Historical inaccuracies

Being a bit of a history buff, particularly the Tudor period, I was interested to see Netflix advise me of a series available that is supposedly based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots entitle Reign.  I thought, great, I’ll have a watch of that.  OMG, it drove me insane to the point of nearly switching off.  There were so many inaccuracies throughout it from the costume, to the set designs to the story lines.  For goodness sake, if you are going to base something on actual historical people, at least have some accuracy in what life was actually like at the time.

I’m ok with period dramas that are not based on actual historical characters, for example Bridgeton is not based on any person in history, it’s just set in a particular period of time, and at least the costume, sets and even the language was (mostly) of the right era. 

Reign seems to have so much wrong with it it’s laughable.  I say I nearly switched off because it was one of those things that it was so bad, that I wanted to watch just how bad it would get.  I’ve watched two episodes so far and just about stuck it out.

I remember when the Other Boleyn Girl film came out at the cinema.  I went to see it with my friend and before we got settled she said to me “I’m not sure I want to do this.  You’re going to go off on one when they get it wrong aren’t you”?  I’m sorry, I can’t help it.

I understand a bit of artistic licence with the storyline, but at least get the fundamental basics right.  They did not have carpets in the 1500s.  Nor did the women go around with out hoods, or wearing sleeveless, short dresses. I also get that they won’t necessarily have accents etc correct.  Mary, Queen of Scots, by all accounts had a strong French accent, hardly surprising since she was brought up there from a very young age.

It seems that this American “highly fictionalised” (no kidding) series was cancelled after four seasons as the ratings dropped.  As far as I can tell the end of series four leaves Mary married to Darnley, so it doesn’t quite complete the story of a queen who was brought up abroad, married three times, estranged from her children and forced to flee, hoping for mercy from her English queen cousin, only to be beheaded for plotting to take the English throne.

However sad Mary’s story was, it doesn’t really deserve being hashed in this attempt of storytelling.  I’ll probably stick it out watching the rest of the series, but I won’t be sorry that it didn’t conclude.


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