The Crown: Season 3 Review

Lord Snowdon, Lady Bird Johnson, Princess Margaret and the United States president Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House on 17 November 1965

Lord Snowdon, Lady Bird Johnson, Princess Margaret and the United States president Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House on 17 November 1965

Stratis Bohle

Ever since it was announced that the cast of The Crown would be changing every two seasons to account for aging with the characters, fans have had slight reservations as to how the show would continue to play out. The first two seasons were a great showing of the quality Netflix can produce with Claire Foy and Matt Smith at the helm of the show as Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. But gone are the days of youth and elasticity as the roles have been reincarnated with Olivia Coleman and Tobias Menzies. Now, this is no bad thing, as the characters must evolve and change over what is a 70-year time span of the show to cover.

As the series is extremely self-contained within each episode–except for a theme to linger over the 10 episodes–there is a need for a spoiler warning to explain certain episodes and how they shape the view of the work as a whole.

In the first episode, we get the continuance of the scene from the trailer, with Olivia Coleman looking at portraits for official crown business such as stamps and coins. With her quips and meta-jokes about her being new and that change has to occur, we are introduced to this version of the queen, and her style. But the starkest difference from previous seasons wasn’t the queen but her sister Princess Margaret portrayed this season by Helena Bonham Carter. This depressing, self-serving and slightly crazy, portrayal of Princess Margaret was necessary for the issues she would be facing starting in the early 1970s to her death in 2002.

As always the set design and costume design are a beautiful masterpiece that will most certainly be nominated for an Emmy. The expansive Buckingham Palace set created for the show will most certainly be used for future projects dealing with the royal universe. Its grandeur and size are subtly played out until the Apollo 11 episode when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Micheal Collins were running throughout the palace.

Compared to previous seasons, this new season does have have more chronological inconsistencies with the sequence of events. One such event is the filming and airing of the documentary, The Royals. It aired in 1969 as in the show, but it was intended to be done in tandem with Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales–instead, was shown three episodes later, with multiple events implied to have taken in between those specific episodes.

Overall the show with its attention to detail and introduction of new plot points is a fun and entertaining watch. It would be an especially great way to pass any free time over break.