Verdict: The Crown Season 1 Episode 1 “Wolferton Splash”

This premiere had a lot to accomplish. It not only had to provide an honest and intriguing introduction to a 1940s royal family, but also had to present context to their positions in a post-war society, where politics was becoming redefined by peace time and the monarchy was also transitioning. But fortunately it achieved this and much more. ‘The Crown’ truly is the most beautiful and well written period/costume drama I have seen. It presents every character with the detail they deserve, rich in nuance and their own personal (and political) perspectives. The interactions between them all do not reflect the royals as dull or uneventful, but inspiring and unique. There is tension and romance, and though all these aspects get slightly lost amongst exposition and the show cementing its wide focus, the multi-faceted nature of this family and their duty requires such specific consideration of all variables. I also appreciated that this episode never becomes overly melodramatic or a full on soap opera, but the writing provides restraint, allowing the audience to make their own judgements. Yet what makes this episode work, beyond the writing and direction, are the immaculate performances, with each actor depicting their respective royal family member as very human. These are privileged people, but not without their own personal problems as well. 9.7/10

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