The Shadow of the Tower

The Shadow of the Tower is a historical drama that was broadcast on BBC2 in 1972. It was a prequel to the earlier serials The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R and featured several actors who had appeared in them (but in new roles). Consisting of thirteen episodes, it focused on the reign of Henry VII of England and the creation of the Tudor dynasty.


James MaxwellKing Henry VII
Norma WestElizabeth of York
Marigold SharmanMargaret Beaufort
Derek AndersJames IV
Adrienne ByrneCatherine of Aragon
Denis CareyCardinal Morton
John Franklyn-RobbinsSir William Stanley
Gawn GraingerEarl of Kildare
Colin JeavonsSir Robert Clifford
Michael JohnsonLord Lovell
Jason KempPrince Arthur
Rachel KempsonMargaret of York
James LaurensonEarl of Lincoln
Hayward MorseThomas Atwood
Christopher NeameEarl of Warwick (as adult)
Jake RobsonEarl of Warwick (as boy)
Maurice RoëvesHumphrey Stafford
Nicholas SelbyEarl of Devon
Richard WarwickPerkin Warbeck
Joanna TopeCicely
Gary WarrenLambert Simnel
Brian BadcoeJasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
John BennettDe Puebla


EpisodeAir dateTitleSummary
16 Jan. 1972Crown in JeopardyHenry Tudor emerges victorious over Richard III at the battle of Bosworth Field and seeks to form a coalition from which he hopes to establish a Tudor dynasty.
213 Jan. 1972Power in the LandHenry consolidates his power when Elizabeth gives birth to Prince Arthur legitimizing Henry's claim of descent from the legendary monarch.
320 Jan. 1972The Schooling of ApesHenry's enemies represent commoner Lambert Simmel as the Earl of Warwick, the York pretender. The Earl of Lincoln leaves for Ireland to head the army that is forming against Henry.
427 Jan. 1972The Crowning of ApesHenry forms an army to defend himself against the Irish-German army coming against him from Ireland.
53 Feb. 1972The Serpent and the ComforterKing Henry is intrigued by a preacher who is arrested for heresy and speaks with him to persuade him to give up his dissension against the practices of the Catholic Church. The preacher emphasizes to him the simplicity of the Gospel, and his suffering and convictions impress a young Tower guard.[1]
610 Feb. 1972The White HartThe year is 1494 and King Henry is alarmed that the powerful and arrogant Sir William Stanley may be implicated in a plot against his crown.
717 Feb. 1972A Fly in the OintmentAddle-brained Sir John Kendall and his dim-witted nephew devise a ludicrous plan to kill the King with a harmless ointment from phony astrologer.
824 Feb. 1972The Princely GiftVisionary Italian navigator John Cabot has a difficult time convincing Bristol businessmen and the King that his Western voyage to China is practical and profitable.
92 Mar. 1972Do the Sheep Sin?Heavy-handed tax policies lead the peasants of Cornwall to march peacefully in protest on London, but an ambitions nobleman wants to use the pilgrimage to his own advantage.
109 Mar. 1972The Man Who Never WasCommoner Perkin Warbeck, pretender to Henry's throne, finds he's losing support throughout Europe.
1116 Mar. 1972The Strange Shapes of RealityAlthough Perkin Warbeck enjoys only house arrest for his treason through Henry's mercy, he continues to plot against the King.
1223 Mar. 1972The FledglingIn order to give his dynasty more credibility, Henry tries to arrange a marriage between his son and the Spanish princess, but there are preconditions.
1330 Mar. 1972The King without a FaceThe year is now 1501 and Henry is now finally secure on the throne with his promising son Arthur about to marry Catherine of Aragon, however in the shadows tragic events are lying in wait for the King.



  1. Parizo, Pamela. "Plot". IMDB. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  2. "The Shadow of the Tower Episodes Guide and Summaries". Next Episode. Retrieved 1 October 2019.

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