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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Historicals on Stage and Screen 2010/2011

We have just reached that time of the year again when all the new tv shows have just started up for the season and we are getting in gear for the upcoming 2011 movie season. I thought it would be cool to take a look at all of the new shows coming out on the small screen, the big screen, and the stage that are historically based.

On the small screen (TV) there are several new series and miniseries that will be starting up fall 2010 – spring 2011.

Starz will be home in spring 2011 to the show Camelot – a retelling of the legend of King Arthur. This show will feature Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Jamie Campbell Bower and Tamsin Egerton. This show is sure to be “smart, sophisticated, and realistic to the Dark Ages in which it’s set”. It is also supposed to delve into the political nature of the time.

HBO will be the home of 2 new series and a new miniseries in 2010 and 2011. Boardwalk Empire started up its run 2 weeks ago and has been awesome since. This show focuses on Prohibition Era Atlantic City – ripe with gangsters, rum-running, and all the fun of illicit alcohol. It features Steve Buschemi as Nucky Thompson, who basically runs everything in Atlantic City. The show is gorgeous to look at and I love to watch the mob scene.

Coming up in the spring the new show Game of Thrones begins – based on the epic historical fantasy series by George R. R. Martin. “Game of Thrones chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among noble families for control of the Iron Throne”. Two of the names that you might recognize from this upcoming series are Sean Bean, who will star as Ned Stark and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. I have been reading the books this series is based on and love them – and from what my boyfriend tells me, the first season will stick very closely to the first book. Here is a preview:

Also coming up this spring of 2011 from HBO will be the miniseries Mildred Pierce. This series is based on the book by James M. Cain and was made into a movie in 1945 starring Joan Crawford. This series will feature the ever amazing Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, and Guy Pearce. This show takes place during The Great Depression as housewife, Mildred, tries to maintain her family’s lifestyle.

And finally over at Showtime in 2011, the show that has been generating the most buzz recently, The Borgias! This series about one of the well known Renaissance families will take the place of the departing Tudors. Jeremy Irons has been cast as Roderigo Borgia and coming from the creators of the Tudors I am expecting great things!

Please feel free to add any shows on regular tv that are coming up and are historical because I have had a hard time finding any information.

As for the big screen, there were a few that I found that seemed very appropriate. Coming up later this month is Secretariat – the story about the last racehorse to win the elusive Triple Crown. This will start Diane Lane and John Malkovitch. This is sure to be a good one and I can’t wait to see it. Also coming out in October, to a limited release, is The King’s Speech. This is the story of England’s King George VI who was known to have a terrible stuttering problem. He became King when his brother, Edward VIII, gave up his throne so he could marry Wallis Simpson. The cast is pretty good – Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Colin Firth as George VI, Guy Pearce as Edward VIII, Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill. Coming up in April 2011 is the movie I am most looking forward to, Water for Elephants – based on the smash hit book by Sara Gruen. This is probably my favorite book ever and I am so excited to see how the Depression era circus comes out on the big screen. This will star Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in the lead roles. I hope to see all of these movies.

Also starting in October there are two new Broadway shows that take on the historical. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a comical musical about the seventh President of the United States. This one looks hilarious. There is also The Scottsboro Boys based on the notorious trial. This is staged as a minstrel show providing a musical social critique.

The historical is ever growing in the world of screen and stage and I can’t wait to see what is coming down the line later on. My suggestion for when The Borgia’s ultimately comes to the end, how about they take on The Stuarts – there is plenty of dramatic fodder in Charles, James, and all of their women!

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Great post - I had no idea Showtime was coming out with a series on the Borgias. Your post also reminded me to download the first two episodes of "Boardwalk Empire" - I really want to check it out!

  2. I'm really excited about Mildred Pierce! Good cast.

    The Man Men writers are taking on Versailles. This is the one I'm most eager to see.


  3. Thanks for the informative report! Collin Firth is always excellent, and "The King's Speech" was a hit at Sundance, so I am really looking forward to that. Love Jeremy Irons (and Guy Pierce); the Borigas should be fabulous. And your idea about the Stuarts is brilliant! The Medicis wouldn't be a bad choice, either. Ciao for now!

  4. Awesome lineup! I'll have wait for DVD on most of these...but can't wait! And agreed--after the Tudors and the Borgias, go for the Stuarts!

  5. Historical Fiction Notebook - The Borgias looks like it will be awesome and Boardwalk Empire has been great.

    VirginieBarbeau - oh I think I heard about the Versailles one - when is it supposed to be coming out?

    M. L. Malcolm - I'm glad to hear it was a hit at Sundance - that sounds promising. Oh and the Medici would be a good choice too!

    Rowenna - I will probably have to DVD some of them too. I just got HBO but I don't think I can afford all three programs!

  6. Thanks for the updates! I am really looking forward to The Borgias :)

  7. The Borgias ought to be fabulous. Have you read "Poison" by Sara Poole? About a fictional poisoner to Rodrigo Borgia. Whew! Good book.

    And Steve Buschemi as a mobster? Perfect casting! That guy is awesome.

  8. Svea - I am too! Although I don't have Showtime...yet!

    Christine -I haven't read Poison yet, but I really, really want to! Steve Buschemi was perfectly cast in the role.


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