The Crown: Gelignite
November 17, 2016 12:14 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Margaret and Peter come to Elizabeth with a request. With a royal scandal about to break in the newspapers, the Queen Mother intervenes.
posted by Cash4Lead (9 comments total)
 
I assume that since this thread has remained quiet, I'm not the only one whose reaction to this episode was 'meh'. Which was a bit unexpected, since the Margaret-Townsend romance was one of the famous scandals of the century. (Or maybe no-one else has got around to watching the episode yet?)

But to me, at least, the themes feel like such well trodden territory for tv drama: star-crossed lovers, sibling jealousy, sex, politics and moral disapproval. (I find it hard to believe that Margaret was jealous of Elizabeth's position, though. Was she really? If anything, the job of the ruling monarch has been depicted as rather dreary.) The previous prominent themes in this show have felt more novel to me.

Anyway, apparently it is true that the romance was revealed IRL by that famous fluff-picking, although perhaps it was also intended to, by one or both parties. Kind of cute, that.

...Aaaaand Prince Philip continues to be an ass. Giggling at "peasant shoot" was a new low, though. Not that I would put it beneath the person that he is IRL.
posted by sively at 9:38 AM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Or maybe no-one else has got around to watching the episode yet?)

I watched it. The thing that I found odd was in reading the recaps afterwards, they all seemed to agree that Elizabeth was showing jealousy in her reaction to how people & the press were so interested in Townsend, but it didn't read that way to me when I was watching, I thought she was showing alarm/distress/fear. Jealousy seems too petty a motivation for the character as presented so far.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:19 AM on November 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was wondering about that! I chose to believe it was more about her finding the whole circus undignified, but I could see how the showrunners may have wanted to imply jealousy. Which, I admit, would be uncharacteristically petty.
posted by sively at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


A little bit meh (sex scandals don't do much for me, much less old-timey sex scandals), a little bit I hadn't managed to rewatch it until just now.

For how pro-QEII the show is, it was courageous to contrast the decline of imperialism and the abject blind arrogance (esp. sexism) of those losing it's grip on said empire.

The imperialism thing has been shown as exclusively in the domain of men, QEII doesn't seem to... care? ... as much, yet?

The next episode begins a shift in focus, that was really interesting to me.

But yeah, examining the role and the conduct of the press is a bit salient now, isn't it?
posted by porpoise at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed it a lot, but the part I found interesting wasn't so much the fact that it was a sex scandal, so much as that it was a power play. Where Townsend initially seems to be the one acquiescing to the power of the throne, only to find that with media, the power of the throne is waning, and the power of popularity itself is rising - that "the people being on his side" actually matters. If you look at him in the very, very beginning, his attitude towards the King, versus the way he's willing to essentially threaten the Palace - it all speaks to this slow loss of power the royals are feeling, the slow loss of empire, the slow loss of everything and the rapid passage of time.
posted by corb at 2:20 PM on November 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


The thing that I found odd was in reading the recaps afterwards, they all seemed to agree that Elizabeth was showing jealousy in her reaction to how people & the press were so interested in Townsend, but it didn't read that way to me when I was watching,

For what little it is worth, I totally read it as jealousy while watching the episode. I don't know anything about the historical events, but as presented in the show, she seemed very jealous of the attention the sister was getting.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:36 PM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


We are supposed to loathe Prince Phillip in these things and think he's a total whiny racist sexist guy right??

I read that she was jealous in that Peter obviously loved Margaret especially at a time when Phillip is struggling to fit in and not wanting to spend anytime with her. As well as being torn between her duty and the fact that Margaret has so much more freedom than her and doesn't have to think as hard as she does about her behaviour. Not a jealousy over Peter himself but jealousy at the love and attention Margaret was getting (with not having the knowledge of being ruler and having to be correct 100% of the time she can make flubs and voice her true feelings while Elizabeth can't).
posted by kanata at 6:31 PM on November 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


having to be correct 100% of the time she can make flubs and voice her true feelings while Elizabeth can't

Absolutely valid grounds for resentment.
posted by porpoise at 7:28 PM on November 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


the power of the throne is waning, and the power of popularity itself is rising

c.f. Princess Diana. And a couple times in this episode the queen mentions that this will all blow over in a day or two. As people have mentioned, it's impossible to know how accurate this series is, but if it is, forty years later she was still underestimating the press.

Seriously doubt it: Capt Townsend addressing the queen as "Lillibet". Don't care that it was written for effect. The man was not an idiot.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:52 AM on December 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


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