Charles II: The Power and the Passion

Watch Charles II: The Power and the Passion

  • TV-14
  • 2003
  • 1 Season
  • 7.5  (1,800)

Charles II: The Power and the Passion is an epic historical drama television series produced by the BBC. The show spans over four episodes and chronicled the life of King Charles II of England, from his exile in France to his eventual return to England and reign. The show features a star-studded cast led by Rufus Sewell, who portrays the titular character of King Charles II. Sewell delivers a powerful performance as the King, bringing to life the historical figure's charisma, charm, and wit. Martin Turner plays James, Duke of York, Charles's younger brother, and heir to the throne, displaying a reserved and cautious persona, always in contrast with the King's unpredictable nature.

Another outstanding performance in the show comes from Ian McDiarmid, who played Charles's chief adviser, the powerful and manipulative Earl of Shaftesbury. McDiarmid is masterful in portraying the Earl's duplicity and passion for power, always playing a dangerous political game that could lead to his downfall.

The show features an impressive supporting cast, including Rupert Graves, who plays George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Charles's closest friend, and one of his greatest influences. Helen McCrory delivers a strong performance as Barbara Villiers, the King's mistress, and mother of several of his illegitimate children. Christian Coulson plays John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, one of the most important literary figures of the time, who becomes the King's close ally.

Shirley Henderson portrays Catherine of Braganza, Charles's bride, chosen to strengthen the bond between England and Portugal. Martin Freeman plays Lord Shaftesbury's secretary, a young idealist, who believes in republican ideals.

Charlie Creed-Miles gives an outstanding performance as Titus Oates, a Protestant minister, who became infamous for his role in the Popish Plot, a conspiracy to assassinate the King and establish a Catholic government in England. Anne-Marie Duff portrays Lady Castlemaine, one of the King's previous mistresses, always plotting to regain her former influence.

Shaun Dingwall plays a key role as William of Orange, the Dutch prince who becomes Charles's son-in-law and future ruler of England. Emma Pierson portrays Nell Gwyn, a witty and charming actress. Diana Rigg plays Queen Henrietta Maria, Charles's mother, who fled to France during the English Civil War.

The series is visually stunning, with impressive sets, costumes, and landscapes of seventeenth-century England and France. The show's attention to detail is meticulous, recreating the historical period with great accuracy and authenticity, from the architecture to the music.

The show's narrative structure is complex, moving back and forth in time, including flashbacks and fantasy sequences, adding to the intrigue and unpredictability of the story. The show explores various themes, including politics, religion, romance, and betrayal, and offers insights into the personal and emotional life of King Charles II.

Overall, Charles II: The Power and the Passion is a compelling and entertaining historical drama that offers a vivid portrayal of one of England's most fascinating kings. The show's outstanding performances, production values, and storytelling make it a must-watch for any period drama lover.

Charles II: The Power and the Passion is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (4 episodes). The series first aired on November 16, 2003.

Charles II: The Power and the Passion
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Episode 4
4. Episode 4
November 30, 2003
Villainous opportunist Titus Oates capitalizes on the mood of the times to propagate a rabid purge of Catholics that spirals out of control. His vicious lies cast doubt on the loyalty of Queen Catherine herself. The Protestant bid to exclude the Duke of York from the throne gathers momentum and Charles is forced to take desperate measures.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
November 23, 2003
In the anti-papist aftermath of the fire of London, Charles takes a great risk by inviting his beloved sister Minette to come from Catholic France to negotiate secret treaties on behalf of Louis XIV. French gold will give Charles the freedom to stand up to his rebellious Parliament, led by Protestant Shaftesbury who even enlists Charles's oldest friend, the Duke of Buckingham.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
November 16, 2003
A fiery comet in the sky is rumored to threaten doom on Charles's reign. Beset by plague and war, and embroiled in bitter wrangles with Parliament as he battles to keep his Catholic brother James in line to the throne, Charles is forced to sacrifice trusty minister Sir Edward Hyde. As the Queen fails to produce a legitimate hier, Charles comes under pressure to divorce and remarry.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
November 16, 2003
Charles Stuart is restored to the throne after years spent in exile from Republican England. Abandoned by his oldest friend, the Duke of Buckingham, Charles has reached his lowest ebb when the sudden death of Oliver Cromwell galvanizes the Royalist cause. Only one man can unite the nation and prevent a return to Civil War.
Where to Watch Charles II: The Power and the Passion
Charles II: The Power and the Passion is available for streaming on the BBC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Charles II: The Power and the Passion on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    November 16, 2003
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (1,800)