The Serpent Queen – The DVDfever Review – Starzplay – Samantha Morton

The Serpent Queen The Serpent Queen is set in France, beginning in 1560, where Queen Catherine De Medici (the brilliant Samantha MortonI Am Kirsty, Save The Cinema) reigns with terror… rather like the Tories in the UK.

Early on, servant Rahima (Sennia NanuaThe Fight) is called upon to take food to the Queen, who states how she has feasts and balls which are meant to entertain her, but they don’t. Instead, she’d like “distraction” in the form of conversation with someone, and Rahima has got the short end of the stick.

I won’t retell her entire tale here, obviously, but just to set the scene, sehe was born to wealthy parents, in Europe, but feels she brought bad luck to everyone as her parents died, and then so did her grandma, soon after she took her in. Subsequently, she went to stay with uncle Pope Charles Dance (The Sandman), who’s having trouble with lancing a boil on his backside.

When she turned 14, and is then played by Liv Hill (Jellyfish, Elizabeth Is Missing), he tells her he’s arranged a marriage for her, despite her being a child, herself. She’ll marry the second son to the King of France, Henry (Alex HeathSuspicion), and all she has to go off is a rather iffy portrait, but then so does he. Plenty of Fish, this is not…

Oh, and you read that right, Charles Dance is the Pope! In fact, I’m glad no-one tries to put on Italian or French accents, in the case of the latter, particularly for Colm Meaney 😉

I don’t normally go for period dramas, but with modern parlance and the regional English dialects (even Colm managing one!), and with characters having modern-day affectations, it breaks away from that issue, and is quite fun. It’s also rather knowing with looks to the camera, breaking the fourth wall, including the young Catherine even stealing from a blind woman…

I’ve only seen episodes 1 and 2 so far, which start off with a fair bit of backstory with the young Catherine. However, the most bizarre thing is that for her wedding night nuptials with Henry, both their families and the Privy Council are on hand to watch! Pardon me?!

Thanks to our friends at Starzplay for the screener prior to release.

The Serpent Queen is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Starzplay from Sunday September 11th.

The Serpent Queen – Official Trailer – Starzplay

Detailed specs:

Running time: 45-55 minutes per episode (8 episodes)
Release date: September 11th 2022
Studio: Starzplay
Format: 2.39:1

Series Director: Ingrid Jungermann, Stacie Passon
Producer: Nick O’Hagan
Creator/Writer: Justin Haythe
Novel: Leonie Frieda

Catherine De Medici: Samantha Morton
Pope Clement: Charles Dance
Rahima: Sennia Nanua
Aabis: Amrita Acharia
Louis de Bourbon: Danny Kirrane
King Francis: Colm Meaney
Adam Garcia Adam Garcia
François Guise: Raza Jaffrey
Charles Guise: Ray Panthaki
Ann D’Etampes: Naomi Battrick
Montmorency: Barry Atsma
Ruggieri: Enzo Cilenti
Antoine de Bourbon: Nicholas Burns
Queen Eleanor: Rebecca Gethings
Young Catherine: Liv Hill
Mathilde: Kiruna Stamell
Mary Queen of Scots: Antonia Clarke
Francis II: George Jaques
Edith: Jade Croot
Dr. Fernel: Steve Furst
Young Henry: Alex Heath
Dauphin Francois: Louis Landau
Madeleine de la Tour: Guillemette Buffet
Sultan Suleiman: Memet Ali Alabora