I watched it! Joking apart, though, this period in history has always fascinated me, and so do any books and films on the subject.

The Tudors is based on the early years of Henry VIII’s reign. It’s important to remember, though, that this is a drama and is based on the period. Nowhere does it state that this is an accurate representation. I’ve no doubt that it’s based on fact, but nevertheless, what the writers have created is a corker of a series. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers portrays a really arrogant and sinister Henry VIII. It would appear no woman is safe around the young king, regardless of whether she is married or not! In fact, Henry is more interested in chasing women and pleasure than running his country. The vast majority of this responsibility is left to the incredibly powerful Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (played by Sam Neill), whom Henry trusts implicitly. It would appear that this is not a completely wise decision, as although Wolsey does act on behalf of the king in many cases, he is also lining his own pockets and advancing his own position throughout Europe.

Henry does not pay much attention to his queen, Catherine of Aragon, much to her distress. She has borne him a healthy daughter, whom he professes to love dearly, but no male heir. But rather than keep trying, Henry shuns Catherine and believes he is being punished for marrying her, as she was his brother’s wife before she was his. From there, the marriage continues to crumble, with Henry constantly pursuing and bedding other women. He gets one of them, Lady Blunt, pregnant. Much to her delight, she bears him a son, who Henry eventually declares as legitimate, and sets him up for life.

Meanwhile, the beautiful Anne Boleyn has caught Henry’s eye. What he doesn’t know, however, is that it’s a set up. Her father and uncle have ordered her to deliberately flaunt herself in front of him and try to get him interested in her, then she can move in on him. They have to ensure a way for her to get her claws into him, and for him not to tire of her as he has so many before her. So Anne resolutely refuses the king’s sexual advances on her, claiming that she has vowed to keep her maidenhead until she is married. It seems to do the trick. Refusing Henry simply increases his desire for her, and aims another huge blow at the royal marriage, as Henry starts plotting ways to be rid of Catherine.

I don’t want to say too much more because there’ll be no surprises! But basically the series focuses heavily on Henry and Anne’s relationship, and desperate attempts to annul Henry’s marriage to the queen. The series as a whole is incredibly sexy (presumably the lack of TVs and the fact many people couldn’t read meant they had sex for entertainment!?), contributed to by the divine Henry Cavill. Mmm… erm, anyway. Yes, it’s sexy, it also features lots of religion and politics, and is absolutely packed with scandal. It’ll have you riveted, but only if this genre appeals to you. I can’t wait to see the second series!

Order from Amazon.co.uk
Order from HMV.com

Comments are closed.