Airdate: Anne Boleyn

UK period drama stars Jodie Turner-Smith, Kris Hitchen, and Barry Ward.

UK drama Anne Boleyn draws upon colour-blind casting with UK actors Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim), Kris Hitchen, and Barry Ward (Clean Sweep).

In the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life, her struggle within Tudor England’s patriarchal society intensifies immeasurably as her desire to secure a future for her daughter, Elizabeth, clashes with the brutal reality of her failure to provide Henry with a male heir.

Episode One
Queen Anne Boleyn is pregnant and convinced she will bear Henry a male heir. But Henry has an eye on one of Anne’s ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour, and this realisation blindsides Anne. Events take a turn for the worse after Henry is involved in a near-fatal riding accident and the wolves of the court start circling.

9:30pm Wednesday on SBS.

10 Responses

  1. It is not colour blind is it. It political and partisan. Suppose I’m doing a biopic on Obama and I roll the dice and comes up with Hugh Laurie is that ever going to get made? Anne Boleyn was one of histories great WASPs. Along with Cromwell and Parker she used her short reign to advance her families power in the English elite and push a radical anti-catholic, evangelical Protestantism. And also the destruction of the monasteries and abbeys and enrichment of the ruling elite who supported Henry. She is part of the reason their there is Church of England, English translations of the bible and Puritans who were extremely intolerant of other people and religions, and a couple of centuries of religious wars. How did Thomas and Elizabeth have a black child 200 years before England went to North America or the Caribean and took over the Slave trade in 1707? And was Queen Elizabeth of mixed race and wearing white face from birth. Once you make Race everything you can’t pretend it isn’t.

    1. Thanks for the history lesson…I read historical books too….this is supposed to be a series from a feminist perspective and identity conscious casting….or as quoted…the right person to do the acting job…not the look.

  2. I’m all for giving actors from diverse backgrounds equal opportunity for good roles but the history buff in me struggles with this trend. Historical accuracy loses all meaning, and this story may as well be set on another planet.

    1. It is colour blind casting yes, so those calls about ‘best person for the job’ won, according to production. SBS seems like the right broadcaster for a story where the audience is probably more open to such.

          1. After the last 20 odd years of ‘Wolf Hall’ ,’The Tudors’, ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ (TV and film) and numerous docos etc etc, she’s a pretty well covered subject, managing to just edge out Elizabeth 1 over recent years.

    2. In my opinion putting aside that Patrick Stewart is given credit for starting the race swapping idea when he wanted to play Shakespeare’s Othello on stage, this so called colour blind casting, which it seems mostly involves British historical characters, is subversive in concept, it takes full advantage of the more tolerant racial and political attitudes prevalent in contemporary Anglo-European society. This state of affairs would be very difficult to achieve in countries like Korea, or Japan, for example, where it would be considered a national insult to have their Emperor or a Shogun portrayed as an African or coloured person, heritage is very important for these countries it’s part of their national and political identity.
      Fictional characters or universes can have as many multi-racial or diverse characters as they wish but a countries historical heritage must be protected and preserved or you will eventually lose it or find it rewritten by activists.

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