Early Modern TV picks: 17thc edition

In these lock down times I present to you a collection of suggested 17th century  film and TV viewing. I’m based in the UK but hopefully you can find these wherever you are viewing from. Also these are for entertainment purposes only as they are mostly rife with historical inaccuracies 😀__________________________________

What?

Gunpowder (2016)

(1 season)

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I am Robert Catesby, I am a loyal son of the one true church, I will see her restored or I will die in the attempt.

When?

A gritty 3 part period drama set in England in 1603 at the start of James I’s reign. Catholic conspirators plot to blow up Parliament while the King James’s spies close in on them.  Probably not one for the kids as there are quite a few violent scenes.

Starring

Kit Harrington (Robert Catesby), Liv Tyler (Anne Vaux), Edward Holcroft (Thomas Wintour), Mark Gatiss (Lord Robert Cecil), Derek Riddell (King James I), Tom Cullen (Guy Fawkes).

Where can I watch it?

Prime video.

__________________________________

What?

Jamestown (2017)

(3 seasons)

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It’s too late to be out on your own, Verity. Jamestown is a hive of men starved of women.

-Silas Sharrow to Verity Bridges

When?

Jamestown follows the lives, loves and dramas of the inhabitants of a 17th century English colony in Virginia, America. The story starts in 1619 as among others, three women arrive in Jamestown from England. They come twelve years after the first group of all male settlers landed. These ‘maids to make wives’ were purchased through the Virginia Company, the colony’s sponsor to help establish the colony. Three three strong female characters Verity, Alice and Jocelyn struggle with their new relationships and lives.

Starring

Naomi Battrick (Jocelyn Castell), Sophie Rundle (Alice Sharrow), Niamh Walsh (Verity Rutter), Max Beesley (Henry Sharrow), Dean Lennox Kelly (Meredith Rutter), Stuart Martin (Silas Sharrow)


Where can I watch it?

NOW tv

__________________________________

What?

The Devil’s Whore (2008)

(1 season)

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Sexby (seeing Angelica for the first time): Dear God, who is she?

Prince Rupert: Remember the sewer you were born in and the hag that gave you life.

When?

This four part series is set during the English Civil War and ending at the restoration of the monarchy (1642-1660) It tells the story of a young English woman, Angelica Fanshawe and a Leveller soldier Edward Sexby as they are caught up in the unfolding conflict.

Starring

Andrea Riseborough (Angelica Fanshawe), John Simm (Edward Sexby), Dominic West (Oliver Cromwell), Peter Capaldi (King Charles I), Tom Goodman-Hill (John Lilburne), Maxine Peake (Elizabeth Lilburne)

Where can I watch it?

Channel 4 on demand

__________________________________

What?

Salem

(3 seasons)

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This is Salem. I think that there are no limits to what is possible.

-Mary Sibley

When?

Set in Salem, Massachusetts at the end of the 17th century it uses the names of real historical characters but it diverges far from historical fact. I would describe it as a period drama come horror. It is loosely based on the Salem witch trials, however the witches are real so lots of weird stuff goes down. Dark, gripping, highly entertaining  (definitely not family viewing). Also Lucy Lawless and Marilyn Manson are in it ❤️

Starring

Janet Montgomery (Mary Sibley), Shane West (John Alden), Seth Gabel (Cotton Mather), Tamzin Merchant (Anne Hale), Ashley Madekwe (Tituba), Elise Eberle (Mercy Lewis), Lucy Lawless (Countess Marburg), Marilyn Manson (Thomas Dinley)

Where can I watch it?

Netflix

__________________________________

What?

The Musketeers

(3 seasons)

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Suzette: [seductively] Has anyone ever told you you’ve got lovely eyes?

Aramis: The captain mentioned it only this morning.

When?

 Set in France around 1625-16 this BBC series is family friendly, it is an enjoyable action filled jaunt with the familiar musketeers characters D’Artagnan, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis.

Starring

Luke Pasqualino (D’Artagnan), Tom Burke (Athos), Santiago Cabrera (Aramis)
Howard Charles (Porthos), Ryan Gage (King Louis), Alexandra Dowling (Queen Anne), Peter Capaldi (Cardinal Richelieu), Rupert Everett (Marquis de Feron)

Where can I watch it?

BBC Iplayer

__________________________________

What?

Three Muskateers (2011)

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Queen : Four against 40? Or was it 400?

Athos : Just 40, Your Majesty… it was an off day.

When?

The musketeers story was retold in this big budget 2011 action adventure film, it strays from the original with the unnecessary (but fun) addition of blimps with guns, among other other things.

Starring

Matthew Macfadyen (Athos), Luke Evans (Aramis), Ray Stevenson (Porthos), Logan Lerman (D’Artagnan), Milla Jovovich (Milady de Winter), Orlando Bloom (Duke of Buckingham), James Corden (Planchet)

Where can I watch it?

Prime video

__________________________________

What?

The man in the iron mask (1998)

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D’Artagnan, you will hunt down Porthos, Athos, and Aramis, and bring me their heads, or I will have yours. And as for you, my brother, back to the prison you will go, and into the mask you hate. Wear it ’til you love it! And die in it.

– Louis XIV

When?

Ah we all remember 90s DiCaprio, right? So somewhere between Romeo and Juliet/Titanic and The Beach he squeezed in this musketeers related tale. Set in 17th century France, the musketeers come up with a plan to replace unpopular King Louis XIV with his twin brother (double DiCaprio) who has been imprisoned for the past six years with an iron mask on his face. The character is based on a real individual in history who’s identity has never been know. He wore an iron mask and was imprisoned for over 30 years in French prisons from around 1669, held by Bénigne Dauvergne de Saint-Mars. It has been found that Saint-Mars diverted funds sent by the Louis XIV for the prisoner, presumably for his own use, while the prisoner had a basic cell with a matt to sleep on. The man in the iron mask has spawned lots of conspiracy theories about who he may have been and what his relationship to Louis was, but no one knows his true identity.

Starring

Leonardo DiCaprio (Louis XIV/Phillippe), Jeremy Irons (Aramis), John Malkovich (Athos), Gérard Depardieu (Porthos), Gabriel Byrne (D’Artagnan), Anne Parillaud (Queen Anne)

Where can I watch it?

Prime video

__________________________________

What?

To Kill a King (2003)

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King Charles I: It is hard to forget the day you came of age, when I laid my hand on this shoulder and named you Lord Thomas Fairfax. Amusing to think you swore loyalty to me then for evermore.

Sir Thomas Fairfax: I swore to honour and defend my king as he is meant to be.

Set in the mid 17th century To Kill a King depicts the relationship between an imprisoned Charles I as Parliamentarians Oliver Cromwell and Gen. Thomas Fairfax as seize power of England and decide the King’s fate.

Starring

Rupert Everett (Charles I), Tim Roth (Oliver Cromwell), Dougray Scott (Thomas Fairfax), Olivia Williams (Lady Ann)

Where can I watch it?

It doesn’t appear to be on any streaming services at the moment so a good old fashioned DVD/Blueray it is I’m afraid!

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What?

New Worlds (2014)

(1 season)

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When?

Created as a follow up to The Devil’s Whore it is set in the 1680s and follows the stories of four young people in both Restoration England and colonial America. This is on my ‘to watch’ list so I can’t really say how good it is, reviews are a bit of a mixed bag but it is still worth a watch methinks.

Starring

Phil Cheadle (Ralph), Holli Dempsey (Agnes), Joe Dempsie (Ned), Jamie Dornan (Abe Goffe), Alice Englert (Hope), Michael Maloney (Hardwick), Freya Mavor (Beth Fanshawe)
Jeremy Northam (Charles II)

Where can I watch it?

Channel 4 on demand

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So there you have it, my 17thc tv pics for you to enjoy (or perhaps rediscover) at your convenience.

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