DVD Review: The Tudors – The complete third season


Starring Emmy® and Golden Globe® Winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joss Stone and Henry Cavill

Set Contains 8 Episodes on Three Discs with Bonus Materials
Including On Set with The Tudors and Soul Queen Meets Tudor King: Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves.

Available on Blu-ray DiscTM and DVD from 7 December 2009

DVD and Blu-ray Special Features Include:
• On Set with The Tudors
• Soul Queen Meets Tudor King: Joss Stone as Anne of Cleaves.
• Exclusive Tour of Hampton Court

View Trailers

The Series

The Tudors – The Complete Third Season released on Blu-ray and DVD for purchase from 7th December 2009, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Tudors is an Emmy award winning drama
from Michael Hirst, creator of the Academy Award winning Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which recently aired on primetime BBC2.

The series is produced by Peace Arch Entertainment for Showtime in association with Reveille Eire (Ireland), Working Title Films (United Kingdom) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and is filmed in Ireland. This series was nominated for 3 Golden Globes, and has received numerous awards and nominations:

The Tudors’, which premiered in 2007 was the highest rated Showtime series in three years at the time. It is now being renewed for its fourth and final season in 2010, Showtime has announced. It is scheduled to air in April 2010 on Showtime.

Season 3 sees Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, Mission: Impossible III) return to the role of Henry, alongside Henry Cavill (Stardust, Tristan + Isolde), Annabelle Wallis (Body of Lies) and multi-award winning singer Joss Stone in her debut TV acting role as Anne of Cleves.

Season 3 picks up after the execution of Anne Boleyn, sees Henry take on wives three – Jane Seymour and four, Anne of Cleves. Season three also brings us the long awaited male heir, Henry has been so impatient for, and the downward spiral of Thomas Cromwell, who tries to capitalise on the King’s tragic loss of his beloved wife Jane, by making alliances between England and the Protestant League. As an anguished Henry struggles to systemise his position as the head of the new church, no one is safe from his growing madness.

Review

Tudor DVD Packshot

Click on image to buy DVD

Series three begins with the long awaited and joyful birth of Henry’s first son by wife Jane. Rhys Myers plays Henry superbly, as he is well able to balance the many faces of King Henry, bouncing between tender love, cold steel, utter disgust and deepening madness. There is a rare tenderness when both his son is born by the wife he appears to have loved best, and again you can see the heartache as she is wrenched from him soon after.

While I was not a fan of Joss Stone, since I have not followed her singing career, I feel she has been well cast as Anne of Cleves. This relationship is an interesting one, for while Henry is not attracted to her, she manages to maintain some form of respect from him as he spares her life and even takes care of her, even as he is making plans to move on to wife number five.

Stand out characters in this series are Jonathan Rhys Myers who draws you to him in his growing madness; his lovely wife, his lovely and caring wife, Jane (Anne Wallis), who comes off as beautiful, kind hearted and sincere; the creepy jester who nurtures the growing madness of the King; and Cromwell, played by James Frain. The unraveling of scheming, snivelling Cromwell is well cast in James Frain who manages to make the viewer dislike him more and more throughout the programme. Alan Van Sprang is another love-to-be-hated, womanising villian in Sir Francis Bryan.

The costuming is elaborate and gorgeous. The storyline has enough suspense and action to keep you anticipating the next episode and coming back for more. There were two interesting parts during this series, which I was not sure were historically accurate and led me off to pursue some research of my own. Firstly, the use of fireworks; I was not sure they were used during this time period, but upon further reading, I did find reference to them being used. The second piece which I questioned was the particular firearm which is used in one episode. I believe that while there were some firearms, they were a far cry from the one depicted in this series. Apart from that small issue, I have found this series to be entertaining, enjoyable and find myself looking forward to future episodes. Sadly there will only be one more season.

Tudor Blu-Ray Packshot

Click on image to buy on Blu-Ray

The story of Henry himself is compelling and Hollywood really hasn’t much need to embellish reality here. Henry was not intended to be king, but that became his fate when his older brother died. When he was young, he was an artist, musician, theologian and sportsman, a Renaissance man. The failure of his wives to produce a male heir brought out his cruel dark side. This madness led him to use impulsive execution as an instrument of Royal policy; dismantle the established church in England and loot its posessions; and set himself up as an absolute monarch. Those who opposed him found themselves on the swinging end of the hangman’s noose, or headless. By the time of his death, he was transformed from a fiery Renaissance man into a sickly, overweight tyrant.

Series three is an excellent addition to the first two series, and if you are a fan of the Tudors, you will want to add this to your collection.The three disc box set contains all 8 episodes from the third season and is available on DVD and on Blu-ray.

Bonus materials includes featurettes On Set with The Tudors and Soul Queen Meets Tudor King: Joss Stone as Anne of Cleaves and an Exclusive Tour of Hampton Court. Season 3 will also be available to buy as part of The Tudors 1-3 (9 disc) DVD box set, which contain every episode of the pulse-racing historical drama – a royal treat for fans this Christmas.

Reviewed by Rossdaughr

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