'The Crown': Netflix points to 'fictional history' of the series

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Writed by - Andy Gocker
"The Crown": Netflix weist auf "fiktive Geschichte" der Serie hin
The family life of Charles, Diana and their children William and Harry will play a major role in the fifth season of 'The Crown'. © 2021 Netflix, Inc./Keith Bernstein, SpotOn

Based on criticism by Judi Dench

The Netflix series 'The Crown' is highly praised, sometimes heavily criticized - and that's from season one onwards. But the closer the events shown are to the present, the more voices are increasing that the streaming service should use a text panel to indicate that the creators have taken various artistic liberties in depicting the British royal family. At least in the case of the new trailer for the fifth season, which will be available from November 9th, this has now happened.

The disclaimer on the German-language Netflix YouTube channel reads as follows: 'This true-life drama series tells the fictional story of Queen Elizabeth II and portrays the political and personal ups and downs of her reign.' This sentence makes it clear in two respects that 'The Crown' has no claim to 100% biographical truth.

Judi Dench demands even more

It will probably only be shown from November 9th whether the streaming service will also pack this notice before the respective episodes of season five. That is exactly what Lady Judi Dench (87) had demanded in a passionate open letter shortly before. The portrayal of the British royal family in the TV show is 'cruelly unfair,' says the actress. The Oscar winner also stressed that she supports artistic freedom, but urged Netflix to add an explanation to each episode. These are intended to alert viewers that the series is a fictionalized account of historical events.

So far, the decision-makers at Netflix had spoken out against such a notice. A little less than two years ago, The Los Angeles Times quoted a statement: 'We have always presented 'The Crown' as a drama - and we are confident that our subscribers will understand that it is a work of fiction, which is largely based on historical events. As a result, we have no plans - and see no need - to add a reference.' At least with a view to the latest trailer, the said necessity seems to have been identified.

Will King Charles III. portrayed as an inhuman?

The reason for this should be primarily that 'The Crown' with season five penetrates into the turbulent 90s not only for the royals. An era that is likely to be more present to many more people than the previous epochs shown. Dealing with Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki, 32) and her estrangement from her husband, the then Prince and now King Charles (Dominic West, 53), is considered particularly delicate.

The Telegraph previously reported that the palace was concerned about the potentially negative portrayal of Charles III. (73). Former Prime Minister John Major (79), who is embodied in the series by Jonny Lee Miller (49), also expressed criticism in this regard.

The biggest concern, however, is how the series will deal with the tragic death of Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997 at just 36 years old. The alleged statement by a Netflix spokesman quoted by 'The Sun' only partially clears up these concerns: 'The exact moment of the accidental collision is not shown.'

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