“Versailles”: A Raunchy View Of The French

With scenes of sex, murder and conspiracy within the opening minutes of episode one, “Versailles,” a new 10-part television series that delves into the private lives of Louis XIV and his court, could never be described as “demure.” Add to the aforementioned raunchiness an unprecedented $40 million budget (twice as much as “Downton Abbey’s first season) a cast full of Brits, a cavalier approach to historical fact, and a script shot in English, and the British may as well have invaded France and declared “guerre!” “As soon as we started,” says David Wolstencroft, co-creator of “Versailles,” “I said to my partner Simon Mirren (nephew of Helen): ‘We’re English and writing this in English. So with French patriotism and their general national pride – we are totally fucked!’ But sometimes it takes a different context to shine a light on history.” The series will be broadcast in the UK next month and later in the year in the U.S. But not on PBS: too much tits and ass.

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