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The White Queen

Sun Jun 30, 9-10pm, BBC1

By Gabriel Tate |
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The White Queen
Series one, episode three
Rebellions! Counter-rebellions! Double-crosses! Triple-crosses! Bunk-ups! Dust-ups! Births! Deaths! Anyone doubting whether history is ‘one damned thing after another’ should watch ‘The White Queen’ tonight. The pace is utterly unrelenting, yet the tangled narrative somehow avoids tripping itself up and each character in the crowded cast list contrives to make an impression.

Whether all of it would stand up to sustained historical scrutiny in doubtful, but who cares? Edward spends most of this evening clinging on to power inbetween removing knives from his back as Warwick forms an unlikely alliance with the Lancastrians, much to the dismay of his daughters. Elizabeth and Jacquetta, meanwhile, resort to witchcraft in pursuit of their goals. And Amanda Hale’s obsessively pious Margaret overplays her hand, while fast becoming the most compelling character in a pretty compelling series. Sudsy, but classy.

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