Aired initially on BBC Two, Wolf Hall was a sensation, unsurprisingly so given the series is based upon the Man Booker Prize novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, (the sequel), written by the hugely talented Hilary Mantel. Now, from the 2nd March 2015, the six part adaptation will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The turbulent times that faced England and her subjects during the reign of the Tudor’s, most notably King Henry VIII is the inspiration for many a book, film and TV show, but none focus on the lives of those around the deeply captivating monarch of the early 1500s, until Wolf Hall.
Mark Rylance stars as the remarkable engineer of fortunes, Thomas Cromwell. At first in the employ of the devious and greedy Cardinal Wolsey, he quickly grabs the attention of His Grace, King Henry VIII and is given the post of Privy Council. Trying his best to ensure the whims and wants of a King who does not wish to yield to anyone, Cromwell becomes a broker of power, a man who can make and in turn break a person.
When the King, played by Damien Lewis (Homeland) decides that he wishes to marry Anne Boleyn, portrayed by Claire Foy (The Promise), it is to Cromwell that he turns and Anne, future Queen of England knows this all to well.
“[Cromwell] had tremendous abilities, both mental and physical. He’s a very good judge of people, personal tragedy in his own life had given him a useful sense of almost nihilism – he knew you could lose everything in a moment – and most of all he was lucky, in that he knew about trade and banking at exactly the time the aristocracy had begun to need those skills. Being apprenticed to Wolsey was also a stroke of luck. Physically he was a soldier, so no one frightened him,” says Mark Rylance.
Ambitious and conniving, Boleyn takes on the Court of King Henry with her wild intelligence and willingness to do anything to become his wife, leads Henry to break with the Catholic Church and take England to the brink of war as the Protestant Reformation begins.
“Firstly he desired her intensely yet she was very good at holding back, not giving him what he wanted – which of course only made him want her more. She was also fiercely intelligent and strong-willed. Henry was infatuated with her – he had never met a woman like this. In the end it might even have been Anne’s simple strength of character, strength of personality, her will, her eloquence, her intelligence and probably in the end her inability just to shut up that did for her. I think Henry just tired of her,” says Damian Lewis.
Engrossing, Wolf Hall propels you into the Tudor Court as Cromwell weaves his webs and tries his best not to find himself tangled in the very threads he himself has spun!
- Release date: 2nd March
- Catalogue number: BBCDVD4025 / BBCBD0298
- Price: £25.52 / £30.63
- Extras: Behind The Scenes and interviews with Cast and Crew
Featuring over 30 minutes of exclusive extras, previously unseen content on both home entertainment releases include interviews on set with Mark Rylance, Damien Lewis and Claire Foy, as well as with Jonathan Pryce who plays Cardinal Wolsey (Tomorrow Never Dies), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) who features as Stephen Gardiner and the drama’s Bafta-winning director Peter Kosminsky (The Government Inspector, The Promise).
Wolf Hall on DVD and Blu-ray is available to pre-order now from BBC Shop and all other good online and high street retailers.