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The Crown Season 3 Review: An able successor

The Crown Season 3 Review: An able successor

Queen Elizabeth II is looking at her first royal portrait as ‘a settled sovereign.’ She looks at herself and we look at Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, as she first appears to us in all her glorious splendour in the Netflix Original series The Crown Season 3. It is 1960s Britain, a more economically and politically tattered Britain. A Britain trying to catch up with the rest of the world, having stepped down from the mantle of being the world’s first and only superpower.

Every frame is like a painting – exquisite and breathtaking. The production value is top-notch just like the first two seasons.

However, the thing that has changed and which, I, as a viewer was sceptical about, was the new cast. After having watched Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby take charge in the first two seasons, I was hesitant about seeing new faces in old clothes. But none of the cast disappointed. Ten minutes into the pilot, I was convinced that these were the same people I had become so used to watching on screen, except they now seemed quite older. From the body language to every aspect of the performance, the transition is seamless. There is nothing which sticks out like a sore thumb.

While Olivia Colman aces the act of the restrained and apparently wooden queen, Helena Bonham Carter wears the skin of the temperamental Princess Margaret surprisingly well. In fact, she is the one who brings in most of the laughs in Season 3. However, she is not seen enough in the series. The latter half of the second episode is delightful as we witness an outrageously charming Margaret in action.

There is also some adventure to be had at the political front in form of a Russian spy and a tragic accident that happens in a Welsh village that quickly takes a political colour and shows the queen in a never-seen-before light. In fact, the third episode of the series called ‘Aberfan’ is perhaps the most moving episode of the series. It shows some spell-binding cinematography and is a perfect example of how when things fall apart, everyone is ready to blame anyone but do nothing about a critical situation.

What comes out better than anything in the new season is the relationship of the Queen and Princess Margaret. You would think that the Queen must have no reason to be envious of anyone, least of all, her sister. But you would be wrong. As has been mentioned in the earlier seasons, it was Margaret who was born for the spotlight, but it is Lilibet who gets pushed to the forefront. However, despite the obstacles that are stacked against them, they somehow manage to stick with each other through it all. Another thing that is likable about the third season is the bond that the Queen ends up sharing with one of her prime ministers, Harold Wilson.

What doesn’t work is some of the sequences in the latter episodes, especially the ones featuring Prince Charles. It’s not that there is anything lacking in the actor or the writing, it is perhaps Charles who is dull in nature. Charles, despite having a scandalous moment with Camilla Shand, has nothing exciting to offer.

Ultimately, what former Prime Minister Harold Wilson says to the Queen during one of their one-on-one sessions is also true of The Crown Season 3 — “We can’t be everything to everyone.” A show can only work well in so many departments.

Verdict: Likable all in all, and a must-watch for the fans of The Crown.

Verdict: Likable all in all, and a must-watch for the fans of The Crown.

The Crown Season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix.