Verdict: The Crown Season 1 Episode 7 “Scientia Potentia Est”

This is a spectacularly written and directed episode that is able to balance narrative, character and thematic ideas in a more fluid way than previous episodes. Examining The Queen’s education and her knowledge in the face of politicians and intellectual men, Peter Morgan has cleverly incorporated these ideas into the (again slightly formulaic) main plot, while allowing Elizabeth to clearly grow. In opposition to the more symbolic character of last episode, The Queen here seems like a real person, someone wanting to be dutiful, but also retain some sense of personal decision, highlighted by her contrasting dealings with Churchill and Martin. Her actions are not proposed by others, but a result of her own understanding of her role, a clear statement on her relative intellect. Though while the show allows Claire Foy to be at her best, this episode ultimately belongs to John Lithgow’s Winston Churchill, who in his final scene in this episode, is performed delicately with restrained emotion, but promoting the character’s statesman nature. The show’s presentation of this relationship between the monarchy and the government is remarkably powerful. 9.5/10