The Crown (season 2)

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The Crown
Season 2
The Crown season 2.jpeg
Promotional poster
Starring
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • United States[2]
No. of episodes10
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original release8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3
List of The Crown episodes

The second season of The Crown follows the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It consists of ten episodes and was released by Netflix on 8 December 2017.

Claire Foy stars as Elizabeth, with main cast members Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, Jeremy Northam, Greg Wise, Victoria Hamilton, Alex Jennings and Lia Williams reprising their roles from the first season. Anton Lesser and Matthew Goode are added to the main cast. Original main cast members Jared Harris, John Lithgow, and Ben Miles also return in cameo appearances.

Premise[edit]

The Crown traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 through to the present day.[3] Season two covers the period between 1956 and 1964. Claire Foy continues to portray the Queen, and the season covers the Suez Crisis in 1956, the retirement of the Queen's third Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963, following the Profumo affair political scandal, and the births of Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.[4][5][6] The season also features John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and Lord Altrincham.[7][8]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Featured[edit]

The below actors are credited in the opening titles of single episodes in which they play a significant role:

Recurring[edit]

Guest[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Misadventure"Philip MartinPeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
In February 1957, Elizabeth and Philip discuss the state of their marriage onboard the HMY Britannia in Lisbon, Portugal; both acknowledge divorce is not an option. Five months earlier, as Philip prepares to embark on his royal tour, Elizabeth becomes convinced he is having an affair after finding a photograph of ballerina Galina Ulanova in his briefcase. At 10 Downing Street, Chancellor of the Exchequer Harold Macmillan challenges Eden's solution to Egypt's takeover of the Suez Canal but ultimately agrees to military intervention. Earl Mountbatten tells Elizabeth about the plan, and she confronts Eden after learning Israel has invaded Sinai. Eden reveals the planned invasion was part of a secret agreement between the Israeli, French and British governments to reclaim the canal without approval from Parliament or the UN. Elizabeth reluctantly gives her support and goes to see Ulanova perform as British forces move into Egypt.
122"A Company of Men"Philip MartinPeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
After international political pressure forces him to withdraw all British forces from Egypt and damages his reputation, Eden travels to Jamaica with his wife. Philip continues his tour, punctuated by an interview which he abandons when the reporter asks about his family history. At Christmas, Philip delivers a heartfelt radio address, prompting Elizabeth to let him know his family is waiting for him as part of her own Christmas address. Meanwhile, Eileen Parker, the wife of Philip's private secretary Michael, initiates divorce proceedings on infidelity grounds. Charteris warns Adeane that the possible fallout could cause the press to start asking questions about Elizabeth and Philip's own marriage.
133"Lisbon"Philip MartinPeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
Eden returns from Jamaica and discovers that the Cabinet and the Conservative Party blame him for the Suez Crisis fallout, and have turned against him. As he resigns and Macmillan becomes Prime Minister, Adeane works with Lascelles to change Eileen's mind about her divorce. They fail, and Elizabeth, Philip, and Michael learn about the proceedings. Elizabeth's attempt to speak to Eileen also fails and Philip forces Michael to resign when the divorce becomes public knowledge. Elizabeth brings the royal tour to an end before meeting the Britannia in Lisbon and privately talking with Philip about their marriage. Philip makes it clear he resents Charles outranking him and wants more respect from both the courtiers and the palace staff. Philip is made a Prince of the United Kingdom, with the style "His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh".
144"Beryl"Benjamin CaronAmy Jenkins and Peter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
Still recovering from her decision not to marry Townsend, Margaret accepts a proposal from close friend Billy Wallace and, after gaining Elizabeth's blessing, plans to announce the union during a gala celebrating Elizabeth and Philip's tenth wedding anniversary. On the night of the announcement, however, Margaret breaks off the engagement after finding a drunk Wallace recovering from wounds he received during a duel. The following evening, after a discussion with the Queen Mother about her birthday portrait, Margaret meets photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones at a party and agrees to let him take her picture. Sometime later, she sneaks out to Tony's studio for a sitting. He takes several photographs, after which Margaret asks him to send one to the newspapers. The next day, the picture, in which Margaret appears to be nude, is published to great shock. Macmillan, meanwhile, presses his wife into ending her affair but later discovers that she is still seeing her lover after overhearing them on the telephone.
155"Marionettes"Philippa LowthorpePeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
In response to a speech given by Elizabeth at a car factory, Lord Altrincham writes an article attacking her style of public speaking and her court's upper-class attitude. Both the general public and the press are initially opposed to Altrincham, but start to sympathise with him after he argues on TV that the monarchy must adapt to the post-war society. After Macmillan reminds her of the tendency of other nations to abolish their monarchies, Elizabeth arranges a meeting with Altrincham, during which she agrees to televise the upcoming Royal Christmas Message and open the Debutante Ball to her subjects. Six months later, the Queen Mother expresses embarrassment over the monarchy's loss of authority while hosting a garden party.
166"Vergangenheit"Philippa LowthorpePeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
In 1945, a German private leads American soldiers through the Thuringian Forest to a box of classified documents previously belonging to Adolf Hitler's personal translator. After British translators uncover seemingly damning information, Churchill informs George, who tells him to suppress all knowledge of their existence. In 1958, while preparing to meet Billy Graham, Elizabeth receives a request from Edward to re-enter the country. On arrival, he starts convincing several former sycophants to support his restoration. Historians unearth the documents, now titled The Marburg Files. Adeane and the Queen Mother bring the matter before Elizabeth and reveal that the Files contain information about Edward's links with Nazi High Command. Elizabeth meets Edward; he asks for a role, but she is torn between what she knows and her Christian belief in forgiveness. After meeting with Lascelles, who tells her the whole truth about the relationship, Elizabeth refuses Edward's request and, when he insults her, berates him for betraying his country. She later seeks spiritual counsel from Graham, who advises her to pray for those she can't forgive.
177"Matrimonium"Benjamin CaronPeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
After learning that Townsend is engaged to a much younger woman, Margaret presses Tony into proposing marriage. Because Elizabeth is pregnant with her third child, protocol prevents her from announcing the engagement. Adeane and Lascelles learn Tony has enjoyed a series of sexual relationships, one with a woman presumed to be pregnant with his child. After giving birth to Prince Andrew, Elizabeth decides against telling Margaret. Months later, Margaret and Tony get married at Westminster Abbey.
188"Dear Mrs Kennedy"Stephen DaldryPeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
Elizabeth invites visiting John F. and Jackie Kennedy to Buckingham Palace for dinner, and finds common ground with the First Lady. The next day, she discovers Jackie insulted her and the Palace at a party. Elizabeth travels to Ghana and meets with President Nkrumah, whose ties with the Soviet Union are causing government concern. She convinces him to sever ties with the Soviet Union and realign with the UK, after dancing the foxtrot. A visiting Jackie meets Elizabeth at Windsor Castle and explains that at the dinner she had been under the influence of "substances". Elizabeth confides in Philip, asking if she should have responded in a personal way. In 1963, after watching coverage of Kennedy's assassination, Elizabeth arranges for a week of mourning within the household, and for the bells at Westminster Abbey to be rung, before writing Jackie a letter.
199"Paterfamilias"Stephen DaldryTom Edge and Peter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
Philip arranges for Charles to attend Gordonstoun in Moray, Scotland despite protests from Elizabeth and Louis, both of whom recommend Eton College. Philip, however, gets his way after using his deal with Elizabeth to compel her to back him. While taking Charles to the school, Philip recalls his time there, as well as the death of his older sister Cecile and her family, for which his father Andrew blamed him. Charles struggles with Gordonstoun's rigorous curriculum and, on the day of a school event, disappears, only for his security detail to find him crying. Philip takes Charles home, admonishing him for being "bloody weak" after an attempt to give him a pep talk fails.
2010"Mystery Man"Benjamin CaronPeter Morgan8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
In 1963, a sexual relationship between Secretary of State for War John Profumo and model Christine Keeler becomes public knowledge. As the press speculates about a "mystery man" in a photograph taken at a party hosted by London osteopath Stephen Ward, who is charged with immorality, Margaret and Tony notice the man’s similarities to Philip. Ward commits suicide by overdose, after which the police find that he had a hand-drawn portrait of Philip. Macmillan resigns on health grounds and is succeeded by Alec Douglas-Home, whose closeness to the royal family makes his appointment controversial. Elizabeth asks Philip if he is the mystery man and confronts him with Ulanova's photograph. Philip admits to knowing Ward in a minor capacity, having visited his clinic the previous year after injuring his neck, but denies attending his parties before reaffirming his love and support for Elizabeth. The following year, Elizabeth gives birth to her fourth child, Edward.

Release[edit]

The second season was released on Netflix worldwide in its entirety on 8 December 2017.[15] Season two was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 22 October 2018 and worldwide on 13 November 2018.[16][17]

Reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes reported a 89% approval rating for the second season based on 83 reviews, with an average rating of 8.35/10. The website's critical consensus read "The Crown continues its reign with a self-assured sophomore season that indulges in high drama and sumptuous costumes."[18] On Metacritic, the second season holds a score of 87 out of 100, based on 27 critics, retaining the first season's indication of "universal acclaim".[19]

Foy and Smith both earned significant praise from critics. Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly wrote "As always, Claire Foy turns in an amazingly restrained performance."[20] Reviewing the first episode, Gabriel Tate of The Daily Telegraph wrote that Foy and Smith have "seldom been better".[21] Hugo Rifkind of The Times said "While ardent monarchists might bristle at the way this is going, for the rest of us it's getting better and better".[22]

Alison Keene of Collider said "each new episode makes its mark and tells its own complete story... It's another exceptionally strong season of television, full of compelling drama and sweeping grandeur".[23] Krutika Malikarjuna of TV Guide argued that the public is attracted to the royals' celebrity and star power, and said: "The brilliance of this framing becomes clear as the show evolves into The Real Housewives of Buckingham."[24] Sophie Gilbert wrote for The Atlantic that the portrayal of a monarch who "would rather be living any other life" is "riveting", and that it is "gorgeously shot, with flawless re-creations of everything from the Throne Room in Buckingham Palace to a 1950s hospital ward. And it's surprisingly funny."[25]

The Wall Street Journal critic John Anderson said "The Crown attains genuine sexiness without sex. Margaret, à la Ms. Kirby's interpretation, smolders, as does Elizabeth, at least on occasion."[26] Meghan O'Keefe of Decider wrote that the season "continues to romanticize the British royal family, but the romance comes from how they're normal, not divine".[27]

Less complimentary reviews saw the season criticised for what some regarded as failing to meet the emotional intensity of the first. John Doyle wrote for Globe and Mail that despite being "lavishly made" and "breathtaking", it "now leans toward a three-hanky weeper about marriage. It is less than it was, like the monarchy itself, and of interest to monarchy fans only."[28] Alan Sepinwall of Uproxx added "Many of the season's wounds are self-inflicted" and that Philip "still comes across as a whiny man-child".[29] Phil Owen of The Wrap described the season as "trashy" and saw dry comedy in Northam's portrayal of Eden: "I'm assuming that creator Peter Morgan meant for it to be comedy. There's really no other explanation for why Jeremy Northam played Prime Minister Anthony Eden like he's having a nervous breakdown in every scene."[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Netflix plans original UK drama about the Queen". BBC News Online. 23 May 2014.
  2. ^ Brown, Mick (3 November 2016). "The Crown: Claire Foy and Matt Smith on the making of the £100m Netflix series". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Singh, Anita (19 August 2015). "£100m Netflix Series Recreates Royal Wedding". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Sandwell, Ian (23 January 2017). "Downton Abbey's Matthew Goode is joining the cast of Netflix's The Crown". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  5. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (9 February 2017). "'The Crown' Adds Michael C Hall & Jodi Balfour As Jack & Jackie Kennedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  6. ^ Maslow, Nick (20 January 2018). "The Crown: Paul Bettany in talks to play Prince Philip". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  7. ^ Miller, Julie (8 December 2017). "The Crown: What Really Happened When Queen Elizabeth Met John and Jackie Kennedy". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  8. ^ "The Crown: Who was the real Lord Altrincham?". RadioTimes. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  9. ^ Lloyd, Kenji (7 January 2016). "The Crown trailer: First look at Peter Morgan's Netflix drama". Final Reel. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  10. ^ Lee, Sarah (1 November 2016). "Filming The Crown: on the set of the lavish Netflix series – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e "The Crown Season Two: Representation vs Reality". Netflix. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  12. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (21 August 2015). "Why Britain's psyche is gripped by a different kind of royal fever". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  13. ^ Lacey, Robert. The Crown: The Inside History. London: Blink Publishing, 2017. 354.
  14. ^ Gruccio, John (6 January 2016). "The trailer for Netflix's royal drama series, "The Crown"". TMStash. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  15. ^ Otterson, Joe (10 August 2017). "'The Crown' Season 2 Sets Premiere Date, Releases First Trailer". Variety. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  16. ^ "The Crown - Season 2 [DVD] [2018]". amazon.co.uk. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  17. ^ "The Crown (TV Series)". dvdsreleasedates.com. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  18. ^ "The Crown:Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  19. ^ "The Crown: Season 2". metacritic. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  20. ^ "The Crown premiere recap: 'Misadventure'". Entertainment. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  21. ^ "The Crown, season 2, episode 1 review: a glittering account of the Windsors in crisis". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  22. ^ "TV review: Hugo Rifkind on The Grand Tour". The Times. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  23. ^ "'The Crown' Season 2 Review: Another Exquisite, Compelling Portrait of Royal Life". Collider. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  24. ^ "The Crown Season 2 Lightens the Weight of Colonialism with Karmic Comeuppance". TV Guide. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  25. ^ "The Crown: Netflix's Best Superhero Show". The Atlantic. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  26. ^ "'The Crown' and 'Family Guy' Review: Messy Family Affair". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  27. ^ "'The Crown' Season 2 Review: Claire Foy Still Reigns Supreme". Decider. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Review: Netflix's The Crown slips into silly escapist eye-catching candy". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  29. ^ "'The Crown' Looks Tarnished By Too Much Philip in Season Two". Uproxx. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  30. ^ "'The Crown' Season 2 Review: Just Trashy Enough to Work". TheWrap. Retrieved 16 February 2018.

External links[edit]