The creators of Netflix's The Crown explain why sometimes its necessary to forsake accuracy, but never truth, in a drama based on real events
The lavish ten-part Netflix series became another outstanding triumph for writer Peter Morgan and a distinguished team . Critics noted a “startling attention to detail in everything from costumes to sets” and thought it hard to see how it could be better.
The show set out to tell the inside story of the most famous addresses in the world, Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street, and it did just that, exploring the intrigues, love lives and machinations of post-war Britain.
Graham, who founded the programme’s producer Wall to Wall, came up with the idea for a genealogy series in which famous faces discover the truth about their ancestors – but it took a decade and a half for a commissioner to bite.
“This show is 15 years old this year but this year is also the 30th anniversary of me trying to sell it to the BBC,” he said.
Taking a script and bringing it to life on screen is no easy feat – and when the story is based on the most famous family in the world, the task carries huge responsibility.
“We’re not just recreating history,” said The Crown’s production designer Martin Childs. “It’s our own version of the world – it’s not a documentary. We try and find the mood and tone of our version of it,” added costume designer Jane Petrie.
The RTS Programme Awards, chaired by Wayne Garvie, honours excellence across all genres of television programming and recognise exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams, as well as the programmes themselves.
The BBC scooped 17 awards for its programmes and talent, and also won the coveted RTS Channel of the Year award.
Watch the highlights from RTS Futures The Crown: From Storyboard to Screen event. Director Ben Caron, Production Designer Martin Childs, Costume Designer Jane Petrie, Editor Pia Di Ciaula and VFX Supervisor Ben Turner revealed how they brought the story of the Royals to life on screen at an event chaired by Toby Earles.
Taking any script and bringing the story to life on screen is no easy feat, and when the story is based on the most famous family in the world, the task carries an elevated sense of responsibility.
“We’re not just recreating history,” said The Crown's production designer Martin Childs.
“It’s our own version of the world – it’s not a documentary. We try and find the mood and tone of our version of it,” added costume designer Jane Petrie.
Part royal soap, part British political lesson, The Crown is all first-rate drama. To mark the release of its second season on Netflix, a packed RTS pre-Christmas event at the House of Commons heard creator and writer Peter Morgan, executive producer Suzanne Mackie and director Philippa Lowthorpe discuss how they made the award-winning series.
Season 2 of The Crown, produced by UK indie Left Bank Pictures, begins with the Suez crisis in 1956 and ends with the Profumo affair in 1963.
Andy Harries, Chief Executive of Left Bank Pictures and Executive Producer of The Crown, looks back on his career in drama, and offers tips for those looking to make it in the industry.