Gallery: The Tudors

Jonathan Rhys Meyers returns as history's bad boy in the second series of this lavish period drama later this month.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers returns as the sexy, philandering King Henry VIII Pope Paul III in the second series of The Tudors, this month on the Showcase Channel.

Season Two finds Henry as the head of his own Church of England, paving the way for the banishment of Katherine of Aragon; Anne becomes Henry’s new Queen, but her own failure to produce a son dooms her as Henry’s attention sways heavily toward Jane Seymour.

The cast also includes Peter O’Toole as Sir Thomas More, Jeremy Northam as Sir Thomas More, and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Queen Katherine of Aragon.

It airs 8:30pm Wednesday November 26th on Showcase.

Episode One:
Amid the religious turmoil that is consuming England, King Henry VIII presses ahead with his plans to do whatever it takes – including breaking with the Pope – to divorce Queen Katherine and marry Anne Boleyn. But the task won’t be that simple. For while Thomas Cromwell is working with Sir Thomas Boleyn to convince the bishops to recognize Henry’s authority, his Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, remains loyal to the Pope even as he continues to carry out the King’s orders. Though the bishops are persuaded to make him the head of the Church of England, but not grant him authority over the Pope, Henry still takes it as a sign that he can now do as he wishes. As the news of Henry’s efforts reach Rome, Pope Paul III’s reaction lays the groundwork for a plot to get rid of Anne. And as Henry learns that Charles Brandon has fallen in love with a seventeen-year-old girl, Thomas Wyatt introduces dancer and musician Mark Smeaton to Anne and the royal court.

Having been paid by Boleyn, a cook at Whitehall palace tries to poison Bishop Fisher, who has been the most adamant in his opposition to King Henry. While Henry dismisses More’s suggestion that Anne and her father may be behind the failed plot, after the cook makes it clear that he will honor his end of the bargain in order to insure that his daughters will be cared for, he’s boiled in oil. Meanwhile, as Anne protests upon learning that Katherine still sews Henry’s shirts, More tries to assure Fisher that the King will think twice about proceeding with his divorce.

After personally demanding that Katherine step aside, Henry sends Brandon and Cromwell to press her to relinquish her role as Queen. Despite the pleas of Henry and his lieutenants, Katherine resists. So, upon sending Cranmer to Nurnberg for a firsthand look at the spread of Lutheranism while en route to see the Emperor, Henry orders Katherine to vacate Whitehall while he and Anne are away. However, as Katherine packs in preparation to spend time with her daughter, Ambassador Chapuys hatches a plan for Anne’s assassination.

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