During a period when Britain was divided, unstable and violent, one of the world's first secret services was born. Run by William and Robert Cecil, this father and son team had the duty of protecting the Queen and the Country. This series asks leading historians to each study the period from a different key player's point of view, dissecting the minds and motivations of the protagonists, to reveal a covert spy network - and present a picture of the Elizabethan Court as it really was. This series takes us through the biggest events of the period, from the entrapment and execution of Mary Queen of Scots to the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the capture and escape of Catholic fugitive John Gerard and the most infamous terrorist conspiracy in British history - the Gunpowder Plot.
- Elizabeth I's Secret Agents review by CV
Specialist historians were chosen for each protagonist who spoke over action sequences. Some of the narrative was lost in slangy modernism, for instance, Robert Cecil was described as a "prick", by one commentator. This sort of thing needs explanation and the meaning is otherwise left vague. What was particularly interesting, I thought, was the showing of the continuity of the running of the state when the monarchy radically changed from Tudor to Stuart. The relationship between the two dynasties was very well explained. I thought there should have been more on John Walsingham and the betrayal of Mary Queen of Scots.