The White Queen Season 1 Blu-ray Review
“The White Queen” is Starz channel’s answer to “Game of Thrones.”
“The White Queen” (which is based on Philippa Gregory’s novels) sounds like a fairytale series, but it is actually a 10 episode mini-series of sorts loosely based on historical events (namely the Wars of the Roses). The series is an ensemble piece about political intrigue, families, power struggles between House of York and House of Lancaster, hierarchy, revenge, and betrayal. Viewers can expect to see stories about marriages, alliances, wars, babies, rebellions, curses, trust, murder, Elizabeth and Edward’s relationship, and regime changes. Key players include King Edward IV, his eventual wife and Queen Elizabeth Woodville, the scheming Earl of Warwick, Edward’s brother George the Duke of Clarence, Margaret Beaufort and her son Henry Tudor, Richard III, Lady Anne Neville, among others. If that sounds like a lot of characters to follow, the Blu-ray set does thankfully come with a handy family tree map.
While promising on paper, the BBC production of “The White Queen” never quite pans out. Sure, the production values are lovely and the performance by Janet McTeer as Jacquetta stands out, but other than that, the series is an overstylized “Game of Thrones” wannabe with a soap opera style depiction of events and far too much dialogue. I’m not kidding when I say the series is all talk. It would be acceptable if the dialogue and characters were engaging, but generally they are not due to some suspect acting by cast members like Max Irons (who is not exactly his father, is he?).
The most baffling element of “The White Queen,” however, is the supernatural elements. Not only does it come off as mumbo jumbo in this show, but it’s entirely forced and unnecessary.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080i. Despite the lack of 1080p for some strange reason, the transfer is pretty sharp overall.
Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? The score, dialogue, and action sound crisp and clear.
* Starz series ads and Digital HD copy.
* Character profiles on Elzabeth and King Edward IV.
* A 4 minute series overview, a brief 3 minute making of (if you want to call it that), featurettes on heirs/sons, the supernatural elements in the series and women/gender.
* Tours of the set and costume designer Nic Ede’s office.
* “The History Behind The White Queen” explores the real history of the “War of the Roses.”
* “Book To Series”- A featurette that explores how Philippa Gregory’s novel was adapated for the small screen.
Overall Thoughts: There are some people out there who love “The White Queen” and they are the ones who should pick up this Blu-ray. FYI: A sequel series titled “The White Princess” is currently in the works and will be aired by Starz sometime in the near future.
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