While Netflix’s “The Crown” failed to properly recoup on its 10 Emmy Award nominations – beyond a widely-predicted win for John Lithgow’s performance as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – and once again denying Netflix that elusive Best Drama Emmy, the series is still clearly held in high regard by the streaming giant as one of their cable-imitating prestige shows, as evidenced in the promotional blitz accompanying the upcoming second season, for which a new trailer has arrived.
The new season is doubly noteworthy for the behind-the-scenes shakeup occurring: per series creator Peter Morgan’s (“The Queen”, “Frost/Nixon”) original intention to cover the entire reign of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1950s to the present day with multiple actresses portraying the Queen. This will be the last season to feature original stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
The risk of this storytelling decision is one that Morgan – who adapted the series from his 2013 play “The Audience” – actually relishes for the sweeping scope it affords, revealing to Vanity Fair that “I’m not being presumptuous, I hope, when I say that ‘The Crown’ is little bit like “The Godfather” […] It is essentially about a family in power and survival. I wish I could get to write sequences like the revolving door and shooting people and horses’ heads, but I can’t. Because this is not a violent family. But it is a ‘Godfather’-esque story—closer to ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Sopranos‘ than to ‘Downton Abbey.’ ”
That ambition will support the show’s further exploration of the power dynamics of the Windsors in its second season as Queen Elizabeth must juggle the fallout of the 1956 Suez Crisis, her erratic and volatile sister Princess Margaret finding love with the photographer Lord Snowden (new cast member Matthew Goode) and building up diplomatic relations with the new American President John F. Kennedy (Michael C. Hall). Here’s the official synopsis:
Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan after a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s.
As well as Foy and Smith, “The Crown” also stars Vanessa Kirby, Victoria Hamilton, Jeremy Northam, Jodi Balfour and Anton Lesser. The second season will be released globally on December 8th.