The Tudors TV Series review. Medieval movies and TV series. Tudors series info, cast, characters, pics, trailer and review.
The Tudors focuses on the life and romances of the young King Henry VIII.
Tudors cast and characters
Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII Tudor
Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon
Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn
Sam Neill as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Sarah Bolger as Mary Tudor
James Frain as Thomas Cromwell
The Tudors first season takes a look at the often overlooked, early political relationships as well as Henry’s trysts with such notable women as Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
The Tudors second season looks at King Henry’s struggle with the Pope over his divorce, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn as well as the creation of the Church of England.
The Tudors third season focuses on the people’s response to the creation of a new national Church and on the king’s third and fourth marriage. The series is shot on location in Ireland. Michael Hirst, writer of the Oscar-winning movie Elizabeth, is the series creator, writer and executive producer.
The Tudors Fourth Season
Marriage to Anne of Cleves ending as quickly as it started, Henry remarries randy teenager Catherine Howard, but her infidelity soon results in her execution; Henry finally finds domestic peace in his advanced years with the steady Catherine Parr, who unites his fractured family; a war with France ends in victory but exhausts Henry’s energy; the deaths of the French king and his best friend Brandon cause Henry to keenly feel his mortality, and he commissions a magnificent royal portrait.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and wished it had continued on through Edward’s and Mary’s reigns. (There are many films on Elizabeth’s tenure as queen.) Excellent costuming, fine performances, and close enough to historical fact to make it a good teaching tool (although not for high school given the nudity and excessive, if not historically inaccurate, use of the “F” word, particularly in the early episodes). It was a cruel and despotic era, and the series well depicts it within the confines of what is, despite the series’ length, a short period of time. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was incredibly good. Hard to believe he was the same man who portrayed Elvis Presley.
Those who criticize the series for historical inaccuracies all have valid points. As a historian, I can tell you that the mounting of the cannon depicted during the siege of Boulogne was absurd. Some pieces recoiled; others didn’t. They were all mounted on an uphill slope, which means that recoil from firing round one would have sent them careening back down the slope, requiring hours of struggle to remount them for – well, one more shot that would have repeated the process. The proper procedure would have been to construct an upward slope behind the piece so it rolled back into position after firing. I was also annoyed that, given that the aged Henry VIII’s obese form is so familiar, the film makers did not gradually fatten Rhys-Meyers. The 1970 BBC series Six Wives of Henry VIII did an effective job of growing actor Keith Michell from a lean, mean lovin’ machine to a candidate for a fat farm. On the other hand, if you want to teach a non-historian why America’s founding fathers insisted their new government have no established religion, have them watch The Tudors.
Of course, no serious historian would tap Hollywood and the like as a valid source. Gods and Generals, for example, made a strong effort to be a historically accurate film but insufficient effort to be a good film. Glory, on the other hand, presented a variety of historical errors, but it was an excellent film. All historically-based movies make factual errors, some through ignorance, others in the interest of story-telling, and some, especially old Hollywood films, are a joke (e.g., They Died with their Boots On or Santa Fe Trail). As long as film makers make a reasonable effort toward accuracy, I am not overly concerned. Historical drama can generate interest in a period or event and prompt the viewer to further study, as The Tudors did for me.