While we wait for more news about the upcoming Downton Abbey film, we’ve also been searching for other period dramas to fill our queues. That means reaching back through the past few years of premieres to find great shows we may have missed when they were first released. One such series is Wolf Hall. It’s so good, and if you haven’t seen it yet, now's the time to catch up.
Wolf Hall is a six-part program that originally premiered on the BBC. It’s set in Tudor England during the reign of King Henry VIII, and it follows Thomas Cromwell’s political machinations and rise to power in the king’s court from 1529 through 1536. According to PBS, the series “tells the story of Thomas Cromwell […] a blacksmith’s son who rises from the ashes of personal disaster and deftly picks his way through a court where ‘man is wolf to man.’ ”
Watch the trailer:
The series is based on Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the masterfully crafted Man Booker-prize-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, which are compulsively readable pieces of historical fiction. Like the books upon which the show is based, the miniseries also received several honors—including a Peabody and a Golden Globe Award—when it was released.
Wolf Hall stars Tony- and Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk) as Thomas Cromwell. Damian Lewis (Billions, Homeland) is King Henry VIII, and Claire Foy (The Crown, First Man), who has recently garnered accolades portraying Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, is Anne Boleyn. Jonathan Pryce (Evita, Listen Up Philip) appears as Cardinal Wolsey.
You can stream Wolf Hall on pbs.org with a Thirteen Passport subscription, and you can also find the series on Amazon. Be sure to pick up Mantel’s books, too—they’re some of the best historical novels of the century. You can find Wolf Hall (Amazon, Indiebound) and the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies (Amazon, Indiebound) online. Truly, if you haven’t seen this one, go stream it now. We’ll be here when you get back.
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Have you seen Wolf Hall? Let us know if you watch it this month, and drop a line to let us know what you think of the series.