Back in the '90s, TV mega-mogul Aaron Spelling spun off teen phenomenon Beverly Hills, 90210 into the adult-targeted Melrose Place. If you were a fan of that hyperbolic yet undeniably sexy freak show but wished it were more imaginative or explicit or picturesque or, you know, intelligent, then fear not, we have the perfect season of the perfect show for you.
Yes, the royal romp that is Versailles is back for a second season and we’re already all hot under our ruffled collars. Get ready for more scandalous sex and shocking violence, and a new televisual benchmark in gratuitous wig use.
For those who aren’t history buffs (and, thanks to poetic licence, even those who are), the plot of Versailles’ debut season so continually smacked us over the heads with unpredictable moments that the only real constant was King Louis XIV (George Blagden) acting like a spoilt, megalomaniacal horn-bag.
Louis spent the premiere season transforming the palace of Versailles into the epicentre of France, forcing everyone with a soupçon of nobility to relocate and live on the same stretch of land. By the season’s end, the boy-cum-Sun King had seized complete control of the nation, but in doing so left a trail of blood, and created vengeful enemies both on and beyond French soil, including members of his own coveted court.
To make matters worse, Louis’ enigmatic brother, Philippe (Alexander Vlahos), left the palace, wanting nothing to do with the king or his shenanigans. Henriette (Noémie Schmidt), Louis' sister-in-law/lover, suffered murder-by-poison and his own son, the Dauphin (James Clack), was kidnapped.
Coming up on…
Season two is way darker and more devilishly twisty than last year’s run. It’s also set a few years after the events of season one’s climax. We really don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a taste of what to expect...
The repercussions of the Dauphin’s kidnapping still rings through the palace corridors
Louis’ lover, Madame De Montespan (Anna Brewster), has solidified her position as the most powerful woman in France...
...and she’s got such a stronghold on Louis that he might be losing his mind a little
Louis’ enforcer, Fabien Marchel (Tygh Runyan), is as badass (and helpful) as ever
Copious amounts of a character’s blood is shed in the premiere
Poisoning, eye-gouging and beheadings are frequent…
…and something of a strange spectacle to the King and his cronies
Possibly most excitingly, debonair fan favourite Chevalier de Lorraine (Evan Williams), Philippe’s banished lover, returns!
Watch Versailles season two on Thursdays at 9:30pm on SBS. Missed the first episode? Catch up at SBS On Demand: