Belfast Telegraph

The Crown is back: What do the reviewers say?

The Netflix drama is returning with a new cast.

Olivia Colman in The Crown (Netflix)
Olivia Colman in The Crown (Netflix)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Big budget Netflix drama The Crown is returning to TV screens with Olivia Colman as the Queen.

But for many reviewers it is the supporting cast who elicit most praise in the lavish series.

Here is what the reviewers say about the third season, which begins in 1964.

Carol Midgley in The Times awards the drama four stars, calling it a “class act, luxurious and gorgeous to watch — if slightly more ‘soap opera’ than the last.”

“The big surprise of the new series of The Crown is that Olivia Colman isn’t the best performer in it,” she writes.

“As the series progresses she gets increasingly better but overall, in my view, doesn’t quite land the same convincing punch as Claire Foy, who played the Queen in series one and two.”

Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip is “superb” and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret is “one of the most sparkling performances and she steals every scene”.

Writing in The Daily Express, Lewis Knight says “Colman’s Queen sometimes just falls into coming across as a bit too openly miserable.

The “Oscar-winner is a dependable anchor to the action around her, even if the best performances are from the supporting players”, including Bonham Carter as a “wonderfully acidic” Princess Margaret.

The Daily Telegraph’s Anita Singh says The Crown “remains, by far, the best soap opera on television”, giving the sumptuous drama five stars.

It “is taking a risk by replacing its cast wholesale at the start of its third innings.

“But it is a relief to report that… the switch is successful,” she writes.

The Independent’s Ed Power is less impressed than other reviewers, writing that the series is “grand yet a bit colourless”.

It is “still one of the most beautiful dramas on television… But for now the jewel in Netflix’s tiara has lost its glow.”

However Jen Chaney in Vulture says that some things remain the same.

“It is still gorgeously photographed, still committed to shining a new light on royal history, and still immensely satisfying to watch.”

And she writes: “Colman’s performance is a season-long exercise in extraordinary restraint that provides a profound payoff.

“When a family crisis finally does make Elizabeth lose it — or at least lose it to the extent she’s capable — it’s an extremely moving moment.”

The new series of the Crown will be released on November 17.

PA

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