TV Review: Victoria

Last night marked the end of an era in ITV’s hit period drama Victoria as Jenna Coleman’s young Queen chose a husband in a sudden plot twist.

Those who are unfamiliar with Queen Victoria’s life would have been surprised to see that the monarch proposed to German Prince and cousin Albert (I suspect that will cause trouble for her in next week’s episode) and not to her first love Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell). It was quite the shock for those who are familiar with the Queen’s history also as writer and creator Daisy Goodwin fails to deliver the love at first sight promised to viewers. Instead, we get a haphazard load of angst and confusion, especially on Victoria’s side.

Albert (Tom Hughes) playing piano with Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman)

Albert (Tom Hughes) playing piano with Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman)

While it cannot be said that Goodwin’s failure ruins the fourth episode of Victoria, it does make it difficult to believe that the Queen really does want to be with Albert, played wonderfully by Tom Hughes, and not Lord M., especially after last Sunday’s events. However, Goodwin does present a rivalry between the polar-opposite pair; the one thing uniting them is their desire to have the feisty Queen’s heart.

Power couple no more: Coleman (Victoria) and Sewell (Lord M.)

Power couple no more: Coleman (Victoria) and Sewell (Lord M.)

In this rivalry, Rufus Sewell steals the show as his brooding and irresistible Prime Minister calls himself a “fool” for turning Victoria away, prompting a Twitter meltdown. Alongside him is Jenna Coleman, her acting as stellar as usual. Coleman’s portrayal of the torn monarch is fantastic as we see her unwillingly distance herself from Lord M. towards the end of the episode.

Next week’s Victoria will be an interesting watch. When the Queen’s Prime Minister/love/closest ally steps down and they can no longer see each other as often, will she cope with Albert’s deadpan and oh-so-serious attitude?