This week SBS premieres a new 5 part drama series, Versailles.
Kicking off with a double episode, this period drama centres around King Louis XIV, also known as le Roi Soleil (The Sun King).
The British-Franco-Canadian series premiered in France in November, with a second season already approved.
The year is 1667 in Versailles, France. Louis XIV is 28 years old. A brilliant political strategist, Louis is haunted by the trauma of The Fronde, a bitter civil war in which the nobility rebelled against the crown.
Historical and fictional characters – flamboyant nobles, beautiful courtesans and humble servants – guide us through this intoxicating world of secrets, betrayals, love and war. This is Versailles in all its brutal glory.
Louis XIV is alone in the seat of power, and his detractors are many, beginning with his younger brother Philippe. He devises an elaborate Machiavellian plan, to leave Paris and transform his father’s hunting lodge into the most magnificent chateau in Europe, the Palace of Versailles. Louis is under threat from outside where a war looms, and his power is fragile.
Louis launches the Grande Enquête to check the legitimacy of the nobles’ titles, the first stage in his strategy to bring rebellious minds to heel. But Louis’ political victories are undermined by more intimate dilemmas as his sibling rivalry with Philippe takes even nastier turns. Louis can’t stand the wild escapades of his flamboyant homosexual brother, who, for his part claims his regal prerogative to show his warrior skills on the battlefield.
Thursday, 25 August at 9.30pm on SBS.