I never thought I’d be compelled to watch Netflix’s latest binge offering. Depicting the reign of the world’s oldest living monarch,Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown is a seriously impressive piece of work.
The show is set to run for six seasons (ten episodes each), with every season tackling a decade in the monarch’s life. That’s an overwhelming undertaking for any creator, but judging from the pilot episode, writer Peter Morgan certainly seems up to the task. Wolferton Splash is a remarkably confident start to the show; it introduces the The Crown‘s key players, while immersing us in a captivating world of grandeur and politics.
And the cast? What a cast it is! First off is Clair Foy, who is marvelous as the soon-to-be Queen. She beautifully showcases the character’s nervousness and apprehension in the pilot, and yet also manages to give a glimpse of the steely resolve that’s bubbling underneath Elizabeth’s facade. I am certain her evolution once she ascends to the throne is going to be fascinating to watch. As King George VI, Mad Men‘s Jared Harris is also phenomenal (he’s got the hour’s most heartbreaking moments), while John Lithgow gives a surefire Emmy-winning performance as Sir Winston Churchill.
Finally, The Crown is one lavish production. The show is reportedly the most expensive in history, and it shows. The set design is impeccable, and you never once question the setting or the time period. It’s also worth noting that the The Crown‘s musical score – composed by Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-William – is simply incredible: it’s rousing, touching, and just majestic in every way.
– I found it interesting that Elizabeth insisted on adding the “obey” line to her vows. I’m guessing it’s because she wants to feel like a normal and traditional wife amidst all the royalty.
– The surgery room in Buckingham palace is a haunting sight!
– Yup, that’s little Prince Charles popping up every now and again!
– Absolutely loved the episode’s final scene with The King giving Prince Phillip the speech about protecting his daughter. The editing is masterful here as we intercut between the ominous hunting trip and Elizabeth making her way into her father’s office and taking a seat. And the fog at the end as the men aimlessly shoot? Brilliant imagery!
Quotes & Queens
George: Not sure I ever imagined what breathing through one lung would feel like. Turns out there’s barely any difference.
Clementine: So he’s dying?
Churchill: We’re all dying. That’s what defines the condition of living.
George: (to Elizabeth) Everything they want me to know, they stick on top. Everything they’d rather I didn’t know, Cabinet meetings, Foreign Office briefings, they tuck away at the bottom.
George: You understand, the titles, the… dukedom. They’re not the job.
George: She is the job. She is the essence of your duty. Loving her. Protecting her. Of course, you’ll miss your career. But doing this for her, doing this for me… there may be no greater act of patriotism. Or love.
An astonishing start to Netflix’s highly ambitious historical drama.