The Six Wives of Henry VIII was a series of six teleplays produced by the BBC and first transmitted between 1 January and 5 February 1970. One of the first major British television series to be videotaped in colour, it was a huge success, propelling its previously little-known star, Keith Michell, into the limelight.
Each of the series of plays was devoted to one of the wives of King Henry VIII of England, and all were of equal length, regardless of the enormous variation in the length of their respective marriages. Each episode was written by a different dramatist.
The wives were:
Catherine of Aragon played by Annette Crosbie (later to become Victor Meldrew's wife in One Foot in the Grave!)
Anne Boleyn played by Dorothy Tutin
Jane Seymour played by Anne Stallybrass
Anne of Cleves played by Elvi Hale
Catherine Howard played by Angela Pleasence
Catherine Parr played by Rosalie Crutchley.
Episode 2 - Anne Boleyn
The episode focuses primarily on Anne's downfall, documenting the disintegration of her marriage in the face of frequent miscarriages and the king's infidelities. The storyline was heavily influenced by academic theories which believed Anne was the victim of a factional and political plot, concocted by her many enemies, who capitalised on the king's disillusionment with her. As with most media treatments of Anne's destruction, the episode followed the historical research which has all but proved her innocence; the scriptwriter used Anne's final confession to suggest her total innocence on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft. A notable exception to this general rule was the later BBC adaptation of the The Other Boleyn Girl.