Big decision Crown boss ‘agonised’ over
THE Crown showrunner "agonised" over breaking the Netflix show's rules for Winston Churchill in series three.
The hit series returned for its third season on Sunday, with Olivia Colman taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Claire Foy.
The season focuses on events between 1964 and 1976, but viewers are treated to a surprise cameo from John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, the Queen's first prime minister.
Churchill was a lead character in series one, and the show's creator Peter Morgan has explained why he decided to bring him back for a brief appearance in season 3, reports The Sun.
Speaking on the show's official podcast, he said: "We really agonised about that because to bring John Lithgow over and to hire him just to do one scene, there was a lot of hand-wringing about that.
"And we have this strict rule that the minute a prime minister is out of office you don't see them again.
"The reason why ultimately we decided to go back to having Churchill for a scene is because it felt like another bit of vulnerability for her (Queen Elizabeth II), you know.
"He was the last connection with her father, and also he was her first prime minister.
"She'd so relied on him. But now, of course, by this point in her life and her reign, she's confident. She's had three or four prime ministers by now."
The monarch's vulnerability at this stage in her reign was something that fascinated Morgan, as he continued: "I liked how vulnerable it made her feel, and in this episode and the first episode, of course, we're exploring the idea that not only might Downing Street be compromised but also Buckingham Palace is compromised, as we're in the Cold War now, by a traitor.
"And she's left feeling even more vulnerable without Churchill there somehow to protect her.
"It's a certain type of England that's gone when he goes. The post-Churchillian landscape is suddenly very different, and instead of him you have Harold Wilson."
In season 3, Jason Watkins takes on the role of Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Meanwhile, X Files star Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in series 4 of The Crown.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission