Historical drama series Wolf Hall is set in England in the 1520′s, which is a heartbeat from disaster. If Henry VIII dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Into the impasse steps Thomas Cromwell; son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a bully and a charmer, Cromwell has broken all the rules of a rigid society in his rise to power, and is prepared to break some more. Pitting himself against parliament, the political establishment and the papacy, he is prepared to reshape England to his own and Henry VIII’s desires.
BAFTA-winning director Peter Kosminsky helms the flagship drama that charts the meteoric rise of Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as a blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor.
Mark Rylance said of the books on which the series is based “I love it when an author, such as Hilary Mantel, does her research and discovers an original understanding of a very familiar piece of history. Even during our rehearsals her detailed imagination of the world of Thomas Cromwell is alive in Peter Straughan’s ingenious and faithful adaptation. I have to say, after my experience on The Government Inspector, I would gladly take part in any film that Peter Kosminsky makes. His ability to grasp complex political situations and bring them to life on film seems particularly suited for this material. Myself aside, I feel he has cast Wolf Hall with a superb eye for character and all the nuanced humanity Ms Mantel’s masterpieces deserve.”
The following documentaries all aired alongside the series and focusing on the Tudor world.
Britain’s Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court on BBC Two recreates the christening of Edward VI in 1537, presented by Lucy Worsley and David Starkey
Waldemar Januszczak presents Holbein: Eye of the Tudors – A Culture Show Special for BBC Two
Dr Suzannah Lipscomb returns to explore the Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home on BBC Four
Michael Wood presents his latest film, looking at the life of one particularly important woman in Mary Arden: A Tudor Life on BBC Four.
UK / BBC Two – Masterpiece / 6×60 minute episodes / Broadcast from 21 January 2015 @ 9.00pm
Writer: Peter Straughan / Novels: Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel / Executive Producers: Poly Hill, Rebecca Eaton, Colin Callender, John Yorke, Martin Rakusen, Ben Donald / Director: Peter Kosminsky
Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell
Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn
Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Joanne Whalley as Katherine of Aragon
Mark Gatiss Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King
Anton Lesser as Thomas More
Mathieu Amalric as Ambassador of Spain Chapuys
Charity Wakefield as Anne’s sister Mary Boleyn
Jessica Raine as Anne’s sister-in-law Jane Rochford
Bernard Hill as the King’s military commander the Duke of Norfolk
Richard Dillane as the king’s brother-in-law the Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Cromwell’s ward Rafe Sadler
Natasha Little as Cromwell’s wife Liz
Saskia Reeves as her sister Johane