The Tudors

Season 1 Episode 7

Message to the Emperor

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 13, 2007 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

England's population is suffering, both from a lack of food and from a lethal plague called 'The Sweats'. As a result, King Henry feels depressed and not his usual, confident self. He starts having doubts about the future and his ability to rule the country. Fortunately for him, a change is coming up.moreless

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  • What was the name of the composition that Thomas wrote for Compton's memorial?

    It was beautiful, and I can't see any reference to it at ALL anywhere.
  • The king is very worried when Anne suffers from a deadly disease called The Sweats

    I'm in two minds about this episode.

    Pros: Interesting script and good acting, especially by Rhys-Meyers. His visions and fears seemed very real and were realistic. I feel really sorry for Queen Catherine.

    Cons: I didn't like the way this episode dealth with the character of William Compton. This main star (even though he's not listed as such, I do believe he's had better storylines and more screen time than Knivert) deserved better. When the writer 'made' him gay I had a feeling this was going to happen and indeed, it did. This type of script writing is predictable and old-fashioned. It reeks of: Oh, let's have a gay character. Oh wait, we need someone to die, oh, let's kill of the gay character.

    If they really wanted to emphasize the desperation and scariness of the situation, they should have killed Charles Brandon (my favourite character) or Knivert (as he is listed as one of the main characters), not take this easy way out.moreless
  • I'm getting confused... The writing needs improving.

    One of the problems with this show is that it tries to tell a story that goes on for several years, over just a few episodes. This means that characters can be very important in one episode, and then gone in the next. It means that storylines might be put in main focus in one episode and then dismissed in the next. It also means things happen's really quickly so you need to try your best to keep up.

    One good example is William Compton. He's been a central character in most episodes so far, but it was quite obvious even to someone with practically no knowledge of British historical figures (except royals and other people who had great influence) that he was going to kick the bucket at some point. He's had far more screen-time than the character Knivert (why is the actor portraying him in the opening credits? I can't for the life of me figure out who Knivert is and if he's even appeared on the show yet) but he's not in the opening credits.

    In the previous episode Compton turned out to be gay (not as in happy) which explained why they kept the musician character around. This episode however he drops dead right away and that's really all that came out of that. Did we really need the subplot with him having an interest in chorus boys? If it's not going to amount in anything then what's the point of bringing up a storyline? Was it just to be daring and show that they dared to have two people sporting moustasches (sp?) dancing tongue-tango? I don't know, it just seemed pointless to me.

    Another storyline that's confusing me right now is the marriage between Princess Margaret and Charles Brandon. I liked this storyline. The two of them had chemistry and I thought their relationship would be interesting to follow. In this episode though they seem to have completely dropped the whole storyline for no reason. Brandon is sleeping around with random women and Margaret is nowhere to be seen. She wasn't even present during the church scene towards the end. If Henry only welcomed Brandon back and not Margaret they should have at least made a mentioning of it.

    Thing is, it just doesn't seem to make much sense. Brandon knew how angry the king would be if he pursued a relationship with Margaret, so I'm guessing he wouldn't have done so if he didn't love her. Apparently he loved her enough to marry her even though he knew it brought on the risk of being banished from court (and not to mention subjected to Henry's Queen of Hearts hobby of cutting off people's heads). So why doesn't he have the slightest problem leaving her now and sleeping around with other women? It doesn't seem like the writers have thought this through.

    Another example is Henry's bastard son. They include him on the show, they create a problem surrounding the boy and then they kill him off at age 3, when I believe he was a teenager when he died. Why include him at all if you're not going to have an actual point with having the character on the show?

    I don't know much about what went on at the British court during the rule of Henry VIII, other than his many marital escapades. I don't know if the writers are bending over backwards to include everything that went on during that time period with the people close to Henry. Thing is though they need to explain what they are doing. Why does a character feel one way in one episode, and then a whole other way the next? Frankly half of the characters are coming off as schizophrenic at this point.

    And could they please explain why everyone except Henry hates Wolsey?

    I'm still entertained by this show, but at this point the writing is sub-standard, quite frankly. Perhaps the show is meant for a British audience alone, but I don't really think that's the case. And if it is meant to attract viewers from other countries as well then they need to stop assuming that everyone knows this particular era of British history by heart. Stop confusing the viewers, inform them instead. That would make me a much happier viewer. This show has so much potential, and I would love to see it continue on through all of Henry's six wives. I don't know if that's the intention or not, but I hope so. However the writing needs to shape up, or I will be 100% confused before you can say Jane Seymore.

    As a side-note, it doesn't help much that the Swedish subtitler (or perhaps subtitlers) don't know the meaning of the word "consistancy". Some character names are subtitled in their English form (like Henry, who is known in Sweden as Henrik) while others are subtitled in their Swedish form (Princess Margaret is subtitled as Margareta). To make it more confusing, they sometimes switch back and forth. In the scene where Henry sends Catherine away to stay with their daughter, her name is first subtitled in its Swedish form Katarina, and then just seconds later it's subtitled as Catherine (as well as sometimes being subtitled as Katherine). Way to go, subtitler/s.moreless
  • Message to the Emperor

    Message to the Emperor was a superb episode of The Tudors. I enjoyed watching this episode because it had a lot of character depth and development as well as plot development. The King has made a new alliance with the French and is slowly forgiving Wolsey. A terrible sickness known as the sweats plagues the country and Sir William Compton is among the first casualties. It was really sad to see him die, and poor Thomas Tallus was so lost and sad. It was really interesting to see how people probably reacted and interacted during this period of time when sickness has broken out. It was nice to see Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey both survive their sickness. Things are getting more complex and I look forward to watching the next episode of The Tudors!!!!!!!moreless
  • The story of Henry VIII.

    At the beginning of the episode, William Compton, one of Henry's closest confidants and lover of Thomas Tallis, is the first to fall ill with the Sweats and die. All of England's population is suffering, both from a lack of food and from the Sweats, a deadly disease. As a result, King Henry feels depressed and not his usual, confident self. He starts having doubts about the future and his ability to rule the country. Anne Boleyn falls ill with the Sweat, inflaming Henry's already passionate desire for a secure marriage and a male heir to continue the Tudor dynasty. Fortunately for him, a change is coming up.moreless
Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor

Compton\'s physician

Guest Star

Rachel Kavanagh

Rachel Kavanagh

Ann Hastings

Guest Star

Ian McElhinney

Ian McElhinney

Pope Clement VII

Guest Star

Kris Holden-Ried

Kris Holden-Ried

William Compton

Recurring Role

Joe van Moyland

Joe van Moyland

Thomas Tallis

Recurring Role

Padraic Delaney

Padraic Delaney

George Boleyn

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Cardinal Wolsey: Why should the pope favour the emperor, who has caused him nothing but misery, over the king of England, who has never caused him any harm at all?
      Edward Fox: The trouble is, your Eminence, the swords of the king of England are much further away than the swords of the emperor. Diplomacy is nearly always settled by such proximity.
      Cardinal Wolsey: Spoken like a true lawyer.

    • Queen Katherine: And your fear of The Sweat is greater than your infatuation with your mistress?
      King Henry: Katherine, she is not my mistress. I do not sleep with her. Not whilst you and I are still married.

    • King Henry: Ah! Your Excellence, allow me to introduce...
      French Ambassador: Is this not Mademoiselle Anne? Enchanté. His Eminence, Cardinal Wolsey, has told me all about you, but he did not tell me how beautiful you are. For a Frenchman, that is almost a crime.

    • Charles Brandon: Someone told me taking infusions was the worst thing.
      King Henry: Trust me. (Knivert drinks the infusion) It will make you feel sick, but it's better than the sickness it prevents.

    • Doctor: I'm going to cut into his back, I've heard that it sometimes works. It draws out some of the toxin.

  • NOTES (2)