This is no April Fool’s joke, the critically adored BBC series is coming to New Zealand exclusively on Lightbox on April 1. Trust us, we wouldn’t joke about something of this televisual magnitude.
Based on the iconic Hilary Mantel novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, the series is a historical drama straight out of Tudor turf in 1520s England. The story charts the rise of Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), the lowly son of a blacksmith who miraculously connives his way through the Tudor ranks of power to become the chief minister of King Henry VIII (played by Homeland‘s Damian Lewis).
Wolf Hall has been universally applauded by critics for its performances, with Damian Lewis revered as the smarmy Henry VII. “Damian Lewis is so good as the capricious monarch that at times you want to slap some sense into him and remind him to stop being such a prima donna,” writes The Independent. In the role of enigmatic Cromwell is Mark Rylance, who performs the complex character with “astonishing minimalism.”
He’s really nailed the look, too:
It hasn’t arrived to our shores just yet, so here are some overseas reviews singing the praises of Wolf Hall:
“This is event television, sumptuous, intelligent and serious, meticulous in the detail, but not humourless or po-faced. History, as seen by a novelist with an eye and an ear for a human story and a character, then condensed with sensitivity and brought back to life again for the small screen.”
– Sam Wolleston, The Guardian
“It fully communicates the nerve-jangling sense of bodily threat with which Mantel’s novels are freighted – life is cheap in a disease-ridden Tudor England ruled by an absolute monarch – and it offers us the chance to bring that fascinating, dangerous world into our living rooms.”
– Serena Davies, The Telegraph
“Wolf Hall continues to hold viewers captive not only because of its gorgeous costumes and sumptuous period detailing, but the nuanced script that electrifies this era for a contemporary audience.”
– Neela Debnath, The Independent
Wolf Hall arrives exclusively on Lightbox on April 1. If you aren’t already subscribed, click here to start your free trial (12 months for Spark customers, 30 days for everyone else).