"Wolf Hall" (2015) - BBC Two Historical Drama on The Tudors

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Heir Presumptive, Royal Blogger
Feb 26, 2012
BBC turns best-selling Henry VIII novel and Booker Prize winner 'Wolf Hall' into a mini-series
It had more betrayals, affairs, alliances and scheming than a soap opera. Now the BBC is to turn best-selling novel Wolf Hall, which laid bare the vicious realities of the court of Henry VIII, into a mini-series. The six-part adaptation will be based on Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning bestseller, and her follow-up Bring Up The Bodies.
I've read the "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up The Bodies" and they are quite nice. Both give pretty sound information on the Tudors, and a fascinating insight into Thomas Cromwell's rise to power. Here is a hope the mini-series will be nothing like The Tudors!
I wonder when it will air? Sounds like an interesting project.
This has apparently been in the works for a year or so, if picked up it was supposed to air on BBC2 but it's being considered for BBC1 as well apparently. I'm tired of Tudor shows, there are a few other interesting royals.
I agree, Lumutqueen, about too many Tudor shows, and that there are other interesting people. I admire the Gloucesters, and their family has several possibilties for GREAT shows. Of course some of the interesting ones are current, and that would not do as fiction. But just the story of Princess Alice and her husband during the war, and before she married, and her struggle to come to grips with Prince William's porphyria, and William's love that could not be fulfilled--talk about romance! A few GREAT roles for actors here. Who could play Princess Alice? Lots of mature actresses might choose that part.
Wolf Hall

I did and I thought that it was good. They did a fine job of introducing all the characters while keeping it at a good speed for tv. (I admit I have struggled with Mantel's wordiness at times, I'm half way through the 1st book). Mr Rylance (sorry I'm not good with spellings) was brilliant as was Mr Lewis but for me the standout was Claire Foy as Anne that's one slippery lady.

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The Cast

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell
Damian Lewis as Henry VIII of England
Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn
Mark Gatiss as Stephen Gardiner,Bishop of Winchester
Charity Wakefield as Mary Boleyn
Joanne Whalley as Catherine of Aragon
Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey
Anton Lesser as Sir Thomas More
Emma Hiddleston as Meg More
Joss Porter as Richard Cromwell
Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Ralph Sadler
Tom Holland as Gregory Cromwell
Ed Speleers as Edward Seymour
Kate Phillips as Jane Seymour
Bernard Hill as Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Richard Dillane as Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Florence Bell as Helen Barre
Saskia Reeves as Johane
Iain Batchelor as Thomas Seymour
Jessica Raine as Jane Boleyn
Paul Clayton as William Kingston
Jack Lowden as Thomas Wyatt
Mathieu Amalric as Eustace Chapuys
Felix Scott as Francis Bryan
Luke Roberts as Henry Norris
Alastair Mackenzie as William Brereton
Max Fowler as Mark Smeaton
Loved, LOVED it.. atmospheric, and [in places] deeply moving, the way the characters were introduced, and 'drawn' was masterly.
The cast is STELLAR, and apart from the genius of Rylance, I thought Jonathan Pryce's unusually twinkly Wolsey was brilliant !
Damian Lewis's inspiration for Wolf Hall's Henry VIII: 'Wills and Harry' - Telegraph
As he plays a handsome Henry VIII, pacing his palaces as he negotiates a split with Rome, one might have thought Damian Lewis would turn to the history books for assistance.

But the actor has disclosed an unusual inspiration for his part in Wolf Hall: The Duke of Cambridge and his brother, Prince Harry.

Lewis, who is to star in the BBC’s new flagship period drama, said he had gained an insight into the character of Henry VIII by studying the lives of the modern princes.

The actor, who was also educated at Eton and recently received his OBE from the Duke of Cambridge, said he had drawn on their desire for “normality” when playing the Tudor monarch.

He appears as a slender Henry VIII in the BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, alongside Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn, appearing in the final moments of the first episode.
I've read the book and loved it, can't wait to see this, but I will probably be waiting for a year for it to show on the US PBS channel.

You know, he may indeed be on to something there. Many either forget or just don't know how vicious a battle was being waged against rats and mice invading a Medieval/Tudor Kitchen. I know some Doctors are now suggesting wearing Surgical Masks for cleaning your cat's Litter Box, so it's not out of the realm of possibility the..."presents" left behind by rodents back then could have also unleashed something deadly when being cleaned up later on.

There's so many questions unanswered about the Sweat that, as he said, we'll never truly know. It is an intriguing and believable notion to think about though.

No idea when or if this will be shown in Canada, but glad to see some familiar faces from GoT and LOTR in the cast and Holy Wow does Damien Lewis look like Henry VIII in that portrait picture of him. Another reason I'll be checking this out hopefully. Been a fan of his ever since first seeing him in Band of Brothers, so...:)

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I watched episode 1 this evening and Thomas Cromwell comes across so far as a loyal and likable character ...so far!
I've been watching Wolfhall and I'm really enjoying it. I think the actors are portraying their parts well, and this is the most accurate facial representation of Henry VIII I've seen on TV. (The worst for me was probably The Tudors – they'd got everything incorrect with Henry VIII's appearance there, especially the hair colour and thinness.)

Thank you for sharing, An Ard Ri. :flowers: I thought it was an interesting article. I didn't realise that sweating sickness was more common amongst the rich than the poor.

I do believe that Mary Boleyn's first husband Sir William Carey's cause of death was also the sweating sickness.
This series just gets better and better.. The last episode dealing with the cruelty, obstinance and ultimate fall of Thomas More was utterly absorbing, with the characters of the principals [Henry, Anne, More, Cranmer, [and of course Cromwell himself], fully fleshed out, and entirely believable.

Truly the BBC at its absolute best...
It is a really good series - Mark Rylance (Cromwell) has that wonderful quality of being able to suggest so much with just the slightest expression. I think the portrayals of Henry and Anne Boleyn are really interesting too - nice to see a Henry who can be quite needy and demanding without resorting to shouting and generally "throwing his weight around" and an Anne who is far more than just a coquette who wears nice clothes. All the characters, even those with smaller parts are well rounded - a great cast. Hope Ms. Mantel writes the final part quickly so that the follow-up series won't be too long after.
The last one concerning More was shocking. No real explanation of why he took the stance he did other than portraying him as a religious nut. No exposing that the execution of heretics was done with Henry's full backing, indeed he burned many more after More's death. Nor do I suspect will Cromwell's hand in the killing of 50, 000 civilians in the North of England who were against his voracious religious reforms be mentioned either. Richard Rich who spoke against More at his trial may also have been bribed by Cromwell to do so. It 's widely accepted that he commited perjury to get More convicted and as a result his descendants were not received in some Society circles up until as late as Victorian times so disgusted were people by what their ancestor had done. But again no indication of any of this in WH. I could go on but I would be here all day. Enjoy WH as a drama but if you want to know the real history steer clear of it. Mantel has an unfathomable admiration for Cromwell which you won't find among many historians and this is her own fantasy version of him and those around him I'm afraid.
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I thought Damian Lewis was brilliant in the latest episode aired last night. His very public telling off of Cromwell showed for the first time the true extent of Henry's volatility and the potential dangers of being at the whim of someone who wields absolute power. Mark Rylance's wonderful reaction shots demonstrated there's nothing you can do but grin and bear it and hope you come through relatively unscathed. Henry's attempt at a reapproachment was a treat to watch. Anne, meanwhile (the equally wonderful Claire Foy) is undergoing a sudden awakening to how vulnerable her position is without Henry's continued desire for her. It's gripping stuff and sadly just one episode left.
A toddler has landed a role as Elizabeth I in the BBC's Wolf Hall - after producers put out a last-minute appeal for a ginger curly-haired child.
Casting bosses searched through thousands of children on acting registers but couldn't find a suitable young actress to play the future Queen of England.
Red-haired Abi Ward, now three, from Cardiff, was recommended by a friend who saw the plea on Facebook and within days the tot was on set alongside her on-screen dad Damien Lewis.

Wolf Hall producers turn to Facebook to cast a child to play Elizabeth I | Daily Mail Online
I have all episodes of Wolf Hall, I started watching episode 1 but turned it off after the first episode. The storyline is not clear and the characters did not get a grip on me. Maybe because of an overdose in Tudor series and films. I will try it once again after a couple of months.
Everyone is hallelujah! about it. So maybe I have to give it a new try.
The first episode is a little confusing, since there are many personalities to 'meet' and [of necessity] there are jumps back,and forward in time.
But if you stick with it your perseverance is well rewarded in subsequent episodes and IMO it beats other 'Tudor' series into a cocked hat in every respect - in acting most especially.
The first episode is a little confusing, since there are many personalities to 'meet' and [of necessity] there are jumps back,and forward in time.
But if you stick with it your perseverance is well rewarded in subsequent episodes and IMO it beats other 'Tudor' series into a cocked hat in every respect - in acting most especially.

I agree with you,after the first episode I was hooked and it has been by far the best historical production by the BBC in a long time!
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