The Crown – Season Four – Episode 4 – Favourites

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 4 – Favourites

Plot: While Margaret Thatcher struggles with the disappearance of her favourite child, Elizabeth re-examines her relationship with her four children.

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Favourites starts when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) learns her son Mark (Freddie Fox) has gone missing in the Dakar Rally, with people helping her search the Sahara for him, she is given her own public problem of the Falklands, as Great Britain and Argentina start their dispute over an island, which soon starts to escalate. Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) finds herself confused by the concept that a parent would have a favourite child, with Philip Duke of Edinburgh (Tobias Menzies) knowing his Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), Elizabeth calls for meetings with all four of their children, to figure out if she in fact has her own favourite.

Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 4 – Favourites

Thoughts – Favourites will give us what could easily be described as a filler episode for the Queen side of everything, with this episode being more about her trying to figure which is her favourite child, given us the first couple of visits from Prince Edward and Prince Andrew. Where this episode shines is by putting the spotlight on the Margaret Thatcher dealing with her own problems, with her missing son and the impending conflict in the Falklands, learning that her own personal distractions, that will see her own cabinet not being able to step in through the problems. We get to see how the strong-minded Thatcher will wanting to make a difference, which will see her going against her own decisions when it comes to the conflict.

Final Thoughts Favourites might well be the weakest episode so far, it does continue to show the excellent Gillian Anderson rising the levels of every scene she is in. 3/5

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 3 – Fairytale

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 3 – Fairytale

Plot: After Charles proposes, Diana moves into Buckingham Palace and finds her life filled with princess training, loneliness and Camilla Parker Bowles

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Fairytale starts in the aftermath of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) proposal to Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin), Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) suggests Diana moving into Buckingham Palace to keep her out of the spotlight of the media and to help teach her the ways of being a princess, with the new duties and responsibilities she will be facing in the future. What Lady Diana slowly starts to learn is that this new engagement will mean she will have to move away from her friends, being left alone to train in a world she wasn’t completely prepared for, with one of her only friends turning out to be Camila Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell).

Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 3 – Fairytale

Thoughts – Fairytale puts the firm focus on Lady Diana and the sudden adjustment to her life, a young lady that was enjoying the social life with friends that gets thrown into isolation and loneliness because of her new engagement. Emma Corrin is the star of this episode, showing the change her character is going through, the suffering she goes through when dealing with a world she wasn’t prepared for, leading up to the big wedding. We do get to go through the training ideas that Lady Diana must through, which does reflect what the Queen herself went through, but doesn’t want to pass on her advice on the newest member of the family. We do get to see just how not everything is what Lady Diana thought it would be, but she starts to show her frustrations of not being able to do things her own way.

Final Thoughts Fairytale is a career making performance from Emma Corrin that will show the transitions Lady Diana would go through. 4/5

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 2 – The Balmoral Test

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 2 – The Balmoral Test

Plot: Margaret Thatcher visits Balmoral but has trouble fitting in with the royal family, while Charles finds himself torn between his heart and family duty.

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Balmoral Test starts as Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) gets his first date with Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) with them both facing the reality of the summer apart due to the commitments of the crown, while the Queen (Olivia Colman), Philip Duke Edinburgh (Tobias Menzies) and Princess Anne (Erin Doherty) are looking to finish off an injured prize stag on their property. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) is looking to bring her own stamp of difference in the country, her ideas of change with see her taking opposition within her own party with her plans. Margaret Thatcher will have to face her own test, joining the Queen at Balmoral for a weekend, learning that she doesn’t fit in with the traditions of the royal family, always trying not to look out of place.

Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 2 The Balmoral Test

Thoughts – The Balmoral Test focuses on the building relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, showing us how the two have come from different backgrounds, that reflects how they might want different things for the country in the future. We must address the fact that a large part of this story is focused on hunting, which isn’t putting the royal family in the best spotlight, showing them to be animals hunting innocent creatures. Gillian Anderson steals this episode with her ability to show just how out of place she is in the Balmoral Test. We are slowly building up to see how Margaret Thatcher is looking to make the drastic changes, with everyone around her questioning her decisions, wanting to bring the country closer, after seeing the upper classes always looking down on people with her own background. We do get to continue to see how Prince Charles is struggling with his relationships, with his desire to be with Camila needing to end, with his interest with the young Diana Spencer leaving him conflicted.

Final Thoughts The Balmoral Test shows us two big relationships, one growing, one falling apart, bracing us for everything that is going to come in the future, but the needless obsession with hunting holds this episode back. 4/5

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 1 – Gold Stick

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 1 – Gold Stick

Plot: AS Elizabeth welcomes Britain’s first woman prime minister and Charles meets a young Diana Spencer, an IRA attack brings tragedy to the royal family.

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Gold Stick starts as we see how the royal family are waiting to see who Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) latest love interest is, for now it is Lady Sarah Spencer (Isobel Eadie), the older sister of Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) who wanted to meet him. Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) is getting to meet the incoming Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), with the two striking a new relationship that the two never thought they would have. Princess Anne (Erin Doherty) is struggling to find her motivation to return to competitive show jumping with her father Philip Duke of Edinburgh (Tobias Menzies) trying to motivate her about how proud he is of her. The royal family is struck by an IRA attack which sees Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance) and his family murdered in an explosion.

Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 1 – Gold Stick

Thoughts – This episode starts off with a bang, bringing us the importance of the new prime minister, something that has been key to most of the Queen political interactions for years, Margaret Thatcher brings us somebody new and more complex for the Queen to deal with, we get a new threat in the IRA whose attacks will continue to give Prince Charles the struggle to fit into the royal family, losing another ally in Lord Mountbatten, the brief introduction of Lady Diana adds the future we know is coming, even if we only get the fleeting story of Princess Anne problems in the royal family. The build up to the explosion is brilliantly shot, with the family all hunting in their different ways, reflecting on how they have now become the hunted. We have the returning cast all shining like before, with Gillian Anderson stepping into the series like she had been her from the start.

Final Thoughts Gold Stick is an excellent start to the series, bringing us the new battles the royal family will be facing, along with a new Prime Minister for the Queen to befriend. 5/5

Recap & Review – The Crown Season 3 – Overall Review

Recap & Review – The Crown Season 3 – Overall Review

With the third season of The Crown we jumped the cast forward, with the excellent original cast being replaced by older actors, this was always going to be a difficult task to achieve with such a stunning set of performers. Olivia Colman will get praise and deserves is all, but this season has such a brilliant cast with the big known names like Helena Bonham Carter and Charles Dance showing their experience, the stars like Tobias Menzies and Jason Watkins that have been through the television scene for years and this shows why they are always excellent choices. Add in the newcomers in Josh O’Connor and Erin Doherty we have a complete mix of experience that all performer to the highest levels.

When it comes to the episodes we do start very well with the first three being excellent with the Aberfan one becoming one of the most difficult to watch, one that is emotionally draining, following one from this, everything does seem to goes downhill with a couple of slower episodes, with most of the focus being away from the Queen, instead focusing on the people around her, giving Margaret, Philip and Charles episodes where they are centre stage. The episodes do have a wonderful ability to reflect the situations the family is going through with the incident going on within the world.

If you have watched the first two seasons, you will enjoy this one because with a new cast, we get a fresh approach to the characters at an older stage of their lives, we get to learn history along the way, though certain government problems don’t get discussed enough for my liking. We do also fall into the feeling that each episode is just focused on an incident that they had to get through rather than being a connected by the events that have previously happened between the royal family, which was a flaw I noticed in the second season over the first.

Overall this is just as captivating as the previous seasons, we get a chance to learn about big event mostly in British history, while showing us just how difficult the years in this season were for the Queen after losing some of her most trusted allies.

Rating 9/10