Make way for The King — an epic period drama based on several of Shakespeare’s plays about Kings Henry IV and V. If swords, battles and the scheming of the English court is your kind of thing, well this might be the movie for you. Netflix has certainly lifted its game when it comes to original movie content with a string of high-profile films launching on the streaming platform.
It features a stellar cast including Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V, Ben Mendelsohn as King Henry IV, Robert Pattinson as The Dauphin, Joel Edgerton as Falstaff and Lily-Rose Depp as Catherine. Not only is the cast scattered with some fine Aussie talent, but much of the production team (including director David Michôd of Animal Kingdom fame) are Aussies, which has the film qualifying for a string of AACTA nominations.
The King was originally released for a short stint in cinemas, but it is now available to stream on Netflix from 1 November, 2019. Netflix has been releasing several of its high-profile original films (including Scorsese’s new film The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino) in cinemas for short periods. It’s actually a requirement for films to have a minimum of a seven-day theatrical run in an LA cinema in order to qualify for an Oscar nomination.
What is ‘The King’ about?
For the history enthusiasts, you might already know about the tumultuous time in Europe during the Hundred Years’ War — a series of conflicts that occurred between 1337 and 1453. Primarily the conflict was between England and France, and during this time saw the reigns of several generations of Kings come and go.
The King is centred around King Henry V of England as he takes the crown after the death of his father, King Henry IV. The young King will need to navigate the complexity of court during a time of war. David Michôd and Joel Edgerton collaborated on the writing of this film and took inspiration from Shakespeare’s plays based on these two kings — Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Judging from the trailer there will be plenty of action and drama. Check out the trailer below.
Netflix plans and prices
If the trailer has you hooked but you don’t currently have a Netflix account, you can sign up to one of the streaming service’s three plans. The Basic Plan starts at $9.99 per month, the Standard Plan at $13.99 per month and the Premium Plan is $19.99 per month.
The included features change between these plans, for example, you won’t have access to streaming in high-definition (HD) on a basic plan, and the number of screens that can watch Netflix simultaneously differs from plan to plan. You can find more information on what’s included on the different Netflix plans in the following table:
|Basic Plan||Standard Plan||Premium Plan|
|Ultra HD available|
|No. of screens you can watch on at the same time||1||2||4|
Best NBN plans for streaming Netflix
Netflix releases a report every few months on the best streaming speeds and performance of several Aussie telcos. The speeds in these reports, along with the best-performing telco on his report, is subject to change. The top five NBN providers and speeds as of October 2019, are:
The NBN 50 speed tier is considered a good choice for streaming (although NBN 100 is best if you’re streaming in 4K) and it’s perhaps the most popular speed tier for households with more than two people. If you’re looking for a new NBN plan from the above five providers, the following table shows NBN 50 plans from Telstra, Optus, Aussie Broadband, iiNet and TPG as published on Canstar Blue’s database and listed in order of their standard monthly cost from lowest to highest, all featuring unlimited data. Use our comparison tool to see all plans available on Canstar Blue’s database. These are products with links to referral partners.
Best period dramas on Netflix and Stan
If The King puts you in the mood for a good ol’ period drama, the good news is that there are plenty of options around. Both Netflix and Stan have a decent collection of shows and movies for you to binge watch.
Stan has some great (and some questionable) period dramas based on events after the Hundred Years’ War — The Tudors is perhaps one of the more well-known and details the reign of Henry VIII and his six wives (which stars a pre-Game of Thrones Natalie Dormer). If you’re after something a little more serious, Wolf Hall is an award-winning six-part mini series detailing the rise of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII and the significant part he played in the formation of the Church of England, the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn (played by Claire Foy who went on to play Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown) and her subsequent execution.
There are also three shows based on novels by Phillipa Gregory — The White Queen, The White Princess and The Spanish Princess. Both The White Queen and The White Princess are set around the time of The War of the Roses and the subsequent reign of King Henry VII, while The Spanish Princess focuses on Catherine of Aragon’s early struggles in Tudor court before marrying Henry VIII. On Stan you’ll also be able to catch four seasons of Reign. While this show is very loosely based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, it’s much more like a trashy high-school drama and probably not the best viewing if you appreciate a certain level of historical accuracy.
Netflix has a string of period dramas and movies covering different times of history — you’ll be able to enjoy Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in both Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, along with the drama that surrounded Robert The Bruce in the 2018 film Outlaw King. As for shows, Knightfall Season 1 is streaming on Netflix: set around the early 1300s, the series follows the story of the Knights Templar (Season 2 is currently on SBS On Demand and stars Mark Hamill, aka, Luke Skywalker).
Going even further back in history are the shows Vikings and The Last Kingdom. While Vikings is more focused on history in Scandinavia and Viking exploration, there is a lot of English history cross over. The Last Kingdom is essentially based around the same timeline as Vikings (with some historical figures popping up in both shows), but is much more centred around the joining of the kingdoms that would later make up England.