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The Last King 

Charles II: The Power & the Passion (original title)
The chronicle of Charles II's time on the throne, his 10 year exile from Oliver Cromwell's England, and his triumphant return.
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1  
2003  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Rufus Sewell ...  Charles II 4 episodes, 2003
Rupert Graves ...  George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham 4 episodes, 2003
Charlie Creed-Miles ...  James, Duke of York 4 episodes, 2003
Christian Coulson ...  James, Duke of Monmouth 4 episodes, 2003
Shirley Henderson ...  Catharine of Braganza 4 episodes, 2003
Martin Freeman ...  Lord Shaftesbury 4 episodes, 2003
Helen McCrory ...  Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine 4 episodes, 2003
Peter Wight ...  Ormonde 3 episodes, 2003
Tabitha Wady Tabitha Wady ...  Anne Hyde 3 episodes, 2003
Robert East ...  Arlington 3 episodes, 2003
Dorian Lough Dorian Lough ...  Clifford 3 episodes, 2003
Ian McDiarmid ...  Sir Edward Hyde 2 episodes, 2003
Graham McTavish ...  Captain 2 episodes, 2003
Diana Rigg ...  Queen Henrietta Maria 2 episodes, 2003
Robert Cavanah ...  Rochester 2 episodes, 2003
Shaun Dingwall ...  Earl of Danby 2 episodes, 2003
Nick Bagnall Nick Bagnall ...  Hopkins 2 episodes, 2003
Mélanie Thierry ...  Louise de Kéroualle 2 episodes, 2003
Albert Welling ...  MP #1 2 episodes, 2003
Jochum ten Haaf ...  William of Orange 2 episodes, 2003
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Storyline

The focus of King Charles II is his court, his squabbling family and his glamorous mistresses - from the high-born and promiscuous Barbara Villiers through folk heroine and sex symbol of the day Nell Gwynne to the French spy Louise de Keroualle. It is an original take on a historical period written by award-winning screenwriter Adrian Hodges, whose credits include David Copperfield and The Lost World, which penetrates to the heart of the charismatic monarch who was deeply traumatised by the execution of his father. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

charles ii | spy | sex | exile | execution | See All (155) »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

Portuguese | English

Release Date:

21 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last King See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Coulson, Shirley Henderson, Helen McCrory and David Bradley would all go on to star in the Harry Potter franchise. See more »

Goofs

Just before the sequence concerning the smallpox epidemic, we get a brief look at The King's upper right arm and can clearly see a smallpox vaccination scar. See more »

Quotes

King Charles II: It's all been for nothing, Nell. The cause that gave my life meaning, will die with me. I fought to restore everything that was lost when my father was murdered but James will destroy it all. I know that, I've always known that.
Nell Gwynn: Then why did you fight so hard for him?
King Charles II: Not for him, for the principle. For the rights of Kings. Parliament will have its victory in the end.
Nell Gwynn: You know what I think about politics; it's all a lot of foolish men scheming to ruin each other for no reason anyone can ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown in UK was titled "Charles II: The Power & The Passion" and its original running time is 235 minutes. It was broadcast on TV by BBC in four parts, as it is also on the UK DVD distributed by BBC. The longer UK version has also been released in many European countries (Finland, Netherlands and more) and Australia. The version shown in USA on A&E was titled "The Last King" and has a running time on 188 minutes, cutting it down by almost 40 minutes. The DVD released by A&E in USA is the shorter version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Charles II' (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A Less Formal King
25 February 2010 | by Movies505See all my reviews

The Last King: The Power and the Passion of Charles II captures and squeezes twenty-five years of politics and debauchery into 188 minutes so well that the time focused and wasted on Lady Castlemaine, along with a few other minor warts, are forgiven.

Charles II, a less formal King with never enough money, trusted no one; and so he told half-truths. This fact and the many other snippets of historical information interwoven with fiction makes The Last King a worthy and most enjoyable period piece. It's also a spring-board for those unfamiliar, but interested in learning more about Charles II's Restoration.

Disappointing are the sets and physiognomy of the actors portraying some of the characters. There's also too many close-ups. Granted, these close-ups are supposed to convey intimacy between characters. I would have expected a better balance in the actors projecting the intimacy and the camera work.

Diana Rigg is stellar as the dominating, moody, and excitable Queen Henrietta Maria.

Rufus Sewell, although not swarthy like Charles's Medici ancestors, plays the King intelligently and with sensitivity.

Helen McCrory, who plays Lady Castlemaine, looks a wee bit too old for her part. In 1665 Castlemaine would have been 25. Charles 35. Also, Lady Castlemaine is known to have been very beautiful, tall, voluptuous, and with blue-violet eyes. I'm sure those familiar with these historical figures were disappointed when they saw otherwise, and perhaps were scratching their heads.


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