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A British television series originally broadcast on CBS (and rebroadcast on PBS) in America in 1971, The Six Wives of Henry VIII remains a painless way to learn something about royal history and its impact on the political and religious landscape of England. Keith Michell stars as King Henry VIII, who assumes the throne as a boy after the death of his older brother and inherits the latter's Spanish betrothed, Catherine of Aragon (Annette Crosbie), as well. Growing up and increasingly complicated in personality, with an ever-growing appetite for elusive happiness as well as power and food, Henry maneuvers (and is maneuvered by) forces around him to break from Rome and create the Church of England, in part to accommodate his wish for a divorce. Each story of the king's successive brides takes up an entire episode in the series. Dorothy Tutin plays the doomed Anne Boleyn, Anne Stallybrass is Henry's favorite, Jane Seymour, Elvi Hale is Anne of Cleves, Angela Pleasence is Catherine Howard, and Rosalie Crutchley plays last-in-line Catherine Parr. A very large and fine supporting cast adds intrigue and extra layers of tragedy to the proceedings, especially John Baskcomb as Cardinal Wolsey, Wolfe Morris as Thomas Cromwell, and Ralph Bates as Thomas Culpepper.
|S01E01||Catherine of Aragon||01/01/1970||Catalina of Aragon, a Spanish princess, is set to wed Arthur Tudor, eldest son on King Henry VII. Shortly after they wed, Arthur is taken by illness. Catalina then catches the eye of Arthur's brother, Henry. When Henry VII dies, he tells his son Henry that he must marry Catalina. Henry becomes the King of England and marries Catalina. Being loved by her new subjects, Catalina changes her name to the English version, Catherine. After many years, she is still loved by her subjects, but it's a different story with her husband.|
|S01E02||Anne Boleyn||08/01/1970||This second episode of the series overlaps with the first, and thus begins when Queen Anne and King Henry are already estranged. After several pregnancies, Anne has provided her husband with only one surviving child, Princess Elizabeth. Extremely unpopular with both the public and the aristocracy, Anne has few friends to protect her when Henry's eye lights upon the virginal Jane Seymour.|
|S01E03||Jane Seymour||15/01/1970||Anxious to rid himself of the shrewish Anne Boleyn, and desperate for a son, Henry is charmed by the naive and pious Jane, the daughter of a wealthy country aristocrat.|
|S01E04||Anne of Cleves||22/01/1970||Religious strife between Catholics and Protestants continues to swell in Europe. To try to balance the Catholic threat of France and Spain, Thomas Cromwell persuades King Henry into a political marriage with the sister of the Protestant German Duke of Cleves.|
|S01E05||Catherine Howard||29/01/1970||The powerful Duke of Norfolk, the leading Catholic aristocrat in England, dangles his teenaged niece Catherine Howard before the aging but still amorous King Henry, who foolishly marries her.|
|S01E06||Catherine Parr||05/02/1970||Corpulent and old, Henry makes a final trip to the altar, with the puritan Lady Latimer, Catherine Parr. The new queen brings Henry’s estranged daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, back into the family fold, but irritates the king by debating religion with him and his advisors.|
|S00E01||The Other Boleyn Girl||00/00/0000||The tale follows the history of Mary Boleyn (portrayed by Natascha McElhone), sister of Anne Boleyn (Jodhi May), second wife of Henry VIII (Jared Harris). Before his relationship with Anne, Henry favoured her sister Mary. The film outlines their relationship, his relationship with Anne and then the downfall of Anne|