Tuesday, 13 May 2014
The Tudors: Season Four, Episode 1
"Sex... great medicine!"
It's a new season; the previous chief minister is dead and we have various new characters, plus Sarah Bolger's promotion to the opening titles. It's August 1540, and a voiceover narration from a much older looking Chapuys (why isn't he in the opening titles?) brings up to speed; a load of "heretics", meaning Lutherans and Roman Catholics, are being executed.
One of the new characters is a fairly lowly soldier, Thomas. Another is the Earl of Surrey, who is extremely blue-blooded, intelligent, arrogant, Stoic in a true sense and rather badly acted by David O'Hara. Charles Brandon is looking old. Thomas Boleyn (remember him?) has died off-screen. There is a new French ambassador.
Henry is now married to Catherine; Surrey is at court because he's her uncle. She doesn't get on well with Mary, to put it mildly, and complains about get to her royal husband, and she's beginning to be slightly blackmailed by her dodgy old friend Joan Bulmer, who knows a thing or two about her not-exactly-virginal past.
She is immature, silly, naive and will probably get herself beheaded within months. Poor girl.
Catherine's young cousin, Lord Dacres, has been arrested for killing himself while drunk; a rare case of an apolitical arrest in The Tudors. He faces being hanged at Tyburn. But Henry is more interested in the upcoming war with France; he wants one. Wars with France make him feel young and vigorous and remind him of Spurs all those years ago. He's getting nostalgic in his middle age and it's been too long since the last war.
All may not be well, however. We receive hints that the 17 year old Catherine may have larger sexual appetites than the 49 year old Henry. It's just a matter of when she cheats on him. Let's hope it's not with Culpeper, a rapist, murderer and thoroughly unpleasant individual.
Still, Henry is in a good mood so all will be well, I'm sure...