Becoming Elizabeth – Episode 2 – Elizabeth I’s #metoo moment is ruined

If I had a soapbox, I’d be getting on it this week! Honestly, I was so cross about episode 2 of the Starz series, “Becoming Elizabeth”! I was and still am fuming!

In the video below, I talk about a key storyline in this week’s “Becoming Elizabeth” episode. I’m so very disappointed in how they handled the Thomas Seymour and Elizabeth storyline. It’s like they took the #MeToo movement, threw it on the floor and stamped all over it. This was such a good opportunity to educate; instead, they made it a trashy romance

By the way, you can join me in my weekly chats on the series, and also enjoy all the goodies on offer with the online event “Elizabeth I: The Life of Gloriana, the Virgin Queen” by registering at

Do make sure you register in time for this week’s chat. It takes place on Friday 24th June at 10pm UK/ 5pm New York time.

Trigger alert: My video is on themes of abuse and harassment.

6 thoughts on “Becoming Elizabeth – Episode 2 – Elizabeth I’s #metoo moment is ruined

  1. I have not watched this series because I am all too aware how film/TV producers create something that bears no resemblance to actual history. It is an act of hubris to take an episode from history that is simply popping with drama and scandal, and then change it until it is recognizable for “creative” purposes. This outrages me, not because I spurn creativity, but that this series will be the only source of historical information for so many people who, frankly, never read books. This case in particular is profoundly disturbing to me because it is another example of the grooming behavior being portrayed as normal in young people and children. Online predators have been around for a while, but that was in the shadows. The horrific predations provided by Jeffrey Epstein to men in the highest circles in society are being revealed, and school teachers are openly teaching not reading, writing and math but frank pornography for children. Disney shows are now focussing on LGBQT issues rather than child-friendly storylines. Your comments about this episode reveal this agenda is being pushed even in historical dramas. The best thing is exactly what you are doing: CALL IT OUT!!! Then the rest of us can refuse to watch it. No viewers, no profits. Even Disney is feeling intense pressure from parental backlash. We have to fight this, and not just for the integrity of historical dramas. It’s bigger than that. And thank you for everything you are doing.

    1. I think this comment should be removed. Likening LGBQT to pornography is offensive and wrong. Teachers are not teaching pornography in schools. And Becoming Elizabeth is not a drama for children.

    2. Why are LGBQT issues not child friendly and why shouldn’t Disney feature them? And what do you mean about teachers teaching pornography? You’ve lost me.

      1. Claire,
        That’s the politics in the US now between the right conservatives and the left liberals. The right Christian fundamentalists are anti-gay, Trans, Disney, abortion, contraceptive, intermarriage…….etc., and the Supreme Court is made of a majority of Catholic extremists.

  2. I am writing from a seventeenth century coaching inn, restored as a B and B in deepest Lincs.

    Having seen the first 2 episodes I am still recovering from the children in the schoolroom scene listening to Tom Seymour and his now wife, Katharine Parr making love practically next door in the middle of the day.

    I love Tom Cullen, especially as I am a big Knightsfall fan. I am finding bits of his character very creepy. However, I don’t think he abused Elizabeth, but his behaviour was somewhat inappropriate. The evidence is dubious for clarity of what went on as most of it comes from two servants who were questioned harshly, when Tom Seymour was in big trouble. The crown were looking for dirt on him and he was also supposed to have sought marriage from Elizabeth. There is some other evidence but most comes from their confessions.

    The kiss that Elizabeth gave Tom Seymour was entirely consensual and may even have been innocent. They were found by a pregnant Katharine Parr who sent Elizabeth away which broke the young woman’s heart. Elizabeth was 14 when this took place, a woman according to the Tudors. That said she was of high status, the daughter of the late King, a Princess in all but name, an heir to the throne, his ward, his stepdaughter etc. Whatever he was up to it wasn’t wanted and it was disrespectful, inappropriate and unfatherly. He should have been a mentor, not given her cause for concern.

    I don’t believe it rose to abuse, but it was not the behaviour you hope from a step father. Elizabeth was very rich at this time, he was after her influence and money. I don’t know what Kat saw in him but Tom Seymour was a womaniser. He proposed to three women before Katharine Parr. Can you imagine him married to Princess Mary? She would have eaten him alive. As a young lady Elizabeth was at that age when she was sexually aware but vulnerable and nieve. She was possibly flattered and felt comforted but also confused. If he did stray too far, she didn’t encourage him and he was the aggressor. In any case he was the full adult, the experienced older man, she barely out of childhood. Girls of 14 are easily influenced today, but they are not the adults. They are flattered and believe people, they don’t have the age and life experience to tell them otherwise. Elizabeth certainly didn’t. Even if Elizabeth fancied him, Seymour had a duty of care to act responsibly. He obviously had some kinda sex addiction. He may have made unwelcome advances, might even have made her feel uncomfortable, but I think it’s unclear as to how far he went or tried to do and even the exact role of Katharine Parr. She too is recorded as fascinating abuse with her husband. How much is are the frightened words of two household servants and how much is the creepy behaviour of a 16th century slime ball?

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