Will S01E04 1080p Brave New World
1h | Drama | Episode aired 24 July 2017
Marlowe introduces Will to the decadent elite of London, but things take a macabre turn; Alice becomes disillusioned; Will must fight for all he holds dear.
In a defining moment of episode four of “Will,” actor Richard Burbage effortlessly pulls a copy of the English chronicle of Holinshed from his lodgings and hands it to “Willy Shakeshaft” with the suggestion of writing a play on Henry VI. The program does not make clear how such an expensive, limited edition book would be floating around in a low-rent district of Elizabethan London. This example is at the heart of the lack of research into the Elizabethan theatres on the part of the producers of the series “Will.”
This episode also takes us deeper into the world of religion when Will is improbably invited to the swanky get-together of men like Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Bacon in what is evidently the “School of the Night,” the group that talks about atheism and would appear to engage in satanic practices when they stare into the blue flame of the fire lit by John Dee. Later in the program, it is clear that at least one member of the group was merely playing along and did not take the ideas of the clique seriously.
But during the ceremony, Will takes drugs, which transport him to such a wild and psychedelic state that, when he returns to his senses, he decides to cut ties with his “cousin,” the recusant Robert Southwell. Will washes his hands of the entire religious imbroglio, returning the draft of the manuscript that Southwell hoped his cousin would revise to support the Catholic cause and lead to an ending religious hostilities in England.
In the personal subplot, Will climbs up a wall like Romeo in order to dissuade Alice from becoming betrothed to a wealthy brewer. By now, the question of adultery has dropped out of Will’s mind while he is “swiving” Alice. “Swive” is one of the many racy words used by young Alice, who also cries out at the party, “Let’s get “____-faced!”
After another gruesome torture sequence, Topcliffe conceives the notion of recruiting the upstart playwright to write an anti-Catholic play for the Elizabethan public theatre. On the one hand, Topclliffe asserts of playwrights that “Writers are the new serpent in the garden.” Yet, he has no trouble in enlisting Will for the writing of propaganda. By the end of the program, Will is taken away by armed guard to the torture chamber of Topcliffe. But there is no need for concern, as Will confidently boasts in unpolished English that “Us Stratford boys are famously sturdy.”
Director: Elliott Lester
Writers: Craig Pearce (created by), Cat Jones
Stars: Laurie Davidson, Olivia DeJonge, Ewen Bremner