The Mail on Sunday - Event - - FILM - Christo­pher Bray

Not quite 50 years ago the Queen took part in a doc­u­men­tary called Royal

Fam­ily. It has never been re­peated – the show had, it was thought, let too much light in on Royal mys­tique.

Now here comes the first se­ries (of what will be six) of

The Crown (15) ★★★★★,a ten-part drama that takes us through the first years of the Queen’s reign. We start with her mar­riage to Prince Philip. We end with Eden and Suez.

All very fa­mil­iar. Yet I defy any­one to take their eyes off it. Writer Peter Mor­gan and di­rec­tor Stephen Daldry have turned a chron­i­cle of events oft-told into a drama that grips like tof­fee on a loose tooth.

In do­ing so, they’ve given back some of the magic Her Majesty wor­ried she’d lost with that doc­u­men­tary. Buck­ing­ham Palace hasn’t, ap­par­ently, helped one jot. But what a help the show is to the old firm! For what comes out of

The Crown, and es­pe­cially Claire Foy’s trans­fix­ingly limpid cen­tral per­for­mance (above), is just how lit­tle of her­self a monarch can give away – and how cease­lessly strong and sac­ri­fi­cial she must be.

So strong that there are times dur­ing the show when Lili­bet looks like Michael Cor­leone in The God­fa­ther – iso­lated by power, but re­fus­ing to be dragged down by the lone­li­ness of duty.

And there is much else to en­joy: John Lith­gow’s stern, self-re­gard­ing Churchill; Matt Smith’s loyal yet doubt­ing Prince Philip; Vanessa Kirby’s se­duc­tively sullen Princess Mar­garet. All so good you find your­self hop­ing the show never ends.

Not so Baby Driver (15) ★★, a mo­ronic bank-heist ac­tioner that re­hashes ev­ery car chase you’ve ever seen – then re­hashes it again. Steer clear.

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