Hugh Dancy as Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

Episodes 2

0.0

Part 1

1x1
September 29, 2005

Focuses on the relationship between Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester, her admirer and trusted advisor. They agree they cannot marry because of strategy and politics, but Leicester remains on intimate terms with her and her advisor. He feels threatened by the Queen's interest in the Duke of Anjou as a suitor and does what he can to disrupt the courtship. The Queen also has to deal with threats posed by Mary Queen of Scots, culminating in the latter's execution after involvement in plots against Elizabeth, as well as war with Spain. There is victory over the Armada and Spanish threat, but Elizabeth's joy at this is overshadowed by the death of Leicester.

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0.0

Part 2

1x2
October 6, 2005

Deals with the final part of Elizabeth's reign and her relationship with the young and ambitious Earl of Essex. Her obvious affection for him causes concern to Walsingham, Cecil and Burghley, and as Essex becomes increasingly demanding, disobedient and ambitious, Elizabeth ultimately has to deal with him as a potential threat to her throne and position.

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