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The Hollow Crown - S01 E01

History . Drama
 

The story takes us from the Royal Court at Westminster to battlefields in England and France. These rich films are woven with the finest of Shakespeare's poetry and are filmed in the architecture and landscape of the period.King Richard is called upon to settle a dispute between his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray. Richard calls for a duel but then halts it just before swords clash. Both men are banished from the realm. Richard visits John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke's father, who, in the throes of death, reprimands the king. After seizing Gaunt's money and land, Richard leaves for wars against the rebels in Ireland. Bolingbroke returns to claim back his inheritance. Supported by his allies, Northumberland and the Duke of York, Bolingbroke takes Richard prisoner and lays claim to the throne.

 
Episode Title: Richard II
Airs: 2012-06-30 at 21:00
  • Matt Roush

    For the next four Fridays, PBS's Great Performances lives up to its billing with a spectacular and dazzlingly acted mega-miniseries titled The Hollow Crown.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    This four-part adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical cycle (“Richard II, “Henry IV, Part 1,” “Henry IV, Part 2” and “Henry V”) spotlighting the battle to win and to hold the English crown is both brilliant and eminently accessible.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    This isn’t just a story, it’s a history, and admirably, the work of the players has brought it to life.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    Arguably you shouldn't miss any of The Hollow Crown. But the one you're commanded to watch is Richard II. [23 Sep 2013]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    The performances are so wonderful it feels wrong to single any out. But Whishaw finds great power in stillness; Hiddleston fits himself admirably to his character's stages and turns of mind, resolving his coldness with his warmth, his cruelty with his generosity. And there is Beale's Falstaff--marvelously poignant, a scoundrel-hero, getting everything wrong. His sorrow at losing the transformed Hal is as tragic a moment as any here, his fall no less thunderous than Richard's.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The trump card of Hollow Crown, of course, is that it was written by Shakespeare--and if the language sounds stilted to modern ears, anyone who listens for more than a few minutes will be properly seduced.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    For the most part, the flexibility that television provides is used to good advantage in The Hollow Crown to clarify the action and enhance the dynamics. Only occasionally does it feel misplaced, as in “Richard II,” when [director Rupert] Goold goes all in with Jesus imagery.

    The New York Times Full Review