The Hollow Crown (2012– )
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Henry IV, Part 2 

Not Rated | | Drama, History | Episode aired 4 October 2013
Northumberland swears revenge for his son's death and gathers his allies to fight the ailing king. Meanwhile, the Lord Chief Justice having rebuked Falstaff for being a bad influence on Hal... See full summary »


Richard Eyre


Richard Eyre (screenplay), William Shakespeare (play)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alun Armstrong ... Northumberland
Will Attenborough ... Gloucester
Conrad Asquith Conrad Asquith ... Bracy
David Bamber ... Shallow
Simon Russell Beale ... Falstaff
Pip Carter Pip Carter ... Gower
Ian Conningham ... Peto
Tom Cornish Tom Cornish ... Feeble
Niamh Cusack ... Lady Northumberland
David Dawson ... Poins
Drew Dillon Drew Dillon ... Drawer
Michelle Dockery ... Kate Percy
Justin Edwards ... Fang
Henry Faber Henry Faber ... Lancaster
Richard Frame Richard Frame ... Snare


Northumberland swears revenge for his son's death and gathers his allies to fight the ailing king. Meanwhile, the Lord Chief Justice having rebuked Falstaff for being a bad influence on Hal, charges him to recruit an army on Henry's behalf. After brawling with the truculent Pistol, Falstaff prepares to leave his lover, Doll Tearsheet, criticizing Hal to her, unaware that the prince is eaves-dropping. Falstaff assembles a motley crew from Justice Shallow but Henry's cousin Westmoreland arrests the rebel leaders after duping them into a truce. Hal, assuming his father is dead, dons the crown and is berated by the dying king but they reconcile as Henry's last gesture is to crown his son. Hal accedes to the throne as Henry V but, now aware he must put frivolity aside, banishes Falstaff as his first act as ruler. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


In Henry IV, Part 2, there is bad blood between Prince Hal and the Lord Chief Justice and references to the Justice having imprisoned the Prince for striking the Justice for trying to prosecute one of Hal's friends. The incident that is referred to is not included in Shakespeare's plays, but was probably familiar to his audience because they had been able to see it recently in a play called "The Famous Victories of Henry V". For a modern audience however, the references can be confusing. In his 2014 production of the Henry IV plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran made the somewhat controversial choice of taking lines from "Famous Victories" and placing them in Henry IV, Part 1. In these lines, the Lord Chief Justice comes to the tavern along with the sheriff after the Gadshill robbery and attempts to arrest Bardolph, at which point Hal strikes him. See more »


Version of The Merry Wives of Windsor (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Great actors giving true performances
8 September 2012 | by silvermoon132See all my reviews

A warning before I begin: You may not like this production if you don't like drama. Personally I think that the combination of grim severity and comical wit is perfect. But this is (by and large) a serious film. If you are looking to laugh, applaud, and (maybe) shed a tear or two then this is definitely for you. If you don't like Shakespeare, or are just looking for mindless entertainment, pass it over…I promise not to judge too harshly.

The directors and producers truly captured the spirit of the play. Jeremy Irons's anguished and troubled Henry IV is perfectly on par. He allows you to peak into the past and see the man Henry was. Likewise, Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Prince Hal is simply beautiful. His Hal is charismatic, calculating, inspiring—a complex character who you simultaneously love and abhor, applaud and condemn. Hiddleston gives, by far, the most compelling rendition that I have ever seen.

But you could not have Hiddleston's Hal without Simon Russell Beale's Falstaff; they are the perfect pairing. They capture the essence of the tragic/comic relationship that exists between Hal and Falstaff. You can't help but despise Falstaff. Yet the love that he shows for Hal makes him endearing and human. Beale's complex performance leaves you questioning whether you should like or loath his character, which is exactly as it should be.

The costumes are appropriate and the attention to detail is commendable. You won't see busty women prancing about in unrealistic clothing, like you do in some horrid productions. The battle scenes are refreshing; there are no swarms of digitalized soldiers, but actors giving true performances. The music is a bit over-dramatic at times; but other than that, it is a great production.

Would recommend to anyone who likes Shakespeare. If you are familiar with his comedies, but have not seen the more serious plays, the combination of wit and tragedy makes this the perfect introduction.

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