The Hollow Crown (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see The Hollow Crown.
The Hollow Crown
Genre Historical drama
Produced by Rupert Ryle-Hodges
Based on William Shakespeare's History Plays
Starring First Cycle
Ben Whishaw
Jeremy Irons
Tom Hiddleston
Second Cycle
Benedict Cumberbatch
Judi Dench
Sophie Okonedo
Production company Neal Street Productions
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Original channel BBC Two
Release date
  • 30 June 2012 (2012-06-30)
Running time

First Cycle
Richard II
(148 minutes)
Henry IV Part I
(120 minutes)

Henry IV. Part II
(121 minutes)
Henry V
(139 minutes)
Second Cycle
Henry VI, Part I
Henry VI, Part II
Henry VI, Part III
Richard III

The Hollow Crown is a series of British television films featuring William Shakespeare's History Plays. The first cycle is an adaptation of Shakespeare's second historical tetralogy, the Henriad: Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II (treated as one film in two parts in the series) and Henry V.[1] It starred Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston. Olivier Award winners, Rupert Goold, Richard Eyre and Thea Sharrock directed the telefilms.[2] It was produced by Rupert Ryle-Hodges for BBC Two and was executive produced by Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris under Neal Street Productions in association with NBCUniversal. The first series aired in the United Kingdom in 2012.

The first series of films received positive reviews from critics. Ben Whishaw and Simon Russell Beale won British Academy Television Awards for Leading actor and Supporting actor for their performances. Jeremy Irons was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Actor for his role as Henry IV. The first episode, Richard II, was nominated for the Best Single Drama at the BAFTAs.[3]

In March 2014, the BBC set a tentative date of 2016 for the concluding cycle of The Hollow Crown subtitled The Wars of the Roses as a reference to the scope of the series.[4] It will be produced by the same team that made the first series of films and will be directed by the former artistic director of Royal Court Theatre and Olivier Award winner, Dominic Cooke.[5] It will be based on Shakespeare's first tetralogy: Henry VI, Part I, Henry VI, Part II, Henry VI, Part III and Richard III.[6] In April 2014, BBC Two announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will play King Richard III.[7][7]

Cast and crew[edit]

First cycle[edit]

From left to right: Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V
Film Cast Director
Richard II Ben Whishaw as King Richard II
Rory Kinnear as Bolingbroke
Clémence Poésy as Queen Isabella\Anne
David Suchet as Duke of York
David Morrissey as Northumberland
Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt
James Purefoy as Mowbray
Rupert Goold
Henry IV, Part I Jeremy Irons as King Henry IV
Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal
Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff
Julie Walters as Mistress Quickly
Alun Armstrong as Northumberland
David Hayman as Earl of Worcester
Joe Armstrong as Hotspur
Richard Eyre
Henry IV, Part II Jeremy Irons as King Henry IV
Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal
Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff
Julie Walters as Mistress Quickly
Alun Armstrong as Northumberland
Richard Eyre
Henry V Tom Hiddleston as King Henry V
Mélanie Thierry as Princess Katherine
Richard Griffiths as Duke of Burgundy
Julie Walters as Mistress Quickly
John Hurt as the Chorus
Lambert Wilson as French King
Geraldine Chaplin as Alice
Edward Akrout as Louis the Dauphin
Thea Sharrock
The second cycle of The Hollow Crown will be based on Shakespeare's history plays about Henry VI (left) and Richard III (right).

Second cycle[edit]

Film Cast Director
Henry VI, Part I Hugh Bonneville as Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester[8]
Tom Sturridge as Henry VI[8]
Dominic Cooke
Henry VI, Part II Hugh Bonneville as Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester
Sally Hawkins as Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester[8]
Tom Sturridge as Henry VI
Dominic Cooke
Henry VI, Part III Keeley Hawes as Elizabeth Woodville [8]
Tom Sturridge as Henry VI
Dominic Cooke
Richard III Benedict Cumberbatch as King Richard III
Judi Dench as Duchess of York[9]
Keeley Hawes as Elizabeth Woodville
Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret[10]
Tom Sturridge as Henry VI
Dominic Cooke


The BBC scheduled the screening of Shakespeare's history plays as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a celebration of British culture coinciding with the 2012 Summer Olympics.[11] Sam Mendes signed up as executive producer to adapt all four plays in September 2010.[12] He is joined as executive producer by Pippa Harris (both representing Neal Street Productions), Rupert Ryle-Hodges as producer, Gareth Neame (NBCUniversal), and Ben Stephenson (BBC).[13]

The concluding cycle of films will be produced by the same team that made the first series. It will be directed by Dominic Cooke. Richard III will be played by Benedict Cumberbatch. As of April 2014, the casting of Henry VI is still under wraps and, according to BBC Two will be announced in due course. Executive producer Pippa Harris said, "The critical and audience reaction to The Hollow Crown series set the bar high for Shakespeare on screen, and Neal Street (Productions) is delighted to be making the concluding part of this great History cycle. By filming the ‘Henry VI’ plays as well as ‘Richard III,’ we will allow viewers to fully appreciate how such a monstrous tyrant could find his way to power, bringing even more weight and depth to this iconic character.”[14]


The first four films were aired on consecutive Saturday nights on BBC Two between 30 June and 21 July 2012. The start time of Henry IV, Part I on 7 July was delayed by an hour because of coverage of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, and the film was shown a second time the following evening on BBC Four.[15] The films were shown in the United States from 20 September to 11 October 2013 as part of the PBS Great Performances series.[16]

The second cycle of films has a tentative date of 2016.[17]

Home media[edit]

The overseas and DVD rights for The Hollow Crown series are owned by NBC Universal.[18] A Region 2 DVD set of the four films was released on 1 October 2012.[19] A Region 1 DVD set was released on 17 September 2013.[20]


Award Result Category Recipient
Music & Sound Awards 2013 Nominated Sound Design (TV Programme) The Hollow Crown
South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2013 Nominated Best TV Drama
Won Times Breakthrough Tom Hiddleston
Broadcasting Press Guild 2013 Won Best Single Drama The Hollow Crown
Nominated Best Actor Ben Whishaw
BAFTA Television Awards 2013 Won Leading Actor (Richard II)
Won Supporting Actor Simon Russell Beale (Henry IV Part II)
Nominated Single Drama Richard II
RTS Programme Awards 2013 Won Single Drama
BAFTA Craft Awards 2013 Won Original Television Music Stephen Warbeck (Henry IV)
Won Sound (Fiction) Tim Fraser, Adrian Rhodes, Keith Marriner (Richard II)
Nominated Costume Design Odile Dicks-Mireaux (Richard II)
British Society of Cinematographers Nominated Best Cinematography in a Television Drama Ben Smithard
4th Critics' Choice Television Awards Nominated Best Miniseries The Hollow Crown


  1. ^ "The Hollow Crown: Series Info". Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  2. ^ Lawson, Mark (2012-06-29). "The Hollow Crown: as good as TV Shakespeare can get? | Television & radio". Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  3. ^ "TV Baftas 2013: all the winners". The Guardian. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Twitter / bbctwo: Richard III will be produced
  6. ^ BBC - Tony Hall announces greatest commitment to arts for a generation - Media centre
  7. ^ a b Twitter / bbctwo: We're thrilled to welcome back
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^ Judi Dench to star with Benedict Cumberbatch in Shakespeare - Telegraph
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Liverpool actor David Morrissey to star in new BBC production of Richard II". Liverpool Echo. 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  12. ^ "Sam Mendes for BBC Shakespeare season". BBC News. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  13. ^ "Cast confirmed for BBC Two's cycle of Shakespeare films" (Press release). BBC Drama Publicity. 2011-11-24. Archived from the original on 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  14. ^ Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Richard III in Neal Street’s Film for BBC | Variety
  15. ^ "Henry IV - Part 1". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  16. ^ "The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare's History Plays-About the Series". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  17. ^ Benedict Cumberbatch to play Richard III on BBC2 | Culture | The Guardian
  18. ^ Brown, Maggie."Sam Mendes: BBC Worldwide rejected 'Hollow Crown' Shakespeare films", The Guardian, 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
  19. ^ "The Hollow Crown (4 Discs)". Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  20. ^ "The Hollow Crown: The Complete Series". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 

External links[edit]