The Hollow Crown (2012– )
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Richard III 

Evil Richard plots his path to rule and layers that path with bodies of friend and foe alike.


Dominic Cooke


Ben Power

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Josef Altin ... Murderer II
Isaac Andrews ... Prince Richard
Paul Bazely ... Catesby
Geoff Bell ... Murderer I
Robert Bowman Robert Bowman ... Mayor of London
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Richard III
Ben Daniels ... Buckingham
Alan David Alan David ... Bishop of Ely
Judi Dench ... Cecily
Keith Dunphy Keith Dunphy ... Ratcliffe
James Fleet ... Hastings
Phoebe Fox ... Anne
Simon Ginty ... George Stanley
Barney Harris ... Ned
Keeley Hawes ... Queen Elizabeth


Ten years after Henry's death Edward is taken fatally ill, speeding Richard's disposal of their brother George, Duke of Clarence. Made regent to Edward's young son, also Edward, Richard is cursed by the vengeful Margaret of Anjou but nonetheless embarks on a ruthless policy to acquire the crown, disposing of cousins Rivers and Grey and engineering the deaths of the young prince and his brother . This final act loses him the support of his former ally Buckingham, who also comes to an untimely end. Richard is declared king with the widowed lady Anne as his reluctant queen but there are many in the realm seeking to depose him, notably young Henry Tudor, who will meet with Richard at the decisive battle of Bosworth Field. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | History




Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WNET Thirteen See more »
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Did You Know?


Since the play was written, new information has come to light concerning the historical Richard III. Firstly, though he did suffer from scoliosis (curvature of the spine) he was not hunchbacked or otherwise severely misshapen. Likewise the claim that he was born with a full set of teeth has no basis in fact. These were most likely rumors started by the Tudors to demonize the king they overthrew in order to claim the throne which got mixed up with the truth over the years. Historians remain divided as to his character, though it is widely believed that he did not commit murder as wantonly or eagerly as depicted in the play. Again, his political enemies painted him as a villain and that is the image that has survived. See more »


Version of König Richard III: Erster Teil (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Insightful Context Changes
26 February 2017 | by d_anastSee all my reviews

As another poster stated, it is good to see the Henry plays to gain a greater perspective on Richard III. I have seen quite a few Richards, and this one stands out as the best for matching the historical participants characteristics to those in the quasi-propaganda of the Bard's backstory. As an example, the historical Edward IV was an amoral hedonist as is portrayed here -- not the somewhat daffy old man of the great Cedric Hardwicke in the fifties version. Another thing that appealed was the wooing of Lady Anne with the elimination of the Prince of Wales' corpse in the background, which I always felt was an odd distraction. Also worth noting is the sly tribute to Welles' Chimes At Midnight mud during the battle of Bosworth Field. I love how Cumberbatch changes the emphasis and cadence of Richard's dialogues as well. Only complaint is that I miss the tendency to indulge in a wee bit of ham acting that the Bard lends itself so well to. Even McKellen's fascist version had some nice meaty word chewing. Though Benedict is memorable, who can ever forget Olivier as Richard -- and Richardson as Buckingham? "And has it come to this?"

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