The Crown is a historical drama streaming television series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (played by Olivia Colman). Certainly, in modern times, no other royal family has captured public imagination like the Windsors. Also, in the context of the prolonged reign of Queen Elizabeth II, such a drama series is definitely merited. The Crown Season 4 perhaps begins the Queen’s most tumultuous years, to be concluded with Season 5, coming in 2022.
The Crown Season 4 also covers events that I personally can vividly recall, mostly in the 1970s and the 1980s. This fact, of course, provides The Crown Season 4 with a surrealistic quality, as if watching real life play out on my screen. Naturally, as with any drama, it is still a fictionalised account, often vivified with artistic license. Still, one cannot escape that sense of illicit discovery when sordid behind-the-curtain moments are revealed with stark clarity.
The appointment of Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) as the first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is a significant historical epoch. Though Anderson is an unexpected casting choice, she does an excellent job in possessing the Iron Lady, without any distractions regarding all the other different roles she has become famous for. There is a strong portrayal of the relationship between Queen and Prime Minister here.
The other significant introduction into the lives of the royals is, of course, Princess Di (Emma Corrin). Corrin does not resemble Princess Di too much physically but delivers a potent performance that conveys Di’s vulnerability, charm and sensitivity well. Obviously, the victim card will be thrown down throughout this season and justifiably so. By the end of The Crown Season 4, there is no doubt as to where the audience sympathies will lie in the Charles (Josh O’Connor) vs Di dynamic.
Considering my obsession with dramas focusing on British royal families. it was not too difficult to finish The Crown Season 4 in double quicktime. Probably the best season thus far and considering the quality demonstrated in the first 3 seasons, no mean feat.
In the final analysis, something like The Crown, is probably a glorified freak show – a reality show that once more emphasises the ugliness of our vanity and hubris. Unfortunately, it’s like the proverbial train wreck we just cannot avert our eyes from. I am already thinking of Season 5, when a completely new cast takes over as we make another time jump once more. Essential.
… still there’s more …