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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0955  Tuesday, 27 April 2004

From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Monday, 26 Apr 2004 14:42:02 +0100
Subject: 15.0946 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0946 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I

I saw both episodes when they were broadcast here in the UK.  The
direction was excellent, as was the authentic-looking production design
(even the royals looked like they needed a bath), but Jimmy McGovern's
scripts were laughable.

In the first episode Mary tells amorous Earl Bothwell to "toss your
caber, Scottish man", while the second episode starts with James
promising religious toleration for Catholics in return for a blowjob
from plotter Thomas Percy.

But at least James was homosexual.  A far bigger distortion of the truth
is the invention of the blonde Mata Hari who spies on the plotters for
the government.  We would have had a far more gripping story if McGovern
had kept to the truth - that the government spy was plotter Francis
Tresham and that the government knew about (and steered) the plot from
its inception.

All in all, a wasted opportunity.

Peter Bridgman

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