January 24, 2021

Covering ‘The Crown’ on Both Sides of the Atlantic

What do you think of Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of Britain?

If you’re not super familiar with Margaret Thatcher, it reads really strangely and is a bit of a caricature. But if you watch Thatcher’s speeches and look at the way she talked in public, it’s remarkably accurate. She was a very strange — to my mind, unpleasant — woman, and Gillian Anderson does a good job of capturing that.

How far ahead did you start planning your coverage?

The Netflix team sent out screeners at the end of September, which was helpful because we had some lead time to work on our story about the historical accuracy of the series. It was very much a cross-desk effort — it takes a village to pull off coverage like this.

What are some of the more offbeat stories you tackled?

We talked to Gillian Anderson for a piece that included all the people who have played Thatcher in England over the decades. And people kept mentioning the music in the season to me, so we have a piece on the ’80s pop music that went up. And we have a story about how African women of Diana’s generation and older have this strong emotional bond with her, and what it’s been like for them to watch her on this season.

What will you be watching for in the fifth season, which is slated for a 2022 release?

They haven’t disclosed the exact period the season will cover, but I imagine it will probably be the next 10 years, so the 1990s. We’ll get to see William and Harry as boys, as well as Diana’s death, so it feels more interesting in terms of connections with the present-day royal family.

How are things going in the television world in England right now?

We’re in a second national lockdown that’s supposed to end Dec. 2 — we’ll see whether that happens. A lot of shows were going back over the summer with social distancing and bubbling. “The Great British Baking Show” managed to film a season. But it’s been a monthlong lockdown right now, and things are kind of on hold again.

Would people still be going crazy for streaming series like “The Crown” if we weren’t all stuck at home?

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/29/insider/crown-netflix-stories.html

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