The Stuarts

Episodes

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Bonnie Prince Charlie: Who Dares To Be Free20150711

By Mike Walker

When the Dutch army landed in England, led by William of Orange, James II fled to France and the Stuarts finally lost their grip on the English crown. Nearly sixty years later, James' grandson Charles Edward Stuart becomes the figurehead for the Jacobite cause and risks it all for the Stuart name. Mike Walker's epic chronicle tells of just how close Bonnie Prince Charlie came to reclaiming the crown, and of how far he fell when it all went wrong.

Harpsichord played by Peter Ringrose

Director - Sasha Yevtushenko

Charlotte Stuart: The Last Stuart20150712

By Mike Walker

At the age of 31, Charlotte Stuart left behind three children and a protector to live with her estranged father Charles Edward Stuart, a hopeless alcoholic who had abused her mother, refused to acknowledge her and whom she had not seen since she was seven. What was it that Charlotte wanted that led her to sacrifice so much? Or had she fallen victim to the curse of the Stuarts, a curse that had plagued the dynasty since Mary Queen of Scots, and had now sought out its latest and final victim? With Kate O'Flynn, David Troughton and Tim McMullen.

Director - Sasha Yevtushenko

William Iii And Mary Ii: To Have And To Hold2015062820150704 (R4)

Mike Walker's epic chronicle considers the early years of William of Orange and his marriage to James II's daughter, Mary Stuart. By marrying his English cousin, Dutch William looks to cement an alliance between the two countries and halt Louis XIV's land-grabbing march across Europe. Neither partnership gets off to an auspicious start.

Harpsichord played by Peter Ringrose

Director - Gemma Jenkins.

01It Came In With A Lass20130629

Brian Cox stars in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of Mary, Queen of Scots.

By Mike Walker

Queen Mary arrives in Scotland enshrouded in mist and must quickly distinguish her friends from her enemies, as they strive to understand and control her.

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole and Sasha Yevtushenko

Sound design by Colin Guthrie

Production co-ordinator: Phil Hawkins

Studio managers: Martha Littlehailes, Anne Bunting, Alison Craig

Notes

Queen Mary

From her earliest years Mary was at the centre of a power struggle: as a child queen, with contending regents; then on her own behalf, balancing powerful men - the King of France, Darnley and Bothwell - against each other and using her own considerable powers to ensure her survival; then against her own countrymen, determined to bring her down and finally, with her cousin Elizabeth of England, this last a desperate and doomed fight for life itself and the survival of her line. There is not a single British monarch whose life was so dramatic, bringing together dynastic struggles, love and murder, the shadowy world of the spy and the lethal jealousy of cousins.

The Stuarts

Shakespeare and Marlow were born three years before James VI of Scotland and I of England. Three years before Queen Anne died, Thomas Newcomen created a piston driven steam engine.

The age of the Stuarts is the age in which Britain entered the modern world. Within the brief historical span of its 111 years, the nation experienced virtually all the excitements and alarms we recognise in our own times, from financial meltdown to foreign wars; from the growth of parliamentary democracy to uprisings of the popular will; from the splendours of Catholic ritual to the rigours of religious fundamentalism; from a strict patriarchal society to the first, faint beginnings of female emancipation; from the domination of the stage to the birth of the novel and from a renaissance way of thought to the creation of scientific method and the first stirrings of psychology.

02A World Of Fools And Knaves20130707

by Mike Walker. Henrietta Maria - Charles I's Catholic queen - watches her husband, the 'second-best-King', fail to keep a hold on the reins of government.

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole and Sasha Yevtushenko

Sound design by Colin Guthrie

Production co-ordinator: Selina Ream

Studio managers: Martha Littlehailes, Alison Craig

Notes:

An inauspicious marriage of three people changes when the third member, the Duke of Buckingham is assassinated. Charles becomes closer to his Queen Henrietta Maria and what started a marriage of convenience, becomes much deeper as the two try to support each other through turbulent times. Neither of them is able to read the signs of the times as politics and political philosophy take radical new directions. A man of great artistic taste, Charles is both too thoughtful and too indecisive to rule successfully and despite his hatred of war, war becomes his inheritance. Like many fundamentally decent men, Charles lacks iron: the ability to be utterly ruthless when necessary and merciful when expedient.

02To Make The Plough Go Before The Horse2013063020130706

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Stuarts considers James I and VI. With Bill Paterson.

by Mike Walker. James I and VI. Charting the life and reign of the loneliest boy in the world, through his relationships, with his one love, Esme, his bullying tutor, Buchanan, his charming Queen, Anne, to his favourite, George Villiers.

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole and Sasha Yevtushenko

Sound design by Colin Guthrie

Production co-ordinator: Phil Hawkins

Studio managers: Martha Littlehailes, Anne Bunting, Alison Craig

Notes

Becoming King of England does not free James from the prison of his past or his nature; on the other hand it does allow him a vastly broader canvas on which both his virtues and his faults show clearly. He seeks to vindicate his mother's memory and attacks those who attacked her; he encourages learning and discourages foreign adventures, he supports brilliant men and women but, when convenient, or when bullied, allows them to be destroyed. At his death, will he leave as difficult an inheritance to his son as his mother did to him?

03A World Of Fools And Knaves2013070720130713
04This War Without An Enemy2013071420130720

by Mike Walker. Charles I's best qualities come to the fore only in defeat, when there are no more decisions to take but only courage and calm to see him through. Only in this moment of perfect stillness can he begin to understand what has brought him here.

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole and Sasha Yevtushenko

Sound design by Colin Guthrie

Production co-ordinator: Selina Ream

Studio managers: Martha Littlehailes, Alison Craig.

05Charles Ii, Part One: Through The World In Various Fortune2014081020140816

By Mike Walker

Charting the early life of Charles II, as a young boy in the court of his father and during the Civil War, his life in exile during the interregnum, and later his failed attempts to regain the crown. When news finally reaches him of Oliver Cromwell's death, Charles plots his return once more.

Directors: Marc Beeby and Sasha Yevtushenko

05Charles Ii, Part Two: The Long Lease Of Pleasant Days2014081720140823

By Mike Walker

Charles II fathered over a dozen illegitimate children, yet his wife Queen Catherine was unable to produce an heir. Mike Walker's sweeping epic sees Charles fending off the claims of his eldest son Monmouth and the plots against his increasingly unpopular Catholic wife and brother. All this while juggling an often tempestuous love life.

Directors: Sasha Yevtushenko and Marc Beeby.

05James Ii: The Storms Of This Deceitful World2014082420140830

By Mike Walker

During his short reign James II faced rebellion led by his nephew and widespread condemnation for his policy of religious tolerance. When he produced a Catholic heir, the political tensions exploded and resulted in his son-in-law William of Orange landing an invading army in England. Why did it go so wrong for dismal Jimmy?

Directors: Marc Beeby and Sasha Yevtushenko.

05Queen Anne: Myself Alone20150705

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch. Everything changed when William of Orange at the head of the Dutch army landed in England and James II fled to France. England is now on the path towards constitutional monarchy and in this new climate, Queen Anne must abandon long-held and cherished allegiances if she is to command the loyalty of rebellious Whigs and Tories and rule with authority.

Director - Gemma Jenkins.