Netflix’s Latest Royal Drama, The Crown
Netflix’s £100 million gamble pays off
The Crown, Netflix’s latest offering, is the most expensive television series ever made. Arriving hot on the heels of ITV’s Victoria, the show is proving popular with audiences at home and abroad who say that the history is part of the appeal.
Netflix has been tight-lipped about exact viewing figures; however, fans have been taking to Twitter to praise the show since its release earlier this month. “I love the history being covered” tweeted LA-based singer Xiantoni Ari. Richie Kester, a ‘marketing guy’ from the UK echoes this view, saying The Crown is “a brilliant window into our past.”
However, the show’s historical detail is up for debate. “All we know is gossip,” says Dr. Karina Urbach, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Historical Research. “Since we historians have no access to any papers of the Queen’s reign, The Crown is based on no historical sources but entertaining gossip.” Urbach suggests that a century from now, when the archives have opened up, historians and the public may well “have a good laugh” at the show’s depiction of events.
Despite this, viewer’s enthusiasm for royal dramas seems shows no signs of dampening anytime soon. When asked about the monrchy’s appeal, film critic and co-host of Film 2016 Danny Leigh pointed to a mix of factors: “It’s continuity, security, snuggly nostalgia…everything and everyone in their rightful place.” Caprice Avis, a flight attendant from the US agrees. Following Donald Trump’s victory in the US election this November, she says The Crown provided “the perfect opportunity to throw myself into an alternate reality as a temporary distraction from the chaos”.
Based on Peter Morgan’s play The Audience, the 10-part drama “tell[s] the story of the two most famous addresses in the world” – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Beginning with Elizabeth’s 1947 marriage to Prince Philip, and ending with her coronation as Queen in 1953, the series follows the sometimes tense relationship between the two.
The cast is led by Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and features a supporting cast packed with British acting talent.
By Charlotte Mitchell
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