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VERSAILLES Guide to Final Season 3 w/ Producers & Writers + Episode Guide, Photos

Maj Canton - October 5, 2018

VersaillesSeaon3Promo_400x400

 
 

 

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10pm ET/7pm PT Ovation premieres the third and final season of the historical drama series VERSAILLES. In Season 3, Louis XIV (George Blagden) resolves to regain control of his own life, his precious Versailles, and France itself. But rebellion is in the air and new challenges are brewing inside Versailles, as well as outside. Emboldened by his new favorite mistress, Madame de Maintenon (Catherine Walker), he won't relent in his quest for absolute power, convinced of his own divine powers. His dreams come with a cost. The people are tired of paying taxes and resistance is growing. Maintenon, his new favorite, grows in influence and power within the Court. Louis becomes more dogmatic. He refuses to tolerate any disagreement, whether from his people, the Protestants or the Pope himself. Meanwhile, Queen Marie-Therese (Elisa Lasowski) becomes intimate with her cousin, Louis' archenemy Leopold (Rory Keenan), and Prince Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) suspects his brother is hiding a dark secret that only a mysterious prisoner in an iron mask can corroborate. Also starring Evan Williams, Tygh Runyan, Maddison Jaizani, Stuart Bowman and Anna Brewster.

 

OVATION will be airing an exclusive Facebook Live talk show called INSIDE VERSAILLES on its official Facebook page every Saturday night immediately following each new Season 3 episode. Host Chelsea Cannell will chat with cast members Tygh Runyan & Evan Williams about all the twists and turns in the storyline, dastardly deeds, diabolical plots, and, yes, sex and romance! The talk show will also feature fun questions and games with fans, and a teaser of the next week’s episode.

 


 


PRODUCERS CLAUDE CHELLI AND AUDE ALBANO TALK SEASON 3

The End of a Reign, The Beginning of a Legend… Louis has brought an end to the Affair of the Poisons and won the war against Holland.  It seems that nothing will thwart his plans to expand his empire and assert his power over the whole of Europe. But his dreams come at a cost, the people have had enough of paying and trouble is brewing. At Versailles too, Louis must face new challenges. Maintenon, his new mistress, leads him into an assertion of absolutism, which causes considerable dissent in the Court. Louis’ tolerance for any kind of dissidence be it from his people, Protestants or the Pope himself, slowly disappears.


VERSAILLES cast on set.

 

However, a threat hangs over Louis, in the form of a mysterious prisoner whose face is hidden behind an iron mask…

In the first season of VERSAILLES, we watched the great plans of a young king, aged just 28, come to fruition. Still haunted by his traumatic childhood memories of the Fronde, he “invented” Versailles to distance nobles from Paris and keep them under his control in an extraordinary golden prison.

In Season 2, we discovered the dark side of Versailles, where poison had become a common means of eliminating a troublesome husband or an annoying rival. Louis, who was too preoccupied with his imperialist ambitions in Europe, let dark forces take control of his palace, until satanic cults and the Messe Noire put an end to his passionate affair with Madame de Montespan.

This final season starts with an invincible and infallible Louis, wanting for nothing but the love of his people, but reality is set to challenge his ideals. Louis realises that to achieve his goals, he will have to be merciless, and to defeat his enemies, he will have to be brutal. Influenced by his new mistress, Madame de Maintenon, Louis gradually becomes the absolute monarch with divine authority that we know today.


King Louis and Madame de Maintenon in Versailles Palace.

 

However, we continue to dig deeper into the surprising world of historic fiction, beyond the myths of history as we know it, delving even further into the innermost thoughts of our heroes. It is this approach that turns Louis into a character akin to those found in modern fiction, revealing his inner struggles. We see a man riddled with self-doubt and faced with inextricable dilemmas: is he a man, a king or God? Dilemmas that are not too dissimilar to those associated with the assertion of power in our contemporary society.

With this third and final season of VERSAILLES, we wanted to put the final touches to the portrait of one of the most significant characters and eras of the French history, without oversimplification or complacency.


WRITERS ANDREW BAMPFIELD AND TIM LOANE TALK SEASON 3

At the start of Season 3, the newly completed Palace of Versailles is revealed in all its glory but Louis still has work to do. His plans are not yet complete. We wanted to take a look at Louis' greatest ambitions as he sets out to unite out all of France under his rule and become the most powerful king in Europe. Season 1 follows Louis’ transition from childhood to adult life; in Season 2, he becomes a king; so we decided that Season 3 should trace his journey from king to God.


George Blagden as Sun God Louis-XIV in Versailles.

 

We were in a period of victory and consolidation under Louis' reign, and we wanted to make his journey as treacherous as possible, to confront him with bigger and more deadly enemies than ever before. The first, and most frightening of all, is the self-doubt that can grow in the spirit of every man. We were looking for a way to put ourselves in his shoes, to rock his belief that God had chosen him as king, to force him to question who he really was.

Our research led us to the legend of the Man in the Iron Mask – a mystery emerging from a collection of sketchy details and rumours that has fascinated people for centuries, but has never been solved. There are many theories about his identity, and many think they know the story – so we decided to tell it like it has never been told before. We wanted to bring the mystery to the fore, depict the legend in a whole new light and make a revelation that would be as shocking for Louis as it would be for our audience. This was one of the biggest challenges of Season 3, the kind of enigma that writers love – using a story like the Man in the Iron Mask to challenge everything that Louis believed in. It gives us great satisfaction as writers to know that while the story of our adventure is largely fictional, it could actually be completely true, according to the facts as we know them!


George Blagden as Louis XIV in mask.

 

From the outset we were determined to put Bontemps at the center of Season 3. One of our favourite characters, a constant quiet presence, this was our chance to really test his loyalty to the king, to force him to the edge, and to put Louis’ future in his hands in a way no one could have foreseen.

It was decided very early on that the story of the Man in the Iron Mask would be closely linked to that of the Catholic Church. It is well known that Louis had a tumultuous relationship with Rome, and that although they reached agreements at the geopolitical level, they were often in conflict, so much so that Louis proclaimed himself head of his own Church in France. It was the height of impudence, a most shocking declaration of intent: the most ambitious and capricious of kings, defying Rome, which was the central seat of power for the whole of Europe.

We created Cardinal Leto as the real villain of the piece – the ultimate focus of Louis’ wrath. A cunning diplomat and ruthless tactician, Leto would stop at nothing to force the maverick into submission – and there’s nothing Louis likes more than a challenge like that. And what better way to shake Louis’ world than to threaten his marriage under his own roof and to confront him with a rival in his golden bedroom chamber as well as in the Court? Léopold is presented as a powerful and charismatic equal, another rival who has the gall to oppose the king. We have probably always felt slightly sorry for the Queen, Marie-Thérèse, who has displayed great endurance. History dictated that her days would be numbered in Season 3, so we wanted her to experience real passion before her demise.


Elisa Lasowski as Queen Maria Theresa and George Blagden as King Louis XIV in Versailles court.

 

Maintenon, Louis’ companion until the end of his days, had conquered his heart at the end of Season 2, therefore we had to give her a new set of problems for this season. Known for her religious fervor, we chose to make her own faith the greatest obstacle to her happiness. In doing so, we wanted to create a being who was ready to be consumed by passion. You can imagine our joy in discovering that prior to devoting herself to God, the real Maintenon actually had a pretty dark past. And a past as a Protestant no less.

Louis’ terrible persecution of the protestant people might seem irrational today. Our challenge was to make it the backdrop to his political plan to unify the people of France. “One Faith. One France. One King.” This was part of his final solution to control his people, to dispose of all dissidents. We created the Protestant widow, Delphine, as the moral centre of this opposition. Perhaps a more modern character, foreshadowing the Age of Enlightenment, we wanted her to be an intellectual force, an early feminist, a freethinker.

We wanted to see and feel the real impact of the draconian policy that Louis imposed on his people. This is why we have introduced the city of Paris as a new major character. We believe in Jeanne and Guillaume, real, ordinary French people who are fighting to survive, pushed to the brink by the tyranny of the King. It’s a whole new world for VERSAILLES. We hope that it will be a nice surprise, in sharp contrast to the opulence and indulgence to which viewers have become accustomed. It was an opportunity to explore the reality of the lives of ordinary French people - and for us, a chance to compromise Fabien, the King’s staunchest valet.


Jenny Platt as Jeanne

 

When writing a historical drama, you must always accommodate history to a certain extent, while trying not to crush the plot. In the third season, we have strived to remain true to the spirit of the real characters and facts, while trying to build an exciting, moving and bold story. And we hope that you will like it.


EPISODE GUIDE


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by Ovation, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.


"Smoke and Mirrors"
Saturday, October 6 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Louis (George Blagden) welcomes a defeated royal relative to the palace, but with unforeseen personal consequences. Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) stumbles upon a mystery man. Madame de Montespan (Anna Brewster) finds how to hurt a former friend, the King's prim companion Francois de Maintenon (Catherine Walker).

"Trust Issues"
Saturday, October 13 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Little can be taken at face value as Louis (George Blagden) negotiates with Leopold (Rory Keenan) over Spain, the Bastille governor has a sorry tale for Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) and Sophie (Maddison Jaizani) surprises Marchal (Tygh Runyan).

"Truth Will Out"
Saturday, October 20 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
A betrayal by one of the women closest to the King has unforeseen consequences, while a graphic revelation results in a fall from grace for another. Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) gets dangerously close to the mystery prisoner. Reprisals against the protesters in Paris place Fabien Marchal (Tygh Runyan) in peril.

"Crime and Punishment"
Saturday, October 27 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Seeking retribution, Louis (George Blagden) lashes out at the Parisian rebels though Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) urges a more reasoned response. Word from Spain casts doubt on Marie-Therese (Elisa Lasowski)'s intentions. Sophie (Maddison Jaizani)'s loyalties are tested.

"The Afterlife"
Saturday, November 3 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Can Louis (George Blagden)'s longed-for loving touch help the ailing Queen (Elisa Lasowski)? An engraved blade holds a clue to who Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) has antagonized. Jeanne (Jenny Platt) challenges her brother (Matthew McNulty)'s business-minded betrayal.

"The Wheel of Fortune"
Saturday, November 10 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Louis (George Blagden) hopes diplomacy will hide his duplicity as he works to undermine Leopold (Rory Keenan) while winning over severe Cardinal Leto (Ken Bones). Marchal (Tygh Runyan) helps Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) learn a family secret, and is troubled by a command from the King.

"The Book of Revelations"
Saturday, November 17 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Has Louis (George Blagden) finally learned the identity of the man in the iron mask? Cardinal Leto (Ken Bones) is still determined to use his knowledge against the King. Fabien Marchal (Tygh Runyan) is in pursuit of fugitive Sophie (Maddison Jaizani) and the young woman he must kill.

"Of Gods and Men"
Saturday, November 24 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Suffering an identity crisis, Louis (George Blagden) gets moody, unable to reveal the reason. Jeanne (Jenny Platt)'s protest pamphlets in Paris bring reprisals led by Marchal (Tygh Runyan).

"The Tinderbox"
Saturday, December 1 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
His resolve reinforced, Louis (George Blagden) is dismissive of the pain his plans will cause others, be they Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) or Protestants of all classes. Cardinal Leto (Ken Bones) is confident of making the King marry Isabella of Portugal (Benedita Pereira).

"The Legacy"
Saturday, December 8 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
Looking to the future, King Louis XIV (George Blagden) seeks to reconnect with his people and reconcile his family. As some oppressed Parisians plan a violent welcome for Louis, has one of his friends become a foe?