Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The White Queen


In 1464, the War of the Roses between the Houses of York and Lancaster is in its ninth year.  Although the sly Earl of Warwick has succeeded in having the easily-controlled Edward IV of York crowned, all his work could be undone when the new monarch falls in love with Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner.  This BBC adaptation of Philippa Gregory's series, The Cousin’s War, follows the women caught up in the battle to be the rightful king of England.
This show was commissioned by the BBC and aired in the UK first.  However, an 'uncut' version of the show was later shown by Starz in the US.
(From TV.com)


 Having read Philippa Gregory’s Cousin War Series (The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter), I was over the moon excited to find that Starz and BBC had created a made for TV series sculpted after the novels. With Philippa Gregory as executive producer, I hoped that the series would run true with the books, and I was not disappointed. Set in late 1400’s England, The White Queen brings viewers inside the intriguing and secretive world of the York and Lancastrian dynasties. Starting with the chance meeting of Elizabeth Woodville and Young King Edward, The White Queen depicts the a more intimate side of the English court. The series allows the viewer to catch a glimpse of the ethereal royals in very earthly and precarious situations ranging from adultery, jealous rages, and blissful unions.

 To draw comparisons between the books and the series, one would assume, would cause me to find great fault where actor choice and scene selection are concerned. Surprisingly, that did not occur. The choice of actors for the roles of  Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Richard Duke of Gloucester, (later King Richard III), Anne Neville, and Lady Margaret Beaufort were exceptionally true to their descriptions in the books, leaving me to wonder if someone was spying on my mind’s eye as I read the novels. I was particularly thrilled that the scenes from the books that were omitted in the series were few, and those included were taken directly, word for word, from the pages of the three novels. My only criticism is the manner with which the series ends. Originally, the White Queen was to have multiple seasons in order to encompass the breadth of material in the novels. After mixed reviews on the BBC, the series was pulled, leaving those who have not read the books at the edge of an exceedingly lofty cliffhanger. With that said, it was an appropriate place to end had another season been in the works. My suggestion would be to read the three novels, or her entire Cousins War series if you are feeling adventurous, and then watch the series. Doing so will give you a greater appreciation for the close relationship between what was written and what was shown, as well as not leaving you wanting when the series is over. I give this series four stars. It could easily have been a five if the series had not been canceled. The books, however, get a resounding and bold five stars! 

No comments:

Post a Comment