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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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September 17 2013

The BBC's "The Hollow Crown", with Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal/Henry V, comes to the US. The New York Times reports that Great Performances on PBS will begin broadcasting the series this Friday.

Mr. Hiddleston has perhaps the most conspicuous royal shoes to fill, thanks to the memorable film performances of Henry V by Laurence Olivier (in 1944) and Kenneth Branagh (in 1989). "I knew that people would make comparisons," he said. "But I knew, somehow, that I'd find my own way."

Tom Hiddleston is not in the first "episode" (it is odd to think of Richard II as a TV episode!), but will be in the rest of the series (i.e., Henry IV, Part One and Part Two, and Henry V).

It's worth watching, though they really butchered Henry V trying to make it fit a modern, cynical narrative.
I think the problems with Henry V were actually to do with making it fit the budget.
The "Band of Brothers" speech is delivered to his five richest mates.

Still worth watching though. I think actually (no reflection on Hidders) that the one he's not in is the best. And he's great as Prince Hal.
I think it was Thea Sharrock's adaptation rather than budgetary issues that led to the speech being made to a few (we happy few).

And as it was adaptation rather than a full performance of the plays, I thought it was amazing,accessible and not butchered at all.

All the cast give wonderful performances IMO and it is definitely worth watching.
I realize that no one is likely to see this posting, since the page is so long out of date. But these four plays are available as a set of DVDs, and I just finished watching them all. They really were quite wonderful.

I had kept away from Shakespeare's history plays until now, because for I somehow supposed that they would be limited in range and scope. But that is not at all the case.
I use the recent comments page to keep up with the site, so I saw it! The history plays are fantastic, and I think it's a shame most people aren't familiar with them. This was my first encounter with Richard II, although a week later I went and saw it again at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah (they're doing a cycle of all the histories chronologically). It's a wonderful play, full of gorgeous language.

Actually, of the histories, I've only seen King John, this tetralogy, and Richard III, so for all I know the rest are terrible. But I doubt it ;)

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