The Crown – Season 5 Episode 8 “Gunpowder” Recap & Review


Throughout episode 8, Princess Diana’s choice to go forward with the interview is explored, along with its repercussions on the nation and The Crown.

The BBC’s team meeting is showcased in the opening scenes. They rejoice that Her Majesty has extended the Royal Charter for an additional ten years. However, the chairman is concerned that the BBC may suffer if satellite channels become more prevalent.

Princess Diana continues to pursue her hidden relationship with Khan. She informs William about her newfound relationship, but he refuses to hear about it since he feels it will complicate matters for him.

The BBC crew questions Martin Bashir regarding Diana’s intentions behind this interview. Given that the Royal Family has ties to the broadcasting organization, the BBC chose to reconsider whether it should proceed with the interview or not. Following that, Duke Hussey requests the BBC’s Director – John Birt – to honor the Queen on the occasion of her anniversary celebration. The Duke lashes out towards the satellite industry once more, expressing his out-of-date viewpoints on television. As a consequence, John Birt is encouraged to proceed with the interview of Princess Diana.

Despite Diana’s reluctance, Martin Bashir insists they go through with the interview during bonfire night, much like it was done during the Gunpowder Plot. Martin also implies that the Crown has convinced her brother Charles Spencer to act behind her back, consequently, she must proceed swiftly with the interview.

Martin Bashir is able to enter Diana’s house covertly because the interview has been set up using sound devices there. Fireworks are audible outside, serving as the ideal distraction. When the Royal Family appears to enjoy the starry sky’s splendour, Princess Diana spills the beans on her troubled marriage, her post-natal depression, and the monarchy. Ultimately, John Birt must decide whether to broadcast the heated interview or not.

Diana informs Her Majesty the Queen that she spoke to the BBC in order to be open and honest with her. She explains that she intended to make her marriage’s facts apparent. The Queen instantly dismisses her and requests to speak privately. Diana informs Elizabeth that she has attempted to contact her multiple times but has been turned down. She is then informed by Elizabeth that everybody in the Imperial Family is occupied and that Elizabeth fiercely defends her when the opportunity presents itself.

She attempts to persuade Diana that just about everything she experiences, including the animosity, is all in her head. She makes an attempt to convince Diana that she is not her enemy. Sadly, it’s far too late. The interview is set to be televised as initially discussed.

At the very least, screenwriter Peter Morgan has discovered an entirely new path into the plot. He presents it as a clash of ideologies involving Sir Hussey, the BBC’s legendary chairman, and fervent royalist – spouse to the Monarch’s lady-in-waiting against John Birt, an ardent republican in this case.

The interview is set up behind Hussey’s back since he would never agree to it. Birt takes the opportunity to suppress Hussey, who he evidently despises. Duke Hussey is informed by John Birt that the special interview will be broadcasted. Hussey is enraged and thinks the BBC will suffer as a result.

The royal couple attends a musical at the theatre to commemorate the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s auspicious occasion. In the meantime, the BBC is airing Martin Bashir’s chat with Princess Diana. We already know how damaging this has been to the Crown as well as to the heir to the throne if you’ve ever followed this interview.

Diana explains how her psychological state has suffered as a result of marrying into the system. Furthermore, she openly doubts Prince Charles’ ability to play the role of King. As the conversation comes to an end, Diana reveals that she is a threat towards the Royal Family and that she does not expect to become the queen. The interview undoubtedly caused a disastrous phase for the system.

The Episode Review

The Diana segment, which had been introduced throughout the previous episode, was expanded upon in episode 8. These are among the most gruesome sections that serve as the foundation for some highly riveting drama, even though those who are familiar with the family’s actual history certainly understand how the terrible story is going to end.

This specific episode focuses on the controversial BBC interview in which Princess Diana has spoken out against the Crown and tarnished the image of the Royals. Despite some very drastic alterations, this overall sequence is really well staged and structured. This gutsy episode included exactly the sort of material that The Crown consistently produces.

Aside from the fact that they could have given the Diana and Charles characters more depth and nuance, this episode does an excellent job of highlighting Diana’s frustration, along with Martin’s deception and treachery.

Yet, once again this episode employs The Crowns’ standard symbolic custom, this time they draw a parallel between the Gunpowder Plot and Diana’s interview, both of which share one crucial factor: treason.

The Princess of Wales is portrayed with imposing elegance and vigor, is The Crown’s most potent method of engagement. By contrast to the Royal Family, which in this season is headed by the admirably stern Imelda Staunton as the Monarch.

Although the plot could have been handled better by the writers, Diana plays her role flawlessly. In the interview sequence in particular, the actress manages to capture every minute detail, expression, and emotion compared to the actual interview, and the portrayal of the late Princess Diana is magnificent.

Diana attempts to justify the interview to the reigning monarch in one of the finest sequences of the series that pits two outstanding actresses, Debicki and Staunton, against one another. Her Majesty, however, expresses no compassion, verbally attacking her for discussing private problems in public, and insisting that she constantly defends Diana in front of her inner-circle sceptics.

The most iconic quote from Diana’s chat with Bashir, “There were three of us in this marriage”, was recreated by Debicki, leaving the Royal Palace in a state of panic. Debicki’s remarkable ability to convey Diana’s innermost agony during this conversation will leave you baffled, just like the royal family.

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1 thought on “The Crown – Season 5 Episode 8 “Gunpowder” Recap & Review”

  1. Just a note on your naming of individuals in this item and the British system of honours.

    The full name of the chairman of the BBC at the time was Marmaduke Hussey, his name was shorterned to Duke colloquially – this has nothing to do with the title Duke, as in Duke of Edinburgh.

    It seems he was made a knight in the 1990s (possibly on his appointment as Chairman of the BBC). References to knights are to their first names so he would be referred to as Sir Marmaduke. He was never ‘Sir Hussey’ as you state.

    In late 1996 he was given a life peerage so was made Lord Hussey of North Bradley – from that point onwards he would be referred to as Lord Hussey.

    Interesting guy – led a long life at the heart of the establishment –

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