The TV adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s historical novel restarts a little unsteadily with The White Princess
“The England we once knew has gone”
For whatever reason, it took four years for the Philippa Gregory TV adaptations to restart with The White Princess following on from The White Queen. And it is a series saved by the introduction of Michelle Fairley and Essie Davis as the feuding mothers of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, intent on relitigating the Wars of the Roses even as the marriage of their children was meant to have ended it.
A pre-Killing Eve Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy take on the roles of the couple forced together in the name of their country. With years of enmity between their houses and any number of horrific, murderous actions committed by them or in their names, it does require a fair bit of remembering your history lessons (or the first series) as so much is carried over. It does make you wonder a little why only one cast member (Caroline Goodall) was carried over from The White Queen.
The series isn’t helped, IMHO, by the adoption of the Margaret of Burgundy storyline. Clearly wanting to build in another female protagonist, and Joanne Whalley certainly is good value for money, the amount of time devoted to it feels a little out of kilter with the main thrust of the plot. Altogether, a bit of a disappointment any time Fairley isn’t on screen.