The White Queen is a new and original series on Starz, based on Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novel, The Cousins’ War. Initially the show aired on BBC in the United Kingdom a year ago and now has traveled across the pond. The show debuted in the United States only a few weeks ago, but has covered quite a bit of ground since the initial episode. The series is set in the fifteenth century during the War of the Roses in England. The King of Lancaster descent has just been dethroned and King Edward IV (Max Irons) from the House of York has taken over. This usurpation is made possible by Lord Warwick (James Frain), who rules over Edward, instructing him on his every move. This partnership goes sour when Kind Edward IV makes his first choice on his own, who he wants to marry. He falls in love with a commoner, Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson), and secretly makes her his queen, dashing Warwick’s hopes of a union between Edward and the princess of France.
Overall, though the show is not without flaws, it has many appealing qualities. Max Irons as Edward, James Frain as Warwick, and Janet McTeer as Jacquetta Woodville, Elizabeth’s mother, are quite powerful. The actors not only command their roles, but they make these iconic figures human and relatable. The makeup, the clothing, and the hairstyles support that the characters are truly from that time period, only the scenery sometimes betraying them. The biggest upset is that the show was not given a generous budget, so that they could really make a grand and realistic production. Some tricks to get around these shortcomings involve close-ups during scenes, such as Elizabeth’s coronation, so that they do not have to show the lack of surroundings. Though an untrained eye may not pick up on this, the lack of visual backdrop takes away from the piece. Despite these faults, the show is still worth watching.
Read the top five reasons why it is necessary to give The White Queen a chance.