Not One For History Buffs…

I enjoy watching period dramas and know they can steer from the truth when the need arises, but this is something a little more than “artistic license” at work. I have no problem with that, but, the fact remains, that, if I had seen oor Mary carrying an iPhone, it wouldn’t have seemed out of place. There’s a scene when Mary and her Ladies in Waiting are putting on makeup to a catchy tune, and I was waiting on one of them chatting to a buddy on her iPad while swapping fashion tips and boy conquests. It’s safe to assume this isn’t really a show for adults; anyone of the male gender, or anyone who cares about historical fact.

I can’t say I was surprised that everyone had an English accent, and being a Scot myself, it didn’t actually bother me all that much. It would have been nice to hear at least an attempt at a Scottish lilt but the French also got stiffed in the accent department, so, who am I to complain.

Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo, Torrance Coombs
First Aired
18 October 2013
Ed’s Grade: C

Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) is being raised by nuns to protect her from possible harm that comes from being a young, future-ruling monarch, when she almost gets poisoned. Her food-taster ends up with the tainted porridge instead, and bleeds all over the place. Mary has been betrothed to the future King of France, Prince Francis (Toby Regbo), and at 15 years-old, sets off to live at the French court. Accompanying Mary are four wealthy ladies, who will attend the future Queens needs, and act as her Ladies in Waiting.

Along with the King and Queen of France at court, is the hip-named Bash (Torrance Coombs), and none other than soothsayer Nostradamus himself (Rossif Sutherland), with sprinklings of over sexed women to keep the male monarchs busy. There is also an interesting female character who keeps a bag over her head, and appears to be protecting Mary Queen of Scots against all the mischief that’s been planned for the betrothed girl, but we’ve yet to discover her identity.
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Mary has known Francis for years, where they played together as children when Mary lived at the French court, but Francis has a half-brother, Bash, who has his eyes on Mary, and she has an eye on him. Where this will go is anyones guess but I think she’ll marry one and do the other, because, let’s face it, that’s what’s expected of her. Isn’t it?

Reign is a show directed at a specific age and gender demographic, which I definitely don’t fit into, but, if watched by the target audience, I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of it where I didn’t. It’s certainly well put together, with a great wardrobe and decent writing for what the show actually was, but I have to question adding a character named Bash. Seriously?

The Queen, Catherine de’ Medici (Megan Follows) is shaping up to be a bit like Duchess Cecily, from The White Queen, with an evil streak, however, this is in response to a warning from Nostradamus about her son’s life. King Phillip (Alan Van Sprang) looks to be the stereotypical horny monarch we tend to be presented with in these period dramas, with an interesting scene to emphasize this point, when he happens upon a masturbating lady on the stairs and asks her, “may I?”

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

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