Strong reactions from fans have been flooding in on Twitter following the release of the fourth season of The Crown. As the prestige Netflix drama edges closer to the 21st century, viewers have been astounded by the revealing portrayals of Princess Diana and uncompromising PM, Margaret Thatcher.
Gillian Anderson’s severe and measured portrayal of ruthless Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been dubbed one of the year’s finest TV performances.
Spanning the turbulent 1980s, The Crown’s fourth season tracks Thatcher’s victory in the Falklands to her decimation of the UK’s working-class.
American actress Anderson joined the cast alongside fellow newcomer Emma Corrin as the young, sidelined wife of Prince Charles (played by Josh O’Connor), Princess Diana.
In line with the series’ tradition, the new instalment features a number of revealing meetings between Prime Minister Thatcher and the ostensibly unbiased Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman).
Thatcher’s failure to combat unemployment and refusal to agree to sanctions against Apartheid in South Africa is claimed by the series to have caused a tense relationship between the two leaders.
Although reactions to Anderson’s performance have been almost universally positive, some have criticised the series for portraying the notorious Conservative PM as sympathetic.
The Crown season four offers an unflinching look at Thatcher’s ruinous policies and even her lack of compassion towards her own daughter, Carol (Rebecca Humphries).
Still, the series’ decision to cap off the finale with the PM receiving the Queen’s Order of Merit has raised a number of eyebrows.
Other fans admitted they had just jumped on The Crown bandwagon this year to catch her performance after skipping the first three seasons.
Another wrote: “I have not watched #TheCrown at ALL, but I just started season four.
“Unlike some of you, I am old enough to remember Margaret Thatcher, and MY GOD Gillian Anderson. That voice took me right back to the evening news and Sunday political shows.”
With the latest instalment also exposing Prince Charles’ horrendous treatment of Diana and affair with Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell), some have remarked season four is finally getting to the Royal Family’s most incriminating moments.