Today, in news that reminds us that there’s apparently going to be a twenty-twenty-two, somehow: Deadline reports that Netflix’s Royals-watching smorgasbord The Crown won’t be back for more than a year after it airs its fourth season later this year. Amazingly enough, this gap year is not due to the COVID-19 production shutdowns; the planned break was always on the schedule between the show’s fourth and fifth seasons, presumably to give everyone involved a chance to deep-clean the sets, because incoming Elizabeth II Imelda Staunton will reportedly go just absolutely apeshit if she catches the scent of another queen on any of her stuff.
Staunton is coming in to replace Olivia Colman, who herself replaced Claire Foy. (Lesley Manville, meanwhile, will take over from Helena Bonham Carter in the role of Princess Margaret.) Staunton is on the hook to play Liz-2 up through the show’s sixth season, which will presumably bring the series up to something close to the present day. At that point, creator Peter Morgan will have to decide whether he wants to just start airing round-the-clock footage of the royal residence—admittedly, a cost-saving on high-end actors—or go with our preferred plan, and time jump The Crown into the far future, where E.L.I.Z.A.B.E.T.H. II wages a one cyber-monarch war against her frequent opponent, sometimes lover, the immortal Prince Philip. (Please deploy your Matt Smith/Doctor Who jokes about this premise wherever you feel they’ll be most appropriate.)
Season 4 of The Crown is set to arrive later this year. Season 5 will air in 2022. Christ, look at that number. 2022. Ugh.