Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Wolf Hall: everything you need to know about BBC Two’s Tudor drama

Tonight is the second episode of the TV show everyone’s talking about. If you’re playing catch up, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about Wolf Hall

Neelanjona Debnath

Last week Wolf Hall became the biggest drama series on BBC Two for a decade after 3.9 million tuned in to watch the first episode. It’s also received glowing reviews all round from the critics.

The six-part drama set in the 16 Century during the reign of Henry VIII and focuses on the dissolution of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon. But it’s Thomas Cromwell who is the main character rather than the king.

If you missed the start of the BBC Two Tudor drama but are planning on tuning in for the second episode tonight, we’ve put together a handy guide to help get you up to speed in time.

What’s it all about?

Wolf Hall is a fictional historical drama. It follows the rise of lawyer Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII and Cromwell’s attempts to secure an annulment for the king from Catherine of Aragon. After 20 years of marriage she has failed to produce a male heir and now the king has set his sights on Anne Boleyn.

Actually, now that you mention it, Wolf Hall sounds familiar…

Wolf Hall has been adapted from Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. It is the first book in a trilogy and the follow up Bring Up the Bodies again won the Man Booker Prize in 2012. Mantel will be concluding the series with The Mirror and the Light. Wolf Hall was also adapted into a play by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2013.

Hasn’t it got that bloke from Homeland in it?

Yes, Damien Lewis plays a rather dashing Henry VIII. This is a pre-bloated and gout-ridden Henry that we’re more familiar with. It also stars critically acclaimed actor Mark Rylance as Cromwell. Other cast members include Jonathan Pryce, Sherlock star Mark Gatiss and Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn.

What happened last week?

The first episode set up the scene and introduced us to all of the characters, in particular Thomas Cromwell who is a loyal servant to Cardinal Wolsey. Unfortunately, the cardinal had fallen out of favour with Henry for failing to get the annulment from the Pope. Cromwell was trying to build bridges on behalf of his master as the cardinal lay on his deathbed – he didn’t manage to. Cromwell does not have a good relationship with Anne Boleyn because it’s taking so long to dissolve the marriage.

What can we expect tonight?

More of the same, really. Cromwell is still trying to get the annulment. There’s bound to be more scheming and political intrigue – so keep your eyes peeled.

When is it on?

Tonight is the second episode titled Entirely Beloved on BBC Two at 9pm.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *