The Tudors: Fiction, History or Ficstory?

The Tudors: Fiction, History or Ficstory?

The Tudors: Would you want to meet them down a dark alley?

Well, if you’re a fan of The Tudors (and I definately am) then you’ll have not missed last nights ‘slaughterhouse’ episode. This was the one where the producers dramatically reduced, quite literally, the head count of the actors / actresses on their payroll.

As for whether any of it was historically accurate or not? To paraphrase the bard, “Fact or History? That, matey, is the question.”

The Wikipedia entry for The Tudors states:

Events in the series differ from events as they actually happened in history. Liberties are taken with character names, relationships, physical appearance and the timing of events.

Ah well, they haven’t fiddled with too much then.

To be honest it’s all a damn good, Carry On style romp and I would hazard a guess that if a true historical fact slipped in here and there it was more of an accident than intentional. I’m sure the company making this programme on the end credits was called “MakeItUpAsYouGoAlong Productions.”

The list could probably go on for pages and pages but some highlights of The Tudors are:-

  • The fact that King Henty VIII (played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers) doesnt’t appear to age much. Apart from a little distinguished greying around his still luscious locks that is.
  • He doesn’t seem to be very portly as popularly displayed in other portrayls AND the history books. Either that or he is wearing the World’s best girdle.
  • The famous damaged leg appears to miraculously heal itself and then re-appear again week by week and even during an episode.
  • All of his wives are beautiful even though the contempory pictures of them show them as looking well, pretty ugly really.

But that’s alright. You can’t let some boring, stuffy textbook facts get in the way of nudity coupled with a liberal helping of good old Tudor rumpy, pumpy.

And I was particularly impressed with the fact that they were able to get one last nude scene in for Lady Katherine (played by Tamzin Merchant) while she was practiscing putting her head on the block in her cell in the Tower.

That was inspired!

“Naked Beheading”, it should be a Saturday night game show!

But this fine piece of factless fiction does have gorgeous costumes, amazing jewellery and stunning sets.

So, The Tudors: Fiction, History or Ficstory?

Who cares?

If you wanna’ know the truth, go read a book or watch David Starkey on the History Channel.

Now where did I put my codpiece ….

A pain in the blacked-out passage

blacked_out1

So Harriet Harman has pledged to “look again”  at the issue of blacking out details on MPs’ published expenses claims.

That’s nice.

Staring at a black piece of paper with the odd figure peeking out isn’t very enlightening.

And MPs’ could also face up to a year in jail under plans for new criminal charges for Parliamentarians.

That’s interesting.

Strange that we should have to consider our leaders as nothing more than a bunch of crooks and vagabonds (well they do like to flip their principal residence), out to screw you (the taxpayer) if they can and the need to legislate accordingly.

I think it may be along time before we can say we are proud of our parliament again.

Maybe it’s a period of our history that should be blacked out.

Please close the gate

Now that the boys n’ girls in da house are rushing to don their sack cloth and ashes to atone for their sins (mainly because of David Cameron’s boot up their collective arses) and try to find out which right royal bar steward dobbed them in.  I thought it would be nice to consider other scandals.

Y’know of course, of Watergate (1974) which first coined the phrase -gate for political scandals; Irangate, Monicagate, Iraqgate etc. There’s a whole list of them here.

But what about all those scandals from history that haven’t had their own –gate attached because they were too early?

Here’s a few contenders …

Caesargate (44BC). Oh he of the multiple stab wounds. Poor Julius. Worst case of suicide I ever did see. (Old joke but what the hell, it’s an old story.)

Marygate (1586). Mary Queen of Scots. Caught sending crypto messages and beheaded for her part in a plot to overthrow Elizabeth I. Swore to the last she was just writing to an old pen-pal about nothing in particular. Swapping knitting patterns I think.

Appeasementgate (1938). Easy mistake to make. They just like to do a bit of off-roading with tanks, armoured vehicles and the like. No harm in them. It’s not their fault they get a bit lost and drift over borders accidentally. All 100,000 of them.

And finally one of my own …

ItWillBeOverByChristmasgate (1914). Oh it will, will it? That old chestnut appears under different guises with the same regularity as real chestnuts at Xmas.

So what are we to call the present -gate then?

I guess it could be named Allowancegate or CaughtWithYourDamnFingersInTheTillgate or StickyFingersgate.

But I prefer NewGardengate.