Jessica Raine is a dark-haired English actress who I’ve come to enjoy seeing in my frock flicks! You may recall her from Call the Midwife, Wolf Hall, and Jericho, and soon she’ll be playing Catherine Parr in Becoming Elizabeth. That seemed like enough of a frock flicks resume to deserve a roundup!
Robin Hood (2010)
She had the small role of Isabella, Countess of Gloucester, first wife to King John, but before he was king (he had the marriage annulled), in this action-y Robin Hood movie that kind of got medieval women’s headdresses as a concept.
The Woman in Black (2012)
A gothic supernatural starring Daniel Radcliffe. Raine had yet another small role as a nanny.
Call the Midwife (2012-14)
She was the lead of the series — Jenny Lee, who has just qualified to work as a midwife — for three seasons. I’ve never managed to make it through one episode, so you tell me if she’s good!
Partners in Crime (2015)
A six-part TV adaptation of two Agatha Christie novels. Raine plays Prudence (Tuppence) Beresford, who works along with her husband for British Intelligence during World War II.
Wolf Hall (2015)
She played Jane Rochford, wife of Anne Boleyn’s brother George, who testified against the two in their adultery trials.
As a newly down-and-out younger mother who has to move to a railroad shanty town in 1870s Yorkshire. She of course finds her inner strength and a boyfriend.
The Last Post (2017)
Set in what was then the Federation of South Arabia, during the Aden Emergency/Radfan Uprising of 1963. Raine plays a wife of one of the British officers stationed there.
An adaptation of an 1871 Sheridan Le Fanu novel, an early work of vampire fiction. Spoiler alert: Trystan hated it (short review coming soon). Raine plays a strict governess (is there any other kind?).
Becoming Elizabeth (2022)
Raine will be playing Catherine Parr, last wife of Henry VIII and stepmother to Queen Elizabeth I while she was still a princess. I’m looking forward to it!
Do you enjoy Jessica Raine in your frock flicks?
The only thing wrong with Isabella of Gloucester’s headress is it’s too plain. Isabella was a wealthy heiress as well as wife of a royal prince, she’d have been wearing a circlet over that veil, probably of gold, possibly jeweled and other jewelry as well. She wouldn’t be imitating a nun!
Why does Wolf Hall costuming go to pieces on the head? The gowns are fine if rather plain and unembellished for ladies of rank but the hoods are nightmares!
Becoming Elizabeth’s hoods are much better with the white edges of the undercap showing and billiments but they are too sticky up and worn too far back, and kind of understated for the God Darned Queen of England!
Raine was fine as Tuppence. It’s not her fault I kept seeing and hearing Frances Annis.
Francesca Annis FTW! :)
The “Partners in Crime” miniseries with Raine had terrific clothes, but Tommy came off as a total moron, always needing to be saved. The Francesca Annis/James Warwick was MUCH better. And the 1920s costumes were to die for.
Wasn’t it gorgeous! and the hats!!!!
Thank you!!! I hated the new Tommy and Tuppence not just for being a remake of something that was perfectly done in 1986, but because it’s serious and they don’t have the right kind of chemistry as a couple. The 80s one captures the books really well.
My favourites are Wolfe Hall and Call The Midwife. Partners in Crime was post-WWII and I prefer the Francesca Annis version so much better.
Good choice for Catherine/Katherine Parr. Fun myth: Strict governesses/nannies are said to be the root cause of the English upper-class males’ thing for flagellation. (I think it’s boarding school, myself.)
“Call the Midwife” is relentlessly wholesome (in a good way), while at the same time dealing with late 50’s-early 60’s health and social issues. Raine was fine in it and the non-uniform costumes are quite good for the period, though Trixie (Helen George) has always been the fashion-plate of the cast. https://www.pbssocal.org/shows/call-midwife/clip/call-midwife-season-4-behind-scenes-costumes-season-4
If you read the books, the real-life Jennifer Worth goes on a bit about how much she loved fashion as a young woman and all the clever ways she found to recreate designer looks on a budget. There’s even an anecdote of her taking one of the other midwives for a makeover at Liberty! I wish the show had leaned into this aspect of her character a bit more
Really? You didn’t see the thalidomide series, or the ones where the abject poverty is displayed, cockroaches and all? It’s had some very tough storylines.
It’s hugely popular, and deservedly so.
IMO Call the Midwife picked up after she left. But that may be due to running out of original material; treatment was a bit reverent.
Some, but NOT Partners In Crime. I thought it was crap compared to the original. Tommy was a blockhead and Tuppence was stupidly reckless.
I totally agree. The clothing, especially Tuppence’s, was very well done. but Tommy was portrayed as a moron who always needs to be saved. The Francesca Annis/James Warwick was infinitely better and the 1920s clothing was to die for.
I quite like Jessica Raine! But you’ve missed out her role as Dr Who’s original producer, Verity Lambert in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2663812/
Chiming in as another Call the Midwife fan.
Her Lady Jane Roachford was an acidic delight in Wolf Hall. Technically, she was Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law, no?
Not just technically, Jane Parker was married to George Boleyn. It’s generally assumed to have been an unhappy marriage but the accepted narrative that Jane cold bloodedly threw her husband under the bus has been questioned. She later abetted Queen Catherine Howard’s meetings with Thomas Culpeper and lost her head. God knows why she’d do such a stupid thing but she had a rather spectacular breakdown when caught and might not have been hitting on all cylinders.
Assumed to be an unhappy marriage by those who don’t bother to read primary sources😞
I don’t understand why fiction keeps portraying Lady Rochford as hating the Boleyns, when she seems to have been quite close with them, particularly Anne and George. She sent a letter of comfort to George in the tower. She begged Cromwell to get their marriage bed back after George’s execution. She helped Anne get rid of one of the King’s mistresses. And we never see this on screen😭 Because media loves fictional catfights instead of close relationships between females😡
Probably also why Anne and Mary Boleyn seems to have jealousy problems on screen, when in real life Anne was the only one to help Mary out after she was disowned.