The White Princess (Episode Two Recap)

3 Kernels

Some historical events and characters have been altered in the film for dramatic purposes.”

You’ll quickly miss this statement as the ending credits roll by the screen. Keep that in mind, as you watch Episode 2 of The White Princess.

So far, the production is holding its own. King Henry is facing his challengers to the throne from a ten-year old boy, a mother-in-law who practices witchcraft, a wife who plots with her mother, and a kingdom in the midst of the sweating sickness plague, blaming him for God’s wrath upon the nation. If that isn’t enough trouble, he has the diehard York faction attempting to assassinate him as he puts forth an effort to visit his newly conquered corner of England.

Princess Elizabeth of York provides decent counsel to Henry, defying his mother’s often ploy to run the country on his behalf. As he begins to have a mind of his own in matters, Margaret Beaufort tightens her authority over the York ladies in the household. Poor ten-year-old Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, is sent to the Tower of London, which sent me off to Google to discover that eventually he loses his head at the age of twenty-four.

The production remains lavish in costume and sets, including the locations. However, much if it was not filmed where the  historical events occurred.  Here is a good reference article on the filming locations on Atlas of Wonders, with screenshots.

The series continues on a 4-star kernel rating, but I hate waiting each week for new episodes.  If you’re a binge watcher, best to take it in all in one sitting. Hey, what’s a mere ten hours in front of the television?

In honor of Henry’s visit to the city of York, which you really do not see in the series, I thought I would post my video taken last year. I, as a lowly commoner, sat outside the cathedral and recorded the bells.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: June 11, 2017 – Well, the series has ended after eight episodes, and though I may have been a bit gushy when writing the review above, I cannot in all honestly say it was as good as The White Queen. Perhaps the problem lies in the deviation from history, the rapidly moving timeline, and the characters themselves. Though semi-historically accurate about Henry VII’s personally (so I’m told by others), he came across as such a weak and insecure individual, that it was difficult to be loyal to the series. Does that sound odd?  Well, I suppose it’s “off with my head.”

Foyle’s War (2002 to Present)

5 Kernels
Stars: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell, and Julian Overden

 Type: ITV Series (22 episodes to date)

 You’ll discover a lot about who I am as a person as my reviews continue and what makes me tick. Foyle’s War, believe it or not, is a good example. I don’t always watch the “chick flick” fluff. There are times that I watch the nitty-gritty of life’s realities that are filled with struggle and often heartache.

I think my fascination with this series is due to my background. My father fought in World War II. He was in the Army Corps of Engineers, and though he was stationed in the Pacific, rather than in Europe, I know that World War II had a huge influence upon my parent’s life. My mother kissed her husband goodbye when she was pregnant with my brother, and four years later he returned, thankfully, alive. During those years, my mother worked in a radio factory, and life was tough for everyone. My parent’s generation were people that knew about sacrifice, unlike the younger generation of today, who have no idea about ration cards for food, gas masks, bombs falling upon their heads, blackouts, death, and destruction in their own backyard.

Foyle’s War is an interesting look into war in Britain from the very beginning to the end, and a few series beyond. It’s not only a murder mystery series, it’s a series about how the war affected everyone in England, from the civilian to the soldier, pilot, or sailor.

Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (played by Michael Kitchen) is the main focus. He’s a man of honor, moral absolutes, and integrity, who is faced with not only the war in Britain, but the war against criminals during a time of war. It’s true that hardship can bring out the best in the human race, but it can also bring out the despicable of the human race. Foyle, as you soon learn in the series, is sometimes faced with the question of whether to take the high road in prosecuting the criminal, or turning a blind eye for the sake of the war effort.

From the early onset of the series, the difficulties and heartaches of war are clearly focused upon and not glossed over. The episodes are wonderfully crafted, as well as the interwoven stories of a different kind of war — one of a personal nature where individuals kill a single human not for king and country, but for personal gain, greed, and hatred.

Foyle is the ultimate man with the stiff upper lip mentality. He says very little, you can be assured, unless it’s necessary to say. The remainder of the time he ponders, deducts, and keeps a tight lip on his own emotions, though his facial expressions and body language reveal his every thought. When it’s time to reveal the killer, he pulls no punches and spews out the facts and accusations with clarity and often laced with a tad of sarcasm.

The series also focuses upon his son Andrew (handsomely played by Julian Overden, who just released an album by the way); Samantha Weeks aka Sam, who is Foyle’s driver (played by the cute Honeysuckle Weeks); and his side-kick detective Paul Milner (played by Anthony Howell). Of course, like any other series, there are side plots that involve everyone’s life.

I’m happy to see that Foyle’s War is scheduled to release three more episodes in 2013, which are after-the-war, of course. Foyle at the end of the last episode retires, but I think he has unfinished business to attend to in America.

Though this isn’t your typical female watch, if you like murder mysteries, this series could be for you. I know I absolutely loved it, and it convinces me once again that the British know how to do great television tastefully, even with difficult subjects.

Highly recommended and entertaining series. I so love British TV.

Favorite Line: (Season IV – “Invasion”) The US Army Captain says to Foyle (Paraphrased), “It’s you British that are always murdering each other.”

Greatest Disappointment: Andrew and Sam don’t get married. :sniff: