The Crown: Gold Stick
November 15, 2020 10:47 PM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

As Elizabeth welcomes Britain's first woman prime minister and Charles meets a young Diana Spencer, an IRA attack brings tragedy to the royal family.
posted by Cash4Lead (13 comments total)
 
I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the rest of the season (I've only seen the first two episodes so far).

Last night I prepared by watching Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady which was very helpful in letting me know not just more about Thatcher but also more about what was going on in the UK during this time period which I'm not very familiar with. I'm quite amazed at how similar Streep and Anderson both played Thatcher (which only tells me of the accuracy of their portrayals). I did not grow up seeing her on TV so I don't have the familiarity of her voice, mannerisms, etc the way that many others would and I only really know her by reputation. I have vivid memories of lurking on MeFi the day she died and reading the visceral response that happened on the blue. I imagine that even seeing this version provokes an emotional reaction from a lot of viewers.

If anyone was like me and was confused by the title, this Variety review explains the reference, "The episode title 'Gold Stick' comes from one of Lord Mountbatten’s numerous honorary positions: Colonel of the Life Guards and Gold Stick in Waiting; a fancy title for ceremonial bodyguard to the queen."
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 11:35 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]


(I'm aware that The Iron Lady is an airbrushed version of her but it really helped me get a handle on things. Also, Olivia Colman was in it as Thatcher's daughter which is an interesting juxtaposition).
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 11:43 PM on November 15


It was pretty gloomy. The 80s were my childhood and it *was* pretty gloomy, unless you were among the beneficiaries of Thatcher’s reforms (it would be a couple of decades before the cost of her reforms hit *their* kids and grandkids). I remember a stream of horrors and violence and injustices catalogued today by their location: Hillsborough; Bradford; Heysel; Falklands; Toxteth; Orgreave; Brighton; Kings Cross; Enniskillen and more.

The royal family of that time are remote in my memory save the odd wedding. I remember when I was 5 or 6 my class were taken in to town to wave at The Queen as she passed through on a ceremonial visit. The face I’d been expecting to see in the car was Margaret Thatcher’s and was surprised to see a different women waving back.
posted by chill at 12:33 AM on November 16 [7 favorites]


So happy this is back! Halfway through from just yesterday!
posted by ellieBOA at 6:30 AM on November 16


I have vivid memories of lurking on MeFi the day she died and reading the visceral response that happened on the blue. I imagine that even seeing this version provokes an emotional reaction from a lot of viewers.

Oh God, yes. That voice brought back so many unpleasant memories of the horrors of living through Thatcherism. Kudos to Gillian Anderson. Thatcher sounded exactly like that.

I'm not a fan of the Royal Family - or Olivia Colman - so I've not watched any of the previous series of The Crown. I watched the first three episodes of this yesterday out of fascination with the Diana myth, and I really enjoyed it. Emma Corrin is astonishing as Diana and although I have difficulty with the accuracy of the likenesses of all the other Royals, it's very well done. At the time my friends and I all knew this was an arranged marriage doomed to failure.
posted by essexjan at 10:24 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know if the voiceover is supposed to be Gerry Adams or a nonspecific IRA individual?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:52 PM on November 16


Gorgeous as ever!

So a lot of the actors do this odd underbite-y thing with their mouths/ jaws. Is that supposed to be affectation, or to represent a unattractive genetic thing that's common in certain populations?

From an interview on Colbert, Anderson states that for her character it was a pronunciation thing. But that begets chicken-egg.

Also, in the intro scene to Anderson's Thatcher, she misted herself with a great deal of perfume (or lower strength eau de toilet?). Was this common?

Olivia Colman's QEII is adorable.

Really dug the outro music.
posted by porpoise at 7:35 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I just read the other day that Prince Charles is in his 70s. So this bizarre family ruined the first part of his life, they destroyed Diana, all so that he could... wait around 50 years to still not become King. Truly ridiculous.

I don't know if I want to keep watching because the family is so awful but so far I still enjoy it. I don't know if it's smart or heavy handed how the music is a little spooky when Charles first meets Diana.

Also, whoever came up with a montage of the various family members killing animals: my hat is off to that!
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:01 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


I'm not a fan of the Royal Family - or Olivia Colman - so I've not watched any of the previous series of The Crown.

I am also not a fan of the Royals in any way, but the Crown has been an incredibly enjoyable watch for me, right from S1. Worth the time - your opinion of the Royals won't change, but the acting and storytelling have been first class, and Claire Foy was excellent IMO as the young Elizabeth for S1 & S2, plus you get John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.

As for this episode - really enjoyable! I did not know that Lord "Dickie" Mountbatten was assassinated, and I am very disappointed to see Charles Dance go.
posted by nubs at 9:12 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


a montage of the various family members killing animals

Deeply creepy.

I’m thinking of creating a watchlist of Best of Charles Dance. He seems invariably to be the most interesting part of any show he’s in.
posted by bq at 1:29 PM on November 18


watchlist of Best of Charles Dance

You must simply catch his cameo in 'Victor Frankenstein' (2015).

posted by porpoise at 7:39 PM on November 18


Does anyone know if the voiceover is supposed to be Gerry Adams or a nonspecific IRA individual?

This same question occurred to me. Gerry Adams has always maintained he wasn't a member of the IRA, though there is some evidence that he was somewhat involved. I guess I get the IRA confused with Sinn Féin, the political party that Adams was eventually the head of - but not at the time when this episode is set. But yes, the voiceover is supposed to be the IRA, so it wouldn't make sense for Peter Morgan to make it Adams. Might as well be a nonspecific aggrieved Irishman/member of the IRA.
posted by crossoverman at 9:27 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


I’m just now starting this and while I still find Tobias Menzies’ blond-ish hair (and eyebrows) jarring, Charles Dance somehow really nailed Mountbatten’s 3/4 profile, especially his nose! and the set of his mouth and the way he held his head. Completely convincing and yet I still wish he’d been cast as Philip even if the age thing wasn’t quite right.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:59 PM on November 21


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