A friend of mine sent me several months ago this BBC miniseries; my friends know very well my tastes and, when some of them tells me “you will like this”, I am sure I will. I have taken too much time to watch it, distracted by other things (ehem) but today I’ve seen the two chapters. It is the true story of the sixth son of King George V and Queen Mary, prince John. The child suffered of epilepsia and mental retardation and lived most of his life apart from his family under the care of his nanny, Charlotte Bill, known as Lalla.
The story is centered in the boy and his relationship with Lalla and his brother George, the future Duke of Kent. Miranda Richardson plays Queen Mary and Tom Hollander, the repulsive Mr. Collins of the Pride and Prejudice film version with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen, plays King George V.
The world and his politics passes in front of the eyes of Johnny, who labels naïvly the historical figures he meets: Asquith, the Prime Minister, is “the man with the big head”, Tsar Nicholas is “the fish emperor”, or “the Tsar, my cousin”. When the Romanovs are talked to be exiled in England he imagines them hosted in the small farm where he lives, with a haughty Tsarina cleaning the carpet. This series gathers all one can expect of a BBC Drama: superb acting, beautiful locations, excellent writing.