“The Tudors” television show was a hugely ENTERTAINING, sexy and erotic 21st century take on the reign of King Henry VIII, as created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American cable channel, Showtime.What it lacked in the historical-accuracies department (and in spite of liberties being taken with the character names, relationships, costumes, physical appearance and sequence of events of history ) it more than made up for with its sheer “watch-ability” value, which ultimately proved to be addictive.The series also benefited enormously from the charismatic and engaging performances of its talented, accomplished and extremely good-looking cast; as Michael Hirst commented at the time of the show’s debut: “Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history … and we wanted people to watch it”; with regard to his “re-writing of history”, Hirst explained that some changes were made for production reasons and also to avoid viewer confusion, but that: “any confusion created by the changes is out-weighed by the interest the series may inspire in the period and its figures.”.The “Tudors” certainly stirred up interest – it put the “S” back into scandal and the Tudor period big-time, with its bawdy depiction of legendary British figures and their steamy romps through Tudor halls and bedrooms! Although (according to the New York Times) critics/purists/historians could: “take it or leave it”, they noted that the general public “absolutely lapped it up”. In spite of the divided opinion/reactions, when “The Tudors” premiered on the Showtime-network on 1 April 2007, it enjoyed the highest series-debut ratings of that company for three years and would ultimately run for four seasons (till the story’s natural conclusion), picking up a string of awards along the way. At the centre of it all was Jonathan Rhys-Meyers stunning portrayal of Henry V111; he was nominated for a “Golden Globe” in 2007 as “Best Actor in a Television Drama” whilst “The Tudors” show itself was nominated for the Golden Globe for “Best Drama Series” that year.One of the joys for me personally (as a fashion designer) was studying the three-times Emmy award-winning costume designer Joan Bergin’s lavish and elaborate designs for the show; taking her inspiration from the likes of Holbein, Degas (and the Rolling Stones! ) Joan created a wardrobe of over 2,000 opulent and decidedly regal costumes for the production, all of which were exquisitely conceived and executed (pardon the pun ) and that was just the men’s outfits! Here is a gallery of promotional stills from “The Tudors” which (I am sure you will agree) are extremely drool-worthy!
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TEXT © Gary Alston 2013