The Crown debuted the first half of its sixth and final season on Netflix on November 16. Although actress Elizabeth Debicki has been praised for her performance as Princess Diana, audiences and critics weren’t thrilled with the character’s ghostly representation in the series.
The first four episodes of the final season depict events in the late 1990s leading up to Princess Diana’s death, as well as the aftermath as Prince Charles processes her passing in what the Guardian said is “the very definition of bad writing” in a scathing review.
“It started teetering in season three, lost its balance entirely over the new two, and is now plummeting into the abyss,” said Guardian critic Lucy Mangan. This is “despite the uniformly brilliant performances from the entire cast,” she notes.
Audiences seem haunted by Diana’s ghost as an exploration of grief, saying it was a bizarre addition to the series, with some even calling it a crime against humanity. The Telegraph’s Anita Singh said in her review that the plot point sounded “like desperation on the part of writer Peter Morgan.” Despite occasionally straying from historical accuracy, the series has received acclaim and awards for its acting, directing, cinematography, and writing in previous seasons.
Regardless of negative reviews, The Crown topped Netflix’s list of English TV series for the week of November 21, ahead of Matt Rife’s stand-up special Natural Selection and the limited series All The Light We Cannot See. The series netted 11.1 million views and reached the Top 10 in 85 countries.
The Crown is a fictionalized drama inspired by the true story of Queen Elizabeth II and how political and personal events shaped her reign. The show is based on Peter Morgan’s award-winning play The Audience. The show stars Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Rufus Kampa as Prince William, Fflyn Edwards as Prince Harry, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles, Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed, and Salim Daw as Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Part two of the final season of The Crown will debut on Netflix on December 14.