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The Hollow Crown Preview: “Henry IV, Part 2” [VIDEO and PHOTOS] 

Photo Credit: Joss Barratt/Neal Street Productions
Photo Credit: Joss Barratt/Neal Street Productions

We’ve always loved Shakespeare and the fact that so many well-known British actors get to work together and put their stamp on these characters is very exciting. If you’ve been watching the past few weeks or if this is your first episode, there is a lot to like about this series. We catch you up on what you’ve missed so far and preview the next part of Henry IV’s story.

Great Performances: The Hollow Crown

This ambitious four-part miniseries assembles four of Shakespeare’s history plays — Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I & II, and Henry V — into a single chronological narrative. The original “Game of Thrones” has inspired bold film adaptations with a cast of leading British and Hollywood talent including Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, Julie Walters, David Suchet, Michelle Dockery and David Morrissey.

Richard II premiered Friday, September 20 (now available on

Henry IV, Part I premiered Friday, September 27 (now available on

Henry IV, Part II premiered Friday, October 4 (now available on

Henry V premieres Friday, October 11

Richard II:

King Richard (Ben Whishaw) is called upon to settle a dispute between his cousin Henry Bolingbroke (Rory Kinnear) and Thomas Mowbray (James Purefoy). Richard calls for a duel, but then halts it just before swords clash. Both men are banished from the realm. Richard visits John of Gaunt (Patrick Stewart), Bolingbroke’s father, who, in the throes of death, reprimands the king. After seizing Gaunt’s money and lands, Richard leaves for wars against the rebels in Ireland. Bolingbroke returns to claim his inheritance. Supported by his allies, Northumberland (David Morrissey) and the Duke of York (David Suchet), Bolingbroke takes Richard prisoner and lays claim to the throne.

Henry IV, Part 1:

The heir to the throne, Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston), defies his father, King Henry (Jeremy Irons), by spending his time at Mistress Quickly’s (Julie Walters) tavern in the company of the dissolute Falstaff (Simon Russell Beale) and his companions. The king is threatened by a rebellion led by Hal’s rival, Hotspur (Joe Armstrong), Hotspur’s father Northumberland (Alun Armstrong) and his uncle Worcester (David Hayman). In the face of this danger to the state, Prince Hal joins his father to defeat the rebels at the Battle of Shrewsbury and kill Hotspur in hand-to-hand combat. Michelle Dockery plays Hotspur’s wife, Kate Percy.

Henry IV, Part 2:

In the aftermath of the Battle of Shrewsbury, Northumberland learns of the death of his son. The Lord Chief Justice (Geoffrey Palmer) attempts, on behalf of the increasingly frail king, to separate Falstaff (Simon Russell Beale) from Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston). The rebels continue to plot insurrection. Falstaff is sent to recruit soldiers and takes his leave of his mistress, Doll Tearsheet (Maxine Peake). The rebel forces are overcome, bringing comfort to the dying king, who is finally reconciled to his son. Falstaff rushes to Hal’s coronation with expectations of high office, only to be rebuffed by the former prince who has now become King Henry V.

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2 premieres Friday, October 4th at 9/8c on PBS.



All photos courtesy of Joss Barratt/Neal Street Productions.

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