The Crown Season 5streams from Wednesday, and there was a lot of controversy about whether Netflix should put off showing this new season until… well, a random amount of time passes, a suggestion being made for January. This is because the Queen has only recently passed away.
However, as much as I enjoyed Season 4 because it delved into the ’80s, which was my favourite decade, as a kid, I’m glad they’re pressing ahead because I believe everyone is equal and it makes zero sense that one family and all the hangers on are living in opulence, while a lot of the members of the public are using foodbanks.
Similarly, while the new head of State, King Charles III, has a personal wealth of around £500 million, our ridiculous revolving door at No.10 Downing Street means that our current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has a family wealth of almost £800 million!
Some people have to choose between heating and eating, while he choose whether to spend £20,000 heating his new swimming pool for a year.
To that end, the pair of them, along with whoever else wanted a freebie, had a lavish party at Buckingham Palace on Friday November 4th, because of the start of #COP27, the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference, where hundreds of thousands of people travel to a far away hot place (except in 2021 where they picked Glasgow by mistake), using tons of fuel by plane, to tell us proles that travelling by plane is BAD! And so on… Yes, if you believe all of that, then I’ve got some magic beans to sell you!
So, kudos to Netflix for bringing us The Crown Season 5, and kudos also to Channel 5 who, went every single channel in the country was droning on with the Queen’s funeral, they were showing The Emoji Movie… which wasn’t as bad as expected, even with the presence of James Corden, whether he’s in a restaurant or stealing Ricky Gervais’ jokes.
Back to this drama, and in 1991, the Queen and Prince Philip are thought of by the public as old and stale, whereas Prince Charles is considered the up-and-comer. Will he get his chance to take over soon? Well, we know how soon is now!
I was initially unsure about the two leads as Charles and Diana this time round, because Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor were superb in their roles – Ms Corrin especially, and this time round, they’re played by Dominic West (Tomb Raider) and Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet), but both have the mannerisms down brilliantly. In fact, Miss Debicki is note-perfect with Diana’s accent!
So far, I’ve seen three episodes for which I’ll give just a flavour, the first beginning with Claire Foy returns for a cameo in her role as the then-new Queen, giving a speech as she launches the Britannia in Clydesdale, but in 1991, the ship is past its best. Meanwhile, John Major wants the Queen to pay for a new yacht themselves, given the recession we’re in… I mean, we were in… I mean, we’re always in, unless you’re loaded.
Meanwhile, Diana starts to explain her doubts about her marriage to Charles because of the presence of Camilla Parker Bowles, and there’s occasional flashbacks, such as to the mid-80s as Mohammed Al-Fayed and son Dodi start to come into the picture, so this period crosses over with Season 4, but any Royal members are still played by Season 5’s actors.
Of the new cast, I never would’ve thought of casting Trainspotting‘s Jonny Lee Miller as John Major, but he does it well, looking reasonably like him. I guess it helps Netflix class this as a ‘drama based on facts’ rather than a documentary, if all the cast don’t look exactly like their counterparts. Similarly, Jonathan Pryce (All The Old Knives) doesn’t look a bit like Prince Philip, but then Jonathan Pryce has always been fantastic, so that’s allowed.
And I’m sure by the time we get to the end of the ’90s, we’ll know who had the worst “annus horribilis”.
Overall, this is a great start to the latest series and I’ll enjoy checking out the rest shortly.
Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.
The Crown Season 5 is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from Friday November 9th.
Running time: 50-60 minutes per episode (10 episodes)
Release date: November 9th 2022
Creator: Peter Morgan
Writers: Peter Morgan, Daniel Marc Janes
Queen Elizabeth II: Imelda Staunton
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: Jonathan Pryce
Princess Diana: Elizabeth Debicki
Prince Charles: Dominic West
Princess Anne: Claudia Harrison
Princess Margaret: Lesley Manville
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: Marcia Warren
John Major: Jonny Lee Miller
Norma Major: Flora Montgomery
Camilla Parker Bowles: Olivia Williams
Prince William: Timothée Sambor
Prince Harry: Teddy Hawley
Young Queen Elizabeth II: Claire Foy
Penny Knatchbull: Natascha McElhone
Norton Knatchbull: Elliot Cowan
Leonora Knatchbull: Clara Graham
Nicholas Knatchbull: Edward Powell
Alexandra Knatchbull: Elodie Vickers
Timothy Laurence: Theo Fraser Steele
Patrick Jephson: Jamie Glover
Prince Andrew: James Murray
Prince Edward: Sam Woolf
Sarah Ferguson: of York: Emma Laird Craig
Dr Nigel Southward: Robert Portal
Nurse: Rachel Fletcher-Hudson
Andrew Morton: Andrew Steele
Rear Admiral Woodard: Christopher Villiers
John Latsis: Spyros Bibilas
Queen’s Dresser: Helen Ryan
Stephen Lamport: Alex Blake
Italian Tour Guide: Stéphanie Magnin
Guest Historian: Jonathan D Mellor
Dodi Al-Fayed: Khalid Abdalla
Mohammed Al-Fayed: Salim Dau
Robert Fellowes: Andrew Havill
Monique Ritz: Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu
Richard Aylard: Alastair Mackenzie
Fireman: Loris Monet
Dr. Hasnat khan: Humayun Saeed
Yacht Salesman: Andrea Scarduzio
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.