The Lost Prince DVD


A marvellous reinvention of the costume epic, The Lost Prince is Stephen Poliakoff's absorbing study of the turbulent years leading up to and during the First World War, seen through the percipient eyes of a scarcely remembered royal child. Extensively researched, impeccably cast, beautifully filmed, written and directed by Poliakoff himself with masterly economy and restraint, this is a timely reminder that original, intelligent drama can work as prime time entertainment while appealing on multiple levels; and there isn't an escaped soap star in sight. Johnnie, the... prince kept hidden away by his parents Queen Mary and George V for fear that his epileptic fits and idiosyncratic ways might draw unwelcome attention, is not presented as a tragic figure. His view of the great events which shatter his family and change the world forever is direct and uncluttered. Poliakoff celebrates his apartness--and that of all children who are different--as a force for good, without judging the standards, protocols and contemporary medical theories which kept him on the periphery of society. The series makes the most of its well-chosen locations, and from Johnnie's garden at Sandringham to the assassination of the Russian imperial family, it maintains a hypnotic and elegiac quality The acting is first-rate, too. Gina McKee is profoundly moving as Johnnie's devoted nurse Lalla; and Miranda Richardson's Mary is an extraordinary performance, the controlled fa├žade of single-minded focus occasionally fracturing to reveal a flash of humanity. This production is exquisite in every respect. On the DVD: The Lost Prince is presented in its original transmission format of 16:9. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, enhanced by Adrian Johnston's haunting score is crystal clear. Extras include Poliakoff's revealing commentary, with occasional input from Johnston and designer John-Paul Kelly, and a couple of documentary fragments which show the production in progress and place it in context with the rest of Poliakoff's work. --Piers Ford [show more]

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20 January 2003
179 minutes 
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play.  'The Lost Prince' is the story of Prince Johnnie, the younger son of Queen Mary and King George V who was hidden away to spare an uncomprehending family and public from his severe epileptic fits and autism. From writer/director Stephen Poliakoff, this is a moving drama set against the looming First World War, featuring stunning costumes, idyllic sets, and the beguilling atmosphere of immensely significant world events, seen simply through a child's eye. Actors Gina McKee, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson & Tom Hollander Director Stephen Poliakoff Certificate Exempt from Classification Languages English Subtitles None listed Duration 3 hours (approx)

Stephen Poliakoff's BBC drama telling the story of Prince John, the autistic and epileptic son of Queen Mary and King George V who spent his whole life hidden away from public view. Covering the period leading up to and including the First World War, the programme bears witness to many major historic events through the eyes of the young prince, and dramatises such important royal occasions as Edward VII's funeral and the visitation of the nine Kings of Europe in 1910. Stars Tom Hollander and Miranda Richardson as the King and Queen, Gina McKee as the prince's nanny, and Michael Gambon as Edward VII.

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