Passionate. Powerful. Unforgettable. Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Elvis, Mission Impossible III) is King Henry VIII as never seen before: handsome, passionate and “the hottest Henry VIII ever”*. With a lust of power and an appetite for love, the stunning young monarch rules his kingdom as he lives his life – with ruthless abandon. Season 1 of THE TUDORS reveals the untold story of the hot-headed tyrant whose reign was marked by treachery, betrayal and intrigue. This “engaging and thrilling”** drama also stars Sam Neill, Natalie Dormer, Jeremy Northam and Gabrielle Anwar. * TV Guide ** Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle
Pulling few punches and garnering its fair share of headlines as a result, The Tudors is a controversial, yet compelling period piece, that dramatically tells the story of the early years of King Henry VIII. Not for nothing though has it attracted its fair share of awards attention.
For The Tudors is a complex drama, and not one to simplify its storylines. The young Henry, for instance, is exploring his muddled romances and his insecurities, against the challenges his kingdom is facing. It’s a plateful for him to deal with, and in the hands of a superb performance from Jonathan Rhys Meyers--a real revelation in the role--as the young Henry, it’s all vividly and skillfully knitted together.
But The Tudors isn’t just about its central character, for there’s a terrific supporting cast at work too. Sam Neill’s Cardinal Wolsey, Jeremy Northam’s Thomas More and Natalie Dormer’s Ann Boleyn are just some who earn plaudits here. Behind the camera there’s the pen of Elizabeth writer Michael Hirst at work, and he too deserves much credit, clearly getting his teeth into the fascinating subject matter.
The Tudors is, undoubtedly, a graphic production, and earns its 15 certificate comfortably. It’s also been knocked for the liberties it takes with its history when putting its story across, with some justification. But it’s also most certainly terrific television, mixing in high production values with strong performances. In short, the ten episodes here will simply have you thirsting for the next series. Not before you’ve rewatched season one a few times, though... --Jon Foster