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good drama, shoddy dvd
on 7 September 2013
This series is a decent historical drama, a sort of prequel to the Tudors, with less violence.
It covers a long period in the lives of the main characters, but the producers have chosen not to indicate the passing of the time in any way, which leads to some confusion (of two women aged twenty something, which one is supposed to be the lady mother?) and, I can only assume unintended, humour (two agile radiant youths lying in bed telling each other 'we are not young anymore'). Therefore it is sometimes difficult to see how much time is supposed to have passed.
Many have commented on too much magic present in the series - Elizabeth's mother has been tried for witchcraft and the contemporaries believed Elizabeth herself to be a witch too. I don't think the magic is bad - we see things happening, like storms, after some curses have been cast, but it is up to us to believe that the curses may actually have caused the storms. There is a nice parallalel to Elizabeth's magic in Margaret's religious devotion, she too is very involved with higher powers, always on the lookout for signs and miracles. And she too interprets the events as being divinely directed.
The dvd itself - a disaster. There are no subtitles - as if this was a 40 year old production only recently restored and nobody bothered with subtitling it. There is almost nothing to choose in the menus: there is no scene selection! You may just select an episode. And, as an extra bonus, of the four dvds, three force you to watch commercials (yes, and no way can you choose the menu directly!), which I find the cheapest trick, since this is no bonus dvd delivered with a morning paper for and extra pound, this is a relatively expensive, brand new box-set.