‘Victoria’ Debuts on Masterpiece Sunday on KIXE

Victoria On MASTERPIECE on PBS *SPECIAL TWO-HOUR PREMIERE* SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 2017 AT 9PM ET Continues Sundays, January 22 – February 19, 2017 at 9pm ET Season Finale on Sunday, March 5 at 9pm ET Episode One – "Doll 123" Sunday, January 15 at 9pm ET As a new queen, the young Victoria struggles to take charge amid plots to manipulate her. Victoria’s friendship with the prime minister leads to a crisis in Parliament. Shown: Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria (C) ITV Plc

The year is 1837. The King, after a long illness, is dead. The crown now passes to his niece, Alexandrina Victoria, who at only 18 years of age must take the reins of the world’s greatest empire. This is the story told by the new Masterpiece series, Victoria.

Victoria, written and directed by Daisy Goodwin, follows the early years of the monarch’s rein. Here she is as little more than a young girl, at once petulant and domineering, as she navigates the decisions she must make, the first of which is deciding on a name for herself.

She’s surrounded by would-be advisors, most of whom she spurns, but for the influence of Lord Melbourne, the embattled prime minister, played with quiet grace by Rufus Sewell. Jenna Coleman, of Doctor Who fame, stars as Victoria, and does an admirable job of portraying a woman who, though young and inexperienced, slowly grows into her power.

The series shines a spotlight on how society treats young women in general. One would-be advisor tries to dismiss her, saying “A talent for watercolors is not going to strike terror into the hearts of our enemies.” And there are numerous attempts to limit her, first by trying install her mother as her regent, then in marrying her off to a husband that will control her. She resists these attempts by sheer force of will, and succeeds in, as she says, in “proving her worth every single day.”

There are shades of Downton Abbey in the presentation, as the servants who run the house are also spotlighted, including Eve Myles, late of Torchwood, who plays the royal dresser. Yet the focus always remains on Victoria herself, and the sometimes impossible decisions she has to make, trying to decide as to what type of Queen she is to be.

Victoria debuts on Masterpiece Sunday, January 15th, at 9 p.m. on KIXE Channel 9.

Chad Grayson
Chad Grayson has been a gas station attendant, sold video games over the phone, and even was the person who cuts the mold off the cheese in the cheese factory, but spent most of his career as a middle school Language Arts and History teacher. He is now a full-time stay at home dad and writer. You can find him on twitter at @chadgrayson and on his blog at cegrayson.wordpress.com.
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2 Responses

  1. Al says:

    Having seen the ITV broadcast, I can say this is a marvelous show. Something that PBS I think needs to emphasize though is that unlike so many series coming out of the UK these days, this show is actually “whole family” entertainment. What I mean by that is even though it deals with adult subject matter, there’s no nudity or sex scenes, language is at a minimum, as is violence. I heard a news report last summer that PBS’s broadcasts might contain material not in the ITV showing thanks to there being no commercial breaks, but I doubt anything will be added to change it from being a solid PG-rated show. People are looking for alternatives to the R-rated material coming off the BBC, Netflix, HBO, etc., that aren’t necessarily kids shows but at the same time don’t make viewers uncomfortable. Victoria is one of those shows and it should be celebrated and applauded. The fact it is an excellent series in its own right (The Crown will have competition) makes it even sweeter.

  2. Melanie says:

    I watched the movie Young Victoria about five years ago with Emily Blunt and really liked it so I have been anxiously anticipating revisiting the story. I hope it will at least partly fill the Downton Abbey sized hole in my heart.