‘The Crown’ got a sixth season, but ‘will not bring us any closer to present-day’

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The Crown will continue its reign for six seasons. Peter Morgan originally planned – and sold – the series, which focuses on Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne and her subsequent rule, as a six-season run. The idea was to have complete cast changes every other season to address the span of time from season to season. After Claire Foy and Olivia Colman filmed their seasons, it was announced the Crown would be passed next to the most magnificent Imelda Staunton. However, also announced at that time was that the series was going to end one season shorter than anticipated, wrapping up with season five. The official reason Morgan gave for the short run was, “now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop.” At the time of the announcement, I thought this answer was plausible and even applauded the showrunner for making such a bold decision in the name of good storytelling. I guess I spoke to soon because ol’ Petey’s had a change of heart. He has decided there is enough to fill out six seasons after all.

Peter Morgan has changed his mind on bringing the curtain down on The Crown after five seasons, meaning that the Netflix show will now run for six seasons.

Creator Morgan said: “As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons. To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”

The change of heart comes just six months after Netflix announced that Season 5 will be the last. It means that the new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton, will follow her predecessors in filming two series — as will Lesley Manville, who was last week confirmed as Princess Margaret.

Season 6 will take the story up to the early 2000s, meaning we won’t see the likes of Meghan Markle become part of future storylines after she married Prince Harry in 2018.

[From Deadline via Just Jared]

I’m calling BS. I don’t think this had anything to do with a sudden inspiration of plot lines. Season four will introduce Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and her two sons, Princes William and Harry. S4 will take the viewer into 1990, which means Fergie and Andrew’s wedding as well. So every story the British Royal Family is trying to tamp down currently will be introduced and I’m supposed to believe that Morgan just coincidentally decided to walk away from his series? Which begs the question, what happened to get the last season back? I think the last sentence in the excerpt above explains exactly what happened: Morgan promised to keep Andrew in the background and Gawd knows what storyline he agreed to for the young princes to avoid any discussion about their adult lives. There was always enough story to present so I don’t think the show will need plotlines. But I do think it nullifies the official Buckingham Palace statement that they don’t have anything to do with the show.

I have no doubt Imelda and Lesley Manville will be brilliant as EII and Princess Margaret. But this back and forth drama and eventual capitulation will probably hamper my enjoyment of the final seasons. This statement guaranteed us there won’t be an epilogue about how everyone turned out, but maybe, with this new little tap dance from Morgan, we can get a Hollywood wrap up that has all our Queens and Margarets in the same place at the same time.

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Photo credit: Netflix

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19 Responses to “‘The Crown’ got a sixth season, but ‘will not bring us any closer to present-day’”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    I thought ending with season 5 was a good idea.
    Personally I don’t like Olivia Coleman as Betty of the house of petty.
    Not after Claire Foy.
    I am waiting for Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      I agree. Foy was perfect, and that new season with Coleman was boring in comparison.

      • Suz says:

        I think S3 was an immense waste of talent. I thought Olivia did a fine job but she had nothing to work with. With the exception of the episode about Charles in Wales, Princess Alice, and the Aberfan episode, the season was painfully boring. I fell asleep during the Kentucky horse episode and yet another episode about Philip feeling bored and useless. Zzzzzzz.

  2. Becks1 says:

    With the way the timing of the seasons worked out, I liked the 5 season idea because it meant that they could end the series possibly with Diana’s death, which feeds right into Morgan’s move The Queen. So I can see why he didn’t want to reinvent the wheel there. But it was weird that it seemed to be a very well planned show, and to go from 6 seasons to 5 and then back to 6 seemed….off.

    I love the show but I do think it goes too fast through some things and too slow through others and sometimes overall the seasons move too fast. I thought it was unfortunate Anne’s kidnapping wasn’t mentioned or addressed.

    Anyway, my guess is season 5 will take us through the divorce and then Diana’s death, so not quite a whole decade, and then season 6 will be the death of Margaret and the Queen Mother and the golden jubilee.

    • Shane says:

      I agree, the announcements seem to suggest a sloppiness of sorts with planning.

      Also, season 3 irked because of the way they fabricated verifiable storyline’s. This mob is dysfunctional enough, I doubt they needed embellishments

  3. Ainsley7 says:

    It also might be the backlash they received for season 3. They completely skipped over a lot of stuff that people were hoping to see like Anne’s attempted kidnapping. Not to mention Anne getting married. Her marriage is important because 1992 is such a turning point for the Queen in part because all her kids marriage’s fell apart. Charles and Andrew separated from Diana and Fergie, but Anne actually divorced her husband. It was a huge deal for the Queen. They might have intended to skip stuff that they felt was unimportant/uninteresting that they realized the audience wants to see.

    • Becks1 says:

      Good point about her divorce – you cant really have an “annus horriblis” without Anne’s divorce, and I’m assuming there will be an episode titled that.

  4. Sofia says:

    So where exactly will they end? If Season 4 takes us up to 1990, will we get a “shorter” s5 with Diana’s death in ‘97? And then s6 goes up to 2005 so Charles and Camilla get married? So another “shorter” season?

    Initially I thought S4 would go up to 1990, S5 up to 2002 and then S6 up to 2013 with the jubilee. But S6 would be covering the Cambridge dating years (and wedding) which I can see ruffling some feathers amongst certain people. Or they can completely skip that like they did with Anne and Mark Phillips

    • Nic919 says:

      Early 2000s means Harry and William are either still in school or just finishing up. I don’t see this covering them very much outside of being involved in the Charles and Diana mess.

    • Maxime duCamp says:

      A recent episode of The Crown: The Official Podcast was a roundtable with the cast and crew including the series creator. When asked if he always intended for new actors coming in to take over the various roles of members of the royal family, rather than trying to keep the same actors and using makeup to age them, he replied that he envisioned the series seasons in “couplets” with each actor doing two years. Plus, it had the benefit of being able to attract the actors that they wanted because they didn’t have to worry about getting roped into a long contract and were thus free to pursue other projects.

      IIRC, I think that he said that series 6 would be it or at least something that about never intending to go into the modern era. But then again, if it continues to be a success for Netflix…who knows? Even if the original creator decides not to continue, they could probably rope someone else in to takeover.

  5. Margareth says:

    I’m tired about this show, third season was really bland.

    • Maxime duCamp says:

      Taste is subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion but I thought if, for no other reason than the deeply moving episode on the Aberfan disaster, Season 3 was memorable. I enjoyed the entire season, but that was a standout for me. I also am a huge fan of Olivia Coleman and Tobias Mendes, so I guess that also makes me more predisposed to enjoy it.

      OTOH I understand people feeling less than kindly about the RF (with some good reasons) and while I love HBC’s boozy middle-aged Margaret, it’s not as fun or sexy as S2′s Vanessa Kirby and Matthew Goode (another fave) as the younger Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, so I can understand while some people are enjoying it less.

  6. Mumbles says:

    I am skeptical that Buckingham Palace has anything to do with the show. We’ve seen the Queen and Phillip’s marital tensions, the Queen being quite cruel to Charles and Margaret…it does not paint the family in all that great a light overall.

    • KBeth says:

      Agreed, I found season 3 hugely disappointing. I’ll watch 4 because I’m curious about the introduction of Diana.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m done. Even the Diana years are to close for comfort at this point as they disgust me so much lately. Maybe if I had rose-colored glasses on and the royal family held a modicum of mystique I could stomach it. I don’t mind going far back in time. I love all histories, but I remember watching Diana’s wedding. And I remember watching her death unfold. And now? God they’re despicable.

  8. Ariel says:

    The real Liz of House Petty really killed the Crown for me.

    • Anners says:

      Same. I really liked seasons 1 & 2, and actually felt a bit sorry for QEII. Then her complete lack of support for Meghan (honestly – it could have been *so* easy – just photograph her in a car with you or take her along on an event to show support – the papers would’ve received the message and backed off) as well as her caping for her sex pest son has completely killed any positive feelings I had for her. Not even the inimitable Olivia Colman could resurrect them.

  9. Bavarian says:

    Iam pretty sure Andrews storyline will hero-prince during Falkland War. I hope for some glorious Fergie stories..lol…

  10. Faye G says:

    I was really disappointed in the third season, the performances were so so and the storyline was lagging. It also honestly made me really mad at the whole monarchy in general, the way they profit off common people, live in luxury and then complain endlessly about it.

    If they’re not going to delve into the juicy scandals of the 80s and beyond, they should just end the show now. People want to watch the Diana and Fergie scandal era, not another season of navel gazing about the royals‘ discontentment with their lot in life.