Industrial Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Beauty Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals BestoftheYear Shop Now HTL
  • List Price: $59.98
  • You Save: $17.68 (29%)
& FREE Shipping. Details
Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by Great-Buys! and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The Shadow of the Tower has been added to your Cart
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by arrow-media
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Complete with case and artwork.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $11.52
Learn More
Trade in now
Other Sellers on Amazon
Add to Cart
& FREE Shipping. Details
Sold by:
Add to Cart
& FREE Shipping. Details
Sold by: Daytona Beach
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

The Shadow of the Tower

30 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Jan 25, 2011)
"Please retry"
$41.82 $23.98

Try Prime FREE to Stream Movies & TV Shows
Start Your 30-day Free Trial Try Prime FREE to stream thousands of movies & TV shows. Learn more
$42.30 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Great-Buys! and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Shadow of the Tower
  • +
  • The Wars of the Roses: A Bloody Crown
  • +
  • She-Wolves: England's Early Queens
Total price: $68.49
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

James Maxwell stars as King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, in this remarkable series, the prequel to the BBC’s award-winning Tudor histories, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. When Henry, Earl of Richmond, ascended to the throne as King Henry VII in 1485, he would not only unite England after the tumultuous War of the Roses, he would herald the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Era. His reign would set the stage for the Protestant Reformation and the cultural revolution brought about by the Renaissance. Although overshadowed in history by his larger-than-life son and his remarkable granddaughter, his achievements can stand proudly alongside anything accomplished by his descendants.

Having aired on BBC2 in 1972, The Shadow of the Tower appears so authentic historically that it feels much, much older. Focusing on the rise of King Henry VII and the Tudor Dynasty, this 13-episode miniseries sheds light on not only what it took for a man to have usurped the throne in the 15th century, but also his difficulties in keeping it. Any viewer who has interest in the politics of royalty, as well as viewers who admire the cultural aesthetic of the Middle Ages, will find this program both pleasing to the eyes and highly dramatic. The episodes, having had several different writers, vary in dramatic tone and subject matter, ranging from focus on royal celebrations and fanfare, to religious and cultural matters of the time, to the ways Henry Tudor maintained rule while staving off various threats to the crown.

Disc 1 opens with "The Crown in Jeopardy," the episode that introduces Henry Tudor (James Maxwell) in his victory over King Richard, and the lovely Elizabeth of York (Norma West), both of whom star in the remaining episodes. While Queen Elizabeth gossips with her sister about Henry's desire to marry her, Henry Tudor is securing his position against knights around the country who are plotting, just after his crowning, for hostile takeover. The following episodes, "Power in the Land," "The Schooling of Apes," and "The Crowning of Apes," describe Henry and Elizabeth's marriage and pregnancy, and the ways Henry united England, often controversially, by imposing taxes, banning private liveries, and holding public executions of anyone accused of treason. Disc 2's episodes "Serpent and the Comforter" and "The White Hart" are highlights, covering first the merger of church and state during the Tudor reign, and then showing the Tudors' hard-line approach to punishment for oft-accused treason. In "Serpent," a priest is threatened with being burned at the stake for heresy simply for alleging that the church is corrupt, implying that a new era of reason and logic is in the air. In "White Hart," Henry VII decides whether or not to behead his council member, William Stanley (Robert James), for treason. The last half of the series, from episodes like "The Fledgling" to "King Without a Face," focuses on two main plots, the first being Henry and Elizabeth's childrearing and their efforts to marry off their son and daughter in the interest of forging Scottish and Spanish alliances. Secondly, extreme dramas ensue surrounding those "pretenders" like Perkin Warbeck (Richard Warwick) who claim to be the true heir to the throne, while the real boy, the Earl of Warwick (Christopher Neame), has his own problems to deal with. In all, this sweeping period drama allows one to imagine what life was truly like during this turbulent time. It depicts Henry VII with an equal blend of villainy and heroism, giving him a well-rounded character thanks to James Maxwell's excellent performance. There's never a dull moment in the shadow of London Tower. --Trinie Dalton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 640 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,132 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shadow of the Tower" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Ian Brooker on January 22, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember this series on its original transmission and repeat. It was surprisingly long (13 episodes) - twice the number of episodes for The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1969/70) (6) and Elizabeth R (1970/1) (6) - both of which were much lauded at the time and remain classics in the output of BBC Drama of the early 1970s. Shadow of the Tower did not have the production values of the other series and never achieved the success or popularity of its two Tudor TV predecessors, it was not anywhere near as good as the other series, however, it was still worth watching for an in-depth look at the reign of a much misunderstood and not immediately attractive English/Welsh monarch. Well worth investigating.

Ignore the silly and inaccurate comment about BBC subtitles. The previous reviewer hasn't even seen the series.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Delores Poole on February 1, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Being a lover of British history, I preordered this series and have just recently watched it. I was not disappointed; James Maxwell does an excellent job playing Henry VII and the whole series sheds light on a period of Tudor history that is little known. I thought the production values were quite good given that this is an early 70's style production; the sets and costumes were, for me, every bit as good as the previous Elizabeth I and The Six Wives of King Henry VIII if not better. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys historical drama. As far as a previous reviewer stating there were no subtitles, this is incorrect. There are subtitles and very good ones at that. Thank you again BBC for excellent drama!
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. Vartavarian on April 30, 2011
Format: DVD
Almost everybody is aware of the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as they seem to be darlings of Hollywood and major British and American television channels. Anyone who has read the Prince and the Pauper knows of Edward VI and Bloody Mary also has attracted a great deal of popular interest. Not so with Henry VII. His reign did not have the passionate romance with an Anne Boleyn or the glory of a Spanish Armada. Nevertheless, the series is quite interesting and James Maxwell gives a good performance of a gaunt (in striking contrast to his son Henry VIII) suspicious, aloof, and often unsympathetic monarch. I was surprised that the production value seemed somewhat lower than with the Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R as these were both quite successful series, but the producers might have been more circumspect in their funding as the protagonist of this drama is far less well know to audiences, even in the UK it must be said. That being said the costumes were quite nice and the other actors all do a fine job, especially Norma West as Elizabeth of York, though she is off screen for a good part of the series. In terms of plot various characters conspire to topple Henry Tudor from his newly won throne while Henry and his advisers scramble to stop them and secure the Tudor dynasty. When the plots at home and from abroad are all defeated Henry turns to strengthening his Kingship by extorting money from his nobles and other subjects. The series is longer but the episodes' length is shorter than was the case with Elizabeth R. Some of the episodes feel like codas or fillers where nothing much really happens, Henry spends one whole episode trying to convince a heretic to recant his beliefs and hence avoid being burned at the stake. At moments like this series does drag a bit but otherwise I found it interesting and would recommend it to people how are interested in the Tudors and scheming late medieval monarchs and nobles.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Prof Wombat on February 25, 2011
Format: DVD
Very similar in tempo and feel to the "Six Wives of Henry VIII" and "Elizabeth R", as it is written by some of the same authors. I had never heard of this production until it was released on DVD, and immediately purchased it, being more or less obssesed with the other two mini-series since I saw them when they first aired on PBS. I wasn't disappointed. It features many actors in common with the other two - Simier, Babington and Philip II from Elizabth R, for instance. It lacks the bravura of Henry VIII and Elizabeth, but frankly, the tenor of the series suits the history of the man.

The story of Henry VII is more complex and less flamboyent than Elizabeth or Henry VIII, or even Bloody Mary, yet he was a sucessful usurper and a fascinating study in kingship. Obviously, since it has only now being released, it is not quite as satisfying as the others, but certainloy will appeal to those lovers of British history and serious fans of the other series. The sheer number of important sub-players can overwhelm, and this series is 13 episdodes, twice as long as the others. Fortunately, the english subtitles can help in keeping track of the overwhleming number of characters, especially in the first 3 or four episodes.

In short, I bought this sight unseen and was not disappointed.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sissy Sue on August 24, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Shadow of the Tower" features events from the reign of Henry VII of England, the first of the Tudor monarchs. It begins with his victory over Richard III at Bosworth in 1485 and his marriage to Elizabeth of York, princess of the House of York and Queen in her own right, in 1486.

Ultimately, this series is unsatisfying. In the booklet accompanying the product, one of the producers suggests the importance of historical accuracy, but there is much that is missing. Since certain events before and during Henry's reign provoke controversy, the writers chose to ignore them altogether. The controversial disappearance and supposed deaths of the Princes in the Tower, which might have been Richard III's doing and which cleared the way for Henry's ascension, is hardly even mentioned. Elizabeth Woodville, widow of Edward IV and mother of Henry's Queen, as well as the mother of the Yorkist princes Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, mentions her sons for the two minutes that she appears in this series, and is, along with her only surviving son Dorset, contemptuously dismissed. In the episodes dealing with the imposture of Perkin Warbeck and the arrest of James Tyrell, there is no mention of the Princes, although their fate was central to Perkin's imposture. By avoiding the Princes, the producers ducked an issue that was pervasive and important in Henry's reign and dodged an opportunity to develop the character of Elizabeth of York. As the daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, and sister of the Princes, she certainly must have felt conflicted between her loyalty to her family and House and her new identity as Henry's consort and mother of his children. The producers did not have the courage to grapple with this dilemma.
Read more ›
26 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Shadow of the Tower
This item: The Shadow of the Tower
Price: $42.35
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: dvd recording tower