Wolf Hall concludes its superlative series with an episode that makes historical tragedy come alive…
This review contains spoilers.
1.6 Master Of Phantoms
A TV show that can make its audience feel every shaking, terrible moment of a death so muffled by historical wadding that it’s now more playground rhyme than human drama is something to cherish. And something to miss like a brother now that it’s gone.
Wolf Hall made Anne Boleyn’s beheading so rightly, wretchedly real that we could have been watching an online video of one of its horrendous modern day counterparts. With none of Debbie Wiseman’s delicately intuitive score to accompany Anne’s journey to the scaffold, deliberately, you could barely hear her final words over the sound of wind and flapping cloth. Director Peter Kosminsky positioned the audience as an onlooker in the crowd, complicit in an execution we all knew was coming, but that somehow came as a shock nevertheless.
All praise to Claire Foy in the role of Anne, who should properly be considered the joint lead of Wolf Hall’s final episodes. It was a work of alchemy that Foy managed to make Anne monstrous and pathetic at the same time. Her spite and arrogance toppled so quickly into desperation and panic when she realised her mistake in publicly speaking of remarriage after Henry’s death (“Get him back”) that you couldn’t rejoice in her cold, hard death. Who could smile broadly and open their arms in a celebrative embrace after something like that?
Well, he could, obviously, the real monster of Wolf Hall. Continue reading Wolf Hall episode 6 review: Master Of Phantoms