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By Alex Grayson "Alex" (Los Angeles, CA) -
In my own studies, I happened across this secret gem and fell wildly in love with it's power, passion and simplicity. I say "simplicity" because as has been mentioned in other rave reviews, the budget for this was modest and it was adapted from 6 superbly written and thankfully (finally) historically accurate plays about the life of an extraordinary woman who reigned during a tumultuous and fascinating time. I often wonder at why filmmakers see the need to tinker with the facts by changing timelines or making slight alterations; court intrigues were more than melodramatic as they were.
This had honestly been the first thing I had seen the venerable Miss Jackson in and now it astounds me that my teachers in the realm of Shakespeare and classical theater have never even heard of this series! This needs to be required viewing for anyone undertaking the monumental task of interpreting the writings of that era or for anyone studying Elizabethan history, for that matter. This series manages to bring to life the people (not characters) and events in a way I have never seen before or since. While I LOVE the 2 part miniseries staring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons (I own that one as well) it has a whole different feel that's a bit more polished and Hollywood, though great fun. This is like being transported back in time and being a fly on the wall for some of the most pivotal, important moments in history. It's a stunning achievement and I have yet to grow wary of watching it again and again.
It is also well worth taking the time to watch Glenda in the extra features section as she discusses Elizabeth and the challenges inherent in playing such an enormous figure in history. Her knowledge of both the time (in terms of really living through it) and the possible motivations within the woman she played are admirable and inspiring.