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The White Queen: Episode 10

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Viewers who persevered with this series were rewarded last week, with the tense, emotional and well-crafted princes in the tower episode. Unfortunately, the series finale wasn’t quite up to that standard. In fact, the final episode was typical of the show as a whole: enjoyable, worth watching, with a great cast of female characters, but falling far short of its potential.

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The White Queen: Episode 6

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This week’s The White Queen was all about family and loss: the Neville sisters’ newfound antagonism, Margaret’s strained relationship with her now-dead mother, Elizabeth’s tensions with Edward, and her mother fading away.

Unfortunately, none of it quite tied together. It was nice to see an episode where we didn’t sit through three off-screen battles and change kings at least twice, but the emotional focus of this episode was sadly half-baked.

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The White Queen Episodes 4 and 5

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In the last two episodes, The White Queen has really pushed its Game of Thrones-esque gore and brutality. This seems a shame, since the show’s most compelling elements are the parts away from the battlefield — in fact the parts that are far from Edward vs Henry as possible. Now that we know all the characters, the political scheming has become more compelling, and some of the characters’ suffering has the power to hit me right in the gut. Yet with all the back-and-forth on the battlefield, the story as a whole just isn’t holding together.

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The White Queen: Episode 3

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Now we’re getting somewhere.

This episode of the White Queen had yet more to-ing and fro-ing, as we’re thrown from rebellion to failed rebellion to yet another rebellion. But I found myself more invested in the show this week, despite its leaps through time. For the first time, I was affected by the characters’ struggles and the drama occurring onscreen.

But this might be for reasons the show didn’t intend, because this War of the Roses adaptation isn’t leaving me with any mixed feelings about who I want to win. Edward is horrific, Elizabeth is almost as bad, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the other players can do.

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The White Queen, Episode 2

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The second episode of The White Queen aired on Sunday night, and I’m still trying to figure out whether the show’s worth watching.

Week two was kind of a weird episode, with lots of exposition, a time jump and not a lot of action, but the final ten minutes set up some changes that might make it more compelling in the future… and, to be honest, I just really want to see a good show on the women of the Wars of the Roses. The potential is there, BBC. Please can you deliver?

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The White Queen

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I’ve been looking forward to this one.

The first episode of the new BBC drama, The White Queen, aired on Sunday. The show is an adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s series of historical novels, which in turn tell the story of the women of the Wars of the Roses, a seemingly never-ending scrap for power between the house of York and the house of Lancaster in 15th century England. In particular, it focuses on Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner in England to be crowned Queen, the cause of great tensions between King Edward and his family and supporters, and one of the orchestrators of the end of the wars. A fascinating lady with the chance to be the focus of a fascinating show.

If you wave away hopes of historical accuracy and view it as a “based on real events, adapted for the modern Sunday night TV viewer” type of story, it’s an enjoyable show with real potential. It’s certainly a show with the chance to see a lot of badass ladies attempt to control a warring court in a time where their opinions mean nothing.

But the romance? The romance might disappoint, to say the least.

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