3 January 2012 | angelofvic
I had no idea how fantastic or informative or entertaining this miniseries is! It was so great I watched the whole thing in just two days! (On Netflix Instant streaming.)
Wow, not only was it fascinating and vastly entertaining (not to mention superbly cast and acted), it also was so very informative. It really filled in a lot of blanks in my knowledge and awareness. I really had no idea how Bertie was treated by his parents throughout his life. I had erroneously thought he was a mere hedonistic playboy, by his own choice and inclination. Boy, did this series set me straight!
The series also cleared up the puzzles in my mind about the origins of WWI. Nowhere in the vast amount of ink spilled on the subject have I been given as clear a picture of the cause and build-up as in this miniseries. Invaluable. Also, I had no idea that "Willi" was such a psychotic madman, or that he was controlled by Bismark from early childhood, or that he turned away from his mother and ancestry. Absolutely fascinating.
I must commend the filmmakers and writers on doing an excellent job all around in making a delightful yet informative miniseries which is as gripping as any fictional period miniseries to come out of the UK. This is easily now one of my top miniseries of all time.
By the way, the acting is superb. It includes Annette Crosby as Victoria, Timothy West as Bertie (Edward VII), Robert Hardy as Prince Albert, Helen Ryan as Princess Alexandra, Michael Hordern as Gladstone, and John Gielgud as Disreali, just for starters. Also included are Charles Sturridge (writer and director of Brideshead Revisited) as young Bertie, Nigel Havers as Bertie's friend, and Felicity Kendal as Victoria's firstborn child. And on and on, including a gorgeous young Charles Dance as young Prince Eddy (Bertie and Alix's first child), and Lillie Langtry portrayed by Francesca Annis, who on the strength of this portrayed her again three years later in an entire miniseries of her own, "Lillie".
Trust me on this, if you love period British miniseries (or films), you're going to love this. Particularly if you love, for instance, any of the Victoria dramatizations such as Her Majesty Mrs Brown, or Young Victoria; or Victoria & Albert; or The Lost Prince; or Lillie; etc. It's addicting.
For American viewers, check it out on Netflix Instant, or purchase the box set on Amazon.