TV Show

The Crown

How well do you know the casts of TV's best period dramas?

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Much like The Crown wasn’t television’s first telling of Queen Elizabeth II’s story, the new Netflix series wasn’t the first period drama for many of its actors. Stars Claire Foy and Ben Miles have a handful of such credits on their respective resumes.

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Matt Smith teases Netflix's The Crown: 'Sh-- gets really interesting'

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In the summer of 2015, Matt Smith attended a star-studded charity polo match where one of the players happened to be Prince William, Duke of Cambridge — otherwise known as the future king of England. After the match, Smith waited to be royally received. The woman in charge of introductions told the prince that Smith would soon be portraying William’s grandfather Prince Philip on a new Netflix series, The Crown. Panic gripped the actor. “I thought, ‘Oh, God, oh, nooooo,’ ” remembers Smith.

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The Crown recap: 'Windsor'

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PREVIOUS: Episode 2, “Hyde Park Corner”

What’s in a name? Well, in the case of the royal family, a lot. And, between “Mountbatten,” “Cookie,” and “Shirley Temple,” such was the hottest topic of The Crown’s third episode, “Windsor.”

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The Crown recap: 'Pride & Joy'

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PREVIOUS: Episode 7, “Scientia Potentia Est”

While we are often reminded that the central conflict of the first season of The Crown is between Elizabeth the woman and Elizabeth the Queen, the eighth episode focuses on another pair of women in opposition: Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret.

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The Crown recap: 'Smoke and Mirrors'

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PREVIOUS: Episode 4, “Act of God”

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The Crown recap: 'Hyde Park Corner'

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PREVIOUS: Episode 1, “Wolferton Splash”

It finally happened: King George VI passed away. We knew this was coming, obviously, but it was still emotional and upsetting — both Jared Harris and the show did such a great job of creating an endearing portrait of the man. “Hyde Park Corner” leans into the inevitability of George’s death and peppers some great moments for the character throughout before the tragic event, which occurs midway through the episode.

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The Crown recap: 'Act of God'

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PREVIOUS: Episode 3, “Windsor”

English weather has traditionally been known to be dreadful, but as it turns out, it can get worse. What has since been dubbed “The Great Smog” descends upon the country’s capital in “Act of God” and wreaks havoc over queen and country.

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The Crown series premiere: 'Wolferton Splash'

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If there’s one takeaway from the series premiere of The Crown, it’s that this show has spared no expense on the details. There is a meticulousness present in every scene as the script and director Stephen Daldry focus on the small, seemingly unimportant details of the royals’ lives: attendants telling drivers where to take the family; the preparation of the king’s breakfast; the renovations to Philip and Elizabeth’s home. The show’s stately pace is made more amenable by the attention to detail, which creates a very engrossing experience.

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The Crown recap: 'Scientia Potentia Est'

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PREVIOUS: Episode 6, “Gelignite”

Knowledge is power. That’s this episode’s title when translated from Latin to English and it certainly serves as the overwhelming theme.

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The Crown will either dazzle you or leave you wanting more

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If you listen to the hosts of Bingeworthy, Netflix’s The Crown is either a crowning television achievement or a complete drag.

During the latest episode of Bingeworthy, the new series from the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, hosts Jessica Shaw (EW Radio on SiriusXM) and Touré (MSNBC’s The Cycle) passionately debated the upcoming series, which documents the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

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