‘The Queen of Time’: Isabel I in The Ministry of Time (2015) and The Queen of Spain (2016)

  • Emily C. Francomano
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


The Spanish television series The Ministry of Time (February 2015—present) and film The Queen of Spain (2016) both revisit the canonical legends of Isabel I of Spain and re-create her image for twenty-first century audiences. However, unlike the popular series, Isabel—analyzed in other contributions to this volume—these two re-creations are equivocal in their handling of the iconic queen. The Ministry of Time, now in its third season on RTVE, has been met with almost unqualified acclaim by media critics. The Queen of Spain, on the other hand, flopped spectacularly. This chapter analyzes the two productions as historiographic metafictions that combine the representation of history with self-reflexive commentaries on historical revisionism that call attention to Isabel’s ambivalent legacy as well as their contrasting reception.


Films and Television Series Cited

  1. Cristóbal Colón, de oficio descubridor. Feature Film. Directed by Mariano Ozores. Constan Films, 1982.Google Scholar
  2. El Cid. Feature Film. Directed by Anthony Mann. Samuel Bronston Productions, 1961.Google Scholar
  3. El Ministerio del Tiempo. Television Series. RTVE. Season 1 (2015). Episodes are available online:
  4. Isabel. Television Series. RTVE/Diagonal TV. Seasons 1–3 (2012–14). Episodes are available online:
  5. La niña de tus ojos. Feature Film. Directed by Fernando Trueba. Lolafilms, 1998.Google Scholar
  6. La reina de España. Feature Film. Directed by Fernando Trueba. Lolafilms, 2016.Google Scholar

Film reviews

  1. Martínez, Luis. “La última columna: Fernando Trueba,” El mundo, November 25, 2016.
  2. Ocaña, Javier. “Sombras en los ojos de la niña.” El País. November 24, 2016.
  3. Rodríguez Marchante, Oti. “‘La reina de España’ (**): El valle de los alicaídos.” ABC, November 24, 2016.
  4. Juan Saguino, “No, el boicot a Trueba no tiene la culpa del fracaso de ‘La reina de España’,” Vanity Fair, November 30, 2016.

Works and References Cited

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily C. Francomano
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.USA

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