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The Borgias

The Borgias

Mon Jun 17, 9-10.05pm, Sky Atlantic

By Gabriel Tate
Series three, episode one
Newcomers need not worry: this third and final season of the costume-drama romp opens with a ‘Previously On…’ as ruthlessly efficient as the Borgias themselves.

We left Jeremy Irons’s Pope Alexander on the verge of meeting his maker after a poisoning plot by some disgruntled cardinals. His relatives exact their bloody revenge and plan for life without him while his enemies – now including the undeniably well-cast Sean Harris as mad-eyed assassin Rufio – gather to capitalise on his incapacity.

There’s an energy and tension to the series now which was missing early on, making its cancellation all the more regrettable: a lesson, perhaps, that when it comes to depicting incestuous, insane, scheming medieval clergy, more can most definitely be more.

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