I was over at my sister's place last Thursday night and she insisted that we watch The Crown, a Netflix series based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II. She had recently binge-watched the entire first season and declared that I, too, must see it. We watched the first two episodes that evening and it was... actually pretty good. It is an interesting blend of true historical events and speculative fiction about the actions, opinions, and feelings of Elizabeth and the people who surround her.
I'm not going to get into the actual content of the show right now, but will give a few of my original thoughts and impressions on The Crown. First, the show is a veritable who's who of British actors. Some I recognized right away- like Jeremy Northam- and others I had to think about for a few minutes to figure out where I had seen them before. For example, I had seen the actress portraying the Queen's Mum in Jane Austen's Persuasion, and I had viewed Claire Foy in Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit.
Then, of course, there's Doctor Who himself- Matt Smith- who plays Prince Philip, a casting choice which isn't immediately obvious but actually works. Speaking of which, Winston Churchill is played by John Lithgow, someone who I'd never think of in relation to the late, great Prime Minister but he's pretty good in the role.
Also, no matter how true/ untrue the portrayals of the various characters are, the show brings home just how, well, unnatural the lives of the royals actually are, and how their lives are defined by their titles and roles. Yes, they're wealthy beyond comprehension, but still... what a bizarre way to live. Last, how weird must it be for Queen Elizabeth to know that there's a serialized drama based on the intimate details- real and imagined- of her life? I wonder if she watches.