The recently formed ‘James Maxwell and The Shadow of the Tower’ Facebook group will be holding its first The Shadow of the Tower watch-along and weekly discussions, starting from next week. First broadcast by the BBC in 1972, The Shadow of the Tower focuses on the reign of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York and the creation of the Tudor dynasty, a prequel to the BBC’s earlier serials The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. An acclaimed classic, it stars James Maxwell as Henry VII and Norma West as Elizabeth of York.
Monthly discussion questions will be posted along with historical discussions. See the schedule below.
Episodes 1 & 2 November beginning 19th 2020
Episode 1 Crown in Jeopardy
Henry Tudor emerges victorious over Richard III at the battle of Bosworth Field and seeks to form a coalition from which he hopes to establish a Tudor dynasty
Episode 2 Power in the Land
Henry consolidates his power when Elizabeth gives birth to Prince Arthur legitimising Henry’s claim of descent from the legendary monarch.
Episodes 3 & 4 beginning December 17th 2020
Episode 3 The Schooling of Apes
Henry’s enemies represent commoner Lambert Simmel as the Earl of Warwick, the York pretender. The Earl of Lincoln leaves for Ireland to head the army that is forming against Henry.
Episode 4 The Crowning of Apes
Henry forms an army to defend himself against the Irish-German army coming against him from Ireland.
Episodes 5 & 6 beginning January 17th 2021
Episode 5 The Serpent and the Comforter
King Henry is intrigued by a preacher who is arrested for heresy and speaks with him to persuade him to give up his dissension against the practices of the Catholic Church. The preacher emphasizes to him the simplicity of the Gospel, and his suffering and convictions impress a young Tower guard.
Episode 6 The White Hart
The year is 1494 and King Henry is alarmed that the powerful and arrogant Sir William Stanley may be implicated in a plot against his crown.
Episodes 7 & 8 beginning February 18th 2021
A Fly in the Ointment
Addle-brained Sir John Kendall and his dim-witted nephew devise a ludicrous plan to kill the King with a harmless ointment from phony astrologer.
Episode 8 The Princely Gift
Visionary Italian navigator John Cabot has a difficult time convincing Bristol businessmen and the King that his Western voyage to China is practical and profitable.
Episodes 9 & 10 beginning March 18th 2021
Episode 9 Do the Sheep Sin?
Heavy-handed tax policies lead the peasants of Cornwall to march peacefully in protest on London, but an ambitions nobleman wants to use the pilgrimage to his own advantage
Episode 10 The Man Who Never Was
Commoner Perkin Warbeck, pretender to Henry’s throne, finds he’s losing support throughout Europe.
Episodes 11 & 12 beginning April 15th 2021
Episode 11 The Strange Shapes of Reality
Although Perkin Warbeck enjoys only house arrest for his treason through Henry’s mercy, he continues to plot against the King.
Episode 11 The Fledgling
In order to give his dynasty more credibility, Henry tries to arrange a marriage between his son and the Spanish princess, but there are preconditions.
Episode 12 beginning May 13th 2021
Episode 12 The King without a Face
The year is now 1501 and Henry is now finally secure on the throne with his promising son Arthur about to marry Catherine of Aragon, however in the shadows tragic events are lying in wait for the King.