• Network: BBC , Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 16, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Aug 5, 2013
    100
    Queen delivers the basic goods (intrigue, sex) , but the only vivid character is Margaret Beaufort, mom of the future Henry VII. She's played by Amanda Hale with startling neuritic fervor. [12 Aug 2013]
  2. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Aug 8, 2013
    88
    It’s a great tale and beautifully told with beautiful actors.
  3. Reviewed by: Nuzhat Naoreen
    Aug 2, 2013
    83
    Absurd but engrossing War of the Roses-era drama. [9 Aug 2013, p.73]
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Aug 9, 2013
    80
    The Starz 10-hour miniseries is a beautiful, fun period piece populated by amazing talent.
  5. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Aug 8, 2013
    75
    It may not have the production values of those shows [The Tudors or The Borgias], but it does have an Irons, who, along with the rest of the cast, makes The White Queen an entertaining romp through a complicated and fascinating period of English history.
  6. Reviewed by: Emily Yahr
    Aug 9, 2013
    70
    Though the series drags whenever it becomes bogged down in political aspects of the fight, it’s inherently entertaining to see such back-stabbing, and possibly literal stabbing, between supposed loved ones.
  7. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 9, 2013
    70
    The White Queen is gauzier than “The Tudors,” and it contains more overacting; but it scratches the same itch.
  8. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Aug 9, 2013
    70
    Adapted from three overlapping page-turners by the prolific Philippa Gregory, this enjoyably propulsive high melodrama replays the classic Wars of the Roses family feud (York vs. Lancaster) from the perspective of the women who are both pawns and players in a violent, turbulent game of claiming and keeping the English throne.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 5, 2013
    70
    Addressing these complexities [the women hav[ing] to be more creative in their scheming], however, and incorporating the other tentacles of Gregory’s history eventually begin to dilute the story’s central thrust (and there’s a lot of thrusting) toward the end of the eight episodes previewed out of the 10-part run.
  10. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Aug 12, 2013
    60
    Each of them [actresses Rebecca Ferguson, Faye Marsay and Amanda Hale] stabs backs and pops bodice buttons with the necessary élan while keeping a straight face at The White Queen’s putative moral, which is that arranged marriages are corrupt and evil, while those born of attempted rape, self-mutilation and suicide are sacred and empowering.
  11. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Aug 9, 2013
    60
    This may be a case where a little more violence would help make the stakes seem more real. The main issues for these royals and would-be royals are when to bow and to whom.
  12. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Aug 8, 2013
    60
    Its success is due largely to the costumes, set dressing, and comeliness of the two leads, a smoldering Max Irons (son of Jeremy) and radiant Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson.... The problem with The White Queen is its pace, slowed by ponderous exposition and arcane bloodline conspiracies.
  13. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Aug 12, 2013
    50
    There are many powerful scenes in The White Queen, moments that illustrate time and again how a woman's body was both her greatest tool and her inevitable prison; a man could control his fate by mind or sword, a woman can do it only by proxy. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by the misty, swampy lands of generic medievalness.
  14. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Aug 5, 2013
    50
    The good news: The White Queen gets off to an entertaining start. The bad news: In subsequent episodes it gets bogged down in then-this-happened, then-that-happened jumps through history.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 6, 2013
    8
    Very pleasant history lesson about the cousins war. The series is far better than 'The Tudors' and doesn't rely on pretty faces and excessiveVery pleasant history lesson about the cousins war. The series is far better than 'The Tudors' and doesn't rely on pretty faces and excessive sex for its impact. Instead we have complex history made simple for mass consumption. It has everything from battles, witchcraft, romance and intrigue. The production looks great and performances are solid with Janet McTeer standing out. I have read the history of this period and it is good to see people like author Phillipa Gregory challenging the old myths about characters like Richard the third and the princes in the tower. This is solid and captivating high quality entertainment. Full Review »
  2. Nov 5, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This overly and unnecessarily melodramatic treatment of the compelling history of the War of the Roses is watchable, but choppy. It forces acceleration through critical historical events with little or no consideration of their worth simply to drive the characters through the plot, and it frequently suggests facts as true that are in fact based on conjuncture and myth. For example, the ludicrous contention that Elizabeth Woodville's youngest son Richard was NOT in the tower with his brother ("The Princes in the Tower") is pure myth and widely regarded as scandalously bad history. Yet this anachronism is boldly pursued to set up a later claim that the younger Richard is the rightful king during a plot against Henry Tudor. Also, the unseemly forthcoming suggestion that Elizabeth of York is pregnant with Richard III's child (thus suggesting that King Henry VIII is Richard III's heir) is preposterous. So don't rely on this presentation as a substitute for your history class paper.

    It is also terribly over stylized. If you want a less melodramatic, literarily accomplished, equally liberal ahistorical treatment of the War of the Roses, get it from a better source: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, & 3, and Richard III by William Shakespeare.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2013
    10
    History portrayed in a wonderful way. Just as good as the Tudors and very enjoyable. The acting was great and you couldn't wait for the nextHistory portrayed in a wonderful way. Just as good as the Tudors and very enjoyable. The acting was great and you couldn't wait for the next episode to reveal its history. Full Review »