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on 6 March 2011
Well, for one thing, the production values are sky high. The costumes, locations and acting are all first rate. It is true that Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks nothing like Henry VIII but he certainly captures the essence of the man: big personality, dangerous to cross but on occassion compassionate (and passionate!), powerful yet in later life prone to mood swings and relatively frail. The writers have taken liberties with some of the events and characters, however, this is entertainment, not a documentary. If you accept the artistic licence for what it is then this series is compelling. It captures the main events of King Henry VIII's reign rather well. The political tensions and brutal reality of life in royal circles in the sixteenth century are never very far away. To my mind the fourth and final series is the best. Savour and enjoy.
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on 6 April 2011
I would be interested to know if anyone has encountered the same problem as I have with the Blu-Ray version of season 4 the Tudors. All previous seasons have played perfectly. Disk 1 of season 4 also is unprobelmatic until the intro to episode 3. It then freezes and loses sounds. While it is possible to fast forward the DVD from there and continue playing - with occasional freezes - the sound does not return. Nor does the sound return on discs 2 or 3.

I have an LG Blu-Ray home cinema which I have updated with the latest version of firmware (March 2011) so firmware does not immediately appear to be the problem. Also, I have had no issues with any other Blu-Ray disks (Avatar played perfectly as a replacement evening's entertainment!)

I returned the first set of Series 4 in Blu-Ray to Amazon who replaced it quickly with another but the same problem occurred in exactly the place and so I returned that set too. Thinking the problem might be one of a bad batch of DVDs, I purchased a set from HMV...but with the same result, only at a higher price!

I have today given up and purchased the non-Blu-Ray version which has worked absolutely fine.

Anyone else had the same problem?
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England, 1540. King Henry VIII has married Catherine Howard and seems to have finally achieved a level of happiness. The execution of Thomas Cromwell has left the government firmly cowed by Henry and the religious Reformation of the country in his hands. However, Catherine's past is colourful and she soon finds old 'friends' creeping out of the woodwork, determined to use her to their own advancement. When Catherine's flighty and irresponsible behaviour irritates and distances Henry, she also finds herself drawn into a dangerous affair.

The fourth and final season of The Tudors picks up with Henry VIII on his fifth and penultimate wife and covers the last seven years of his life. Aside from the controversial life and death of Catherine Howard, this period is most notable for Henry's decision to invade France and besiege Boulogne. These elements are characterised in the TV series as a form of mid-life crisis: all it's lacking is the decision to buy a Harley or an impractical and overpriced open-topped convertible. This is an amusing idea but also one that lends itself to an air of melancholy: as Henry's old leg wound worsens he knows his death is coming and he sets about preparing for it. As old friends and allies also start passing, Henry is forced to consider his life and accomplishments, exemplified in the final episode when he starts having visions of his dead wives and questions whether he was right to divorce or execute them.

As with the previous seasons, The Tudors maintains a certain watchability in spite of its numerous problems and deviations from history. However, the series has definitely suffered from the loss of James Frain as Cromwell. David O'Hara (despite being only four years younger than the actor who played his father in Season 1) steps up as the Earl of Surrey and gives a menacing, charismatic performance but doesn't actually do very much. Henry Cavill rounds off his appearance on the show with a surprisingly effective melancholic performance as Charles Brandon also approaches the end of his life, enlivened only by a new romance. Sarah Bolger (finally promoted to the title sequence cast) is also excellent as Mary Tudor, walking a fine line between being sympathetic but also driven by her religion. For the wives, Tamzin Merchant is effectively flighty and irritating as Catherine Howard should be, but rounds off being a little bit too irritating. Also, the writers ill-advisedly keep the Howard/Culpeper affair storyline going for at least a full episode longer than is really necessary.

Once that's out the way, Joley Richardson gives a much more decent performance as Catherine Parr, Henry's final wife, and portrays Parr as a woman of much greater maturity and intelligence than her predecessor. There's some minor scheming as the reformers in the court find themselves wondering if Parr is religiously acceptable, but that peters out as Henry becomes focused on war instead. The battle scenes are surprisingly good, with the Siege of Boulogne emerging as the stand-out setpiece of the entire series. Afterwards, we're plunged back into minor court politics before the show finally ends.

As with previous seasons, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is really not a great Henry VIII. He nails the king's intelligence but not his charisma, but with the addition of make-up to chronicle Henry's passing years he does seem to improve a little in this final season. At least up until the last two episodes, when he decides to adopt a bizarre and distracting deep voice (presumably under the mistaken impression it helps him sound older) which does not work at all.

That said, the fourth season of The Tudors (***½) does adopt a melancholic and reflect tone in the last few episodes as the king's life draws to a close which ends the series on a surprisingly sombre tone. Whilst The Tudors will never rank among the great historical dramas, it does do enough reasonably well to make it an effective (if far from perfect), basic account of the life of Henry VIII.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 March 2011
Having pre ordered Series four of The Tudors and had to wait a long time for the official release date, it actually came two working days before that official release date. I already had series one, two and three on DVD and the pre order price was very good. I had already seen episodes 1-7 as they had been transmitted on the BBC.
Within twenty four hours of receiving the item I have now seen the remaining episodes 8,9,10 on this DVD set, plus the special features.
Series Four is fantastic. It is worth the long wait. It is just as good as any of the previous three series.
The production is lavish, glamorous, well directed and acted. The sets and the atmosphere of the whole series are excellent.
Once again the producers have created an outstanding series of drama. There is just as much power in this final series as there was in the first three. And it gradually builds into a grand finale.
I am not going to give away any of the plot twists or describe any of the scenes or highlights. It would only spoil it for anyone that hasn't seen it yet. But I can say if you enjoyed the other series then you will not be disappointed in this one.
The series goes out in style and to be honest I was sad that it ended. I still wanted more.
It may not be historically accurate but it does not matter. History is subjective anyway. And this was meant to be entertainment and it most certainly is just that. The last episode in particular takes a lot of liberties in order to be entertaining rather than factual.
Every episode from episode one of series one, to the final episode of this series four has been a fabulous production and it should be one of the best remembered TV programmes of our times.
I wish the producers would take the same formula of production values and do something else from history. After all there was more to the Tudors than just Henry.

The special features are both interesting and informative and for anyone who has enjoyed seeing the series on TV, these features are worth seeing. Therefore getting this DVD set is a good investment.
I definitely recommend this series and this wonderful DVD set.
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on 31 July 2014
Another fascinating and entertaining instalment of historical drama which boasts the ability to evoke sympathy, mirth, shock, annoyance and anger in the viewer. The tudors season 4 relinquishes little, if any, of its former glory from past series, engaging you to the point where you won't be able to help yourself watching most of the episodes en masse. It is a testament to the portrayal of the characters and the actors and actresses who bring them to life that the viewer finds themself mourn the absence of powerful personalities who come and go on the show. Meanwhile, tracking and following the growth and ageing of the central character is very interesting as we see the fiery temperament and stubborn determination of the king, alongside contrasting frailties which make the king seem more vulnerable and human, perhaps more so than we realised before. Rhys-Meyers, while occasionally treating us to Irish-accented lines, holds his own once more, definitely showing an increasingly caring and burdened side to Henry. In addition, we are confronted with a novel dimension in the form of a more immediate conflict at the assault of Boulogne which, for a change, takes us to the front line to witness some action on the field where you can really sense the soldiers' desire for a good fight to ensue as they wait. The final series also carries a sure air of nostalgia as the long-standing characters reflect on bygone experiences, which adds a poignantly beautiful element to the mix, and a personal favourite of mine has to be the concluding delirium which arouses shadows and ghosts of an extremely haunting nature, as said ghosts address both past and future, history and legacy. Overall, a fitting end to a wholly worthwhile venture into a dynasty which altered the face of a nation. Bravo.
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on 30 November 2010
Have loved every season of this. From the acting through to the set design, everything. Can't wait to own this final season on dvd. My question is, when on Earth is it being released. Having to wait ages for this! It's already released in America....why not here???
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on 26 March 2011
This was really well worth the wait (UK viewers had to wait almost a year after this had been screened in the US to see it).

The Tudors has been one of those rare shows that improved year on year and I'm sorry that it has come to an end. Even though you knew what was going to happen, it was so well dramatised that I was kept glued to the screen.

I thought Series 3 was fantastic and would be very hard to improve on but Series 4 really delivers the goods and wraps things up nicely.

The last episode was quite different to what had gone before and although it goes a bit 'Ashes To Ashes' it was still very enjoyable and doesn't detract from what has gone before. Having read the series episode synopsis before even seeing it I was a bit dubious about the "dream sequence" but it was brilliantly done and nice to see the ladies again.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been a compelling Henry VIII and he remains so until the end. I thought his deterioration in the last two episodes was very well done.

The cast has been consistently excellent throughout but Henry Cavill deserves a special mention. (I did think that Sarah Bolger was too nice to be Mary, even when she stated her intentions about what would happen should she ever become Queen).

My only disappontment was that Joss Stone was only in two episodes. She was a revelation and I loved her portrayal of Anne of Cleves.

Also, it was a shame that Eoin Murtagh didn't play Prince Edward in the last episode, for continuity if nothing else.

I can't end this review without mentioning the music, composed by Trevor Morris. It really made my enjoyment all the more complete. The shorter theme used in opening credits of series 3 & 4 is probably my favourite from any television show.

Yes it was over the top and not always factually correct but as another reviewer said, it's entertainment not a documentary (and as a result of watching this I bought books about the Six Wives and Elizabeth).

Thank You to all involved.
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on 6 March 2011
These shows are very good entertainment and like previous viewers have stated, a long time in coming to these shores (despite being filmed in Ireland).
Let us get the obvious out of the way, yes we know that Henry in later years was fat and ginger haired and Rhys Meyers is obviously not and we could probably all think of actors better suited, but if you get past that, you may actually enjoy it. Saying that I am sure that Charles Brandon was not as handsome as Henry Cavill was either. Yet despite that, these shows have more historical value than people give them credit for.
Yes like the excellent series 'Rome', they upped the sex, language and bloody deaths, but they do run fairly close to the facts, at least in all the non-fiction books and historical documentaries I have read. The shows really tried to bring to life the court of Henry as it may of been.
Historians agree the Tudor court was as sneaky, favour mongering and down right dangerous as the shows portray, just not as glamourous. Families including the Seymores, Boleyns and Howards were all indeed swinging in and out of favour and doing their upmost to bring the others down. If you think that was bad just take a look at the War of the Roses! I do not think one aristcratic family survived without at least one of their members ending up on the scaffold.
Not to mention real life characters such as Bishop Gardiner and Richie Rich waging their own religeous persecutions, with Henry's knowledge and blessing and we all know this continued for another couple of centuries.
In this the Tudors did very well.
Some have said they overdid some of the executions and added additional elements for entertaiment value, including the portracted death of a certain character at the end of Season 3. Well no! It seemed it did happen just like that and I had to turn away seeing the death of a character in Season 4.
Overall I really enjoyed these seasons and would have liked to see what they could have done with the reigns of Henry's three children, but these were very good.
BTW I absolutely loved the soundracks of all four seasons (the first time I bought all seasons of a show), they really added to the show, not to mention help me to relax when reading and to work when marking for my job with some really emotional pieces. Season 4 has three which spring to mind 'Execution Ballad', 'Surrey Found Guilty' and 'End of a Dynasty'. The Tudors Season 4
I do indeed recommend this show............................even to those who like me love
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on 27 January 2014
This is the fourth and final season in a top series. While the historical accuracy of the show can be questioned, this does not detract (for me anyway) the quality and drama of the series, with tremendous acting and production.

Following on from season three, an aging king marries his fifth wife, the teenager Catherine Howard. This was, most likely, the kings midlife crisis, with the king in his fifties at that point although you wouldn't guess that from Meyer's portrayal!

If you know your history, you will know the outcome of this marriage, with Howard, a somewhat naïve teenager, committing adultery resulting in the loss of her head. Did she not learn anything from her cousin Anne Boleyn? It is hard not to feel sorry for Howard in this portrayal as well as historically, with historians believing she was most likely a pawn in her families political ambitions. Howard's demise is of course, covered in this season, as well as a gruesome hanging drawing and quartering scenes which one of her past lovers is forced to suffer.

Following this, Henry marries his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr. Known as the wife who 'survived', the series shows that Catherine had a near miss- a secret 'heretic', everything could have gone very, very wrong for Parr, with this following historical fact.

As well as Henry's marital life, the series follows the life at court and politics at the latter part of the kings reign. I for one, wish and hope that more dramas of this standard would be produced, with the ending of this series leaving a bit of a hole. I recommend this, and the whole series, if you are interested in the period and don't mind the inaccuracies, or even if you don't like history too much, I recommend you give still give this a try.
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on 27 May 2012
This concluding season of the life and time of King Henry VIII includes 10 episodes over three discs providing a jolly good entertainment for a long rainy weekend. Jonathan Rhys Meyers masterfully personifies the ageing Henry whose sexual appetite does not seem to decrease over the years. His new wife number 5 is only 17. When Henry is away, the young queen has an affair with his groom which is going to be her downfall leading to her death. Henry then pursues a married woman Catherine Parr who becomes his next wife. Catherine is protestant and uses her power to streghten and spread this relegion. This action of hers doen't pay off.
In the meanwhile Henry goes with his troops to France and they capture Boulogne declaring it to be English property. Brandon, Henry's loyal friend and commander of his troops brings her French lover back to England and settles with her. Brandon will die later and Henry has to face his own mortality.
Apart from the play, fantastic masks and spectacular costumes I also greatly enjoyed the languge. Watched the discs with subtitles on and learned a good couple of new words and expressions hoping that the use of these makes me a more refined conversationalist. Would I watch it again? The most definitely yes. One more thing. I would recommend the whole series for people who are 18 years or over. (At present the age limit is 15).
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