4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2010
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!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2008
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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! **
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2007
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!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 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!
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2007
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 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.
on 27 January 2014
Despite historical inaccuracies, this a great tv series, with this being the first season out of four.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII may raise a few eyebrows, everyone knows the Holbein portrait of the king, presenting the tall, fat and unattractive man. Everything that Meyers is not, basically. However, Henry VIII was young once, and according to historians he was quite athletic, charismatic, and dare I say it, attractive back in his youth. While he Meyers may not physically look like the king, his acting is outstanding, and on my opinion, he gets the portrayal of the temperate king spot on.
Series one starts with Henry VIII tired of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, after the marriage has failed to produce any male heirs, and only resulting in a single daughter, Mary. As we all know, Anne Boleyn comes along and steals the kings desire- and heart. Hell bent on divorcing Katherine and marrying Anne, the king grants Wolsey with the unenviable task of persuading the pope to annul the marriage, on the basis of Catherine having been previously married to his elder brother Arthur. The 'Kings great matter' as it has been called, went on for over five years so it is no surprise that this spans many episodes, which eventually (as we know from history) results in the break from Rome and the establishment of the Church of England.
Along the way, the series focuses on the fall of Wolsey, the rise of the Boleyns, and the ins and outs of court life. While their are inaccuracies, for example the decision to merge Henry VIII's sister's Mary and Margaret into one, and changing the death of Wolsey, this is still a very entertaining series. It is definitely not suitable for children though, with a lot of sex scenes (this does calm down in later series), and some scenes of violence. If you love historical dramas and won't mind too much about the poetic license when it comes to history, this is recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2009
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. :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2012
FABULOUS costumes, good acting and despite the fact that we know the plot through and through, this drama succeeds in building up a sense of foreboding and dread as England is ruled by Henry's iron grip and her queens one by one dispatched, suffering at the hands of a selfish and superficial tyrant driven by his carnal urges and his unsatisfied desire for a male heir.
Interesting political and historical perspective.
Henry VIII is portrayed by an irishman (what a delicious irony), from Cork no less.