The very much anticipated (for myself, anyways) Season 4 of Showtimes’ The Tudors officially began on April 11th. I have to say, that so far, it has been well worth the wait!
The first episode opens with King Henry VIII already secretly married to Catherine Howard, who is a mere 17 years of age. Although I at first felt strongly that they should have casted a prettier girl as the new young queen, I do feel that Tamzin Merchant has wonderfully captured the ignorance and naivete that was a large facet of Catherine’s personality. You very quickly see that here is a young, uneducated girl, playing dress up and enjoying the lavish gifts and attention without realizing the very real responsibilities of being the Queen of England.
Unfortunately, not everyone at court is as happy as Henry and his new queen. Charles Brandon seems very melancholy and distracted, not at all what he was in the last three seasons. You can see that the wear and tear of being “his majesty’s most humble servant” has taken it’s toll. His wife no longer resides with him or cares for him as she once did and you can see that it has taken some of the charm out of life for him. It’s really sad to see him in that way.
The Lady Mary is also quite unhappy. Her father marrying once again has turned her world upside down and it’s very heartbreaking to see how it all affects her. It seems the only true friend she has in the world at this point is Eustace Chapuys, the Spanish Ambassador who has looked after her since her separation from her mother, Queen Catherine of Aragon. At least we do know from history that things do get better for the poor girl for a while, once Henry marries Catherine Parr.
There are many new characters in this new season, such as Henry Howard – Earl of Surrey, Thomas Culpepper, French Ambassador Marillac, Joan Bulmer, Francis Dereham and let’s not forget Catherine Parr! I am very interested to see how Michael Hirst plays this season out for the fans. I know there has been talk of all of his past wives appearing to him in the final episodes, confronting him, rather, and I VERY much look forward to seeing that! I happened to really enjoy Natalie Dormer’s portrayal of Anne Boleyn and look forward to hearing what her “ghost” has to say to Henry in his final moments!
All in all, seeing the first episode only whetted my appetite for even more of the show. This season will be very bittersweet to me, as it is the final one. While I am eagerly awaiting more episodes, part of me wants it to drag out so it’s not over too quickly. Whatever will I watch when it’s over??????
To be continued…. Thoughts on episode 2 to come…..