White Queen started last night on the BBC and it was Much better than I expected it to be. I have always been put off by the covers of the Philippa Gregory books into thinking the content is basically period romance. There is that in the TV series, but there is a bit more too. Political wheeler-dealing going on in the background. A nice bit of venom between some of the main characters and some good intrigue – did Edward really intend to marry her or was he leading her along. I guess that is all part and parcel of a good romance, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but there was enough interest for a male viewer apart from the good looks of Elizabeth Woodville.
You can tell though that the main demographic for White Queen is female romance-reader – the lingering shots as Edward takes off his helmet. The love scene which is so tender and gentle and again lingering shots of Ed’s torso. But that doesn’t take away from the rest of it too much.
The historical realism I thought was a major strength – this did look like late 15th century England – the country house, the hunting lodge and the court all looked how they should. The gowns and the hair might have been a bit too flowing perhaps, but otherwise the appearance of the actors looked right as well. The only thing I did notice was that there were quite a few drainpipes, drain-covers and what looked like iron railings when Elizabeth is brought to court – difficult to cover some of these items up I guess – but surely they could have been draped with something – bit of a shame, because otherwise it all looked spot on.
Looking forward to episode 2.