Salisbury, ENGLAND – The Corgis simply would not behave. In the middle of the shoot they escaped, causing general amusement. "Sit down, sit down!" Cried Olivia Coleman.
"A loud voice!" Urged the dog handler, standing nearby.
"Yes, then you," Coleman said persistently, at his best, with Queen Elizabeth. She frowned grimly at the dark dogs. "SIT!" They were sitting.
It was a frosty November day last year, and the new Netflix series cast of "The Crown" was dressed in gilded sofas and purple velvet chairs at a gorgeous 1
With its skillful intertwining of British history and inner wrath, the scene was the Crown. Created and written by Peter Morgan, the series has spent two acclaimed seasons examining the nation's politics and social dispositions through the prism of Queen Elizabeth II, while offering a saucy look at life behind the dispassionate façade of the royal family.
The much anticipated third installment of Crown debuts on Netflix on Sunday and many will be familiar with: exquisite historical details, gorgeous interiors of palaces and mansions.
But one basic aspect is missing. The actors who play the main characters are all swapped out for Seasons 3 and 4.
This is the first manifestation of what the show's plan was from the beginning: regularly reworking Elizabeth, Philip and other pianos to better reflect the characters.
"I think the longest you can believe an actor in an aging part is about 20 years," Morgan says in a phone interview. "From the very beginning, we decided that if everything worked and continued, we would rework every two seasons."
But he still feels restless, at least in the beginning. The Crown flashes this by opening season 3, when the queen revisits her image on a new seal, placed alongside the previous one, which shows the profile of Claire Foy playing Elizabeth for the first two seasons.
"A lot of changes, but there are some," Elizabeth says, noting the compliments of the understatement. "Age is rarely kind to anyone."
The shift is something of a gambling series that has garnered admiration for its main cast, especially Foy, who won the Screen Actor Guild Award and was nominated for an Emmy. But Morgan and his producers found a rather secure casting call in Coleman, which was adored by British audiences, and found fame last year when he won an Oscar for his portrayal of another English queen (Anne) in The Beloved. "(There is at least one person who disapproved of the choice: Charles Moore a well-known journalist and biographer of Margaret Thatcher, writes in the Daily Telegraph that Coleman's" distinct left face "made her inappropriate for the part .)
"Olivia has a similar, unmistakable intuitive understanding of the role and silence that Claire, " Susan McKee, executive producer of the series said in a phone interview. "They feel like everyday women that we should somehow know them, but by the time they become sovereign, they become strangers and distant." (In a review for the new season, The Independent writes that "there is something blindingly banal" about Colman & # 39 ; s portrait of Elizabeth.)
Coleman, who plays a more experienced chiller with a chiller, a more confident washbasin, said in a sit-down interview last fall that he was trying not to follow in Foy's footsteps. "I'm a big fan; Claire was just catching her breath in that part, she said. Rather like her character, she added, "But you just plow."
Ben Karen, director and executive producer of the show, said in a phone interview that it was "pretty scary" for a new cast. "You have not only a ghost in the real life of the character, but also a ghost of the previous actor," he said. Helena Bonham Carter, who took on the role of Princess Margaret of Vanessa Kirby echoes this sentiment. "My first thought was that I didn't look a lot like Margaret and I definitely didn't look like Vanessa," she said in a phone interview. "I'm about five feet shorter and two feet wider. But they didn't seem embarrassed.
After reading some of the scripts, she said she was overwhelmed by Margaret's complexity and controversy and began a period of "forensic" research by meeting with princess friends and working through a list of books Kirby recommended .
"It's very dynamic to be able to capture different aspects of a character through different people," she said. "I also loved taking on the part of Vanessa that was a huge help to me. We could compare the notes and say, "How about that? How would you react to this? ""
(Sometimes there were more practical problems with changes in cast. Initially, the production tried to use contact lenses and special effects to change the brown eyes of Coleman and Bonham Carter to blue, such as those of Foy and Kirby. " But back then, didn't feel like the actors we loved, "Karen said." So much of their performance is through fine facial expressions that we decided to just live with it. ")  "Is essentially historically accurate and also clearly invented. "This is not a documentary," Morgan said. "But I try to do everything as honestly as possible, even if I cannot know that it is perfectly accurate."
Or like Erin Doherty who gives a memorably clear portrait of young Princess Anne, noted in the scene between the pictures: "After a while you have to give up your thoughts as to who they are – you have to accept that we are Peter Morgan's royal family."
The Crown was conceived from the beginning to cover six seasons , each spanning about a decade of Elizabeth's life as a monarch, namely the Mo era Gan in the era of the season gave the series its distinctive blend of the personal and the political.
Season 3 begins with the election of Harold Wilson and the Labor Government in 1964 and ends with the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. Along the way she covers monuments worldwide, such as the moon landing since 1969, with lesser known national events (the horrific avalanche of coal waste in Aberfan, Wales, killing 116 children and 28 adults); political intrigue (Miners' strike 1973-74 ); and family drama, including the breakup of Princess Margaret's marriage to Lord Snowden and the thwarted romance of Prince Charles and Camilla Shand .
Each episode can be viewed as a stand-alone drama with overlapping storylines that resonate in unexpected ways; those conversations and echoes add to the show's emotional heart, Morgan said. "The writing of the season is the part I like best."
Before writing began, Morgan spent six months in a detailed schedule of a period that included significant royal stages such as marriages and death, as well as major political and social events. After Morgan began writing, a larger team of researchers, screenwriters, and producers were closely involved in the process.
"While we were doing Season 3, we were probably at Peter's house most days," McKee said. "It is not enough to have historical facts from history; you need to find out where the tension is, the human side. When Charles goes to Wales, for example, it is not just a young man who learns Welsh for political expediency, but a young man who finds his own voice. "
Morgan said that as he contemplates an episode, he thinks about what might be" intimately trapped "by the Queen. "You think about Kennedy's murder, Karnaby Street, but what's the connection there?" he asked rhetorically. "But when I discovered that astronauts from the moon landing had come to visit the palace with terrible colds, it was priceless."
"In the beginning, you have all the same ideas as everyone else for a decade," he added. "It's like putting a bathroom in an old house; first all the rusty water comes out, then clear. "
The moon landing episode focuses heavily on Prince Philip, presenting a tour of Menzies as a person suffering from an identity crisis for whom the astronauts' accomplishments come to represent his own missed chances. Other episodes focus on Princess Margaret, and the later part of the series lends considerable weight to the young Prince Charles, sympathetically portrayed by O & # 39; Connor as a sensitive and insecure youngster, contrary to the irrefutable imperatives of royal behavior.
"At the heart of his life is a difficult moral issue," Connor says in a telephone interview. "Being king in expectation means waiting for his mother to die."
But the queen is always the center of gravity, Morgan said. "Every time I try to write an episode that doesn't include it, it breaks down."
The difference in Season 3, he added, is that "it came from the story of a woman who finds her way, with your partner, to the woman at the heart of the family drama. I look at Sopranos or Succession and I think they are just different versions of what we do. "
Morgan said he tried not to write with a sense of retrospective knowledge of, say, Brexit. (In episode 8, the queen goes to Paris to petition President George Pompidou to allow Britain to join the European Union.) "I think by the time you write prescriptively, it is losing power," he said he. He paused. "But there are times. In Episode 10, Philip speaks for politicians, and I probably gave that layer of extra paint that could go to the complete failure of the political class right now. "
But for the most part he said," what the writing of the Crown teaches you is that Britain is in a constant state of crisis. We are talking about a divided country, here and in the US, but moments of unity, when most of the country is in agreement, are really rare. We make up a settled past. "
But as Morgan wrote in his play" The Audience "of 2013 which inspired the series, the ruling monarch represents a" continuous line, a constant presence "that represents this settled past and a peaceful future. This is the power of the crown. and the Crown.