- Will Gompertz
- Art editor, BBC News
We are in the late 1970s. Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) wants Carlos (Josh O’Connor) to find a wife rather than waste time, the Irish IRA wants to step up their campaign, and the dazzling new Prime Minister wants to make Britain great again.
And so begins the last season of the series The Crown, the director’s drama Peter Morgan on the lives and loves of the House of Windsor throughout the 20th century.
The historical focus of the fourth season is located in the 1980s, which heralds a winning combination of juicy storylines and problematic characters.
As always happens with The Crown, you need to get into the air a bit before you start to be seduced with the discreet charm of a courtier bringing tea and cake.
Erin Doherty plays the PrincessAna as if she were a smug six-year-old girl with her mouth always puckered with suppressed fury.
Olivia Colman it is excellent, until he shows us one of his smiles with his characteristic teeth, at which point his monarchical authority evaporates like a Martini in front of Princess Margaret.
As to Gillian Anderson like the prime minister Margaret Thatcher, well … it was excellent in Sex Education and very good in “The X-Files” (The X-Files).
But she stumbles a lot like the Iron Lady, a role in which she seems to have been instructed to mimic the head movements of a turtle.
She is always craning her neck from side to side as if looking for a tasty lettuce leaf, while exaggerating her portrayal of Thatcher to such an extent that it is sometimes impossible to keep seeing.
Diana takes the show
Lady Diana Spencer enlightened the Royal Family when she arrived on the scene in the 1980s, and illuminates this 10-part series that, if it were a movie, would be called The Crown: Diana’s Decade.
Emma Corrin He is excellent at the part where it is much easier to be wrong than to be right.
It’s right from her first meeting with Prince Charles, when she’s a schoolgirl flitting around his stately home, to the depressed, burdened, and bulimic wife trapped in a loveless marriage a decade later.
It’s not just about producing a decent imitation of Diana’s voice and gestures, which Corrin does well; is about create a three-dimensional characterl whose personality makes the actions of others credible.
In an ensemble where there is very little character development, Corrin sets herself apart by taking Diana from a shy but flirtatious teenager to a vulnerable international superstar, with the character to deal with veiled threats from the Duke of Edinburgh (Tobias Menzies).
Corrin should make some shelf space before awards season begins.
The return of Claire Foy
Helena Bonham Carter reappears as the princess daisy, permeating his surroundings with ruthless wit as he clears a cigarette stuck in his mouthpiece. The queen escapes well from her sister’s mischief.
The two actresses do a good role.
In one episode there is a memory of 1947, when the then Princess Elizabeth, 21, was in South Africa recording a message for the Commonwealth of Nations.
Gives us another chance to see Claire Foy in the lead role and a reminder that he made the character inscrutable to such a level that Olivia Colman can’t match.
It’s good for much of the series, when Colman’s queen goes about her daily chore of having lunch with her mother and sister and giving orders to her private secretary.
But in the scenes where need to be the ice queensuch as an audience with Margaret Thatcher, or coming face to face with the famous Buckingham Palace intruder, Michael Fagan, is too accommodating and the dramatic tension disappears.
His best time comes when dealing with his wayward children.
His reprimand of Prince Charles for being whiny and spoiled, or Prince Andrew who, during lunch, brags about a porn movie starring his girlfriend, Koo Stark.
It’s a reminder that the shows might be set in the 1980s, but they have a contemporary perspective.
That sense of a revisionist story runs through the entire season, which addresses the Falklands War, the worship of Prince Charles by Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell), Princess Anne’s marital difficulties, the rise and fall. Margaret Thatcher, the assassination of Lord Mountbatten by the IRA and the leak of a political opinion of the Palace.
All of this makes for a vivid backdrop of events that have taken place in fresh memory, in which the imagined relationships that make this series so engaging are whistled.
Over the course of nine hours of television, we see how these passions build and almost destroy our protagonists as they progress through the daily soap opera that is their lives.
It is never exciting, but always entertaining– A much-needed dose of well-done, well-written, and slow-paced television.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.