It’s that time of the month which means that The CW are on their period – 16th century France specifically for Reign the story of the early years of Mary Queen of Scots. It is 1557 and Jock queen in exile Mary Stuart (Adelaide Kane) is ready to leave the convent she been hiding out in since the age of 9 after the latest of a string of failed poisoning attempts from vicious Protestants. At 15 she’s getting to the age where she can finally fulfil her decade-long engagement to Francis (Toby Regbo), heir to the French throne. So off she goes to the French court to reunite with her crew of single ladies from childhood Greer, Kenna, Lola and Aylee. Having survived more assassination attempts than Rasputin she might think she’s living a charmed life but her real trouble is only just beginning.
Because like all Frenchmen Francis is desperate to avoid war and his engagement to Mary is a kind of “in case of emergency please break glass”.
Because like all Frenchmen Francis is desperate to avoid war and his engagement to Mary is a kind of “in case of emergency please break glass”. He doesn’t want to piss off the English, a nation who kick off the moment you look askew at their pint. He might marry her, equally he might not. Wow that’s so… romantic.
It’s a shame as well because there’s clearly heat between them. She walks in on him cleaning his sword – disappointingly that’s not a metaphor. She announces that she can milk a goat – equally disappointingly that’s also not a metaphor. He’s slightly distracted by banging Natalia some court skank on the side – he is French after all.
It’s a shame as well because there’s clearly heat between them. She walks in on him cleaning his sword – disappointingly that’s not a metaphor.
Then there’s trouble with the in-laws. Francis’s mother the Queen (Megan Follows) takes counsel from Nostradamus (essentially a mediaeval Derek Acorah but with less credibility). He has a vision that “she will cost Francis his life” and mommy dearest isn’t best pleased. So with the help of Nostradumbass she sets in motion a plan to drug rape Mary, destroy her virtue, making the union with Francis impossible in the process. What loving mother could do any more?
With the help of Nostradumbass she sets in motion a plan to drug rape Mary, destroy her virtue, making the union with Francis impossible in the process.
But the best laid rapes of psycho moms gang aft aglae. Mary gets a heads-up from a mysterious figure who tells her “don’t think the wine”. “I should think not” she replies “This château du shite sucks more balls than the Pope”. The mysterious hooded elephant girl slithers off into a secret passage – we’ll be hearing more from Trunky the Snorting Spy I’m sure of it.
I don’t want to tell you about this. It’s not very bright, everyone’s beautiful and Mumford and Sons are on the soundtrack. It’s an episode of Hollyoaks in all but name. I don’t hate it yet. It retains a vice like grip on the inconsequential throughout. It might turn out to be fun but don’t go getting your hopes up or anything.
The verdict: Reign man.
Marks out of 10: 6.5