Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets is directed by James Tovell and presented by Dan Jones, the author of The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England, the book upon which the series is based.
It documents the rise of the Plantagenet Dynasty to the throne, right through two hundred and fifty years until their eventual fall to the Lancasters, by following the reign of four of the most controversial and influential Kings in British history.
Episode 1 is entitled Henry II 1154-89 Betrayal. It tells of the reign of control freak Henry II, the first Plantagenet King whose desire for absolute power overrode all common sense and led to his betrayal by his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and his children, after the unintended murder of former best friend Thomas Becket.
Episode 2 is Henry III 1216-72 Hatred and tells how the failed friendship between Henry III and Simon de Montfort leads to some of the biggest changes ever in the way Britain is run, as a failed King gives rise to the need for a parliament.
Episode 3 is called Edward II 1307 – 27 Revenge and tells us of a reign governed only by a burning desire for revenge upon Thomas Lancaster after the murder of his best friend Gaveston and of an adulterous wife with her eyes on the throne.
And finally Episode 4, Richard II 1377-99 Tyrant, the last of the Plantagenet Dynasty, who changes the laws to make his rule absolute and unquestionable, but leaves his Barons with no option but to remove him for the good of all concerned.
This is a brilliantly written and presented series, Dan Jones is very good at explaining history in a way that brings it to life, and his pieces are interspersed with reenactments of the events, which are very believable and make this much more palatable than the average dry-as-dust documentary.
Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty is an extremely immersive and informative mini-series, about a time and people whose legacy still remains prevalent in everyday life in Britain to this day. A real triumph and thoroughly recommended for everyone.
“You can have your power, but only because I say so. I’m the King, I am in control and you work for me.”
Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets is available to buy now on DVD.