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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical innacuracies - yes! But what a romp!
Yes, its true, there are numerous historical innacuracies, but truly, do these really matter and affect the viewing pleasure? No! Not for a second. This is entertainment, pure and simple. Yes, a lot of it is fiction but its still fantastic viewing - the sets, the costumes, the casting - which are all fantastic. I read many reviews on this DVD and some nearly...
Published on 18 Dec 2007 by Rosie Girl

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars File under 'guilty pleasure'
England, 1519. King Henry VIII rules England and is beloved by his people. His wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, is popular and the king's chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, is able and formidable in administering the country and defeating plots against the throne. Another of Henry's advisors is Sir Thomas More, a man of great conscience and integrity whose respect and...
Published 13 months ago by A. Whitehead


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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical innacuracies - yes! But what a romp!, 18 Dec 2007
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Yes, its true, there are numerous historical innacuracies, but truly, do these really matter and affect the viewing pleasure? No! Not for a second. This is entertainment, pure and simple. Yes, a lot of it is fiction but its still fantastic viewing - the sets, the costumes, the casting - which are all fantastic. I read many reviews on this DVD and some nearly persuaded me not to buy it as I hadn't seen any of the BBC2 episodes. Now, I can't wait for the next series - its addictive. Poppycock to all those purists who just can't see good dramatic TV fiction for what it is. I say, sit back and enjoy!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a chance on the Tudors, 17 Jan 2008
By 
Geoffrey Swayne (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tudors: Complete BBC Series 1 [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I hadn't watched the series when originally aired, but bought the series on recommendation from friends.

Well long story short my girlfriend and I put the first disc in, and watched all four episodes, and we're quite quickly consuming the rest of it :)

Well cast through out, and with strong primary and sub plots. The quality of the picture is outstanding on Blu-ray and is a clear step-up from conventional DVDs...
...unfortunately that just points out some of the cheapness of some of the CGI buildings, as well as some other lacklustre props. Luckily though, I'm not quite shallow enough for that to both me!

A note for the easily offended: there is fair amount of swearing, a healthy portion of nudity, and frequant bouts of high definition nooky ;)

All in all a good one for grown-ups but don't give it to the kids as an aide to their school homework!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware: Highly Addictive!, 16 Aug 2008
As a history student people assume I will be constantly annoyed by the historical inaccuracies that feature relatively frequently throughout this series but I honestly couldn't care less! The casting has been well done (I doubted Jonathon Rhys-Meyers at first but he becomes an excellent Henry VIII in my opinion) and the seductive and dramatic plot had me hooked from the first episode.
Can't wait for Season 2!
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GUTTED THAT I HAVE TO WAIT TILL 2008 FOR SEASON 2!, 22 Sep 2007
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I won't go into specific plotlines since that could take all day. However, if you realize while watching it that they have taken a bit creative license with some of the facts, then you will enjoy it much better. The acting is SUPERB. I really wasn't sure about the casting of Rhys Meyers, a very average Irish actor I have only seen in "Bend it Like Beckham". But he quickly won me over. He truly commands the screen, is petulant when it calls for it and really makes you beleive he is Henry. The actress who plays Queen Katherine is also brilliant. The sets and costumes are lush and beautiful. You almost feel like you were transported back 500 years ago! The storyline moves along very quickly and at the end of the season, really left me wanting more - I was completely hooked and cannot wait till 08 to see season 2. There are however, factual errors in the script that I won't detail here - if you didn't notice them while watching, then I won't disappoint you by pointing them out now. If you enjoy period movies and television, then you will ADORE the Tudors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tudors, 24 Mar 2011
can highly recommend I never enjoyed history so much. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a fantastic role as Henry V111. the costumes are amazing. I just had to get season 2 3 and 4 fantastic if you like history you will love this. even if you dont like history you will find it entertaining and addictive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 13 May 2010
By 
This is probably one of the best televsion productions to look at Henry VIII despite the numerous historical inaccuracies.

The most annoying inaccuracy is the merging of Margaret Tudor and Mary Tudor in one character but otherwise the attention to detail is awesome. Hirst successfully higlights the minutiae of Tudor life interspersed with the splendor of the court.

Hirst's characterisation and casting were his trump cards as the acting is first rate. Jonathan Rhys Meyer doesn't rival Henry VIII in stature or looks yet manages to convey the most convincing portrayal of the monarch ever seen. The cast is very strong: Wolsey (Sam Neill), More (Jeremy Northam), Cromwell (James Frain), Katherine of Aragon (Maria Donnelly) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) are all played superbly! Hirst triumphs in his characterisation of these key figures: they are not portrayed according to stereotpe or in a one dimensional manner. The portrayal of Cromwell, in particular, is a welcome one.

Even if you are not interested in British History or the Tudor period, give it a go anyway. It's a great bodice ripping romp with the added bonus of being well written, brilliantly acted, well shot with amazing attention to detail. This series is so gripping that, should you buy the series, you will wearout your DVD through overuse!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Divorced...beheaded....., 28 Oct 2009
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Ermmm....died ?

I think so (Jane Seymour) but to be honest we never got that far as at the "climax" of the final episode, Henry is still married to wife number one Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn was still his mistress with her head still firmly on those lovely shoulders.

That was my main issue with The Tudors season 1. After a good start, plenty of jousting, intercontinental skulduggery and gratuitous sex, the middle episodes dragged like a dog with no legs as it concerned itself almost exclusively with Henry VIII's struggle to annul his marriage to Catharine. Whilst alliances and were made and broken with France and Spain, these were secondary to his obsessive battles with the Catholic Church. Personally, I would have liked to see a little more progress although the series did end on a cliffhanger with the death of Wolsey, Henry's patience with the Pope running out and the separation from the Rome looming.

The good parts were however, the main characters, namely Henry himself played with charisma and aplomb by Rhys Meyers though with a BMI akin to that of a grasshopper he hardly looked like the portly and beardy chap every schoolkid can instantly recognise. The contrasts between the regal and dignified Catharine of Aragon, daughter of the Emperor of Spain and the beguiling but cunning commoner Boleyn made for good viewing as the Queen held her ground in court. For me though, the star of the show was the Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, under-played fantastically by Sam Neill, owning the screen every time he was on it. The man in red made many enemies but for all his faults and double-dealing, his downfall was a loss to both the court and viewers. And why did he call the Pope's ambassador a "Stupid Count" ? At least that's what I think he said. With the exception of Thomas More, the rest of the cast were a bit lightweight or young in my opinion though, some looking more like accountants or salesmen than dukes or lords. Where's Brian Blessed when you need him ?

The series did look very good, with obviously high production values. Some of the scenery with the elaborate costuming and horseback action was stunning and no doubt a few more Americans will be flying over to visit Hampton Court and Hever Castle having watched this. Historical inaccuracies aside, this was good entertainment if slightly slow in the middle as mentioned but is set up nicely for the next series.

Would I buy season two? Possibly. Better than Rome? No.

** UPDATE - I DID BUY SEASON 2 AND LOVED IT! MUCH BETTER THAN ROME SEASON 2 LOL! **
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars File under 'guilty pleasure', 8 Jun 2013
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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England, 1519. King Henry VIII rules England and is beloved by his people. His wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, is popular and the king's chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, is able and formidable in administering the country and defeating plots against the throne. Another of Henry's advisors is Sir Thomas More, a man of great conscience and integrity whose respect and friendship the king values.

However, it is a difficult time in Europe. The Lutheran heresy is raging unchecked in Germany and the Pope is unable to defeat it. King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V are engaged in a deadly rivalry, both hoping to enlist England as an ally. With his queen - the Emperor's aunt - apparently unable to bear him a son, Henry also begins movements towards a divorce. When he falls in love with the beautiful Anne Boleyn, this matter becomes pressing and threatens a breakdown of relations with Rome.

The Tudors is a television drama produced by the Showtime network and based on the life on Henry VIII, focusing on his relationships with his six wives and the political and religious turmoil that resulted. The first season covers a period of roughly eleven years, running from the accession of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor (in 1519) to the death of Cardinal Wolsey (in 1530). However, real historical events are compressed, combined or moved around in the timeline to read better as part of the drama. The contentious marriage of Charles Brandon to Henry's sister Mary Tudor (slightly confusingly changed to Margaret in the TV series) happened in 1515, but is moved to later on to create an interesting mid-season subplot, for example.

The Tudors plays fast-and-loose with the details of real history, but like HBO's Rome before it, the show does succeed in getting across the events and complications of the period. The complexities of Henry's relationships with fellow European rulers and the Pope are recounted well, as is the seething tension within the English court. As a very rough introduction to the history of the period, The Tudors works, though those interested in the real events are referred to the many history books about the time.

As drama and narrative, The Tudors is something of a mixed bag. The script is inclined towards the expositionary, with surprisingly little incidental flavour, and what there is is often questionable: a scene showing Henry VIII composing 'Greensleeves' is amusing but also cheesy and highly inaccurate (Henry VIII definitely did not write the music to the song and his authorship of the lyrics is questionable, at best). One of the strongest episodes in the season is the one where England is ravaged by disease, as it shows how Tudor England coped with such disasters and features more incidental scenes of life amongst the common folk than other episodes.

The acting is mostly good, with the likes of Nick Dunning (Sir Thomas Boleyn) and Henzy Czerny (the Duke of Norfolk) providing able support. Henry Cavill (Charles Brandon and, more recently, the latest actor to play Superman) is good as one of Henry's few true friends, though he arguably may have made a better Henry VIII himself. Maria Doyle Kennedy gives an excellent performance as Catherine of Aragorn, mixing palpable fear and worry over not being able to give the king an heir with pride and anger at the thought of being set aside. Natalie Dormer is given the hard job of portraying Anne Boleyn, the woman a king plunged a nation into anarchy for, and almost pulls it off. She is hamstrung by the indifferent script, especially as the story skips large chunks of their courtship and the precise reasons for the king's fascination with her are left somewhat ambiguous: in the TV show she simply appears to play hard to get, fascinating the king who normally just has to nod his head to get a woman into bed with him. Given their seven-year courtship and the intensity of Henry's feelings towards her, this feels rather inadequate as an explanation.

Central to this first season is Sam Neill, who plays Cardinal Wolsey with just the right mix of intelligence, political scheming and ruthless anger. Wolsey is presented as something of an antagonistic figure, but he is also shown to be a caring family man (Wolsey had a wife and two children) and to be utterly devoted to the king. As Wolsey repeatedly fails to get the annulment Henry wants, he becomes more desperate and Neill portrays Wolsey's descent with passion and intensity. Neill is possibly the highlight of the first season. Jeremy Northam also gives an excellent performance as Sir Thomas More, highlighting both More's well-known piety, intelligence and integrity but also his darker side, such as his commitment to burning heretics and Protestants at the stake.

Where the series falters - and it's quite a big misstep - is the casting of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in the central role of Henry VIII. Eight years prior to The Tudors, Rhys-Meyers had played the coldly cunning role of Steerpike in the BBC's adaptation of Gormenghast, and bizarrely he seems to be playing Henry VIII in much the same manner. The real Henry VIII is noted for his charisma and vivaciousness, his force of personality sweeping up those around him. Whilst Rhys-Meyers certainly nails the king's intelligence, confidence and raging temper when thwarted, his performance is also often cold, desperate and occasionally whiny. I can understand the idea of subverting the traditional image of the fat, middle-aged Henry VIII by showing him as a young man in the prime of life, but Rhys-Meyers simply fails to get across the complexities of the real historical figure.

Fortunately, this is not quite as disastrous as it might be supposed: The Tudors may be about Henry VIII, but the series follows those around him more than the monarch himself, and the emphasis is on the court and period as a whole rather than on the one man by himself.

From a technical viewpoint, the series is well-directed. The use of CGI to flesh out the castles and stately homes of England is interesting and rather ahead of its time (and makes up for the fact that the show was filmed in Ireland, with limited or no access to some of the real locations portrayed in the series), though also sometimes distracting. Early in the season we have relatively brief camera shots of locations that try not to dwell on their computer-generated nature. Later in the season we have rather distracting rapid camera movements and broad shots of locations which are clearly CGI and artificial (and whilst the CGI is good for 2007 and the show's limited budget, it's still not great), creating a bit of a dissonance once we switch to the live-action scenes.

The first season of The Tudors (***) is flashy, fun and enjoyable but also lightweight. The lack of historical accuracy is not a major problem - the show at least portrays the real events, if not always in the right order or with the correct details - though the uncharismatic performance of the lead actor and a sometimes indifferent and flavourless script certainly are. Luckily, most of the other actors are excellent and as a rough introduction to the time period and events, the show does work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant! i fell in love with henry!, 9 Oct 2008
By 
Anna (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
brilliant series! i love the tudors and this was perfect.
there are some historical inaccuracies but to be honest with a henry this hot who cares!
great series, wish it finished at this one though as the second is so inferior.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tudors - a new take on them!, 18 Jan 2009
By 
H. Stobbart (Surrey England) - See all my reviews
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I bought The Tudors series 1 of Amazon for my mum for christmas and we have watched them together over the last few weeks.

Having not learnt about The Tudors since I was eight years old I don't really remember much about them apart from the stereotypical fat man with the ginger hair. However watching this has made me learn so much more about the young Henry, the sportsman, the King who knew he had the power to do anything.

My mums a big fan of history and at times she's watched a scene and said "I dont remember learning about that!" So, yes there is some fiction in this series but a bit of fantasy didn't harm anyone - right?

There is a very good cast in the series and some brilliant acting from them. I know some reviews are saying even in series 2 he has not fattend up but i'm sure thats all to come!!!!

If you want to learn about the Tudors without taking it too seriously, with a bit of sex, a look at some beautiful costumes and a fair bit of drama thrown in then I would definetly recommend you buy this.

This series kept a load of seventeen and eighteen year olds in of an evening - and not just because of Jonathon Rhys Meyers - now I think that's pretty good, therefore this gets a whole 5 stars. :)
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