Elizabeth R (1971)

The Marriage Game (20 Feb. 1972)

TV Episode   |  TV-14   |    |  Biography, Drama, History

The Marriage Game (1971) Poster

The new Queen Elizabeth I is 25 years old - and unmarried. Her council - particularly the man she trusts most, Sir William Cecil - urges her to marry quickly (to ensure the succession, ... See full summary »


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Herbert Wise


Rosemary Anne Sisson

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10 March 2021 | Prismark10
| The Marriage Game
Now on the throne. Queen Elizabeth is a young monarch with plenty of suitors.

The king of Spain expresses an interest but to Elizabeth. His Catholicism and interest in her half sister gets in the way.

Elizabeth is attracted to Lord Robert Dudley, her Master of the Horse.

Unfortunately Dudley is married, his ancestors had a penchant for betrayal and when his wife is suddenly found dead. Dudley is accused of her mother.

Outside of marriage. There is the matter of Mary Queen of Scots who makes a claim on the English crown.

Glenda Jackson has hit a stride in this episode. She is no longer on the defensive as she was in the first episode, where her life was in danger.

She is passionate here, there is little left to doubt if Elizabeth was a virgin queen. Dudley's bedroom kept moving nearer to hers.

Elizabeth could also be prickly as Dudley finds out. As one of the courtier observes, her ideal husband would be someone who is happy to be out of the way. A part time husband who lives abroad.

At 90 minutes, these episodes do feel overlong though. It might not be an issue back in 1971.

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