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The Netflix series “The Crown” is a must watch for political junkies

December 30th, 2016

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For the past few days I’ve watched all ten parts of the “The Crown” – the compelling big budget series from Netflix which centres on the life of the Queen. One you’ve watched the opening minutes of episode one you become hooked and I can heartily recommend it.

What makes this particularly appealing from the the political perspective is the portrayal of the monarch’s relations with the prime ministers and the big political developments that it covers.

It is written by Peter Morgan whose first big political drama was his 2002 film “The Deal” about the famous agreement between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the Granita restaurant in May 1994. Four years later Morgan did the excellent “The Queen” which focused on the relationship between Tony Blair and the Royal Family following the death of Princess Diana.

The first series of “The Crown” covers the period from the 1937 abdication crisis right through to when Sir Anthony Eden taking over from Churchill in 1955. The efforts to oust Churchill much earlier and to bring the Queen into the argument are fascinating. An episode that’s particularly striking is on the politics of the Great Smog of London in 1952 which was estimated later to have claimed the lives of 12,000 and paved the way for clean air legislation. The then LAB leader, Attlee, thought he had Churchill but then the smog lifted.

One feature of Netflix is that when one episode finishes it automatically moves on to the next one and you find yourself watching far more at one time than you planned to.

My understanding of the politics of the post-war period has been enhanced and I cannot wait for series 2. Watch it.

Mike Smithson