The first Queen Elizabeth of England was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boyeln. Her sister, Mary, was queen and a devout Catholic, and she and her supporters wanted to keep Elizabeth, the next successor, from the throne. This film covers Elizabeth’s rise to the throne and dealing with some of those who plotted against her.
It’s always a danger with a historical drama to believe everything that is presented. For example, Elizabeth is known as the virgin queen as she never married or had children. She is known to hold favour with Sir Robert Dudley. However, in the film, it seems that she had a sexual relationship before discovering that he was married. It’s good for the story, but perhaps not so historically accurate.
Whilst I think that the portrayal of Elizabeth by the wonderful Cate Blanchett was extremely well done, it was Christopher Eccleston who stole the show for me. So evil and repulsive – he should be the next Bond villain. Now, to watch the sequel – Elizbeth: The Golden Years.
Christopher Eccelston plays Daniel Demoys, a local council representative in a city somewhere in the UK. Ignoring his wife and children, he is on a downward spiral of drink and drugs until he wakes up one morning after an alcohol-induced blackout and suspects he may have killed a man. The three-part series follows Daniel as he tries to rebuild his life whilst discovering a conspiracy that leaves him little room to maneuver.
I enjoy these British series. Often the writing is strong and watching them feel like reading a good book; complex, with multiple storylines and requiring concentration. However, I felt that Blackout tried to cover too much. Just as I felt I was getting a grip on one plotline, another jumped out. By the end, I think they had all been tied up, but I wasn’t drawn in enough to be compelled to watch the second two episodes. I did watch them, but more for my compulsion to finish what I have started rather than any strong attachment to the series.
The one thing that I did enjoy was the appearance of actor Andrew Scott, who was magnificent as Moriarty in the BBC series of Sherlock. He played a police man who was not going well in his career and whose marriage had broken up. Scott’s performance gave the character a feeling of subtle instability. I think I’m going to need to tag his IMDB page to see what comes next.