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Masterpiece: Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen 1 Season 2005


Available on Prime
Season 1
Available on Prime
(1,169) IMDb 8.2/10

1. Masterpiece: Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen (Part One) TV-14 CC

From PBS and Masterpiece: Part One of Masterpiece's lavish production based on the life and tumultuous 40-year reign of one of Britain's most fascinating monarchs.

Anne-Marie Duff, Tom Hardy
1 hour, 56 minutes
Original air date:
November 13, 2005

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Starring Anne-Marie Duff, Tom Hardy
Supporting actors Robert Pugh, Dexter Fletcher, Sienna Guillory, Ian Hart, Joanne Whalley, Michael Feast, Tony Guilfoyle, Bryan Dick, Stella Maris, Richard Syms, Tara Fitzgerald, Stanley Townsend, Ken Bones, Pearce Quigley, Kevin McKidd, Alan Williams, Jacob Moriarty, Marcello D'Ramos
Season year 2005
Network PBS
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 130 people found the following review helpful By C. Goette on June 9, 2006
Format: DVD
This production has a lot going for it. Anne-Marie Duff makes a great Elizabeth, and she is supported by an equally talented cast. The sets, lighting, costuming and direction are good, and the makeup artists did a terrific job of aging Duff as the movie progressed. I occasionally found the music too much; it sometimes seemed loud and overwhelmed the action, but overall I enjoyed it.

The catch is that the concept of the movie works better in theory than it does in practice. The Virgin Queen, as the title indicates, focuses on Elizabeth's personal relationships, most specifically her love interests. To an extent, limiting the program makes sense; Elizabeth was about 69 at her death, and ascended to the throne at 25. However, over all, Elizabeth's relationships were unusually embarrassing and sad, and to focus on them to the near-exclusion of the other events in her life leaves us with little more than a gossipy, costumed soap opera. While the events depicted are factual--except where artistic license is used to explain murky aspects--Elizabeth often comes of as a bit trite, and the real queen, for all of her capriciousness, was anything but trite. She saw her kingdom through massive changes, left it stronger than she found it, and was so influential that her reign is still considered a golden age.

There are some genuinely touching moments, and the production is of good quality. This is a worthwhile purchase, so long as you understand that the focus is very limited.
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155 of 164 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 20, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting programme, produced in Britain and originally shown on the PBS series, Masterpiece Theatre.

This miniseries was directed by Coky Giedroyc, a veteran of television productions in Britain, including another royal-themed miniseries, 'William and Mary', in 2003. Giedroyc brings an interesting modern twist to the series - rather than filming things in majestic, sweeping camera pans with classical music as a background, and rather than having the dialogue (and acting) be in a stilted, falsely formal style, Giedroyc incorporates modern music with medieval and Celtic flavouring to it (both of which have experienced a renaissance of sorts in the past decade), and the situations are decidedly modern without being out of place in their own times.

This presents the life of Elizabeth from her young adulthood under Queen Mary, as a supposed participant in intrigues against the Catholic Queen, through to her death after serving decades on the throne of England as the Virgin Queen, the queen who never married. In fact, the miniseries plays a tantalising game with Elizabeth's virginity, showing her desires (as well as those around her) without ever giving up the game of 'was she or wasn't she?' Anne-Marie Duff plays the part of Elizabeth, and does a remarkably able job for such a complex figure. Duff won the Irish Television award and was nominated for the BAFTA award for best actress in a television drama in another series, 'Shameless', last year.

Duff is joined by Tom Hardy, who plays the role of Robert Dudley, the favourite of Queen Elizabeth.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By JE Farrow on August 31, 2009
Format: DVD
In the past 5 years or so I've watched close to 8 to 10 films about Elizabeth I. I've always been fascinated by the Tudors & their tumultuous times. Like other history fans, I have my favorite characters--and villains. Fortunately, Elizabeth is on the favorites list (AND Mary, Queen of Scots--figure that one out.). After watching a number of extremely brilliant women actors in the role, I thought it was getting a bit ridiculous to see an English Queen running around telling just about everybody, "I'm a Virgin, I'm a Virgin, I'm a Virgin!" Good grief--shades of The Material Girl! Well, of course there was a good reason for that. I think most historians agree that Elizabeth skillfully allied her political reputation to the high level of adoration the people of the period (even Protestants) felt for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then there's the practical reality that being virgo intacta was vital to be a player in the European monarchial marriage game. This too Elizabeth played to her advantage. By keeping kings & countries waiting & guessing on her next move, Elizabeth felt relatively safe and--perhaps more importantly, on the strictly personal level--garnered her the verbal romantic attention she seemed to obsessively crave.

Coky Giedroyc, director of this production stated, "Elizabeth had...a real pathological fear of intimacy. Her father (Henry VIII) represented everything male, and once you get close to a man you get killed..." She also had her mother's fate to reflect on. Even a naughty queen can lose her head--especially if her hubby was good ol' Henry (a Tudor definitely NOT on my favorites list--but his cast-off wife Katherine of Aragon is.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Emily Meri Nitta Kugler on December 1, 2005
Format: DVD
Overall, I thought this is one of the better Elizabeth films. True, its no "Elizabeth R" but that mini-series was able to do so much more because of its length. Duff really looks like Elizabeth and I liked that they did play off of the queen's vanity and insecurities about her body. I teach British Literature to undergraduates and I'm hoping this film will help give them a little more understanding of the era. Yes, its been modernized. Yes, its portrayal of Amy Robsart's death irked me. Yes, "Elizabeth R" is better. But in a classroom with students who maybe saw the Cate Blancett film, I think it will be useful.

Just as a film, it is beautiful, well acted and engaging. The sound track is particularly effective.
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