WCW: Alex Kingston

26

To many of us, Alex Kingston is Moll Flanders or River Song. Trystan is right, she SHOULD do a lot more frock flicks! But she’s actually done far more than the few productions T. could remember (Moll Flanders, Lost in Austen, Upstairs Downstairs). Kingston is a talented actress, strong personality — and she’s got swoon-worthy curly hair!

 

Hannay (1989)

Alex guest-starred in one episode of this early 20th-century-set series about a South African adventurer.

1989 Hannay

Big hair and soutache braid.

 

Covington Cross (1992)

A British TV series about a family living in the 14th century. Kingston guest-starred in one episode.

1992 Covington Cross

Seems like a dry run for Moll Flanders, eh?

 

Carrington (1995)

The film is about early 20th-century English painter Dora Carrington, played by Emma Thompson. Kingston plays writer Frances Marshall Partridge, who marries Carrington’s ex-husband Ralph Partridge.

1995 Carrington

It must be a minor role, because this crap screenshot was the best I could do!

 

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (1996)

One of the BEST late-17th-century set films ever, both for costuming and for entertainment quality, this miniseries is an adaptation of the Daniel Defoe novel about a poor woman who moves up and down the social ladder.

Moll Flanders (1996)

Kingston is less convincing at looking like young, innocent Moll (less lipstick might help), although the performance is great.

Moll Flanders (1996)

But once Moll strikes out on her own, Kingston is a DIVA.

Moll Flanders (1996)

In faaaaabulous 17th-century gowns.

Moll Flanders (1996)

And period-appropriate mantuas!

 

Warrior Queen (2003)

Kingston plays famous 1st-century English warrior queen Boudica, the queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe who led a rebellion against the Romans. I remember I watched this decades ago and it didn’t suck, but that’s all I remember!

2003 Warrior Queen

I have no idea what 1st-c. Celtic people wore!

2003 Warrior Queen

Possibly this?

 

Sweet Land (2005)

A film set in 1920 Minnesota, about a Norwegian woman who travels to the States for an arranged married to a farmer. Kingston plays “Brownie.”

The only decent photo I can find is this behind-the-scenes shot!

 

Lost in Austen (2008)

As a surprisingly (and convincingly!) badass Mrs. Bennet in this twisted take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Lost in Austen (2008)

She’s a younger and prettier version than is frequently seen on screen.

2008 Lost in Austen

And while she’s a twittering dipshit, there’s steel underneath.

 

Ben Hur (2010)

A TV miniseries adaptation of the 1880 novel set in the Biblical era. Kingston plays Ben Hur’s mother, Ruth.

2010 Ben Hur

Another era I know nothing about!

2010 Ben Hur

I’m kind of questioning the hair, but okay…

 

Upstairs Downstairs (2012)

The 2010 reboot of the classic BBC series, this time set in the 1930s. Kingston shows up in season 3 as a half-sister, the progressive lesbian doctor Blanche.

She’s very forward-thinking, hence the ethnic pattern on the coat.

2012 Upstairs Downstairs

Spectacles! She must be smart!

 

Macbeth (2013)

A live National Theatre production, but they, it was broadcast on TV and it lets me include a great photo of Kingston in a crown! She plays Lady Macbeth, natch.

2013 Macbeth

KWEEN!

2013 Macbeth

 

Which is your favorite of Alex Kingston’s frock flicks roles?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

26 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    I didn’t know that Upstairs Downstairs with Keeley had a third season. I’m going to see if it’s on Amazon Prime.

    But I have to say her Boudiccea was excellent. Steel core warrior and protective mother all in one.

    Don’t really remember much about Moll Flanders except her and the costumes. She was the best Moll in history.

    Reply
  2. Holly

    Covington Cross aired in the US. I was obsessed with it in jr high. Ione Skye and Glen Quinn (swoon)

    Reply
    • Roxana

      You too? But it was Nigel Terry I obsessed over. Not that I didn’t notice how stunning Ione Skye was and the general hunkiness of the Grey brothers.

      Reply
    • Kathleen Julie Norvell

      As an aside, did you know that Ione Skye is the singer Donovan’s daughter?

      Reply
  3. Linda Merrill

    I had always hoped while reading the Outlander books that Alex would be cast as Claire in the inevitable movie or tv series. I think she would have been perfect. But by the time Starz started producing it, she was too old to play a 20-something younger Claire, unless they’d done it the way the Crown is being produced with different casts. But that’s much harder to do with fiction versus portraying a real living person (who is also the most photographed person in history).

    Reply
  4. Roxana

    That is NOT how they dressed in First Century Britain. Written sources describe Boudicca as wearing tartan gowns fastened on the shoulders by fibula. And there should be more and heavier gold jewelry. She was a wealthy Queen.

    Reply
    • Kelly

      And probably not wearing metal grommets on her belts.
      That’s Steven Waddington with her on the second Boudicca shot–the ill-fated British officer in Last of the Mohicans (the one starring Daniel Day-Lewis’ hair).b

      Reply
  5. MrsC (Maryanne)

    Moll Flanders, I LOVED it so much. In particular because the insipid US version came out around the same time. Kinda like the Emma movies. No contest!

    Reply
    • SarahV

      This! Also, I remember being stunned (stunned!) at the male nudity* on display on broadcast TV (it was PBS, but still!) .

      *a few male bums.

      Reply
    • M.E. Lawrence

      Oh, her Moll! For some reason I can’t quite express, A.K. is my notion of a perfect 17th-to-18th-century face. Some performers seem so contemporary when they attempt period roles; she doesn’t.

      Reply
  6. Sarah F

    I loved Sweet Land- and not just b/c I’m from Minnesota! Alan Cummings is also in it, playing Kingston’s husband.

    Reply
    • Melanie

      Sweet land is one of my favorites!! Kingston is only in a few scenes but she steals them. “Have some pie…”

      Reply
    • M.E. Lawrence

      Wasn’t that weird? A good actor, but I don’t associate him with humor, joy, pleasure. As I recall, he was OK in “Moll Flanders” and, later on, really miscast as Ted Hughes in “Sylvia.”

      (O.T.: Ridiculous to think that Richard Armitage wasn’t cast; he would have made a great Hughes.)

      Reply
  7. Jen in Oz

    I first saw her in ER… and she turned up on Arrow as Felicity ‘s mother but with her hair straightened for some reason. Also did some people wrangling at a con she was at. She impressed by staying back to ensure everyone who wanted wanted an autograph got one.

    Reply
  8. Cheryl Hansen

    Sweetland is such a lovely story! Brownie is a delight and Cummings as her husband is wonderful. “Bigger, better, faster!”

    Reply
  9. Roxana

    Kingston has git to be one of the sexiest middle aged ladiesaluve without being at all conventionally beautiful.

    Reply
  10. Roxana

    That was supposed to be: Alex Kingston has got to be one of the sexiest middle aged women around.

    Reply

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