Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Crown: Season 1, Episode 4- Act of God

"Be careful out there. It's a real pea-souper!"

This episode is interesting in that it deals with the great smog crisis of 1952, where a mixture of weather and pollution caused 10,000 deaths and the elderly Churchill, interested only in foreign policy, showed no more ntetest until his job was seen to be in peril; this isn't widely know today, much like Churchill's second ministry as a whole.

In other news Phil takes flying lessons with the man who's shagging his sister-in-law- Elizabeth manages to get Churchill to agree to this as a quid pro quo- and Queen Mary is dying. This shouldn't be surprising; after all, she was born in 1867, the year of the Great Reform Act and the Ausgleich, but for Elizabeth it's a race against time to speak as much as she can with the person who seems to have formed her ideological view of monarchy.

We get to know Clem Attlee a little in this episode, no longer prime minister yet, next to Churchill, seeming to be relatively young. And, most heartbreakingly, Venetia develops her hero-worshipping crush on Churchill to a peak, only to be killed by a traffic accident in the smog. So that's why the character has been so heavily emphasised.

Interesting that Elizabeth's view of monarchy is extremely conservative, an updating of the Divine Right of Kings to the context of parliamentary democracy, whereas Philip is much more modern, believing in such radical concepts as the separation of church and state. It's inter sting, too, that the constitutional question of whether she is able to sack Churchill on grounds of age and irrelevanc is never really resolved in theory; even Tommy Lascelles leaves the question open. Only Queen Mary is there to give a firm answer, and she won't be there for long.

More fascinating, cerebral stuff that avoids Daily Mail-style fawning in favour of ideas and characters. This is good telly.

No comments:

Post a Comment