History be damned. And that's no joke, though the show sometimes feels like one. The CW's Reign (Thursday, 9/8c) is all about herstory, an opulent and giddy bodice-ripper very loosely inspired by the teenage years of the ultimately ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots (a pouty Adelaide Kane). It's like Masterpiece Junior as seen on MTV after a jolt of Red Bull, or more to the point, Gossip Girl goes to court. And while it will win no prizes for scholarly accuracy (to put it mildly), Reign is such a fanciful folly of royal romance and literally poisonous court gossip that it's hard not to hail a CW show that breaks so lavishly from the network's usual formula of angst-ridden ghouls and cloying rom-com.
The CW's Reign may not have the vampires, beasts and other supernatural creatures that dominate the network's schedule, but the period drama fills that void with passion, sex, royalty and damn good fashion.
Reign stars Adelaide Kane as a teenage Mary Queen of Scots. The show begins as she has just left the convent where she's been hiding to return to the French court where she'll prepare to marry Prince Francis of France (Toby Regbo). Although history dictates that the two did wed, the series explores a love triangle between Mary, Francis and his (fictional) half-brother Sebastian (Torrance Coombs). The courtship is also threatened by the Prince's controlling mother, Queen Catherine de' Medici (Megan Follows) as well as Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland), a close ally of Catherine's, who gets a premonition that Mary's marriage to the Prince will cost him his life.
When Adelaide Kane moved from her native Australia to Los Angeles to kick-start an acting career, her life was hardly a royal fairy tale. "I was afraid and homesick and so broke," she remembers over afternoon tea. "I was a nanny full-time to pay my rent."
Three years later, Kane is poised to rule as a breakout star of the fall season, thanks to her leading role as a teenage Mary, Queen of Scots, on The CW's new period drama Reign. The series, which has been given the plum Thursdays-at-9pm time slot following the network's biggest hit, The Vampire Diaries, is already generating plenty of buzz due to its decidedly modern spin on...
Castles, corsets and sword fights —oh my! The CW's new drama Reign is worlds — not to mention centuries — away from the network's many vampires and superheroes. But just because the period drama, based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, takes place way back in 1557 doesn't mean it won't be filled with The CW's signature ingredients of romance, drama and yes, even horror.
"It's not the History Channel," star Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary, said at the Television Critics Association fall previews on Tuesday. "We trying to make a show that people will really enjoy and connect with."
Get the scoop on all the new fall shows
The CW handed out series orders to four new shows Thursday. The Tomorrow People, Reign, The 100 and Star-Crossed join the previously ordered Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals.
The Tomorrow People, which is...