Elizabeth is a History Documentary programme that first aired in 2000.

Elizabeth is a 4 star programme

Image for the History Documentary programme "Elizabeth"

Seasons in Detail


Elizabeth (2000)

With Elizabeth I as subject matter and David Starkey the presenter, history could hardly be more riveting.

The reign of Elizabeth I is one of the most richly fascinating periods of English history. As a woman in a male world and a Protestant in a still largely Catholic country, Elizabeth couldn't afford to drop her guard for a minute.

But the insecurity of her position was more than compensated for by her powerful intellect and a charisma that has shone down through the ages.

By the time Elizabeth became queen at the age of 25, she had already survived her fair share of turmoil. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, had been executed when Elizabeth was a tiny infant. But despite such trauma she showed a great aptitude for learning, taking pleasure in such exercises as double translation - the translation of a Latin passage into English and then back again.

As a teenager, she was already receiving the unwelcome amorous attentions of power-hungry courtiers such as Thomas Seymour. When her Catholic sister Mary became queen, Elizabeth's life was seriously endangered: her sister had her thrown into the Tower of London. Starkey notes: "The eight weeks of captivity were the darkest days of her entire life. She thought constantly about death - after all she was only a few yards from the spot where her mother had been executed."

But Elizabeth was also a cool thinker. She survived Mary's reign and on Mary's death became queen. Her perilous beginnings had prepared her well for greatness.

Genre: History Documentary

Running Time: 60 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 2000

4/5 Stars

Production Country: UK

Main Cast

David Starkey...Himself - Presenter
Imogen Slaughter...Elizabeth
Karen Archer...Older Elizabeth
Saskia Backwell...Child Elizabeth
Alain Bourgoin...Duke of Anjou
Adam Meggido...Robert Cecil
Séana Montague...Mary Queen of Scots
John Gully...Duke of Norfolk