Introducing Isabel and Red Eagle: The Spanish Answer to Historical Dramas
This drama is a biography about the Queen of Castile, Isabella the Catholic. The first season, offered by DramaFever, chronicles the period between 1461 and 1474: from the end of her childhood to her marriage with Ferdinand II of Aragon and her difficulties in ascending to the throne following the death of her half-brother, Enrique IV.
Runtime: 45 min. each episode
Number of Episodes: 13
Let me introduce you to the Cast of Isabel:
The rest of the Cast
Juan Messeguer as Diego de Mendoza
César Vea as Pedro Girón
Clara Sanchís as Isabel de Portugal
Arturo Querejeta as Alonso de Fonseca
Sergio Peris Mencheta as Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Víctor Elías as Alfonso de Castile
Jordi Banacolocha as Juan II de Aragón
The drama features the passionate struggle of a woman to become queen. This is the story of a woman who decided to be the master of her own destiny without knowing the many sacrifices that this would entail. As a child, she was snatched from her sick mother and was forced to go live at the Court by her half-brother, Enrique IV.
She was a devout Catholic. She suffered the loss of her brother Alfonso who she loved dearly and protected constantly from others as well as himself.
She refused to compromise her life and accept any arranged marriages, defending her right to choose a spouse, eventually choosing Ferdinand of Aragon.
All this has Isabel, a great drama depicting the early years of Isabella. But, beyond the historical facts, this drama chronicles the passions, emotions and sacrifices of a woman ahead of her time who refused to be figurehead. A woman, with flaws and virtues, who aspired to reached a goal intended only for men. And that she would soon face challenges no one could imagine.
Águila Roja (Red Eagle) is a Spanish live action TV drama about a masked hero who fights injustice in 17th Century Spain. Best known for its use of Ninja motifs and weaponry, the drama is known to be the most watched show in Spain’s history, and also the most expensive, with a budget of almost one million euros per episode.
Runtime: 75 min.
Number of Episodes: 13
Here is the Cast of Red Eagle:
David Janer as Gonzalo de Montalvo
Patrick Criado as Nuño
Erika Sanz as Inés
Adolfo Fernández as Father Agustín
Pepa Aniorte as Catalina
Santiago Molero as Cipri
A Spanish historical-fiction drama, set in Spain in the 17th century, tells the story of Gonzalo de Montalvo, a man who was once forced into exile to the Far East but returns after learning Ninja-like skills, only to find his wife murdered by a conspiracy known as “La Logia” (The Lodge), lead by Lucrecia, widow of the Marquis of Santillana.
Teacher by day, he adopts the identity of Águila Roja and fights the corrupt local Sheriff, Hernán Mejías while investigating the Lodge’s plans- all while raising his young son, Alonso, who is unaware that his father is a hero.
He also picks up Sátur, a lovable scoundrel and swindler who helps him with his alter-ego and adds a touch of humor to the otherwise dead-straight show.
Águila Roja is a drama of adventures and intrigue dealing with the themes of courage, nobility, friendship and love, and just good old fashioned fun.
- Anyone Can Die: The number of people who have died is extremely high. Just about no one is safe; including children.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Many times.
- Artistic License – Martial Arts: Gonzalo is basically a Ninja, which would be great… if it wasn’t for the fact that he was trained in China, not Japan. His swordplay contains a lot of theatrics; a lot of Sword Twirling.
- Bad-ass Teacher: Gonzalo.
- Even the kids are brutal: The depiction of bullying is pretty brutal. When Nuño forced one of his main bullies to eat animal crap from the ground, *shudders*. The killing of the little handicapped boy by Nuño was shocking.
- Calling Card: A red feather that Águila leaves at the scene of his attacks.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Characters actually *die* from it. It’s brutality is depicted in a horrible way at times; very graphic so definitely not for children.
- Dark Is Evil: The Commisar (Sheriff) and his men always dresses in black.
- Mother dies at the very beginning: Gonzalo’s wife dies in the Pilot. Their son Alonso blames him for not being there with her to save her life.
- Historical Fiction/Historical Truth: Even though this drama is basically fiction, there is definitely truth blended in that depicts the times during the Inquisition.
- Comic Relief: Sátur. Why is it that no one recognizes him as the escaped prisoner at the beginning?
- What Shows this Drama reminds me of: It’s a cross between Zorro and Robin Hood and a subtle mix of Batman and just a touch of The Chinese Connection (Bruce Lee for you young folks).
So, do I recommend them? Well, these dramas are definitely for those of us who love history. They provide a lot of information for the periods when they take place; however, if you are squeamish about violence, I’d suggest you skip these. Those drama lovers of sageuks and other Asian dramas will most likely appreciate these the most.
I totally enjoy both and hope DramaFever provides us the opportunity to see the other seasons as they become available. Red Eagle, already has 3 other seasons available with the 5th season to be released this summer, 2013; Isabel, season 2, has not been released yet. I am looking forward to watching all of them.