When the forces of the English Revolution unseated -- and beheaded -- his father, Charles II fled to the Netherlands, only to reclaim the throne and usher in an era of prosperity years later. This BBC miniseries -- aired stateside on A&E -- focuses on those later years, as the hedonistic Charles (Rufus Sewell) takes control of the United Kingdom, leads its people through plague and civil unrest, and -- amidst Protestant outcries -- ousts his Catholic brother James as heir to the throne. Meanwhile, his duplicitous mistress Barbara (Helen McCrory) works her machinations behind the scenes, scheming for her cousin George (Rupert Graves) to ascend the throne. The Last King: The Power and Passion of Charles II also stars Shirley Henderson as Charles' long-suffering wife, Catherine.
by Michael Hastings synopsis