Peter Morgan could have tackled Diana’s death on Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ in a subtle way in its sixth season. Considering his previous work in ‘The Queen,’ where he addressed the impact of Diana’s passing on Queen Elizabeth and the monarchy, Morgan might have chosen to avoid revisiting similar themes. It would have been refreshing to explore an unusual angle, like the viewpoint of a palace guard amidst public memorials or the perspective of a mouse at Balmoral. However, ‘The Crown’ disappoints by largely rehashing ‘The Queen,’ putting Imelda Staunton in a challenging position to imitate the Queen’s previous portrayal by Helen Mirren.
Split into two parts, the first four episodes have stirred mixed reactions. Despite the engaging portrayal of Diana by Elizabeth Debicki, episodes three and four fall short, marking a less compelling stretch in the series. Premiering this arc before the concluding episodes invites speculation and criticism, particularly concerning Diana’s romance with Dodi Al-Fayed, depicted as a doomed phase rather than a genuine relationship.
While the initial episodes skillfully build the foundation, focusing on Diana and Dodi’s narrative, the later episodes feel lacking. The portrayal of Dodi and Al-Fayed seems overly negative and clichÃ©d, departing from the nuanced characters introduced in prior seasons. Additionally, the writing in the third episode heavily emphasizes foreboding, undermining the authenticity of interactions.
Although the ensemble performances improve in the final hour, the portrayal of Elizabeth remains stagnant. Despite expectations of deeper insights, the character’s development feels repetitive and fails to offer fresh perspectives.