One thing I found hard to get scripted was the size of her ego.
— Helen Mirren
A 2005 miniseries about the last few decades of the reign of Elizabeth I. The series deals with her personal and political life, spotlighting her relationships with the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex. The main-actors were lauded for their performances and this series went on to win several prestigious awards.
This show provides examples of:
- Batman Gambit: Elizabeth knew the Earl of Essex was going to betray her, so she relaxed the guard on him and did not prosecute him. The Earl duly goes on a mad scheme to ride to court and take her hostage, for which she is well prepared. The Earl is captured, while the Queen's earlier leniancy made it clear to everyone she was the wronged party, despite his claims to the contrary.
- Better as Friends: She tries this with Leicester at some point, but it's never very convincing; come on, if she COULD have made him King, slept with him and had heirs by him, then she would have done so.
- British Series
- Celibate Hero: Elizabeth is one of the most famous in history.
- The Charmer: The Earl of Leicester.
- Ermine Cape Effect
- A Father to His Men: Elizabeth insists on going to Tilbury to show her support for the soldiers.
- Friendship Moment: Several little scenes with Lord Burghley.
- Go Out with a Smile: Leicester.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Averted. Quite a lot is shown of gory executions.
- The Heretic: Elizabeth and most of the people at the English court. One of the main reasons Spain tried to invade.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Slightly subverted, since it's not clear whether the men courting Elizabeth are in it for her or for the power.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The Earl of Essex clearly aspired to be this, but forgot that behaving honorably includes obedience to a sovereign; see Off with His Head!.
- Love Ruins The Realm: Why she can not marry the duke of Anjou.
- Off with His Head!: Subverted. Elizabeth is very reluctant to have Mary killed. This is later played to full by the execution of, you guessed it, The Earl of Essex - when he is executed, millions of people cheer happily.
- Older Sidekick: Lord Burghley.
- One-Liner: Many.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Elizabeth of course wears several.
- Red-Headed Hero: Obviously.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: In between romantic interludes with different men, Elizabeth also rules England effectively.
- Secret Relationship: Leicester and Lady Essex, later The Earl of Essex and Frances Walsingham - Elizabeth, rightfully enough, is realllllllllllllllllllllly not happy about this.
- Sour Supporter: Sir Francis Walsingham.
- Standard Royal Court
- Succession Crisis: Her councillors are afraid this will happen after Elizabeth dies.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask.