Summary: This television series recreates the life of France’s most famous king, Louis XIV. Dubbed the Sun King by his admiring court, Louis conquered half of Europe, conducted dozens of love affairs and dazzled his contemporaries with his lavish entertainments. But perhaps his greatest achievement – and certainly his longest lasting love – was the incredible palace he built at Versailles, one of the wonders of the world.
Filmed in the spectacular staterooms, bedrooms and gardens of Versailles itself, this beautifully photographed drama-documentary brings the reign of one of Europe’s greatest and most flamboyant monarchs triumphantly to life, with the help of interviews with the world’s leading experts on his reign.
We do not expect historical accuracy from a series featuring French royalty. Rather, we expect opulence, much action and intrigue, with a fair amount of sex and decadence. Well, Versailles has that in spades. The plot meanders a bit at times, and of course Louis was building his nation, and at times Versailles seems more important than his country, but of course it represents France and all that we associate with it most splendidly, even today.
Beyond the nation building, Louis had to deal with a troublesome group of noblemen who seemed to spend all their time plotting against him and killing off people to whom he was attached. No wonder the poor French got rid of their royalty eventually, it must have seemed very troublesome to those whose lives were harder and less important.
It is superb television and I think the scriptwriters can take real credit for building a series where Louis plays members of his court (and even his own family) off against each other with skill and aplomb. He was clearly born to be a king. This is great TV and I can’t wait for Series 2 which I am told is in the pipeline.