The White Queen Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release
Set against the iconic backdrop of the War of the Roses, The White Queen is a major new ten-hour adaptation of Philippa Gregory‘s vivid bestselling historical novel series The Cousin’s War, for BBC One. The White Queen is the thrilling story of the women caught up in the ongoing conflict for the throne – they are some of the most ruthless players in history and will stop at nothing to support their own causes and those of the ones they love. The White Queen is a stunningly rich tale of love and loss, seduction and deception, betrayal and murder, vibrantly woven through the stories of three different yet equally driven women, in their quest for power as they manipulate behind the scenes of history – Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville.
For more about The White Queen and the The White Queen Blu-ray release, see the The White Queen Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 2, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
As if there was any doubt that modern spins on mid-millennia history are the hot properties going on cable television today, The White
Queen ought to seal the deal. Airwaves have been absolutely inundated with, and fans have been enthralled by, a number of series that set
stories on the way, way back of history. The Borgias preached sin, sex, and corruption in the Catholic church
many centuries ago. Da Vinci's Demons explores one of history's most famous inventors
artists, backed by a healthy helping of sex and violence. Author Ken Follett has seen two of his massive historical novels -- The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End -- repurposed into two hugely successful
miniseries. That's not even to mention the huge success of Spartacus, obviously set long before any of these other programs,
that helped shape the formative genre in terms of the large amounts of sex and violence audiences would accept. The White Queen is
much more of the same. Based on a series
of novels by Author Philippa Gregory, the series tells the story of warring English houses and a marriage that brought further strife to the divided
nation, complete with the requisite sex, violence, politicking, nefarious deeds, and unthinkable twists and turns that have all made the genre a fan
favorite in recent years.
The suitor, the king.
The year is 1464. England's infamous "War of the Roses" has been waging for several years, pitting two of the nation's most powerful houses --
Lancasters and the Yorks -- one against another for control of the throne. York Edward IV (Max Irons) has forcibly removed his cousin, Henry VI,
from power. Meanwhile, young Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson), her family allied with the Lancasters, meets Edward while en route to beg that her
property be returned to her, property taken when her father fell in battle in opposition to the new king. Edward immediately falls for the young
beauty and the two ultimately wed in a semi-private ceremony. Elizabeth's arrival upsets the balance of power within Edward's inner circle and
could ultimately spell doom for his fragile position of strength on the throne and in the land.
In many ways, The White Queen merely retells the age-old stories of war and hate, mistrust and conniving, love and lust, and royal
marriage and the ensuing political and familial
strife. Thematically, there's almost nothing new. Yet The White Queen manages to feel fresh, anyway,
perhaps not quite so fresh as something a bit more novel but there's an unmistakable air of confidence in the material and expert production
that propels the series to loftier heights. As it is, and even considering the baggage of recycled dramatic content, the show impresses with its
attention to some detail (the series' sometimes loose play with history is well chronicled elsewhere and better left to an individual more
properly versed in this specific era and these specific people) and the way it produces a fairly gripping multi-character narrative, a success in large
part because of both the basic current of historical truth behind the saga and the generally rock-solid performances from the leads. Rebecca
Ferguson dazzles in the
lead, early emitting a perfect combination of commoner and blossoming royalty and evolving with a pitch-perfect sense of character beyond
one. Her supporting cast is terrific, most falling into part and finding a center between recreating a difficult past and carrying over a hint of
modern sensibilities to suit today's audiences and expectations.
It's the series' women who dominate. As is often the case with the history of warring factions, power-mad rulers, and deep-seeded
personal conflict, it's those behind the curtains, away from the battlefield, in the arms of the leading men who shape the course of history, who
guide the front-and-center key players to victory or, at least, to their own bidding, nefarious or sincere. The series' female leads eat up the
material; the political scheming, personal manipulating, and all of the other dirty little secrets make the series' juiciest morsels, again never
much flirting with anything truly original but playing these same old cards about as well as any series before it. The contrasts between the
beautiful exteriors and the much more conniving interiors makes for solid dramatic content that's supported by a suite of strong technical attributes
that elevate the series to near the top of the modern adult historical drama landscape. There's a welcome fluidity to the show that's often lost on
more stale and static series and an endless film-like quality about The White Queen in terms of its scope and production values. It's an
experience, a visual feast for the eyes while playing on the base emotions and intrigue that the series so expertly weaves through the ten-episode
The White Queen's high definition transfer satisfies across the board. Anchor Bay's 1.78:1-framed transfer provides a clean, appealing
surface. Details are very well defined. The HD video texture never veers too closely to the dreaded "glossy" territory but instead manages a series of
rather natural, nearly film-like details, noticeable particularly on close-ups of faces, armor, and period clothing. Backgrounds -- stone walls, dirt
terrains, vegetation -- also enjoy high end clarity and accuracy. Colors are even and nicely pronounced. There are plenty of colder, gray-dominant
moments, but bright shades sparkle when showcased in more natural, well-lit locations, notably exterior greenery, red lips, and other more noticeably
prominent color elements. Black levels never fall astray, and flesh tones appear just on the pale side of normal. The image never registers more than
intermittent blip of banding and other unwanted intrusions. Overall, a job well done by Anchor Bay.
The White Queen arrives on Blu-ray with a high quality Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. The presentation proves beautifully balanced
across all critical elements. Musical definition, clarity, and stage presence rank highly. Score soars with dramatic notes and plays with more subtle
supportive music with equal attention to detail, yielding precise instrument clarity and a natural enveloping feel. Ambient effects are many and
well-defined, from gusty winds to gentle woodland atmospherics. The sounds of battle fill the stage with prominent near fighting and more distant
Dialogue plays accurately and evenly from the center. The variety of elements all come together to form a high end and entertaining sound
presentation that brings the show's world to strikingly realistic life.
The White Queen contains a hodgepodge of brief supplements.
The Making of The White Queen (HD, 3:24): A look at the series' scope, filming locations, production design, and more.
Series Overview (HD, 4:27): A brief piece in which the cast covers the plot basics, including conflict and characters.
Book to Series (HD, 4:15): Author Philippa Gregory and the series' cast and crew discuss the process of translating the book's story
and structure to the screen. It also takes another brief look at the characters, the series' physical appearance, and more.
The History Behind The White Queen (HD, 3:37): A short look at the true life history of the "War of the Roses."
The White Queen: Set Tour (HD, 3:59): Production Designer Martin John guides viewers through some of the basics around
the various sets.
Queen Elizabeth (HD, 3:02): An Elizabeth character profile.
King Edward IV (HD, 2:36): Another focused character profile.
The Heir Apparent (HD, 1:32): A look at the importance of bearing a son in the era.
Women in a Man's World (HD, 1:47): A short examination of the series' gender themes.
Conjuring Up The White Queen (HD, 1:57): A brief glimpse into the place of magic and the supernatural in the series.
Dressing the Queen (HD, 2:37): Costume Designer Nic Ede takes viewers on an inside tour of his workspace and studies the series'
and the way colors define certain characters, traits, or allied groups.
The White Queen brings nothing much new to the table, yet it's a highly successful endeavor nonetheless. The characterization and acting are
superb, the filmmaking fresh and fluid, and the drama suitably enticing, even as it merely rearranges the same core elements that comprise most of
these adult-centric modern historical series. Fans of this sort of material will likely find in The White Queen another journey well worth
exploring and even those tiring of this time period and style might find the fresh coat of paint and polish enough to cover up the well-beaten path.
Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release of The White Queen features standout video and audio. Supplements are many but rather sparse in meaty
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Blu-ray.com and Anchor Bay Entertainment are offering members the opportunity to win a copy of The White Queen. The 10-episode BBC/Starz series charts the classic War of the Roses family feud from the viewpoint of the women involved, and arrives on Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet ...
Anchor Bay Entertainment has announced the 3-disc Blu-ray release of The White Queen. The 10-episode BBC/Starz series charts the classic War of the Roses family feud from the viewpoint of the women involved, and arrives on Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet combo pack on ...