10 thoughts on “A Look Back at Elizabeth R (1971)

  1. The thing I love most about “Elizabeth R” is that it is meant to feel like you’re in the front row in a theatre, watching the action on an intimate level. I can’t think of any film or series that accomplishes this so well.

    1. Coming to this a post a bit late….absolutely agree. I love how it doesn’t presume the audience are thick idiots but have an intelligence and curiosity. There is no “dumbing down” in this series at all. Explanations (through exposition) are done very cleverly without being high brow or patronising.

      Maybe if I rewatch the series, I may get some inspiration for this year’s Kentwell 1588 gown.

  2. I was in 8th grade when “Masterpiece Theatre” ran “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” and “Elizabeth R.” These two series ignited my interest in history, even though I’ve never attempted costumes from this period because there were other historical niches I decided to get lost in. I recently rewatched “E.R” and it still holds up, video quality notwithstanding. The acting is terrific.

  3. I have these on DVD and regularly binge-watch. Glenda is my favorite screen-Elizabeth, though I have to say sometimes I felt at times like I saw glimpses Cate Blanchette. Some of the mannerisms and expressions are similar and that would explain why they are my #1 and #2 favorites in the role.

  4. OH, the BEST Robert Dudley ever on film….he is so handsome and his wardrobe and styling makes him look just like the portraits! *swoon*

  5. Most of the costumes were made of synthetic materials and were machine embroidered, which makes it all the more remarkable how accurate they look..

  6. I remember Elizabeth r when it was first shown on tv in the 1970’s. I liked it then as I like costume historical dramas. I recently brought the series on dvd from amazon. I understood it more the second time around Glenda Jackson was amazing as queen Elizabeth her acting was so good going from a young woman to an older woman. The supporting cast where good too. My other favourite tb series was the six wives of henry the eighth with Keith Michel wonderful portrayal by Keith Michel.

  7. Excellent article, and I agree the sets felt off. My experience felt too cold however. They were too spacious, as if they wanted you to enjoy the set, but there was nothing to enjoy. Its as if the set were a barren museum. I wish they would’ve put more effort into furniture and decoration. This was the end years of the Renaissance, after all.

  8. Glenda Jackson was my favorite Elizabeth. Of all the worthy actresses who have played the Virgin Queen, she is the only one who made me believe she truly was Henry VIII’s daughter. Her charisma in the role was off the charts.

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