Currently streaming on Starz is a spectacular series in six parts entitled Maximilian and Marie de Bourgogne. It’s a German-Austrian co-production that I found extremely well done for a period piece, not at all minding the German and French spoken throughout with English subtitles. The story is engrossing enough to keep you glued to the dialogue as you are immersed in another time in history: 1477. Dust off your history books, because if you’re like me you’ll be glad to know this storyline does a good job of keeping to the historical facts. To add to the authenticity of this period drama are the sets and costumes that are well done, as well as the musical score.
The story centers around two key players in the chessboard of the fifteenth-century politics in Europe. Marie is the daughter of Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, who is killed in battle by the French. With no male heir, Marie is made duchess. However, Burgundy is a male fiefdom and from day one she becomes the pawn of those in power in Burgundy and France, each attempting to wield their political maneuvers. She is encouraged to marry the Dauphin of France, who is a mere boy, as France wants Burgandy back in its power.
Then, in a faraway land of Austria, resides Maximilian, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor. He is encouraged to wed Marie but balks at the idea until circumstances finally lead him to Burgundy. Like a knight in shining armor, with integrity and purpose, he comes to save the day. The series is a sweeping story of war, politics, and endearing love between two young people. Unfortunately, in real life, and portrayed with such emotion it made me cry at the end, their happiness is ended by tragedy.
I think what I liked about this series is the wonderful job the two leads did, emotionally portraying these historical characters learning to rule. Many of the children of the main monarchs in this tale — France and Austria are merely pawns of their parents in arranged marriages to other kingdoms.
Anyway, highly recommend if you have Starz. If not, you can get it on Amazon for $8.95 a month or purchase each episode for $2.99. It’s worth just paying $8.95 to watch the six episodes and then you can cancel.
There are a few sex scenes but tame compared to Outlander’s first two seasons. Also, it’s a brutal time of war and torture so you may see some unsettling scenes but it’s not overly graphic and gory.
Oh, and as a matter of trivia, Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of Maximillian, which makes his character even more interesting.