Month: January 2017

The Hollow Crown’s “1 Henry VI”: Crosscuts, Casting, and Factional Conflict

The second season of the award-winning series, The Hollow Crown, opens with a dramatic birds-eye view of the English Channel and the Cliffs of Dover as we follow a soldier’s furious ride through red and white eglantine. Dover happens to be the closest point between England and France. The roses and geography are visual aids alongside Dame Judi Dench’s voice-over: Henry V has taken France and married its princess, securing England’s legacy legally and militarily. Dench isn’t a cast member in this production, but her inclusion reinforces the sense that there are certain actors who (to film and television audiences) verify what Andrew Higson calls English heritage cinema. The three-part series focusing on William Shakespeare’s War of the Roses tetralogy capitalizes on such casting strategies as well as crosscut sequences to emphasize the threat of a managed monarch to the commonwealth.