WOW, was all I could say when I viewed the trailer for The Borgias, the next blockbuster from Showtime, which brought us The Tudors, one of the most fabulous television series of all time.
This new series will star one of my all time favourite actors, Jeremy Irons, as Pope Alexander VI (1431 – 1503), best known for his corrupt rule. What he lacked in morals he made up for by trailblazing intrigue with a capital I.
The Borgias were a family whose infamy was well known during the fifteenth century and sixteenth centuries in Italy. Since then history has accused them of many different crimes, including adultery, simony, theft, rape, bribery, incest, and murder. Arsenic poisoning was a particular favourite and if you licked your fingers to turn the thick pages of a book at this time, you could very well end up in a pine box.
The Borgias were seemingly a very decadent lot. Scheming constantly led by Rodrigo Borgia, who became Pope Alexander VI in 1492. His is a dastardly tale to tell and from all accounts, and the trailer, Jeremy Irons plays him with convincing menace, using an over-the-top technique that would seem relevant to both the time and the storyline.
There was no commitment to celibacy in those days. And the Pope’s two children Cesare and Lucrezia went on to become ‘cutthroat legends’ of their own time with stories that make the hair on your body stand up in horror.
Showtime Networks announced they have ordered ten episodes of this one-hour drama series. Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks said
“Having blazed a trail with the award-winning THE TUDORS, we wanted to continue to offer our audience a period drama as wicked, witty, and utterly compelling — and that’s what THE BORGIAS will be,” said Greenblatt.
He went on to say “I can guarantee you’ve never seen a family quite like this before, nor could you make up the outrageous twists and turns of their epic saga if your life depended on it. The directorial mastery of Neil Jordan along with Michael Hirst’s flair for bringing historical dramas vividly to life for a contemporary audience will make THE BORGIAS unlike anything else on television.”
The Borgias will be a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s’ most intriguing and infamous dynastic families. The New York Magazine said when it was announced ‘Whether the result will make for good television (it’s being executive produced by Neil Jordan), or lusty, fetid, campy good television, we’ll have to wait and see.’
Watch the trailer and decide for yourself…hopefully a ‘savvy’ network in Australia will pick it up. Bring it on!
The Borgias is a forthcoming historical fiction television series created by Neil Jordan for Showtime.
The series is based on the tales and stories of the Italian Borgia dynasty, and stars Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia and François Arnaud, David Oakes, Holliday Grainger and Aidan Alexander as Cesare, Juan, Lucrezia and Joffre Borgia respectively. And, Derek Jacobi will play Cardinal Orsini.