"Engrossing and glittering" -- The Washington Post
"Superb performances" -- The New York Times
The award-winning drama about Englands first truly 20th century monarch
Though he waited nearly 60 years to become king and reigned for only nine, Edward VII changed the British monarchy forever. Derided by his mother, Queen Victoria, as frivolous and untrustworthy, Edward was in fact a skillful, determined diplomat who longed to be useful to his country. This classic 13-part British miniseries dramatizes his life from frustrated prince and inveterate philanderer to loving father and respected statesman. Firmly grounded in history, it intimately depicts the palace dynamics that reverberated in Parliament and beyond during the years preceding World War I.
Winner of an Emmy® and multiple BAFTA awards (including best drama series), this deluxe production boasts a star-studded cast, including Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, John Gielgud, Felicity Kendal, Charles Dance, and Francesca Annis. With richly detailed sets and costumes, Edward the King recreates England at the height of its empire and a monarchy on the verge of transformation.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE commentaries for selected episodes by Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, and director John Gorrie; two featurettes; introductions for selected episodes by Robert McNeal; trailers; and photo gallery with commentary by the stars and director.
Royal politics have rarely been given as engaging a portrait as in Edward the King. This 13-episode miniseries aspires to redeem the reputation of a British monarch often considered frivolous: Edward VII, the heir to Queen Victoria, whose lengthy reign left Edward waiting in the wings for decades. Though this was a source of frustration for the future king, it's a boon for the miniseries, as Annette Crosbie's interpretation of Victoria is a fascinating mixture of domineering will, petulance, and genuine grief. Equally fortunately, she's matched by Timothy West as Edward, who turns genial affability into a charismatic character trait. Edward the King follows Edward from his days as a young libertine (Edward had mistresses throughout his life) to his older days as a seasoned diplomat, struggling to make peace among the European heads of state--almost all of whom were relatives, thanks to the arranged marriages Victoria brokered for her children. Though his efforts led him to be known as "Peacemaker," Edward dies with the world on the brink of World War I. Thirteen hours of turn-of-the-century politics may seem daunting, but every episodes moves briskly, packed with personal detail and wily machinations, as well as a rich and thoughtful exploration of the period's social and cultural fabric. The supporting cast is packed with superb actors like John Gielgud, Francesca Annis, and Michael Holdern. Though Edward was only king for nine years, his reign was a crucial transition into the modern age, which would be marked by both democratic reform and horrific warfare. It's juicy material for a miniseries and Edward the King does it justice. --Bret Fetzer
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