Verdict: The Crown Season 1 Episode 4 “Act of God”

While the events of this episode are integral to Elizabeth’s understanding her constitutional position and in highlighting the political unease surrounding Winston Churchill, I’m not sure the tone or angle provided was effective. Largely focussing on the politicians and the commoners, the monarchy felt pushed aside for the first half and only when considering Elizabeth’s decision of how to approach Winston was the monarchy ever involved. One may say this represents the monarchy’s constitutional lack of power, but the events and their soap opera-ish depiction felt melodramatic rather than realistic and considered. The development provided Churchill though, and his relationship with The Queen is exceptionally well handled, as is her relationship with Queen Mary. The thematic discussion of god, heaven and the monarchy’s position, may not be subtle, but it provides the episode with a clear cinematic feel, using beautiful imagery to portray the presence and power of god. However, I disliked the choice to utilise text at the end, with it reinforcing this episode’s almost educating approach, focussing too much on forced exposition which made  the show seem more like a melodramatic history lesson that an enthralling drama. 8.2/10

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