The Crown: Assassins
November 25, 2016 9:15 AM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

I particularly liked the Winston Churchill arc, the clash against mortality, and Lithgow's performance.

Couldn't figure out why the portraitist was so familar - the AV Club article pointed out that it's Stephan Dillane who played Stannis in Game of Thrones.
posted by porpoise at 9:17 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think the RL Sutherland painting was a great portrait, btw, and very complex (the show version looked more like... well, not a lot like John Lithgow). It's obvious there was deep thought and perceptiveness behind it, an attempt to depict the person and not the position, executed with such honesty that the portrait really feels almost naked. No wonder someone of Churchill's generation - and Winston himself in particular - wouldn't have appreciated that.

I knew how the whole thing would go down and it was still quite heart wrenching to watch. But I liked Dillane's low key performance a lot. (And I didn't recognize him either, before googling.)

Poor Elizabeth, why couldn't she have fallen in love with Porchey in stead of Prince Somanyfaults? What fine horses they would have bred, in such peace and comfort.
posted by sively at 3:13 PM on November 26, 2016 [8 favorites]

it's Stephan Dillane who played Stannis in Game of Thrones.

Thank you! Trying to place him bugged me through the entire episode.

Lithgow as Churchill was wonderful, and I would happily watch Lithgow in a series that just focused on Churchill's career in politics.

I guess what we are supposed to take away from this is that Phillip has been having affairs, which I suppose isn't all that surprising. I feel somewhat confused by his portrayal throughout the season; they seem to vacillate between trying to show him somewhat sympathetically to making him seem an ass.
posted by nubs at 12:41 PM on November 27, 2016

I think I sympathize with Churchill on the painting. It's not just the portrait but the fact that it would have hung in public forever, forever being the way he was remembered. I think it would have felt like an enormous violation.
posted by corb at 4:59 AM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed Dillane's performance. Forget a show about Churchill's career; I want one just about his interactions with Sutherland. (Or a miniseries at the very least.)

Am I the only one who couldn't help but think of Silicon Valley during the "covering" scene? I definitely was not expecting to see that once this year, let alone twice.
posted by pitrified at 6:50 PM on November 29, 2016

mind blown! how did I not realize that was Stannis "Fewer" Baratheon??? revoke my GoT's nerdcard now...

but yes, the scenes between Churchill and Sutherland are amazing, such a beautiful subtle interplay with so much depth...
posted by supermedusa at 5:55 PM on December 1, 2016

I just watched a few minutes before turning it off to watch later but so funny, the portrait painter, I immediately recognized his voice from The Cazalets years ago. It wasn't until I looked it up just now that I also just watched him in The Tunnel this past summer.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:57 PM on December 3, 2016

Getting to this show rather later than most. I was struck in earlier threads here by people disliking Philip when what I felt in the early episodes was that Matt Smith's portrayal seemed far more dashing and charming than I had ever expected, or heard, of the real Philip being. But now as we reach these later episodes of the season, he's bringing out the petulant asshole for sure - but on the other hand you can start to see why, as Philip the man chafes against the situation he's in. Which isn't an excuse, it's just empathy for the problem. After all, if it was truly his idea that the coronation be televised, then he was at least somehow aware of the new tensions between hidebound tradition and modern communication technology; he's got at least some awareness of the strange position "The Sovereign" is in at that time. And as a man, in that sexist day and age, so thoroughly sidelined into nothingness...well, I guess a bit of acting out and tantrum throwing doesn't seem so out of place?

Oh, and if John Lithgow doesn't get some awards somewhere for this, then there is no justice.

Oh what am I saying. Just look what's about to happen to this country in four days. There is no justice.
posted by dnash at 8:13 PM on January 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Wow, apparently I really love Stephan Dillane. The back and forth between he and Lithgow was great. And he was just about the best thing in GoT during its good years.
posted by skewed at 10:41 PM on January 29, 2017

Late to the thread, but for anyone still following, we found out what happened to the painting.

In fact, the painting was taken out in the dead of night by Lady Churchill's loyal private secretary, driven by her older brother to a country house and burned so far away from the road that nobody ever noticed.
posted by adept256 at 5:08 PM on March 20, 2017

Fact Checking The Crown from Horse Nation
posted by bq at 11:52 AM on February 22, 2018

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