Anne Boleyn is a new three-part Channel 5 drama starring Jodie Turner-Smith (Without Remorse) as Henry VIII’s missus.
Eagle-eyed viewers will spot that Jodie is black while Anne was white. But then some people believe there’s a God, and he’s a figment of your imagination and nothing else. Plus, Ted Hastings isn’t a REAL cop, so everything is on the table.
We’re in England, 1536 AD, and Anne Boleyn has been Queen for two-and-a-half years. She’s given birth to one daughter, Elizabeth, but hubby Henry VIII wants another son.
She’s the most powerful woman in England, so, like a British Taylor Swift.
In the opener, Ms Boleyn is looking to reform the church, yet Thomas Cromwell ‘reminds’ her that King Henry VIII is only interested in her belly (so as to produce a male heir) and not her brains. And don’t go looking for any sympathy in your other half, Anne, since Mark Stanley‘s (Honour, White House Farm) Henry just comes across as a big grumpy, whilst playing away from time to time.
Then again, she’s not very likeable herself, such as when she calls for some peacocks to be shot – just because of the noise they make, which does seem rather extreme.
So, after episode one, this take on Anne Boleyn is all very opulent (as you’d expect), but the first episode is incredibly slow, and for a three-part drama, I was hoping things would accelerate a bit. It’s early days yet, though, and no-one’s got stuck in a cave after being in there for five minutes.
For all the contraversial casting, Jodie Turner-Smith is the best one in this, but even she can’t lighten the leaden approach to this. Given the rather obvious attempt to make their mark with this drama, why not modernise the dialogue at the same time?
UPDATE Episode 2:
UPDATE Episode 3:
Anne Boleyn continues tomorrow at 9pm on Channel 5, and concludes on Thursday at the same time. It is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
If you miss it, you can watch the each episode on My5 after transmission.
Episode 1 Score: 3/10
Episode 2 Score: 3/10
Episode 3 Score: 6/10
Director: Lynsey Millerd
Music: Keaton Henson
Writer/Creator: Eve Hedderwick Turner
Anne Boleyn: Jodie Turner-Smith
Henry VIII: Mark Stanley
George Boleyn: Paapa Essiedu
Thomas Cromwell: Barry Ward
Duke Of Norfolk: Kris Hitchen
Princess Elizabeth: Kaila Douglin
Lady Shelton: Amanda Burton
Madge Shelton: Thatlissa Teixeira
Jane Seymour: Lola Petticrew
Elizabeth Browne: Isabella Laughland
Lady Rochford: Anna Brewster
Edward Seymour: Jamael Westman
Henry Norris: Turlough Convery
Eustace Chapuys: Phoenix Di Sebastiani
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.