Wednesday, April 9, 2008


'The Tudors' has entered its second season on Showtime at the end of March, but one of the main historical characters from the first season failed to return for the new batch of episodes. As played by Sam Neill, Thomas Cardinal Wolsey met his Maker in the season finale, slashing his own throat rather than be returned to London to possibly face execution for treason.

Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, already has the life of King Henry VIII woven into its fabric, thanks to the 1970s mini-series starring Keith Mitchel, 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII'. (John Baskcomb played Wolsey in that production.) The version of History presented by 'The Tudors', with its graphic emphasis on sex, would not only be the representative of an alternate TV dimension, but I believe it should be housed in the Evil Mirror TV Universe. And the death of Cardinal Wolsey as depicted in the show makes the argument for me.
I won't deny Cardinal Wolsey was a sinner. He had illegitimate children by his mistress; he destroyed those around him who were a threat to the power he amassed; and he quite likely was conspiring against Henry. But even with the vagaries of Time, there's never been any suggestion in any of the histories that he cut his own throat to avoid the executioner's blade. All of them hew to the story that he died of some sort of illness on his journey back from Yorkshire.

Maybe based on that, the theory could have been proposed that he had been poisoned - but again, not by his own hand.

The way I see it, lapsed Catholic that I am, Wolsey would have considered all of his many offenses in life to be forgiven with penance and absolution before he died, or through the punishment of Purgatory after his death. But there would never be salvation after death by suicide. Wolsey's faith would have dictated that his soul be cursed to Hell for Eternity for such a crime against self.

That he would do so anyway can only mean that this televersion of Thomas Wolsey was in the Evil Mirror Universe.

(Just for giggles, I'm also presenting pictures of Wolsey as played by John Gielgud in the 1988 TV production and Orson Welles from the 1960s movie "A Man For All Seasons".....)

Toby OB

1 comment:

the Cur family said...

I'd totally agree that The Tudors belongs in the Mirror Universe, and I totally agree with your Absolution Analysis.

So, we're in total agreement, sir!

Man, cutting your own throat? That takes real chutzpah...