Entertainment & Arts

Netflix drama The Crown earns regal reviews from critics

Claire Foy with Matt Smith in The Crown Image copyright Netflix
Image caption Foy and Smith play the young Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the series

Netflix's new drama series about the Queen's early life has drawn glowing reviews from critics, with one calling it "costume drama done right".

The Crown, writes Daniel Fienberg in The Hollywood Reporter, "should be a real awards player for performances and also in myriad technical categories".

Vanity Fair's critic dubs it "a stately success, alluring and easily digested."

Claire Foy plays the young Elizabeth in the 10-part series, while Doctor Who's Matt Smith portrays Prince Philip.

Other cast members include John Lithgow, whose performance as Winston Churchill is described as "towering" and "great throughout" by Fienberg.

Peter Morgan's drama - available on Netflix from Friday - follows 2006 film The Queen, which he wrote, and his 2013 stage play The Audience.

Both pieces explored the monarch's relationships with the various prime ministers she has dealt with over the course of her 64-year reign.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The actors were seen in more contemporary garb at Tuesday's West End premiere

The first series of The Crown begins before Elizabeth's ascension to the throne in 1952 and runs until 1955.

The result, writes Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson, is a "dynastic family drama, told on an extravagant scale".

According to The List's Henry Northmore, the show's "extensive" budget ensures it is "beautifully made" and boasts "lavish" sets and costumes.

The show, he suggests, "can be a bit stuffy" but remains "a fascinating portrayal of post-war Britain and the birth of the modern monarchy".

Foy and Smith were in attendance on Tuesday at a red carpet launch for the drama, held in London's Leicester Square.

At the event, director Stephen Daldry said the show had been made for the Netflix subscription service because it offered the "freedom to tell the story we wanted to tell".

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