History is full of moments of intrigue, drama, danger, and suspense. Perhaps one of the most tumultuous English reigns was that of Elizabeth I. Despite this often being heralded as a Golden Age, she was an unwed Protestant and on bad terms with the Pope. This made her a prime target for assassination. These turbulent times will be examined in a new series that just premiered on PBS. The show, called Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents, focuses on the espionage circle of Elizabeth I that kept her safe from threats, and kept her on the throne.
During the 16th century (when Elizabeth I’s reign took place), Britain was incredibly divided. Because the political climate was so dangerous for the Queen, she decided to form the world’s first secret service. Run by William and Robert Cecil, they successfully protected her claim and her life. In Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents, a few leading historians are asked to break down the motivations and thoughts of the key players in Her Majesty’s First Secret Service. The end result is a much clearer picture of Elizabethan England. This show helps reveal the truth behind a lot of the myths and legends of the reign of Elizabeth I.
If you think you might be interested in this show, you might want to learn a little more about it first. On the other hand, if you’ve already seen it you might be curious to know a few more facts behind the filming. Either way, read on to learn about Five Things You Didn’t Know about Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents.
It Was First Released in Britain
Though the American version of the show premiered on January 28th, it had been released on BBC a few months earlier. The title is slightly different on the British version, as the show is called Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents instead. It was aired in October, and has already been through all three parts. However, it is really not surprising that the British got it first, as it is about their 16th century monarch.
The Show is Impeccably Researched
The biggest draw to Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents is the strong historian presence on the show. Each person featured has a lot of experience in the field, and could be considered an authority voice. For example, Jerry Brotton holds a Masters Degree in Renaissance Studies. Both Lisa Hilton and Dominic Green wrote books about Queen Elizabeth I, with the latter providing the inspiration for the show with his book called The Double Life of Doctor Lopez: Spies, Shakespeare, and the Plot to Poison Elizabeth I.
It Is Visually Authentic
Another plus of this new show on PBS is that it is quite authentic. The show uses a lot of period artwork and drawings to help transmit the main message. In addition, any live action scenes were shot in realistic period dress. They must have listened to the historians, because nothing is jarringly out of place in any part of this show.
It’s a Low-Budget Production
Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents was shot on a budget of one million pounds, or about 1.4 million dollars. This is a pretty low budget — many popular cable TV series, for example, can spend double that in a single episode. Despite these budget constraints, the show is well-shot, informative, and doesn’t appear to suffer from any lack of funding.
This Is 72 Films’ First Show That’s Not About Donald Trump
72 Films, along with BBC, are the production studios behind this show. It is interesting to note that 72 Films, a London-based studio, has only produced shows about Donald Trump before picking up Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents. Before this, they released Trump: An American Dream and Meet the Trumps. It was probably pretty nice to cover a new subject after back-to-back releases about President Trump.