DVD: Henry: Mind of a Tyrant (U)

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The Independent Culture

Countless films, drama series and documentaries have raked over the ashes of this fiery-haired and fiery-tempered king in recent years.

What hope of new ground? The answer: David Starkey, Tudor television impresario, on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Henry's accession to the throne. In the four parts of Henry: Mind of a Tyrant, first aired on Channel 4, Starkey invigorates tired 16th-century documents with his distinctive mix of boyish curiosity and academic pomp. Yet Starkey's emphasis on primary sources promotes the series above the sensationalism that usually categorises Henry's forays into modern media. He keeps the most sexed-up king in British history sexy without compromising attention to detail.

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