The Tudors begins when Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is growing desperate for an heir and increasingly distant from his first wife. The series moves quickly to the period when Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) became his obsession. During this time Cardinal Wolsey (Sam Neill) rose to become the power behind the throne of England, ruling ruthlessly while Henry for the most part followed the Cardinal’s advice, manoeuvring through a series of betrayals and plots against him.
When Anne Boleyn plays much harder to get than any woman ever has, Henry begins to search for a way out of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so that he can make Anne his wife. Needing a divorce, Henry turns to Wolsey, whose promises to help him create waves of backlash from the church, as well as the Spanish Habsburg dynasty and its overseas empire. Against this background spiral the private lives and political intrigues of several members of the royal court and chancery. This includes Henry’s friend and his sister Margaret’s true love Charles Brandon (Henry Cavill), the Habsburg ambassadors, greedy and power-hungry schemers and their incidental victims.
Michael Hirst’s powerful and popular four series of The Tudors received six Primetime Emmy Awards and a further seven nominations. The show also received 3 Golden Globe nominations including two for Jonathan Rhys Meyers and one for Best Series.
The show aired between 2007 and 2010 and can now be seen on Netflix.