The first episode turns on Edward’s desire for Elizabeth. How did she go about playing the sexiness of that? “It’s a love story between two people,” she says, “a girl and a boy that today would be wearing jeans.”
In the aftermath of lots of big US cable dramas, however, such as Game of Thrones and The Borgias, and even UK series such as The Tudors, you might expect that the drama will be driven by copious sex and violence. In fact, the production eschews battle scenes – they happen off screen – to focus on the complex, shifting allegiances and power plays of the main characters, all seen, as they are in Gregory’s book, through the eyes of women at the centre of the struggle for power.