The Tudors: Season 1 (2007)

SEASON:

Season 1
The Tudors

Critics Consensus

Though it isn't the most complex or thought-provoking drama around, The Tudors contains stunning period detail, some sturdy acting, and just enough intrigue to make it an entertaining diversion.

59%

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Critic Ratings: 32

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Episodes

Air date: Apr 1, 2007

Young, handsome, and one of the most powerful men in the world, King Henry VIII of England should be pleased, but in reality, his mind weighs heavily with concern over religious division in his country, the political struggle that wages between nations, and his failure to produce a male heir. His wife, Kathrine of Aragon, has suffered numerous miscarriages and stillbirths, and the King's only legitimate child is his daughter, Mary. Katherine is an excellent queen and devoted wife, but Henry's desire to seek the extremely difficult route of divorce looms in his mind.

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Air date: Apr 8, 2007

Thomas Boleyn lays plans to usher his daughter into the King's bed, as Katherine continues to pray feverishly for a son, while the King begins to think that Katherine's inability to bare a male heir may be God's retribution for Henry marrying his brother's wife.

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Air date: Apr 15, 2007

Religious conflict is coming to a boil in England, and the King knights Thomas More, tasking him with destroying all known copies of the "Lutheran heresy," - a charge that does not sit with More easily. Meanwhile, the King decides to go to war with France, ruining Cardinal Wolsey's chances of becoming Pope.

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Air date: Apr 22, 2007

A close call brings Henry face to face with his own mortality, causing his worry over his lack of a male heir to come to the brink. At the same time, his desire for the charismatic and seductive Anne Boleyn intensifies.

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Air date: Apr 29, 2007

The King is shocked when Emperor Charles backs out of their alliance, and he is forced to consider his other options for support in Europe. Meanwhile, Anne Boelyn refuses the King's offer to make her his mistress, intensifying his desire to make her his wife.

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Air date: May 6, 2007

King Henry grows steadily more unhappy with the Catholic church as it only becomes less and less receptive to his plans to divorce Katherine. This puts not only Henry on the church's bad side, but also Wolsey, who needs the institution to protect him from his enemies.

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Air date: May 13, 2007

An epidemic of "sweating sickness" sweeps the country, killing William Compton and eventually afflicting many throughout the court. Henry flees the palace, and becomes overwrought with fear and doubt about his ability to rule.

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Air date: May 20, 2007

Campeggio, legate to the Pope, comes to hear the King's request to divorce Katherine, and despite Wolsey's intimidating tactics, the Pope is not convinced. Wosely is getting short on friends, and in desperation, he begs Katherine to abdicate her marriage.

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Air date: Jun 3, 2007

The trial being held to determine the legitimacy of Henry and Katherine's marriage continues, despite Katherine's noticeable absence from the proceedings. Meanwhile, Henry's diplomatic relations come to a head and, in a fit of desperation, he turns on an old and trusted servant.

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Air date: Jun 10, 2007

Poor, alone, and stripped of his former title, Wolsey looks to Katherine for support - a treasonous act, in the eyes of the law. Meanwhile, Henry and Anne Boelyn have an intimate encounter, but she exerts her power over him at the last minute.

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The Tudors: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Forget those stodgy portraits of England's portly King Henry VIII hanging in museums. This superlative series introduces viewers to a young, hunky and lustful Henry. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is all dash and panache as the star of the historical soap opera, which bursts at the seams with sex, political intrigue, sex, dangerous court liaisons and sex. In the inaugural season, Henry craves a male heir that Queen Katherine of Aragon (Maria Doyle Kennedy) has been unable to deliver (but his mistress Elizabeth has given birth to an illegitimate son). With his interest in Katherine waning, Henry turns his attentions toward a stunning young beauty named Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) and makes overtures to her to become his new mistress. Putting aside affairs of the heart to tend to affairs of state and religion, Henry welcomes his wife's nephew Charles V of Spain to court and dutifully tries to hide his lack of affection for his wife. After denouncing Martin Luther and his upstart theology, Pope Clement christens Henry a defender of the faith. With pressure from Anne to get a divorce, Henry sends the devious and opportunistic Cardinal Wolsey (Sam Neill) to Rome to petition His Excellency. Amid all the political, personal and religious goings-on, the stage is set for a monumental showdown between Henry, Rome, Spain and France, and all those involved do their best to keep their heads.

Critic Reviews for The Tudors Season 1

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (21)

A soap with nutrients, a saga with plenty of ga-ga. Coherent and compelling while also complex, it deserves a much wider audience than Showtime generally attracts.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

There are two major impediments to embracing The Tudors, as swank as it is. First, there's the script... Second, there's the star. Henry VIII needs to be robust and commanding. Rhys Meyers is petulant, passionate, pouty.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Taken on its own terms, Tudors is an enjoyable and entertaining romp through the lust and intrigue of Henry's early reign, and it zips along with considerable energy.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Say what? Say sumptuous, guilty-pleasure costume drama at your entertainment service. Ladies and gentleman, get your hands together for a bling-bling 16th-century king as royal rock `n' roll star.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

It's underwritten and ... overripe.

Apr 1, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The series goes only rock-opera deep, moving full-steam ahead without much accounting for character motivation.

Apr 1, 2007 | Full Review…

Altogether the series is good enough and may eventually develop into something more than the sum of its parts, but viewers might not feel as passionately about The Tudors as its characters do about sex, violence, and politics.

Dec 17, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Natalie Dormer has a flinty flirtiness as Ms. Boleyn. And the costumes are to lose your head for.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Strong acting, gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes and the fascinating historical period combine to make the series come alive.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Honestly, it would be easier to buy James Gandolfini in the role of Henry VIII than it is Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

True to form for this new take on an old genre, we see Henry (the eminently watchable Jonathan Rhys Meyers) strip countless times -- to wrestle lovers as well as the French King.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

It all feels like it's trying too hard, it all feels too forced.

Jun 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Tudors: Season 1

  • May 10, 2019
    The highest class of drama.
  • Jul 26, 2014
    One sentence: The historical inaccuracies in this series burn my eyes!!
  • Jul 14, 2014
    Funny to watch Catholics and Protestants burning each other alive over their different interpretations of a 1st century pacifist jew. Then someone gets sick and they're like 'let's bleed them' and you just have to chuckle. I thought Jonathan Meyers did a good job with the character, but it would have been cooler if he was less physical gorgeous and had to rely more on his wit, charm, and absolute power for sexual conquest. Idk, people said Henry VII was good looking. Natalie Dormer is way hotter than her portraits too. Were people uglier back then or did they just not paint very well?
  • Dec 01, 2013
    Loved the series! Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays an excellent King Henry!

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