Netflix‘s most expensive endeavour yet, The Crown, focuses on Queen Elizabeth‘s rise to the throne beginning from her marriage to King Philip. Set to take place over six seasons at ten episodes each, you can bet the Internet Television purveyor is confident in its investment. The ambitious drama series takes us within the walls of Buckingham Palace, peeling-off the Royal Family mask and giving us fly-on-the-wall access with a few scandalous surprises along the way. Stephen Frears returns to direct here after finding Oscar success on familiar territory with 2006’s The Queen.
We had the pleasure of previewing the first few episodes of The Crown and right away found ourselves swept away into Queen Elizabeth‘s (Claire Foy) world after suddenly she is thrust into the spotlight with the sudden passing of her father, King George (Jared Harris). We had little clue who Foy was before setting her eyes upon her here, but we quickly have become a huge fan of her already. Possessing physically one-part the relatability of Reese Witherspoon and one-part the commanding elegance of a Felicity Jones, something feels familiar about her. She captivates at every turn and we want very much to see her transformation as a young wife, mother, daughter and sister into a powerful world ruler. We want also to witness and understand the change in family dynamics that come with her new role.
Aside from the Queen‘s journey, we get insight on some of the power struggles both the Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Jon Lithgow) and Royal Family in the wake of King George‘s (Jared Harris) death,the former venerable and vulnerable as his standing in the political world is threatened as others chomp at the bit to succeed him. The Crown reads at times as a political drama and other times like a juicy soap opera.
We see Princess Margaret also as an arresting young beauty involved in an illicit romance with married Group Captain Peter Townsend (Ben Miles), Vanessa Kirby playing the much criticized public figure with great empathy. Her carefree nature juxtaposes well with her sister’s great focus when matters become serious after her father’s passing.
Matt Smith balances a young King Philip with a perfect aloofness and at once an awareness that keeps us invested with him as an outsider looking into a world rooted deeply in tradition and history, in which he along with we, are just getting immersed.
Performances aside, the cinematography is simply breathtaking and clearly we see where that well-publicized budget of $7.5 million per episode was spent in all the detail.
The Crown looks to be an adored staple for seasons to come. We’re thrilled for the world to discover the Royal Family as you’ve never seen them before. Netflix Canada stream the first 10 episodes of THE CROWNFriday, November 4, 2016.
See this brand-new Featurette from the Series:
We had the pleasure of meeting both Vanessa Kirby and Jared Harris, just recently in Toronto for the Series. More here.