Wolf Hall on PBS, Episode 6: Master of Phantoms

"Those who have been made can be unmade." - Anne Boleyn
source: farfarawaysite.com
source: farfarawaysite.com

Henry never says good-bye…

Once he sees Wolsey is not able to fix a new wife for him… Henry never sees him again.

Once he realizes Katherine will not let him go, Henry leaves one morning without a good-bye, and never sees her again.

Once he takes back the chain of office from Thomas More as he resigns from his post as Lord Chancellor in a protest against Henry’s new bills… Henry never sees him again.

source: farfarawaysite.com
source: farfarawaysite.com

Finally… Once he leaves Anne at the jousting tournament at Greenwich, and rides back to Whitehall… Henry never sees her again. Continue reading “Wolf Hall on PBS, Episode 6: Master of Phantoms”

From Wolf Hall the Book to Wolf Hall the TV Drama

source: farfarawaysite.com
source: farfarawaysite.com

Radio Times reported some exciting news that BBC is poised to commission Wolf Hall series two when the third book The Mirror and the Light is out.

“Executive producer Colin Callender tells Radio Times that the production team and actors Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis are “eager” to film the last book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light.

Author Hilary Mantel is currently writing the final installment in the series, which will take us up to Thomas Cromwell’s demise on the chopping block.

“We are waiting for Hilary to deliver it, but everybody involved felt they were making something of substance,” Callender said. “Subject to everybody’s schedule I think they will want to come back.”

Continue reading “From Wolf Hall the Book to Wolf Hall the TV Drama”

Holbein in Wolf Hall

source: farfarawaysite.com
source: farfarawaysite.com

We earlier discussed here the authenticity of the costumes in Wolf Hall as well as how much the series costume designer Joanna Eatwell values Hans Holbein the Younger’s work in achieving this authenticity.

It turns out Eatwell digged into the paintings of Holbein for research. From Lucy Worsley’s interview with Eatwell:

‘He’s a genius – all the information is in his paintings,’ she says.

‘He not only painted members of the court, he also painted merchants and even some of Henry’s courtiers and staff, so we have a complete cross-section which is incredibly important for a piece like this.’

Eatwell argues, in an audio interview with the BBC Academy, Holbein is a “master in his craft” and his paintings are realistic but also propaganda. The paintings make a statement about the person in the painting — she calls it the “photoshop” of the times.

Continue reading “Holbein in Wolf Hall”

Murder of Crows

Don’t you just love when history comes in a nice convenient story arc? Wolf Hall, episode 5 is the climax leading up to the denouement of the stories told in Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies. We all know how this is going to end, yet, here we are still watching, rapt, captivated by a fascinating story of a fascinating time told and performed impeccably by the best ensemble cast imaginable.

In this episode, titled “Crows”, we see leonine Henry’s frustrations coming to a head and wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing Cromwell being shown his place in the realm. And we see Anne slowly and painfully getting prepared to be escorted to the gallows. Continue reading “Murder of Crows”

Wolf Hall on PBS, Episode 5: Crows

"How many men can say my only friend is the King of England?" 
-Thomas Cromwell
source: farfarawaysite.com
source: farfarawaysite.com

Wolf Hall is getting darker by the minute in its penultimate episode. And, thanks to the wonderful immediacy it has —that’s Peter Kosminsky doing wonders behind the camera — you feel as if all is happening on real time, in front of your very eyes complete with a couple of moments that make you flinch!

In Crows, Henry is restless. He is capricious. He is obnoxious. He is EXPLOSIVE… And, then he turns into a little boy trying to make amends to his best friend. I don’t want to make a case for Henry but he has his reasons for being so — it is all about his obsession with a male heir. And, add to this, his being very much aware of his own mortality now that Henry makes a decision to move on… well… to the next wife… which also makes him a hopeless romantic at times…

Continue reading “Wolf Hall on PBS, Episode 5: Crows”