Nicholas Galitzine and Julianne Moore in Mary and George

Is ‘Mary And George’ Based on a True Story? Explained

Oozing class and dripping with sexuality and deceit, Starz’s new TV series Mary and George is the new “it” show on the block. Fans are curious about whether the show is based on a true story or not, taking into account its historical setting.

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The British miniseries is indeed based on a true story. The source material has been borrowed from Benjamin Woolley’s non-fiction book The King’s Assassin, which was released in 2017. The series is created by D.C. Moore, with Oliver Hermanus serving as the lead director. For fans watching in the U.S., the show premiered on April 5 and will consist of seven episodes, the last of which will stream on May 17. For viewers across the world, the series has been out for some time now, with its March 5 release date.

The plot revolves around Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham (Julianne Moore), as she conjures up a plan to make her son George Villiers (Nicholas Galitzine) the lover of King James VI and I (Tony Curran). The Countess’ designs are a result of her lack of wealth and hunger for power, and how it leads to unruly incidents shapes up the show. The Starz show has received positive reviews from critics, with performances by Moore and Galitzine being singled out. Apart from the three leads, Laurie Davidson (Robert Carr), Sean Gilder (Sir Thomas Compton), and Mark O’Halloran (Francis Bacon) star in critical roles.

The show covers the controversial death of King James VI and I, an event that’s clouded with suspicion even after 400 years. Official accounts claim that the king succumbed to diseases (malaria, typhus, or dysentery being the possibilities), while Woolley’s book holds George responsible for the monarch’s demise. Since the show remains true to the book, it follows the latter narrative.

Mary and George is available to watch on Starz in the U.S. (new episodes come out every Friday) and Sky Atlantic in the U.K.

(featured image: Starz)


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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.