Great Performances | The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses

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Following the four-part “The Hollow Crown,” “The Wars of the Roses” continues the epic saga with three more lavish film adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays: Parts I and II of Henry VI and Richard III. Together, they span rebellion in France, the rise and fall of Joan of Arc, the terror of England’s Civil War and the deceitful dynastic murders culminating in the infamous reign of Richard III. An All-Star Cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo, Keeley Hawes, Hugh Bonneville, Judi Dench & Michael Gambon.

Henry VI, Part One
Sunday, December 11, 2016, 8:00 p.m. on Nine PBS

The King is dead and England is in crisis.  War rages with the French and divisions within the English court threaten the crown.  Young Henry VI causes outrage by marrying Margaret of Anjou, forcing an unwanted truce; the scene is set for Civil War.

Henry VI, Part Two
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 8:00 p.m. on Nine PBS

Bitter rivalries erupt into the Wars of the Roses.  The feeble King Henry is overshadowed by Queen Margaret and her faction of Lancastrian Lords, his reign further undermined by disaffected nobles supporting the House of York.  Battle and bloodshed ensues and the Yorkists triumph.  Edward IV takes the thrown, but his youngest brother Richard has his eyes firmly on the crown.

Richard III
Sunday, December 25, 2016, 8:00 p.m. on Nine PBS

Richard, the most notorious of Shakespeare’s kings, manipulates and betrays his way through the court on a bloodthirsty and ruthless path to the throne.  But after Richard’s defeat at the battle of Bosworth Field, the Houses of Lancaster and York—the red rose and the white—are united, bringing to an end the Wars of the Roses and long tumultuous period of civil strife.