TV Review: Victoria

Sunday night at nine o’clock saw the return of the ITV period drama. In the Downton Abbey spot, there was certainly a lot of pressure on the cast of new drama Victoria starring former Doctor Who actress Jenna Coleman as the late monarch.

Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria

Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria

Victoria‘s first episode saw the welcoming of a new Queen following the death of her uncle. In this welcoming, the audience gets to grips with the 18-year-old’s struggles: being young, being small and being a woman. Time and time again her mother’s manipulative aide Sir John Conrory, excellently captured by Paul Rhys, attempts to overpower her, eventually forcing Victoria to show her inner power – a trait that not even her own mother recognises.

In the second episode of the drama, aired on Monday night at 9 pm, Queen Victoria has her coronation and faces a brewing coup against her from Conroy and her own uncle – as well as the convenient heir to the throne – the Duke of Cumberland (Peter Firth) who intend to overthrow her rule in a bid for power.

victoria and lord m

Victoria (Jenna Coleman) and Lord M. (Rufus Sewell)

However, Queen Victoria faces an emotional problem which is at the centre of episode two. Throughout both parts of the drama, Coleman’s strong young woman leans on then Prime Minister Lord Malcolm to guide her through her reign. When he resigns, it throws Victoria’s world into disarray, prompting a fantastically passionate performance from Jenna Coleman teamed with pitch perfect acting from Rufus Sewell (Lord M.). The chemistry between the pair can only be described as electric and also very authentic which is quite the contrast with Coleman’s infamous pairing with Matt Smith in Doctor Who.

So far, Victoria has got me hooked and it’s an excellent dramatisation of the life of an extraordinary lady.

Episode three of Victoria airs on Sunday 4th September at 9 pm on ITV and episode four the following day at the same time.