photo courtesy of facebook.com/cwreign
On Oct. 17, the CW Network introduced their new original series, “Reign.” The series stars Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots, Toby Regbo as the French Prince Francis II and Torrance Coombs as the prince’s illegitimate half-brother, Sebastian.
The show begins with Mary leaving the convent in which she has lived since she was nine years old. It opens with a scene in which one of the nuns dies of poison in an attempt on the young princess’ life. This forces her to leave the convent to live in the French court prior to her marriage to Francis, whom she has been engaged to since she was six years old.
The beginning of the show was a little bit slow after Mary arrived at the court, and the beginning focuses on the early relationships between the characters, especially Mary and Francis. Things complicate when Mary catches Francis with another woman and their budding relationship shatters, to the dismay of the audience. She is comforted by none other than Sebastian, the prince’s half-brother, which sets the stage for an immediate and continuing love-triangle.
The end of the episode left the watcher wanting more following an attempt on Mary’s virtue by the fiancée of one of her ladies in waiting. The audience later finds out that it is Francis’s mother who was responsible for arranging the attempt, which introduces a degree of intrigue that the show desperately needed.
Although Mary seems like a flat and shallow character and the love-triangle is cliché, the seduction and intrigue of the court brings life to the plotline. The costumes, designed by Meredith Markworth-Pollack, and set, were beautifully done and set the stage perfectly by showing realistically the extravagance of court life.
However, more than anything else, the subplots are what really make the show worth watching. Mary’s relationship with her ladies in waiting, Francis’ father and his many mistresses and Sebastian’s futile attempt to win Mary’s heart all keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. The show, while needing some development, has all of the potential to be a great period drama.