BBC, Masterpiece reopen Wolf Hall

BBC, Masterpiece reopen Wolf Hall

By Michael Pickard
April 3, 2024

First Look

FIRST LOOK: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Kate Phillips head the cast of Wolf Hall: The Mirror & the Light, the BBC and Masterpiece PBS sequel to the award-winning historical drama based on Hilary Mantel’s trilogy of novels.

Filming has now wrapped on the six-part series, with these first images showing Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, Lewis as King Henry VIII, Phillips as Jane Seymour, Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary, Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey, Harriet Walter as Lady Margaret Pole, Harry Melling as Thomas Wriothesley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Rafe Sadler, Timothy Spall as the Duke of Norfolk, Alex Jennings as Stephen Gardiner and Charlie Rowe as Gregory Cromwell.

The series reunites original director Peter Kosminsky and writer Peter Straughan with producer Colin Callender’s Playground and Company Pictures.

May, 1536. Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, is dead. As the axe drops, Thomas Cromwell emerges from the bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, and no private army. Navigating the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power in this brutal and bloody time, Cromwell is caught between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. But in the wake of Henry VIII having executed his queen, no one is safe.

Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows.

The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?

The series, coming soon to BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and Masterpiece PBS in the US, will be distributed internationally by Banijay Rights.

Read more about the making of Wolf Hall: The Mirror & the Light here.

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